Activities For Dogs In Oregon On Cold Days

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Introduction

While The Beaver State certainly has nice weather during the summer months, nearly half of the year is categorized as cool weather, let alone days in November through March that get outright cold. Of course, it doesn't help that Oregon ranks number four on the list of states with the highest percentage of pet ownership, meaning there are lots of dog owners who may feel trapped inside when the weather dips near or below freezing. But for those of you who do, have no fear! There are still plenty of ways to enjoy cold weather with your pooch both indoors and out, you just have to know where to look, and we're here to hand over the atlas.

Alberta Arts District

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Cold Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
Compared to most other major cities, Portland is incredibly dog-friendly (and people-friendly for that matter too) even when patio access gets trim in the colder months. Fortunately, many businesses have found a way around this and it's not complex - they just cover and heat their patios! There are several bars and restaurants in the Alberta Arts District that have taken their liberties with their spaces to combat the difficulties of cold weather so you and your dog can still enjoy good food and cold weather. All three on our list are on one street so if you've got warm clothes and about a mile of walking in you, you'll have a few hours of easy entertainment for minimal cost.
Step
1
Kick back at The Knock Back
There are several ways to take this trip, but the easiest is working directly from West to East or vice versa, as it will minimize walking outside in the cold. We suggest starting at The Knock Back. While they may not have a lot of dog-specific food outside of sharing a burger patty, they do have a nice fire pit on their patio that will help keep you and your pooch warm while you heat your night up with a drink for you, water for them, and a shared burger for an appetizer.
Step
2
Get fed at the Tin Shed
After you've gotten your first fill, head west nine blocks until you reach the Tin Shed. Unlike the other two spots on this list, the Tin Shed takes their doggy offerings one step further. While it's widely-known as one of the most dog-friendly spots in Portland, it offers more than just a nice place to sit. Dog's are welcome every day, but Tuesdays are Dog Lovers day, which means that every meal you buy gets you a doggy meal for free (which is chicken, ground beef or pork mixed with rice or sweet potatoes). They even offer a dessert in their canine cuisine of peanut butter ice cream as well. If all that wasn't enough, they also sell doggy bandanas and all proceeds go to rotating canine rescue non-profits. Plus, if they wear the bandana on any other night, they get 50% off their meal!
Step
3
Bye and Bye
When you've filled up on grub and your dog on Fido Food, head another four and a half blacks West and you'll end up at The Bye and Bye. Like The Knock Back, they don't offer any particular doggy treats (which is fine because you're both probably full anyway), they do offer two dog-friendly patios to sit on and even allow dogs to walk through the restaurant to get to the heated back patio. There is smoking allowed on the patio so beware, but if there aren't regular smokers, you and your pup can enjoy the cold weather on a nice heated patio while you take in the winter scenery with a nightcap.
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Winter Wonderland

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Cold Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
Although winter holidays only last but a few days themselves, the festivities around them start long before the official days ever hit, which gives you and your dog plenty of opportunities to explore the holiday lore. There are things to do both inside and outside so if you're properly bundled, you should have no issues staying warm. Most of the activities are super easy and almost all of them are cheap or free, leaving you more money for other kinds of fun. Plus, many of them take as long as you'd like them to, so you'll have no shortage of ways and lengths to make great holiday entertainment.
Step
1
Light show
We're putting this one at the top simply because it's likely the most fun. Every year, the Portland International Raceway hosts one of the biggest light shows in the Northwest, which means you get to meander through their fantastic lights with a cup of hot chocolate in hand and your furry friend next to you. And better yet, depending on the weather and your taste, you can either pop your dog in the car and drive through for about $20, or get tickets for a special night like the Lights and Leashes Dog Walk Night, where no cars, bikes, or other wheeled vehicles are allowed and you and your dog can take it all in at your own speed for only $6. Buy tickets in advance online for a discount or in person. It's as simple as getting a ticket and showing up. (Oh, and grabbing your favorite hot beverage!)
Step
2
Santa Paws
We don't have the full list of participating organizations because they tend to shift a little every year, but once the holidays roll around, do a search for "dog photos with Santa" and you'll be sure to find something suitable. It may be a short and simple activity, but your adventure there will give you something to do, and you'll also be helping a good cause - most Santa photo setups donate their fees to local animal shelters or rescues if they're not set up in one themselves. Plus, you'll have a great holiday photo of your dog and help out another in need in the process!
Step
3
Get a Christmas tree and give
While you can find dog-friendly Christmas tree farms all over, not all of them have the same giving spirit. The folks at C. W. Baggenstos Farms certainly do, though. They not only let you bring your dog in to help pick out a tree, but 20% of the proceeds go to the Indigo Rescue, so when you get a tree, you're also helping to give to dogs in need as well. They have trees for budgets of all types, so rest assured they'll have something to fit what you need no matter finances, family, or house size.
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Hallo-weenie!

