Doggies! Four-legged friends! The animals we wish we could have in our apartments! For the lucky D.C. residents that live in group houses or apartments that allow dogs, we’re jealous. We also put together this guide. Whether you want to enjoy an outdoor happy hour with your best friend, purchase some Star Wars inspired art featuring your best friend, want to watch a film with your best friend about other potential best friends or take your best friend to yoga, we have you covered. In case you haven’t picked it up, your dog is your best friend.
Based in Northern Virginia, A Forever Home is committed to finding dogs exactly that, forever homes. It’s run by a group of experienced rescuers who are committed to placing their dogs with the right adopters.
A terrific agency with a good list of adoption events throughout the tristate area, Lucky Dog also offers a Matchmaking service (like Tinder for dogs!) to help you find the best friend that’s best for you.
In an effort to prevent dogs and cats from overcrowding and euthanasia, Homeward Trails partners with a huge number of local shelters in DC, Maryland and Virginia. With so many ages and breeds, you can be sure to find a pooch that’s perfect for you.
Boasting decades of experience, the organization has been around since 1870, the WHS has plenty of locations throughout the city to make finding and adopting a dog easy. In addition to being able to adopt one of the 43,000 animals they care for each year, they are a leading local advocate against animal cruelty.
2201 M St., NW
Dogs are welcome on the patio at Cafe Deluxe, and there are usually quite a few of them. Make sure you keep yours on a short leash. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
1847 14th St NW
Not exactly a patio, but the outdoor seating on the T Street side is good for dogs and strollers and people with both. -Brandon Wetherbee
Summer might be too hot for a bowl of Chaplin’s ramen, but a cocktail on the patio with your pup is always a good idea. -Kaylee Dugan
3201 New Mexico Avenue NW
Chef Geoff’s sizeable (and shady) patio makes it a great location to drink a beer and grab a burger with your pup. -Kaylee Dugan
Dacha Beer Garden
1600 7th St., NW
In addition to a plethora of German beers (das boot included!) Dacha regularly draws a crowd of young good looking patrons and their equally adorable mutts. -Julie
1423 P St., NW
As long as your dog is well-behaved, he can hang out on the patio at Logan Tavern. Just be sure to keep him under the table and out of the way of other customers’ feet (and food). -Ashlyn Frassinelli
Midlands Beer Garden
3333 Georgia Ave., NW
Sip a hazy IPA and kick it with some of the District’s cutest dogs at Midland’s huge outdoor patio! There are dog bowls with water scattered around the tables and plenty of space for you and your pup to kick it. -Kaylee Dugan
1813 Columbia Rd., NW
Mintwood Place’s patio is the perfect spot for dogs to curl up and relax after hanging out in sunny Adams Morgan all day. Staff will bring by a water bowl to keep your pup hydrated while you snack on the best upscale casual brunch in D.C. (according the RAMMY awards). – Ashlyn Frassinelli
1525 15 St., NW
Want to have a PG, non-alcoholic fun time with your favorite four legged friend? Head on over to Milk Bar. Just don’t feed your dog any chocolate. -Kaylee Dugan
RedRocks Neapolitan Bistro
1036 Park Rd., NW
Across the street from a dog park, RedRocks is a good place to head after a long afternoon of play. Your dog can relax with you on the patio as you nosh on pizza and drinks. Bring water and slip your pup a piece of pepperoni or two. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
Right Proper Brewing Company
624 T Street NW
920 Gerard Street NE
Whether you’re heading to their Shaw restaurant or want to kick it at their Brookland tasting room, Right Proper is a great place to drink some beer with your pooch. -Kaylee Dugan
3234 11th Street NW
Take your dog with you on a date! I don’t mean you should date your dog, I mean you should show up to a date with your dog. What could go wrong? -Kaylee Dugan
The Salt Line
79 Potomac Avenue SE
If your dog enjoys a good view of the water, take them down to The Salt Line for cold beers and even colder oysters (don’t feed your dog oysters). -Kaylee Dugan
Wet Dog Tavern
2100 Vermont Ave., NW
Bring your non-wet dog for a casual cocktail at one of D.C.’s most pet friendly bars. -Kaylee Dugan
1101 Kenyon St, NW
