It is a well-known legend among Bend locals that we have one of the highest per capita dog populations anywhere in the world with 49 percent of Central Oregon residents owning a dog. In fact, Dog Fancy magazine claimed Bend as DogTown USA in 2012 and runner up in 2011. With over 40 restaurants ready to accommodate you and Fido for an alfresco dining date, a plethora of dog-friendly businesses and events, more than 51 miles of urban trails in town, and over 13 off-leash areas in city parks and National Forests, Bend, Oregon is literally a paradise for man and woman’s best friend.
Take Your Dog for a Walk On & Off Leash in Bend
Start your vacation off by checking out the Bend Urban Trails Map, created by the Bend Metro Park & Recreation District. Both the Shevlin Park Loop and the Deschutes River Trail near Farewell Bend Park have paths that wind along the river, offering plenty of opportunities for your pup to cool off in the water. If your dog prefers sprinklers over swimming, a spray park solely dedicated to dogs is located at the Bob Wenger Memorial Off-Leash Area, which is a 14-acre dog park located in northeast Bend.
Your next stop for planning your doggie vacation is dogpac.org, a non-profit organization that helps create off-leash areas in the Deschutes National Forest and BLM Lands as well as off-leash dog parks in Bend City Parks. Let your dog run wild on many popular trails during certain times of the year off the Cascade Lakes Highway.
And the adventures for your canine companion do not stop with trips into the woods. Rent a canoe at Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe and then pick up a flotation device made especially for your dog by the Bend-based animal outfitter, Ruff Wear. Wanderlust Tours opens all of their daytime scenic mountain lake canoe tours to pups and their humans.
If you are here in the winter, Wanoga, Edison and Kapka Sno-Parks have dog-friendly cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, and Wanoga is often groomed for skate skiing. The 2 ½ mile stretch of dirt road up to Tumalo Falls after the bridge (on Skyliners Rd) is also left unplowed during winter months and dogs are welcome to frolic along beside the trails.
Dog-Friendly Events in Bend
There are enough events celebrating man’s best friend here in Bend that it is possible to plan a whole vacation around your pet. Check out the annual Bend Pet Parade every July 4th and the wiener dog racing during Bend’s Oktoberfest.
If you and Fido get separated while exploring Bend, don’t panic! But do contact the Humane Society of Central Oregon so they can help reunite you with your furry pal. And if there’s room in your heart and home for another four-legged friend, consider adopting a pet from HSCO.