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There’s no need to take the same boring walk around the block for the umpteenth time, forcing your pup to smell the same mailboxes over and over, considering West Michigan is stacked with dog-friendly areas.
It’s time to expand your pet’s world. Get out there and explore!
It seems a new dog park opens every summer in West Michigan, so you can take your best friend to a new spot every weekend. The change in your pet’s surroundings will hit all the right notes and ignite their senses with new smells, sights and places to roam.
Quincy Dog Park in Holland is a five-acre off-leash park that includes many dog friendly amenities. The park is completely fenced in, so your pooch can run free with no worries. Separate areas exist for large and small dogs, and there’s plenty of security lighting and drinking fountains with dog bowls—no need to bring your own.
Other West Michigan off-leash parks include Covell Dog Park, a one-acre park on Grand Rapids’ Northwest side, Hillcrest Dog Park on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids, which offers separately fenced areas for large and small dogs, and Shaggy Pines Dog Park, a 20-acre park in Ada that has been named one of the top ten dog parks in North America.
Hair of the Dog
Drinking in the backyard — with your dog at your feet — while the sun pours down on your skin, sigh … does it get any better? But why stay confined to your homestead when there are plenty of pup-friendly local establishments. Harmony Brewing, located in Grand Rapids’ eclectic Eastown neighborhood, has an open patio and is a perfect spot for your hound to rest while you sip a cool brew.
Arcadia Brewing Company inKalamazoo offers a pet-friendly beer garden with waterfront views to boot. Situated alongside the Kalamazoo River, Arcadia offers patrons the opportunity to enjoy a brew or a game of shuffleboard all while in the company of their best four-legged companion.
Head to Dockers Fish House, located in Muskegon’s Harbor Town Marina, this summer and you can bring your pup along for the fun. Overlooking Muskegon Lake off of Lake Michigan, Dockers is steps away from Pere Marquette Beach and has three outdoor patio areas to enjoy.
Take A Dip
Dog-friendly beaches are abundant along Lake Michigan, but one of the rare gems is Grand Mere State Park in Stevensville. With 985-acres of hiking trails and more than one mile of beach for sunbathing and swimming, it’s the perfect place for you and your pet to soak up plenty of vitamin D. While on-leash, your pup can enjoy time within the beach and swimming area of this National Natural Landmark.
Another great option on the water is Norman F. Kruse Park in Muskegon, where gleeful barks are not frowned upon.