The patio of the Wonderland is full of dogs whenever it’s full of people. The friendly friends give happily intoxicated people something to shower with love and pet while sitting under the large tree in the beer garden. -Brandon Wetherbee
1101 First St., NE
Rest your pups weary feet at this plush astroturf play land. While you scarf down beer and burgers, your dog can soak up all the sweet attention drunk strangers can provide. -Kaylee Dugan
1544 9th Street NW
Take your dog to grab some fresh sushi, a few yakitori skewers and a highball or two. No word on if your dog can participate in their late night karaoke (but we think they would kill “Who Let the Dogs Out”). -Kaylee Dugan
Art & Soul
415 New Jersey Ave, NW
The upscale southern haunt of celebrity chef Art Smith is turning out its Pooch Patio menu during the dog days of summer. Your pup can sip on non-alcoholic “Bowser Beer” and munch a frozen raw bone or homemade dog biscuit while you enjoy some specials for the two-legged set. The bar menu offers a wide range of seasonal specialty cocktails and tasty southern classics, think fried chicken biscuits and the tequila forward Spirit of Justice cocktail. Happy hour is every week night from 4pm to 7pm. – Julie
1405 T St., NW
If you’re lucky enough to grab one of the coveted spots on the Colada Shop patio, you’re going to want to order two things. 1. A Hotel Nacional because it’s the best drink on the menu and 2. Some guava and peanut butter dog treats for your pooch. Your dog will love it as much as you do.
Larry’s Lounge Yappy Hour
1840 18th St., NW
Dupont Circle’s Larry’s Lounge offers a special “yappy hour” every Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm in summer. The bar is working with Doggy Style Bakery, a D.C. based dog treat bakery and shop, to offer free Mutt Licks (that’s dog ice cream treats) to any pup who stops by. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
3404 Wisconsin Avenue NW
7150 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD
Every Thursday Silver restaurant hosts Pups on the Patio at both their locations. While you can expect drink specials, treats for your dog and all of the usual accoutrements, Silver also donates 10% of that nights proceeds to a rotating schedule of local animal rescues.
Baked & Wired
1052 Thomas Jefferson St., NW
Named one of the country’s best bakeries, Baked & Wired offers baked goods for dogs as well as humans. The cafe/bakery bakes its own Zillabonez fresh every day in such tantalizing flavors as Bacon & Cheese, Chicken & Cheese, BBQ Kitty Riblets, and Peanut Butter Crunch. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
Amy Brandwein’s slice of Italian heaven is the only reason we go to CityCenter, truth be told. Their outdoor patio is small and isn’t fenced off, so if your dog is easily startled by crowds / other dogs, you might want to leave them at home. Either way, Centrolina’s market is a great place to pick up treats for your pet, whether you’re sharing dinner or grabbing something to go. -Kaylee Dugan
The Dairy Godmother
2310 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA
Though dogs can’t come inside the ice cream shop, they can still eat its treats! Tie your pooch up outside for a moment and step indoors for homemade pumpkin and banana puppy pops. Or, if your dog prefers, treat them to a fresh-baked squirrel – made with spent barley malt, eggs, vegetable oil and wheat flour. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
1430 Rhode Island Ave NW
Radiator’s patio is always open to pups, but they’re doing something special in honor of National Dog Day. On Sunday, August 26 they’ll be celebrating with a special pup themed brunch with dog treats, plus drinks and food for the humans in attendance. It’s the best possible way to kick off National Dog Day.
1216 18th St., NW
D.C.’s favorite national burger chain offers snacks for our four-legged friends as well. Treat your pup to a Bag O’ Bones: five ShackBurger dog biscuits made fresh at New York’s Bocce’s Bakery. Or, if the weather’s blistering, buy your pet a Pooch-ini concrete: ShackBurger dog biscuits blended with peanut butter sauce in vanilla custard. You may be tempted to have a bite yourself! (Don’t.) – Ashlyn Frassinelli
By Brandon Wetherbee
The silver screen and the boob tube have given us many, many, many doggy friends that could never be our actual friends. That hasn’t stopped us from dreaming. Below are a few of the famous canines that we would love to make our best friend.
