Now that summer is here, we all want to get outside, stretch our legs and enjoy a little sunshine after being cooped up inside all winter. It’s the season to go hiking, visit parks and go for picnics. The only thing that would make all our favorite summer activities a little bit better is if we could bring our pets along for the ride.
Unfortunately, many of our favorite destinations and activities might not allow dogs and cats on the premises. While this is usually for a very good reason and these rules must certainly be respected, they are nonetheless a little bit of a disappointment for those of us who love our pets and would take them with us everywhere if we could!
So what is the devoted pet-owner to do when faced with the dreaded “no pets allowed” sign? It’s simple. Instead, spend some time seeking out cat- and dog-friendly activities near you. While they might be difficult to find at first, a little persistence can often reveal plenty of places that would love to have you and your pet visit. In many cases, it’s simply a matter of knowing where to look.
If you live in Florida, then you’re in luck. Today, we’re going to be talking about some of the best pet-friendly activities in Sarasota. Even if you don’t live in Sarasota, however, you can easily use this list as a starting point. Browse this list and see if you can find similar locations and activities near you. By reviewing this list, we hope that you’ll discover all of the wonderful summer activities in Sarasota that you can do with your pet.
Where Can I Take My Pets In Sarasota, Florida?
While this is not a complete list of every dog-friendly activity in Sarasota, this list covers quite a few of the options available to you. This list should give you a good idea of the many activities and spots open to you and all your four-legged friends.
1. Hit The Beach With Your Pets
If you’ve never taken your pet to the beach, then you’re missing out. While your cat might not love this activity too much, your dog will have an absolute blast and so will you. Your dog will enjoy playing fetch on the sand with a Frisbee or ball, as well as swimming in the water and hanging out beside you as you relax with a good book. Who knows? Your dog might even help you make a new friend on the beach.
However, not every beach will welcome your dog. If you’re looking for a pet-friendly beach near Sarasota, Fla., we recommend heading to Brohard Paw Park. This beach, located just outside of Sarasota in nearby Venice, FL, is the only public beachfront area in the county where dogs are not only welcome but are encouraged to visit. Because of this, the entire park is designed around the ideal pet and pet-owner experience.
The park boasts drinking fountains for humans as well as dog water fountains. There are plenty of benches for you to rest on while your pet plays in the sand and picnic tables in case you want to make a whole day of it and bring your lunch to the park. The park is also well-stocked with plenty of dog showers, fire hydrants and leash posts for all your doggy needs.
This is a great place for your dog to have fun but it’s also a great place for you to see other cute dogs and socialize with other pet owners.
If you want to visit the water, but your dog isn’t necessarily interested in getting their feet wet, you might also visit Bay Front Park. This park has a great trail that lets you and your pet take a nice walk around the waterfront and marina while avoiding the hustle and bustle of the actual beach scene.
2. Head To The Dog Park
Whether it’s summer, spring, fall or even a mild winter day, there are few activities better for you and dog than a good old-fashioned trip to the dog park. It’s a place where your dog can run and run to their heart’s content, free from their leash. They can meet other dogs, chase squirrels and birds, play fetch and so much more, all in the comfort of an outdoor space designed specifically with their needs in mind.
There are a few different Sarasota dog parks worth checking out. To keep things fun, you might try to hit them all this summer.
A few of the ones we would recommend are:
- Arlington Paw Park
Like most dog parks, the Arlington Paw Park features wide open spaces where your dog can run and bark and play freely and safely. As an extra bonus, this park also features jogging trails, so you can kill two birds with one stone, getting your exercise in at the same time your pet does. Once you’re both tired from running around, there are separate drinking areas for humans and pets as well.
- 17th Street Paw Park
Like the Arlington Paw Park, the 17th Street Paw Park offers spacious grassy areas where your dog can play, as well as separate drinking fountains for you and your pets. Additionally, this park is also right next to several other active and busy parks where you can often catch a local softball or soccer game. This way, if you get bored before your pet does, you can sit back and watch a game while your dog keeps playing.
3. Treat Your Pet To The Spa
Your pets are an important member of your family and, as such, they deserve a little pampering, too. Summer is the perfect season to book a trip to the spa since your pet will be running around and getting dirty in the first place. Why not take this opportunity to get your pet cleaned up and looking their best? Keep in mind, some pet spas will have vaccine recommendations pets should adhere to before their visit, so feel free to contact University Animal Clinic to ensure your pet is up to date with all of their necessary vaccines.
A few of the pet spas worth checking out include:
- Wet Noses Sarasota
At the Wet Noses spa in Sarasota, you’ll find full cleaning and grooming services available for your pet. This is a great spa that’s locally owned and offers great personalized customer service to you and your pet. You can get your pet bathed or groomed, have their nails trimmed and plenty of other services that will get your pet feeling great and looking amazing after days of playing outside in the sun and dirt.