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Cold Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Costume supplies (if you plan to make your own)
Activity description
When it comes to cold weather holidays, Halloween is the first to hit and also one of the most fun. People often assume that because of the excess foot traffic, regular traffic, costumes, frights and other surprises, the holiday isn't cut out for dogs, but we're here to tell you otherwise. Plenty of seasonal festivals center around dog-friendly Halloween themes and they have more than enough activities for both you and them to enjoy inside and out. Outside costumes will help keep you warm, while inside they might also win you some fanfare (and if you're really lucky, a prize or two). Most of the activities are cheap and you can make several activities out of one main idea. So grab some scissors (or your credit card) and get to work!
Step
1
Canine costuming
Before you attend any festivities, you should probably take some time getting in the spirit. For the creative types, come up with a concept for a costume for you and your dog (complementary or matching if you're feeling extra bold or fun) and grab some supplies to make some. If you're not so creative or simply on a time crunch, hop online and see if you can find some good costumes for the both of you, then either order them and wait, or call around and see if you can find them in person. Once you've got your costumes picked, constructed, or purchased, you're set for phase two.
Step
2
Pick your event
Despite what you might think, there are plenty of dog-centric Halloween events all over the state, but many are centered in major cities like Portland, Salem, Eugene and Bend. Do some online research and find out which one seems most appealing. For example, in the past, the World Forestry Center has hosted their Doggie Palooza, a giant pet fair that includes a model search and a Halloween fashion show. The Sniff Dog Hotel also hosts a Sniff & Treat, a Halloween Dog Bash complete with a costume contest and a raffle among others. Pick the one that sounds most interesting or go to multiple! Make sure to get tickets beforehand and then when the day arrives, get dressed up, attend, and have fun!
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More Fun Ideas...

Donate to the Pongo Fund

The Pongo Fund is a pet food bank out of Portland. In December, when it runs, if you let staff know at participating stores when you buy dog food, you'll receive special discounts and offers that will also help donate to a good cause. Shopping indoors is a great way to give your pet a chance to check out new toys and food, gives you both something to do, and now, helps others too!

Winter Hike

With warm clothes for both you and your dog, the pair of you can take a nice winter hike up into the mountains or just down around town. Snow often creates magical environments and gives new opportunities to take great nature photos with your pooch.

Fences for Fido

This fantastic non-profit teaches those who don't keep their dogs indoors the ropes of keeping dogs safely outdoors. They show owners how to manage their outdoor pets and even better, host fence-building events so owners with limited means can still give their dogs safe and comfortable living spaces. And best of all, many events welcome dogs to attend as well!

Conclusion

In North America, cold weather is the signifier that the holidays are on their way. Whether you choose to celebrate them or not, they're the perfect time of year to find unique activities you couldn't otherwise participate in and with Oregon's pet-friendly reputation, there will be more than enough opportunities to get out and try some new things even if the cold is nipping at your heels. So get crafty! Check out our list and get inspired to do some research of your own or take our ideas and run with them until you're warmed up just from the effort.