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Year-Round Activities for Pets in Minneapolis and St. Paul


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There are more than 100,000 dogs living in Minneapolis, and tens of thousands of dogs from outside the City accompany their owners to enjoy Minneapolis parks. Lots of buddies for your pooch to hang out with, year-round. There are plenty of lakes, trails and dog parks for pets to enjoy during Spring, Summer and Fall. What about things to do during the dead of winter in Snowy Minneapolis?

Visit an indoor dog park. They’re the howl-y grail of winter off-leash fun, and from December through March, Stone Mountain Pet Lodge‘s Blaine and Brooklyn Park locations have indoor dog parks. There are occasional closures for events, so call ahead to confirm availability. (See video below!) There’s also an indoor dog park in St. Cloud that benefits senior rescue pups, and we’ve got TWO NEW INDOOR DOG PARKS coming to Minneapolis: Underdog Park is comin’ soon, and Unleashed Hounds & Hops is set to welcome woofers in January 2020. It’s about time the *real* it-crowd had its pick of hot spots, are we right?

Make a splash in an indoor pool. Have a water lover? Let him give dock diving a try in The Dog Tank‘s 45-foot indoor pool in Mendota Heights. The Paw Pet Resort in Mankato offers a variety of indoor swim options: private, public, and party. Unleash those four-legged winter beach bods.

Enjoy structured training. The Fusion Pet Retreat in Minnetonka has a wide range of training classes offerings to fit many dogs’ needs. Each class is led by an experienced instructor focused on using a positive and progressive approach to dog training and behavior. Current classes include puppy kindergarten, obedience, specialty, behavior, agility, and other sport classes. All dog and puppy classes are hosted in the comfort of a climate-controlled 11,000 sq. ft. indoor facility.

Join a playgroup. There are indoor, off-leash meetups galore all over town. Dog Day Getaway hosts regular playgroups for small dogs and puppies a couple of Sundays each month and Fresh Air Training’s small-dog playgroups take place a few times per week in Edina. Dreadlocks for Dingoes and Hippie Dog both host regular puppy playtimes in the winter months.

Getting Physical

When water is your preferred backdrop, take a leisurely stroll around Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun. With access to the Midtown Greenway, pups can walk and run as far as their human companions will let them. Ready to shed the leashes and sniff out another kind of social scene? Lake of the Isles Off-Leash Area is just a couple of blocks away.

Nearby Pet Resources

  • Daycare/Boarding: Downtown Dogs, Metro Dogs Daycare & Boarding
  • Grooming: Lulu & Luigi (St. Louis Park), Royal Pet Beauty Shop
  • Food/Supplies: Chuck & Don’s, PetCo (Richfield), PetSmart (St. Louis Park), Urban Tails Pet Supply, Woody’s Pet Food Deli
  • Vet Care: Lake Harriet Veterinary, Lyndale Animal Hospital, The Uptown Veterinarian
  • Emergency Care: Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service

Happy Hours and Doggie Dates

Start your morning — or weekend — with an out-of-this-world cinnamon roll (or two) at Isles Bun & Coffee. You can even pass a piece to the pup at your feet. For an al fresco lunch, dinner, or happy hour, the folks at Bryant-Lake Bowl love pups, as does the crew at The Lowry. And, if it’s a cool local brew you’re craving, you’re conveniently situated between Steel Toe Brewery in St. Louis Park and The Herkimer Pub & Brewery, located just a few blocks east at LynLake.

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