Ask any dog owner, and they won’t tell you they live with a pet. Dogs are members of our family, and their presence is key to a lot of wonderful moments in our lives. Given the activity dogs crave, as well as the time with you that they value, it’s important to know the best ways to lead your dog to a happy life. Rather than offer training tips or a guide to great toys, we want to give you an overview to some dog friendly activities and features of the greater Champaign County area so that you know all there is to enjoy with your four-legged friend. We’ll go over some places to play, food spots to which you can bring your pup along, doggie daycare options, and training resources.
Parks and Play Places
There are a ton of great dog parks in the greater Champaign County area, and many offer a variety of activities for any level of energy your pup might have. Dog parks are great because, when enclosed, they offer your dog the freedom they desire with the peace of mind you want for their safety.
At the Champaign Bark District, a purchase of the annual membership get you access to nearly 7 acres of running room. A four foot fence allows your dogs a place to move freely with their new friends. Daily membership for a test visit cost $5 if you’re trying to decide if its right for you and your dog. Luckily, if you do grab the membership, you also get access to the Urbana Dog Park at Perkins Rd. 10 acres allow your dog an insane amount of space, all fenced, and a wide variety of trees and meadow areas, as well as a spot for smaller dogs.
Many parks that aren't considered "dog parks" also allow you to bring a leashed companion. Be sure to check each park's rules and regulations before getting your little pup all excited!
Dog Friendly Food Spots
With a lot of great patio options in our area, many restaurants allow dogs on the patio while you enjoy a meal from our robust food scene. The Destihl patio, dead center in the heart of Downtown Champaign, is always host to a few four legged guests, so long as they’re not making a lot of noise or disturbing others. Grab a beer and bring your pup to J.T. Walker’s patio for a great meal, which also allows dogs. The outdoor seating at Silvercreek is also a great place to bring a dog for some food, especially considering their amazing specialties they always cycle into their menu.
We're lucky to feature a lot of wonderful patios at our local restaurants. If you're curious about each establishment's policies, be sure to give them a call and double check!
Doggie Daycare for Busy Days
Sometimes, a busy day is going to leave your fur baby alone and bored. In that case, a doggie daycare can help keep them active and social while you are away. For a long time, boarding has been popular, but now a number of places offer day rates for your dog to go and play while you’re busy.
Angel Paws Pet Sitting and Grooming in Champaign is a great example, offering day rates for your dog, as well as overnight services. Some patrons leave their dogs a few times a week when they know work might get in the way, and grooming services are available as well. In home care for cats is also an option for you if you have a feline at home!
The Pampered Pet Hotel also offers day rates, and for a particularly good boy or girl, you can get your dog a spa day! It's like going to the groomers, but with foot scrubs, teeth cleanings, and everything your dog needs to feel pampered!
Training a New Member of the Family
A new puppy can be a handful. Not to mention, adopting an older dog with bad habits can be tough to handle. There are plenty of training options and obedience classes in the area, and a few favorites seem to be quite popular.
The Dog Training Club of Champaign-Urbana is popular all across Central Illinois, featuring everything from puppy training to agility and competition classes. Another area favorite is the Mahomet based Ruff Dayz Doggie Daycare and Boarding. While also offering doggie daycare and boarding, a behavioral specialist can assist you in getting your pup ready for every adventure imaginable.
Your dog is more than a pet; they are family. Taking them with you on car rides is great, but these resources and parks in the greater Champaign County area allow them every bit of our #OutsideofOrdinary community that you enjoy.
Have a spot you love taking your dog we didn’t mention? Let us know on social media with a picture of your pup and the hashtag #OutsideofOrdinary so we can share! You can be featured just like the dog in our cover photo, Instagram user sirharoldmcflufferton!