Tawna and Bindi.

I had a hot date the other day.

The fact that my date has a tail and walks on four legs didn’t make it any less magnificent.

Bend boasts one of the highest rates of dog ownership per capita in the U.S., which means it’s among the most canine-friendly towns you’ll set foot in (er, watch where you set that foot – the occasional loser forgets to pick up after Fido).

On my recent dog date, I decided to show Bindi a good time Bend, Oregon style.

We started off with a stop at Bend Pet Express to grab a bag of kibble and a replacement for her beloved Fire Hose Stretch Toy. We hit their northeast location near Costco since that’s closer to our house, but they have another great shop on the west side of town.

By the time we finished up there, Bindi was gunning for a little off-leash time. Bend is fortunate to have seven (yes, SEVEN) off-leash dog parks in the city. Our favorite is the Pine Nursery Park, an 18-acre fenced area with amazing trails just off Purcell in northeast Bend. We hiked and fetched and sniffed butts for an hour, with Bindi enjoying some of those activities a bit more than I did.

Bindi at the dog park.

The highlight for Bindi was a rousing game of Frisbee with her Hover Craft from Ruff Wear (a Bend-based manufacturer of products for active canines).

Though the dog park has drinking fountains for dogs in warmer months, it’s too chilly for running water right now. Fortunately, Bindi and I thought ahead and brought a water bottle and our collapsible silicone bowl from Bend-based Tazlab.

Once we had our fill of fresh air and exercise, we headed downtown for a little girl time. Bindi has a taste for the bling, and who am I to discourage it?

Dog Patch Boutique on Minnesota Avenue has a great selection of dog accessories ranging from Swarovski Crystal collars to leashes to beds to dog apparel and cologne. We picked out a snazzy new collar for Bindi, who also insisted on some fresh biscuits from Polka-Doodle Dog Bakery for an afternoon snack.

Shopping for dog bling at The Dog Patch.

During the summer months, no dog date would be complete without lunch outside at one of Bend’s many dog-friendly dining establishments. Chow, Bourbon Street, Parilla Grill, Flatbread Community Oven, and Brother Jon’s are just a few great spots that allow dogs to dine with their owners at the outdoor tables.

At the end of our date, Bindi and I headed home for a bit of snuggling on the sofa in front of the fire. Though we live here and have the luxury of dog-friendly lodging every day of the week, there are tons of pet-friendly Bend hotels for visitors who need a home away from home. Check out the Visit Bend Pet Travel page for all kinds of great canine-related resources.

Do you have a four-legged companion? What are your favorite Bend hotspots to enjoy with your furry friend?

I hope to see you around town for a tail-wagging, butt-sniffing good time!

4 responses to “The ultimate dog date in Bend, Oregon”

  1. The dogs (Bear and Boo) LOVE Bend – they give it 4 paws up….way up…well they’re kind of short so not that high. But it’s great to know of all these places that THEY can visit with us when we go next time! I’ll have to keep the bakery a secret though they’ll be wanting to go NOW! I’ll pass this on to the rest of my friends with pups! Bindi you’re a lucky girl! Great Mom and a Great place to live!

  2. Hey Tawna and Bindy,

    Sam (Lab/Great Dane mix) and I like to hit the River Trail this time of year between Meadow Camp and Dillon Falls. It’s off leash this time of year and it’s the best for letting your dog just run it’s butt off.

    Sam also loves Pine Nursery. He gets very excited when we go there and has a blast running around up and down the trails and all over the place smelling butts and letiing the other dogs know who’s in charge. Nicely.

    He also like the dog park at Hollinshead Park which is within walking distance of where we live. And finally, he loves to go to Petco for his monthly grooming. He’s spoiled.

  3. And here I thought I was the only one who had dog dates:) Thanks for the great info, Tawna! I am about to relocate to Bend (from Lake Tahoe) and was a little worried about finding housing for me and my rather large dog. I’m so happy to hear Bend is dog friendly. Thanks again and hope to see you and Bindi around town!

  4. will send you a video of Mr. B –or Boomer as we call him.
    He is a Central Or. Native of Powell Butte–but I am from Texas originally.

    Moved to Bend and after seeing so many dogs in the cars (and so well taken care of) decided to get yet another dog! We have a now 8 year old miniature Australian Sheperd named Boomer–such fun. Got him at 12 weeks old—“a perpetual puppy”
    Here is the link for you to enjoy!
    Named on of the Best by Bend Bulletin!

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