Friends with goth kids that aren’t really goth kids but musical theatre kids, Zero puts up with a lot of shit while never being annoying. And he’s a ghost.
4. Spuds Mackenzie
Spuds is our guiding light. The dude skateboards, chills on the beach, plays drums and releases records. Spuds is the basis of nearly everyone that plays in a band that reads this site.
If Spuds Mackenzie was animated and voiced by Angry Dad, it would be something like Poochie.
Nick and Nora’s companion/dog/babysitter/bar crawl designated driver that splits time between New York and LA. Asta is also the dog that is the answer in every other crossword puzzle.
1. Buck Bundy
He gets it. Doesn’t pretend to be anyone’s best friend and deals with the best of a bad situation. We miss you, Buck.
By Alan Zilberman
5. The Road Warrior
Mel Gibson hardly says anything in this sequel to Mad Max, so one of the ways we know he’s a good guy is by his canine pet. When the evil marauders kill the poor guy, you know Max is ready to fuck up their shit. The final chase scene, full of amazing stunts and destruction, is all the more brutal because of the bitter revenge involved.
Dug, the dog who can speak in Pixar’s Up, amounts to the textbook definition of how a dog thinks. He’s all about love, loyalty, and unflappable curiosity. The first ten minutes of Up is well known for how happy/sad it makes everyone, but Dug is the film’s greatest creation.
3. The Sandlot
The kids in this 90s classic were terrified of a dog they called “The Beast,” one that ultimately turns out to be a friendly guy named Hercules. Many people are biased against big dogs since there’s still the stereotype that the bigger the dog, the meaner they are. Here’s a big dog that wants nothing more than to give a big, sloppy kiss.
2. Best in Show
The Christopher Guest mockmentary is about awful pet owners who have no basic self-awareness, so their gorgeous pets are a welcome reprieve from their awful personalities. Between polite applause and profoundly stupid running commentary from Fred Willard, Guest gets the laugh whenever a judge cups a dog’s balls.
It’s abundantly clear that the best dog footage is not from Hollywood, but YouTube. I’m pretty sure this clip video of Barkley, a combination of two Vines, is the cutest damn dog video on the internet. I dare you to find a better one.
1801 E St., SE
It might seem weird to take your dog for a walk in a cemetery. And it sort of is. But Congressional Cemetery is groomed for dog walking – in fact, you have to be a member of a club to walk your dog there. Sign up on their website to grab a waitlist spot; annual membership begins in March. Walk your dog off-leash in a huge, 35-acre fenced-in environment. There’s even a doggy wading pool. Just be sure to side-step the headstones. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
4000 Chesapeake St., NW
Fort Reno isn’t just for outdoor concerts and laughing at high school track teams sprinting up the highest natural point in the city. There’s also a great leash-free dog park. It might not be fenced in, but there are always plenty of dogs abound.
3501 New York Ave, NE
Though slightly out of the way in Northeast D.C., the National Arboretum is dog-friendly, full of trees to sniff and picnic tables to rest, and big enough for tons of outdoor play. Just beware of ticks in the spring and summertime! Be sure to clean your dog off after each visit. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
Rock Creek Park Nature Center
5200 Glover Rd., NW
Open 9 am to 5 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. A big, open, grassy area with tons of space for fido to run around and play. Just don’t let your puppy in the creek – it’s polluted and can make him or her sick. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
S Street Dog Park
S St & 17th St., NW
This cute, cozy little park is lined in astro turf and perfect for dogs who work well with others. The small space encourages play, and the fencing and gate allow for dogs to be let off the leash for more freedom. It can get smelly when jerk owners don’t pick up after their pups. DON’T BE THAT JERK OWNER. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
Shaw Dog Park
1673 11th St., NW
With a section accommodating small dogs, gravel to keep the mud and digging at bay, and a sturdy fence all around, Shaw Dog Park is a great destination for dogs and owners of all kinds. The people are friendly, the space is large and there are a lot of water bowls and trash cans around. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
By Marcus Dowling
I grew up a dog owner and dog lover. My grandmother owned schnauzers (Toby, Tess, and last, but not least, Chloe, with my mother living in her house now and owning yet another schnauzer, Fritz). While I was raised at home with my mom, for a few years we had an adorable, small, floppy-eared mutt named Sampson (he was a mix of a collie with many other breeds of dog). Sampson was a dog whose nature was very bipolar. He was one of the few animals I’ve ever seen with such behavior, and that makes him the influence behind this playlist.
