Ohio’s Dog Friendly Destinations
By Michael Evans

If you’re a dog owner and you’re anything like me, you enjoy nothing more than spending time with your four-legged friends and spoiling them like they’re your very own child! For many households, dogs are an essential part of the family. Luckily, Ohio is a very dog-friendly state, and there are many things you can do while on your travels to cater to the canines in your life!





@rudytherescue_
 

For starters, Cincinnati-based Graeter’s Ice Cream  is a dog friendly establishment, allowing pups on the outdoor patios and providing you with free Purina Frosty Paws upon request. Some stores even hold Graeter’s Dog Night Out (in places such as Centerville) where local pet stores show up to hand out goodies and you get to be social with your dogs!  Find a location near you: Graeters Store Locator Website.

Believe it or not, some wineries in Ohio are open to dogs as well! While the dogs would not be sipping on the alcohol with you, they can join you on the patio in warmer months. Perennial Vineyards in Navarre is an example of such a winery. They have a wine called American Wine Dog created so that a portion of the proceeds goes to Stark County animal shelters.





@adam_albrecht
 

To get active with your dog, most state and metro parks in Ohio have a pet policy allowing for dogs to join you on a hike. Some have special paths designated for dogs while other portions of the park are off limits. For instance, the gardens at Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville prohibit dogs, but there are paths in which dogs are permitted.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Summit and Cuyahoga Counties encourages pets, but advises you to look out for wild animals such as black bears or raccoons that could potentially harm your dog. They also ask you to use discretion when sharing the hiking trail with other dogs, runners, and bicyclists. Every park is different, but most trails are an open-door policy!

Personally, I like to crank it up a notch and take my dog with me not only on hikes, but also on runs! There are events  in which hundreds of dog owners gather with their canine companions to participate in a 5K race. Examples are  Run With The Pack 5K in Columbus, Woodland Woof Walk in Dayton, and Dirty Dog Run & Wash in Avon Lake.

And while it may seem obvious, there are plenty of awesome dog parks located across the state you should check out. Some favorites of mine are Wags Park in Cincinnati, Bow Wow Beach in Stow (offering 7 acres and a lake for swimming), Wood County Dog Park in Bowling Green (requires paid membership), and Scioto Audubon Metro Park in Columbus (loaded with fun obstacles).





@mrbojanglesthedog
 

When all else fails, get creative! My dog Slider has been on countless adventures with me, including paddle boarding (thanks to Columbus-based company Project 908). If you have a dog, big or small, they deserve to discover Ohio as much as possible!

For more Ohio adventures, Find It Here at Ohio.org.

About the Author

Michael Evans is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in Public Affairs Journalism and currently works for The Ohio Department of Transportation as a Legislative Liaison. Michael is additionally the creator of OHventures, an Ohio tourism blog that focuses on outdoor adventure and active lifestyle. He has many hobbies, including writing, hiking, biking, rock climbing, canoeing, running, lifting weights, traveling and photography. You can write to Michael at ohventuresblog@gmail.com.