4 min read

Where to Find Dog Meetup Groups and Events Near You

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Overview

Dogs are highly social animals who enjoy the company of other canines. They also like being active and having something to do. Many of today’s dogs are lucky enough to be treated as family members and don’t have to work like their ancestors did, but spending a lot of time at home often leaves them bored. Lack of socialization and boredom can lead to health and behavioral problems, but for many dogs, hanging out with other canines on a regular basis can help keep them happy and healthy. 

Want to help your dog expand their social circle? Read on to learn where you can find dog meetup groups and events near you!


What are dog meetup groups and events?

Dog meetups are usually held for pup parents and their furchildren to get to know other people and dogs in their area. Some events are size- or breed-specific, while others are activity-based. For example, there are meetups for small dogs, large dogs, purebreds like Corgis or Beagles, and mutts, and there are also events for walking, hiking, paddling, and picnicking with dogs as well. Meetup schedules vary depending on the group; some like to meet up weekly, while others get together once a month.


group of dogs and dog parents in park - Where to Find Dog Meetup Groups and Events Near You

Why should you join a dog meetup?

Dog meetup groups and events benefit both canines and humans. Here are some reasons why you should consider joining one:

  • Socialization plays a big role in your pup’s overall health. Like us, our canine companions need social interaction in order to thrive. As mentioned earlier, a lack of socialization can cause behavioral and health issues. Well-socialized pups are not only comfortable around other dogs and people, but they’re also able to adapt better to various situations, rarely reacting aggressively or fearfully to new experiences. 
  • Physical exercise and mental stimulation. Playing with other dogs lets your pooch get some exercise and blow off steam. Many dog meetups have a focus on outdoor activities such as walking and hiking too, giving both pup parent and furbaby a chance to burn some calories. In addition, exploring new sights, smells, and sounds provides mental stimulation for your furkid. 
  • Support and education. Whether you just recently adopted a dog or have been a pup parent for years, dog meetups are a grrreat way to learn tips and tricks on dog care and to get recommendations on products and services for your pampered pooch. In other words, joining dog meetups can help make dog parenthood easier while introducing you to other furbulous dog parents!

Ready to find likeminded pups and people to play with? You can find dog meetup groups and events in your community by searching online. Check out the following places to start making new friends!


dogs and dog parents taking a walk together

Meetup.com

Meetup.com is home to several local dog meetup groups and events. Enter “dog meetup” and your location in the search bar to find one near you. You may need to apply for membership first before you can attend events—you’ll likely be asked to submit your name, your dog’s name, a picture of your dog, and answer some questions. Some groups collect membership dues or donations, while others simply ask that you abide by their rules. Many groups even welcome non-dog parents too!


Facebook

You can also find dog meetups in your community by heading to the Groups and Events tabs on Facebook. Being as specific as possible, i.e., entering your dog’s breed in the search bar and toggling the location filter, will yield better results. Membership may be required and some events are paid; be sure to read the details for each one.  Remember to check the group’s rules when you join; groups generally require their members to be courteous to others, RSVP to events, and refrain from posting sales and spam posts

Some pawsome dog meetup groups on Facebook include:

Instagram

A lot of groups and organizers post upcoming meetups and events on Instagram, though you may have to do a bit more digging to find them. Knowing which hashtags to search for will make your job a lot easier. If you’re not sure where to start, try searching for the name of your city plus dog meetup, e.g., #seattledogmeetup or #nycdogmeetup.


Neighborhood apps

Though they’re probably better known for helping pup parents find dog-friendly places, neighborhood apps like BringFido and BarkHappy also let you see upcoming events for canines. BarkHappy has a feature for discovering dogs nearby as well.

You can also search for an online bulletin board or community page for your local neighborhood, such as on apps like Nextdoor. While often used for announcements, neighborhood events and lost pets in the area, these can also be great places for connecting with any local meetups near your home. 


Local businesses

Local businesses that host dog meetups and events will likely display posters of upcoming activities, so keep your eyes peeled whenever you drop by your favorite dog-friendly bar, pet store, market, or coffee shop!


three dogs running into the surf at beach

Dog meetup petiquette and safety tips

The following tips will help get you and your pup ready for your very first dog meetup or event!

  • Read the page for everything you need to know about the event. 
  • Make sure your pooch is up-to-date with their vaccinations and has proper identification.
  • For further peace of mind, have them spayed or neutered. 
  • If your pup has anxiety or isn’t good at interacting with a lot of dogs, it’s better to slowly work towards the goal of attending a meetup instead of showing up to one right away by trying dog parks or other dog-friendly areas first.
  • Bring food and water, especially if you will be out for a while.
  • Bring waste bags and always clean up after your dog.
  • Maintain control of your pooch at all times, but don’t be afraid to set boundaries as well. For example, if your dog doesn’t like being petted by strangers, let people know. 
  • Choose a group or event that’s compatible with your dog’s level of physical activity, e.g., hikes for energetic dogs and picnics for couch puptatoes. 

Dog meetups are furbulous opportunities to play, support and connect with other pup-loving parents and their pooches. After enjoying meetups in your area, you may even be inspired to host a meetup yourself!

What’s your favorite place to find dog meetup groups and events in your community? Share them in the comments below or tag #wagwalking or @wag on Instagram for a chance to be featured!



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