As the City of Pittsburgh becomes more dog-friendly, there are more fun things to do with our furry friends around town! Whether you’ve lived in the Steel City all your life, or you’re just visiting, there are some unique things you can with your dog in Pittsburgh. I’ve been a local dog mom for over 20 years and I’ve dedicated myself to making the most of life with dogs. So I bet I have a few fun activities you haven’t thought of before!
In this post I round up 25 cool dog friendly activities, places to go and things to do year-round with your pup in Pittsburgh. As a pet industry pro who’s seen a lot over the years, I just want to tell you that not all dogs will enjoy all of these activities. And that’s OK! Anytime we take our dogs along for the adventure, it’s important that your dog is having a good time. A noisy brewery or outdoor concert might not make your dog happy. But take them to a secluded trail with downtown views from Mt. Washington and they’re loving life!
So, check out this list and see what appeals to you and your dog! If you have any questions or need help with training resources for dog owners, just comment below and I will point you in the right direction!
*This list has been updated: March 2022.
25 Things To Do With Your Dog In Pittsburgh
Big dogs, little dogs, silly dogs and active dogs… there’s something on this list for every kind of pup! Yes, there’s even activities that are low key and may work for your reactive dog (try a movie in the park). I hope these ideas encourage you to explore the city of Pittsburgh with your four legged kids! No matter what you do, make sure to pack plenty of treats and water for your pup and put on your Steel City Dog Mom shirt!
1. Grab a Beer at Grist House
Grist House Craft Brewery in Millvale is undeniably one of the most dog friendly places in the city. If you haven’t been there with your dog, then make plans to go soon! Sometimes I swear there are more dogs than people there! They recently expanded the beer garden to add even more space, making this an even better place to hit up with your dog. You’re even allowed to take them inside with you to order your beer. Which means this is a dog friendly spot year round! If you’re taking your dog for the first time, I recommend going on a day and time when it’s not as busy so your dog can get their bearings.
Been there, done that? Another great dog friendly local brewery is Allegheny City Brewing Company on the North Side. This cozy spot allows well behaved dogs indoors and has a good rotation of food trucks. Everyone there is super nice!
2. Labor Day Dog Swim
One of the very best days of the year is Labor Day because the Allegheny County Parks pools host a dog swim! I recommend going to one of the wave pool ones because it’s really easy for the dogs to get in and out of the pool where it slopes in (no, they don’t turn the waves on). Remember to wear a swimsuit because everyone goes in the pool with the dogs. Labor Day Dog Swim goes on my calendar each year and I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Be prepared to being proof of rabies vaccination with you to get in.
3. Ice Cream at Page Dairy Mart
There’s nothing better on a Summer night than soft serve at the iconic Page Dairy Mart at the end of East Carson Street. Park under the overpass and stand in line to order your favorite treat – a swirl, a dipped cone, a milkshake or anything else on the menu. Don’t forget to get a pup cup for your dog (vanilla soft serve and a milk bone is probably OK in moderation). This is a great stop to wrap up the night if you’re coming from the dog-friendly outdoor patio area at the Double Wide Grill!
4. Staycation at a Fancy Hotel
One of our favorite dog friendly hotels and brunch spots, The Ace Hotel, is now permanently closed. But there are several other swanky hotels that will welcome you and your favorite dog date! Downtown you can stay at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco or at The Fairmont. Both luxury hotels are walking distance from The Point and dog friendly restaurants on the North Shore (Southern Tier’s outdoor space is a doggy paradise!). I also recommend checking outHotel Indigo in East Liberty. In addition to lots of fun things to do in the neighborhood, the hotel staff will set up a dog friendly brunch for your on their outdoor patio.
5. Walk Your Dog at Open Streets Pittsburgh
In previous Summers, I hosted pack walks at Open Streets Pittsburgh. This is an active event that closes all the streets along an urban route for 1 day in May, June and July. There are miles of streets blocked off for runners, bikers, walkers, rollerskaters and more! If you take your dog I recommend going early – the course opens at 9 am – and remember to bring your water. There is no water or designated shade for dogs along the route.
6. Movies in the Park with Your Dog
There are several city parks you can take your dog to for a free outdoor movie in the Summer. Our favorites are Observatory Hill in Riverview Park (which also has a great fenced in dog park) and Flagstaff Hill in Schenely Park. Just bring a blanket, some snacks and refreshments and enjoy the movie! You can find the schedule of these on the Cinema in the Park website (I want to check out the one in Grandview Park on Mount Washington this summer!). Allegheny County Parks also hosts movies in their parks.
7. Free Concerts at Hartwood Acres
If you’d rather have live entertainment,Hartwood Acres hosts several bands throughout the Summer. This free outdoor concert series is a must-do with your dog! There’s a huge grassy fenced in dog park a short walk behind the stage. After some playtime, set up your blanket or chairs and enjoy the live music. Keep an eye out for when the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs around the 4th of July, it’s a really fun way to enjoy our world class symphony! Plus, classical music can have a calming effect on dogs. Check the schedule to see what food trucks will be at each performance. Sometimes our friends at the Rollaway Dog Cafe at set up there!