- Bayside Pet Resort
Think of the Bayside Pet Resort as a luxury resort for your pet. Here, your pet can experience the very finest in grooming and bathing. But those aren’t the only services you’ll find here. You can also enroll your pet in training or agility classes. The resort also offers dog-sitting services for those times when you need to go out of town and can’t take your furry friends with you.
- Abundant Life Massage
At Abundant Life Massage, you can actually take a class to learn how to give massages to dogs. This way, whenever you feel like your dog needs a little love and relaxation, you’re totally prepared and ready to provide it. Your pets are sure to love getting a massage from the people they love best.
4. Hike Some Trails
Tired of taking your dogs for walks up and down your street? Looking for a little more excitement and adventure with your four-legged best friend at your side? Why not explore some of the many on-leash trails in and around Sarasota? You and your dog can enjoy the scenery together while you both get your exercise.
A few of the possibilities to look into include:
- Red Bug Slough Reserve
Red Bug Slough Reserve is a 72-acre land preserve that has endless miles of hiking trails, shelters, a playground and even a fishing dock. If you’re looking for a relaxing day of exploring nature with your dog, there’s no better place to do it.
- Venetian Waterway Park
Located just south of Sarasota, the Venetian Waterway Park features more beautiful trails for you to explore and passes through multiple diverse vistas, from waterways and open green fields to urban landscapes.
- Myakka State Park
If your pet is leashed, supervised and knows how to behave, then the two of you might have a wonderful time exploring nature at Myakka State Park. This park includes miles upon miles or prairies, scrubs and pine forest. As you wander the many exciting hiking trails, you and your dog will also encounter plenty of Florida wildlife like birds, bald eagles and armadillos. You might even make an entire weekend out of the trip, spending your nights at the campground and getting up the next morning to hit the trails again. Your dog will be welcome both on the trails and in the campground.
5. Head Out To Eat Together
Of course, there are few better ways to bond with someone than by going out to eat with them. This is true whether your companion is a human or a pet. Sarasota is home to many restaurants that allow pet parents to bring their furry friends with them when they eat on the patio and outdoor seating areas.
A few of the restaurants you and your pet might want to check out include:
- The Old Salty Dog
If the name isn’t enough to immediately make you want to bring your dog here, then perhaps the promise of beer-battered hot dogs will be enough to tempt you. The Old Salty Dog has three locations so that you can choose the one most convenient for you, and they love it when customers choose to dine alongside their dogs. Best of all? Your dog will even be able to get dog biscuits when you eat here, meaning that he or she will be able to enjoy a meal right alongside you!
- Café L’Europe
When you picture delicate European eateries and fine wines, you might not immediately think of a place that allows dogs. But that’s exactly what you get at Café L’Europe. In addition to the delicious food they serve, this local eatery also has a great patio seating area where you can hang out with your dog.
- Owen’s Fish Camp
Owen’s Fish Camp doesn’t just treat you to delicious food. It’s also located in historic Burns Court, giving you the opportunity to dine in one of the most colorful districts in Sarasota. Best of all, they love it when patrons bring the dogs with them to eat on the outdoor patio.
6. Take Your Pet On A Shopping Spree
Who doesn’t love a good shopping trip? It’s a great way to beat the heat in the summer, especially when the stores are air-conditioned. If you’re worried about leaving your pet at home while you go out shopping, don’t be. There are plenty of stores around Sarasota that will gladly welcome both you and your dog.
Your pets might not be too interested in going clothes shopping with you, but they’ll be happy to go anywhere you’re going. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be able to fit in a trip to the pet store for some new toys or other pet needs.
A few of the dog-friendly shops in Sarasota include:
- Retro Rosie’s
Retro Rosie’s is a great place to check out if you love vintage-style clothing, accessories and housewares. Their specialty is items from the 1950s and ’60s, but you might find things from as early as the turn of the century and as recent as the 1970s. They love to see dogs, so if you bring your pet, they might even get a treat to enjoy while you’re busy shopping.
- Woof Gang Bakery
If you live in Sarasota, Woof Gang Bakery is your one-stop shop for pet needs. Whether you need food, other supplies or even pet grooming, you can find it here. This shop is a pet’s paradise and your pet is sure to have just as much fun shopping here as you do.
Keep Your Pet In Good Health This Summer
Is it time for your pet’s regular checkup? Do you want to make sure that your pet is as healthy as possible and ready for some fun in the sun without having to worry about being sick? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then it’s worth making an appointment for your pet to get checked out.
Here at the University Animal Clinic, we want to be your go-to source of animal care. Whether your pet needs their shots, a regular checkup or a particular symptom they’re exhibiting investigated, we hope you’ll bring them to see us. We know that your pets are an important part of your family and that’s why we’re committed to providing them with top-quality care and treatments.
The easiest way to get started is to schedule an appointment with us today. To get in touch with us, contact us through our website or give us a call at 941-355-7707. We can’t wait to meet you and your pet.