Sampson’s notable claim to fame was patrolling outside my bedroom door and hopping into bed with me every morning at 6 am. Sampson was a smart and spiteful animal, who, upon getting tired of me literally kicking him out of bed in (what I thought was) a playful fight to wake up, would take my He-Man and WWF action figures under my bed, only for me to find Prince Adam or Hillbilly Jim, beheaded days later. Intriguingly, despite such terrible acts, there he was, every morning, waiting for my mother to turn on the light, and happily get into bed with me, licking my face over and over again (save that one time he picked up a grasshopper in his mouth while on a walk and decided later to let the poor guy loose in my bed).
As the kids would say, Sampson was ratchet. Similarly, this mix is crazy too. It includes everything from nursery songs to Snoop, Ozzy, Zeppelin and The Stooges. Not to mention The Baha Men, New Kids on the Block, the legendary Rufus Thomas, and the not-so legendary Lobo. As crazy as a dog who would literally bite the head off of Hulk Hogan in rubberized form, yet just as soon curl up in your lap to take a nap, this one runs the gamut as an entertaining listen. Enjoy!
Pant & Wag LLC
Think of it as a fitness class for your dog. Instead of leaving your pooch to some walker who will just take him around the block, trust him with Pant & Wag. This company will take your dog on a personalized “fitness adventure,” in a group or on his own, and see that he gets all the exercise and fun he needs while you’re away. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
Fido Fitness & Play
A “concierge service for your pet,” FFP focuses on dog walking and catsitting services. They promise a step-by-step diary of what happened with your pet throughout the day, plus a pet taxi service. All of the company’s sitters are insured and bonded, ensuring your pup or kitty’s complete safety. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
This pet store has several spots around the metro area and carries the regular stock of pet food and treats, plus the gourmet stuff that you won’t be able to find at your local PetSmart or PetCo. They also offer dog walking, pet sitting, pet costumes, grooming products, and more. If you want something for your dog, they have it. If they don’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
Bonnie’s Dog & Cat Grooming
Bonnie’s grooming service has been cited as one of the area’s best. She’s been trained in grooming, has been practicing for 30 years, and is an expert in many difficult breeds including Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, Labradoodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Poodles. She also offers a self-serve dog wash – for $18, make use of a tub, shampoo, towels, a dryer, nail trimmer and ear cleaner to get your pup shining clean. -Ashlyn Frassinelli
Howl to the Chief
Anything a dog could want is within these walls. Food, clothing, accessories, toys, specialty items, grooming supplies — even homemade treats and samples for your pooch as you’re walking through. The shop also hosts Saturday adoption events through Rural Dog Rescue, so passerby can get a chance to pet a pup or even take home a new friend. -Ashlyn Frassinelli
Fetch! Pet Care
The nation’s largest provider of professional pet sitting services, Fetch! offers everything from dog walking and cat care to private dog boarding and medicine administration. They have experienced, background-checked pet sitters down to every neighborhood in the DMV. -Heidi Zheng
CLASSICAL DOG ART
DOGS AS PEOPLE
STAR WARS THEMED DOG ART
FUNCTIONAL DOG ART
FICTIONAL DOG ART
105 North Union St., Alexandria, VA
If your dog loves sticking its face out the window of the car, he’ll love sticking his face out the side of a boat rolling down the Potomac. The Potomac Riverboat Company’s Canine Cruise includes drinks and snacks (for dogs and owners) and lasts 40 minutes, taking off from the Alexandria docks Saturdays at 11 am. – Ashlyn Frassinelli
415 New Jersey Ave, NW
You’ve always wanted to be able to brunch with your best friend, and now’s your chance. In celebration of National Dog Day, Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel’s restaurant, Art and Soul, is hosting a “Bark and Brunch” event with plenty of treats for you and your pup. The dog menu, which will be available on Sunday, August 26th from 12 to 3 p.m., will feature such punny specials as “The Hungry Dawg” and “Peanut- Banana Pupsicles,” while the regular brunch menu has some more classic items for you to enjoy. Reservations can be made online or on the phone. Just be sure to note that they’re for the “Bark and Brunch” special. To top it all off, proceeds from the event will go towards supporting DC’s Humane Rescue Alliance.