8. Visit Point State Park with your Dog
For the classic Pittsburgh view, you have to visit the fountain at The Point! It’s located at the far end of Point State Park in the middle of Downtown Pittsburgh. The whole park is dog friendly, but there are no off-leash areas. Walk along the paths and check out the fountain then sit and enjoy the view!
9. Pirates Pup Night at PNC Park
Pup Night at PNC Park stared over 10 years ago. I remember taking my old dog, Lola, years ago. It’s become so popular that it now happens during every Tuesday the Pittsburgh Pirates have a home game! The dogs have a special ticket and special area (the seats under the scoreboard). There are treats and water bowls out for everyone and you’re bound to see at least a few Insta-famous local dogs while you’re there.
*Now for my local dog mom opinion (I can’t help myself with this one!). As of 2021, Pup Nights have gotten pretty expensive ($35 per person). I also didn’t like how you had to buy 2 tickets last year, singles were not allowed to come alone. I’ve been to pup night twice in my life, and I think that is enough for me! But it’s worth checking out once.
10. Stand Up Paddle Board with Your Dog in North Park
This was on our bucket list for years, and in 2019 I finally took my labrador Lucy to stand up paddleboarding with me in North Park. Venture Outdoors has a gear rental shack there, but be aware that they don’t allow dogs on their SUP boards. For that, you have to look for the L.L.Bean gear trailer! They host classes and activities all summer (find more info and pre-register online). If it’s your first time trying this sport, I recommend doing a SUP with Your Pup lesson through LL Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Programs. For our lesson there was 1 other dog mom/dog duo plus the instructor, so it was a really great way to learn.
11. Take a Swim at Misty Pines
If your dog loves to swim it can be hard to find dog friendly swimming spots that are open all season long. Although it’s a bit of a trek up to Wexford, I recommend checking out Misty Pines. It’s a dog paradise up there, and with a small entry fee and proof of vaccination, you can explore the grounds that include trails, an off leash exercise area and a dog pond. The pond features a long dock that your dog can run and jump off of to cool off on a hot summer day. Learn more about Misty Pines and other off-leash exercise areas in this blog post.
12. Visit Dog Friendly Shops in Shadyside
The neighborhood of Shadyside has over 50 dog friendly shops, businesses, coffee shops and cafes with outdoor seating. Dogs who are regulars to Walnut Street and Ellsworth Avenue know what shops have a steady supply of treats (SEE Eyewear is usually well stocked!). If you’ve never browsed the street with your dog, head over and let their nose guide you! Although almost every place allows dogs, it’s a good idea to pop your head in and ask permission before charging in. When you’re in the Shadyside neighborhood, stop by Petagogy on Ellsworth Avenue to stock up on treats, food or a new toy. They have a great selection and a staff that can answer all kinds of pet related questions!
13. Watch the Fireworks with Your Dog
Fireworks aren’t generally considered a dog friendly activity, but I found a hack! I love watching the fireworks go off all over Pittsburgh from the hilltop of Schenley Oval. You can see the big Downtown show (slightly obscured by buildings) plus shows in a bunch of smaller communities surrounding the city. Since they’re all 5+ miles away you don’t even hear the boom! Unfortunately, a few jerks set off fireworks IN Schenley park this past year, but it would be great to crack down on that and make this a safe place for dogs and kids to enjoy the light show!
14. Browse the Three Rivers Arts Festival
The Three Rivers Arts Festival is a 10-day art and music fest in Downtown Pittsburgh, and the whole thing is dog friendly! I love to take Lucy down to browse the artist booths then stick around for a free concert in Point State Park (and fair food for me!). When I take my dog to outdoor concerts, we always set up our picnic blanket towards the back. Remember that dogs have a strong sense of hearing and might not enjoy being right next to the speakers. Our dog’s happiness is always top priority when attending dog-friendly events like this.
15. Do Yoga with Your Dog
Is your dog ready to try DOGA? It’s something worth checking out, and there are a few places around Pittsburgh that invite you and your pup to find some zen together. Keep an eye on Sterling Yoga’s events page for special rooftop doga classes. Animal Friends also offers some doga classes at their North Hills facility (while you’re looking, they also offer yoga with bunnies! But your dog isn’t invited to that.)
16. Check out the Pittsburgh Pet Expo
The Pittsburgh Pet Expo comes to the David Lawrence Convention Center downtown every November. Dogs are welcome to attend and browse the booths, watch the grooming competitions and meet people in the pet industry. Starting in 2018, the #DogsofPittsburgh (AKA our Instagram pack) have been hosting a Q&A. This event can get hectic, so please always put your dog’s well-being first! If your pup is overwhelmed, walk over to a corner of the giant convention room to decompress.
*The dog mom dirt on this event is that I’m a little bitter about some booths at the event that aren’t pet friendly. A couple years ago there was some booth with a ball pit that dogs weren’t allowed in but kids were. That’s really missing the target audience in my opinion!
