Fun Fall Activities to do With Your Dog

Take your pup to these dog-friendly places around town

Sep 9, 2011

Where are the city’s most dog-friendly environments? We check out the best places to take your pup to run, walk and shop.

Dog-Friendly Parks

Our first stop: local dog parks. These parks do have a glitch: a nominal yearly fee for a dog park permit. They run $27 for one dog, and $12 for every additional pet. Permits can be purchased at the Madison Treasurer’s office, Madison Parks Division, Middleton City Hall, Sun Prairie Parks and Recreation, Pet World Warehouse, PetSmart, Pet Care Animal Hospital, Mounds Pet Food Warehouse, Dawg Dayz Grooming and Care, All Pets Veterinary Clinic and bad dog frida. In order to be granted a permit, your dog must have a license. Licensing can cost $7.50 to $20, depending on whether or not they are spayed or neutered and the time of year. The cheapest time to get a permit is between July 1 and November 15. Permits can be obtained at the Madison Treasurer’s office.

Off-leash parks that canines can roam freely include: Brittingham Park, Quann Park, Warner Park, Demetral Field, Sycamore Park, McCormick Greenway Dog Park at Washington Manor Park, Token Creek Park Pet Exercise Area and Yahara Heights Pet Exercise Area. Parks can also be found in the suburbs at Middleton Pet Exercise Area, Indian Lake Pet Exercise Area in Cross Plains, Viking Park in Stoughton, Sun Prairie Pet Exercise Area and Prairie Moraine Parkway Exercise Area in Verona.

While park rules are lax, keep in mind that any owner must be able to control their dog at all times. In addition, remember to bring doggie bags to clean up after your pet.

Additional information on area dog parks can be found on the City of Madison’s website.

Stroll Through State Parks

Everyone has witnessed, in person or vicariously through a cartoon, the same picturesque image: a newly-born pup, nose glued to the ground, behind and tail wiggling back and forth. Maybe it is because puppies think the best way to become acquainted with the world is by smelling it.

Exposing a pup to smells is easy when they are surrounded by plants, grass and wildlife. All Wisconsin state parks allow dogs on leashes. Some popular parks to try include: Blue Mound State Park in Blue Mounds, Aztalan State Park in Lake Mills, North County National Scenic Trail in Madison, Lake Kegonsa State Park of Stoughton, Governor Nelson State Park of Waunakee and Pheasant Branch Nature Conservancy of Middleton.

Shop Away

Owners correctly assume that pet stores such as Mounds, Petsmart and Pet Food Warehouse allow all types of Fidos. Taking your dog shopping is doubly rewarding: it ensures more quality time with your pup outside of the home and socializes your dog.

In the mood to do a little clothing shopping? Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, as well as the State Street shopping area.

Need to pay that parking ticket? Instead of sticking your poor pup in that dingy crate, take him or her along to Middleton City Hall.

Preparing for a camping trip? Have the puppy pick out your new tent at Orvis in Greenway Station or Camping World of DeForest.

Want to snuggle up with fall reads? Half Price Books in Madison doesn’t mind if you bring a squirmy friend along, although they might suggest a training book.

Missing Madison? Visit the Allen Centennial Gardens, traipse around the University’s campus and walk around the Capitol Square. All areas are pet friendly.

While dogs are welcome in these places, it would be polite to wait until the pooch is potty trained and well behaved before visiting.

Check out these websites for more information:
Dog-friendly city guides
City of Madison dog parks
Dog licensing information

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