It’s official, I live in a zoo. My house is now home to more four-legged family members than two. We recently rescued three kittens, with the intention of only keeping one… we all knew how that was going to play out. Onyx, Atlas and Piper were lovingly welcomed by our 8-year old labradoodle, Cooper. OK maybe not lovingly at first, but he’s come to terms with his new sibling arrangement.
It can be hard spending time away from our fur-babies - they really are members of our family! Cats fare a bit easier when we’re gone, but what about our canine companions? This week we’re exploring a London, Ontario staycation that’s not only inclusive of, but tailored to “man’s best friend”. No need to look for doggy daycare - now the entire family can enjoy the perks of summer fun in the forest city.
Head out for a walk and make your way down Richmond Street to Commonwealth Coffee Co./Boxcar Donuts. Not only will human appetites be satisfied with their incredible array of homemade donuts and caffeinated options, but your pooch can indulge with yummy puppy bites!
If your dog is looking to make some new friends, head to the Greenway Park Off-leash Area - one of 5 off-leash dog parks in the city. Not a social butterfly? Why not hit the trails at Medway Valley Heritage Forest or Meadowlily Woods?
Drop your furry companion off for a spa day at Bloomingtails Pet Boutique in Byron. Pamper yourself as well with a treatment at one of London’s finest day spas like Fayez Spa, Tetherwood Spa or Zana Day Spa.
London has many fantastic boutique shops for humans and pups alike. Pick up a little something special like a new outfit before you leave Bloomingtails, a tasty treat or toy at Bark & Fitz, or wear your local love proudly with a matching t-shirt for you and bandana for your pooch from Illbury + Goose.
Patio season is great because you can dine al fresco and your four-legged companion can tag along too. Back downtown, you can enjoy great food and a friendly atmosphere at The Morrissey House. They’ve got water bowls ready for your thirsty pup, just be sure to grab a spot along the side as they will need to be on their leash and connected to the outside of the patio fencing.
Just a short walk from your hotel, finish up the night with a pint and dessert at Molly Blooms Irish Pub - sticky toffee pudding anyone? Savour a Guinness on this dog-friendly patio, and if you’re there on a Sunday, enjoy live music from 9pm with DJ Focus before heading back to your hotel to curl up for the night.
Londoners love their pets! No matter which area of the city you’re in, there’s a patio or coffee shop with dog bowls waiting. Local shops like A Village Tail or Natural Paws Pantry are other options for outfitting your pooch. There’s always something to celebrate, so for their next birthday or upcoming holiday, order gourmet cookies online from Bosco and Roxy’s or pick up in store at one of many local retailers.
And, if you’re looking for some waterfront fun, hop in the car and take a short road trip to Grand Bend. If your dog likes to swim as much as my Cooper, spend your afternoon at the Pinery Provincial Park Dog Beach.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab that leash, get outside, and enjoy the dog days of summer in your forest city.
Don't forget to practice these safety tips:
The Curated Suitcase specializes in custom itinerary creation and contributes annually to activities of social impact inspired by our client's travel experiences. Our mission is to assist clients in traveling to new destinations and returning to beloved places, helping them to approach their journey as a traveler not just a tourist, and seek authentic experiences where they can learn about the people, culture, history and wonders of the places they visit.
Travel has the ability to open your eyes, challenge your perceptions and beliefs, educate, and inspire. It provides experiences that take your breath away, and ones that motivate you to stand up for something and make your voice heard. Travel can and should change you. If we seek to understand the world, through experiencing the world, then we are poised to change the world.
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Partly cloudy throughout the day.
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Foggy in the morning and overnight.