17. Indulge at Three Dog Bakery Sewickley
Who can resist a gourmet bakery just for dogs? If you want to spoil you dog, head to Three Dog Bakery in Sewickley. They have tons of homemade treats from whoopie pies and cannolis to birthday cakes and crunchy treats. It’s the place to go to find a special treat for your birthday or gotcha day. This shop also has a great selection of enrichment toys from West Paw and other brands that have my dog mom seal of approval! It’s a great place to stop after exploring the wooded trails in Sewickley Borough Dog Park.
18. Hike the Trails in Frick Park
Frick Park is 644 acres of woods and trails located right in the middle of Pittsburgh! Its one of our favorite parks because it spans so many neighborhoods and has so many great different trails and areas to explore. You can walk from Squirrel Hill to Regent Square and over to Point Breeze. You’ll see tons of local flora and fauna including many deer in this urban park. If off-leash dog parks are your thing, you’ll want to check out this post that describes more than a dozen off-leash dog parks in the Pittsburgh Area.
19. Watch the Pittsburgh Marathon with Greyhounds
Your dog can’t run the marathon with you, but they can watch by your side! Since most of the streets around town are shut down on marathon day we love to walk up to Fifth Avenue in Shadyside or Homewood and watch the runners zoom by. As the morning goes by, Lucy and Burt love to lend some moral support and puppy power to all the runners who are getting a little tired at Mile 20! Something fun to look for if you are running… The Steel City Greyhounds run a cheer squad in front of The Golden Bone Pet Resort on Hamilton Avenue each year. They let marathoners run with a greyhound for a block or so!
20. Mutts on the Mountain
Don’t want to just watch the race? Get in on the fun alongside your dog at Mutts on the Mountain at Seven Springs. It’s like a Tough Mudder but with obstacles designed with your dog in mind! Get down and dirty in the special 5k or one-mile course that keeps both dogs and their humans in mind. You and your pup can take on 18 obstacles while slogging through every dog’s favorite: MUD! Seven Springs is about a mile drive from Downtown Pittsburgh.
21. Get Your Dog’s Photo with Santa (or the Grinch!)
We all take thousands of photos of our dogs, but how often do you create a photo keepsake? I’ve been taking the dogs to photos with Santa for the past 7 years and now I have an ornament for every year. They’re my favorite ones to put on the tree! You can find photos with Santa at Petagogy (both locations) as well as Animal Friends, and many PetCo and PetSmart locations. Want a slightly different spin on holiday photos? Wagsburgh does pet photos with THE GRINCH every year!
22. Learn the Agility Course at Splash ‘n Dash K9 Sports
Do you have an athletic dog? A great way to burn off some of that energy and have fun together is at an agility course. Splash ‘n Dash K9 Sports has a great facility in Plum and a full schedule of classes from beginner to advanced. In addition to agility, you can also teach your dog Flyball, Treibball, and other tricks. Not only will you get to bond with your dog and learn stuff to impress your friends with, but you’ll also meet a lot of cool people! If you’re new to dog sports, don’t be intimidated. I started Barn Hunt with my dog Burt when he was 9 years old!
23. Order off the Doggy Menu
Do you love to take your dog out to dinner, but feel bad when your meal comes out and they don’t get anything? There are several restaurants around Pittsburgh with a special doggy menu! Head over to The Double Wide Grill on the Southside where they also have a “dog patio” seating area. You can order things for your dogs like a chicken breast, beef patty, or an organic dog biscuit. Another option is to look for the Rollaway Dog Cafe, they’re often set up at other food truck events around the city and have a whole menu of dog ice cream, treats, chews and more!
24. Get Artsy with Your Dog at Randyland
Not many art museums allow dogs, but Randyland isn’t like most art museums. This giant installation takes over Randy Gilson’s whole house in the Mexican War Streets area of the Northside (and it’s always growing). You can explore all of the colorful installations, assemblages, and murals around the property for free daily from 10 am – dusk. Randyland is a great place to take unique photos of you and your dog together and one of the best places to take your dog in Pittsburgh!
25. Give Your Dog a DIY Bath
If you’re exploring the city with your dog all year round then you’ll definitely run into lots of MUD! We never let a little dirt get in the way of a good time. That’s why it’s good to know where the DIY dog washes are around town. There’s Lather in Bloomfield, Pet Valu in the Southside Works and Larry’s Laundromutt on Ohio River Blvd. Enjoy all the great shampoos, conditioners and blow dryers then head home for some fresh-smelling cuddle time!
The list of things you can do with your furry friends around the Burgh is always growing! Sign up for my email list to stay up to date on all things Wear Wag Repeat and dog-friendly Pittsburgh. And make sure to say Hi if you see me with Burt and Lucy around tahn!
Looking for more things to do with your dog in Pittsburgh? You’ll love these posts:
Dog Friendly Pittsburgh Event Guide
Dog Friendly Downtown Pittsburgh
The Best Dog-Friendly AirBnBs in Pittsburgh
Dog Friendly Summer Day Trip to Cleveland
12 of the Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in Pittsburgh
>> Want to show your Pittsburgh Pride? Get the Official Steel City Dog Mom T-Shirt!