By Legba Carrefour
When you’re clinging for dear life to a support beam in an abandoned warehouse, a pack of wild dogs circling below, threatening to rend you limb from limb should you let go, you start to re-evaluate the decisions that led you to this moment. In this case, it was the decision to eat a fistful of drugs and wander aimlessly around the area that now includes Echostage, in Northeast DC, until I got cornered by more than one angry dobermans.
Wild dogs are a pervasive thing all over the world. In the run-up to the Sochi olympics, Russian officials were accused of managing a massive cull of street dogs that led to multiple athletes and journalists outright taking dogs home with them and the Humane Society International shipping ten dogs to the Washington Animal Rescue League to make them available for adoption.
Since the onset of riots in Greece in the wake of the financial crisis, several stray dogs began to turn up in photographs of the unrest, the dogs always staying with protesters and even attacking police. Dubbed the Athens Riot Dog, the dogs became pretty famous, and one, Kanellos, even got his own anarchist coloring book (along with a doggie wheelchair when he started to lose mobility).
In 2006, I was doing solidarity work in post-Katrina New Orleans and went out with a friend to the French Quarter to get hammered. We tried making our way back to the Ninth Ward where we were based and immediately got lost. This was still a time when there were no street lights, no street signs, and navigable landmarks were things like “Turn left at the house that’s sitting in the middle of the street.”
My friend was getting a little nervous–we were, after all, stumbling drunk around a pitch black apocalypse zone–but I kind of blew it off like an idiot. Suddenly, she points to the distance to some specks that I could barely make out. “What the fuck is that?”
The fuck was that was a straight-up pack of dogs, in the following order: A Boston terrier (in the lead as the alpha dog), a golden retriever, a chihuahua, a black lab, and what I think might have been a corgi. Sounds cute, right? Sure, right up to the point where we were fleeing for our lives and had to ditch into a flooded house and wait out the pack, clearly pissed at us for invading their territory. It turns out this was happening all over the Ninth: People left their dogs at home when they checked out of the city in advance of the hurricane, assuming they’d only be gone for a few days. When everything went to hell, dogs either escaped or were freed by rescue workers who’d been going house-to-house to find flood victims. This scenario ended up repeating itself a few times during the cumulative months I spent down there. A few years later, the book Stories Care Forgot: An Anthology of New Orleans Zines celebrated the wild dog pack as a heart-warming story of solidarity among animals. The authors had some pretty funny quips mourning the decline of the wild dog as gentrification ramped up in the years after the flood.
Still though, I didn’t really expect that to happen in the capital of the United States in the age of the condo boom. I ended up stuck in that warehouse for a solid hour. The dogs eventually backed off and stopped showing me the business end of their fangs. When I climbed down, they acted like an armed escort, literally nudging me along, trying to get me the hell out of what I’m guessing was their home. This ended up happening two more times. Once in Anacostia, I got jumped by a Siberian husky and what I think was a St. Bernard (I was too busy shitting my pants to check their pedigree papers, sorry) and once in Columbia Heights of all places. But you know, my terror aside, I’m inclined to agree with the anonymous New Orleans zinesters: That nature has an ability to reassert itself in the form of your neighbor’s miniature dachshund turning into a bloodthirsty mongrel the second the grid goes down makes you think there’s hope for the future. Maybe in all this gentrification mess, there’s a solution: Wild dogs attacking idiot hipsters wandering around where they shouldn’t be in the first place.
We originally ran this guide on June 30, 2014. -ed.