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Richmond is for Dog Lovers

Everyday we’re finding more and more reasons why Richmond is such an amazing place to call home. We’re huge dog lovers around here, so living in a city that appreciates our furry friends is important, and RVA knows how to show the pups a good time.

We already know that Richmond is equipped with great places to take them out for a scenic walk, like the many trails, parks, and walkable neighborhoods in and around the city. But lately, we’ve been hearing about several Richmond businesses that welcome our pups to shop or have meals with us, as well as events tailored specifically to celebrating them. Check out these spots around RVA that love our sweet K9s just as much as we do.

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It’s not just purse dogs that are welcomed at one of RVA’s best shopping destinations. Patrons are welcome to bring even the largest dog, provided they are well-behaved and on a leash, into most of the stores to shop right alongside their owners. Many retailers even place bowls of water at their storefronts to welcome pooches in. Some love dogs so much that they even cater to them directly, like Abbella Cakes, who offers yummy treats just for them. There’s also Fido Park Avenue Dog Boutique if your dog needs some new outfits and accessories. And if you get hungry during your visit, there are many restaurants will patios perfect for you and your best friend to have a meal together.


Every year around September, The Richmond Times-Dispatch hosts a festival celebrating man’s best friend. The festival takes place on Brown’s Island and includes live music, food trucks, pet supply vendors, family activities – and, of course, entertaining pet acts. They also have a fun Instagram booth where you can get a picture with your furry pal.

Dogs and kids 12 and under are free and admission for everyone else is $8 in advance and $10 at the entrance. A portion of the event’s proceeds benefit the Richmond SPCA.

Keep an eye and ear out for this year’s date and times.


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Did you know that Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden allows dogs to stop and smell the roses along with their owners? They’re not allowed every day, but on the second and fourth Thursday from June until mid-September leashed dogs are welcome to stroll through the gardens and enjoy the view. Go ahead and bring out the entire family, spread out a blanket, listen to live music, and grab a beer and a bite to eat while you’re at it.

The cost is regular garden admission. And if you feel inclined, a suggested $2 “pet admission” is asked to benefit the Richmond SPCA.


Strangeways Brewing also has a monthly dog-friendly event (April-October) on the third Wednesday of the month. Sample some beer and spend some time in downtown RVA with your dog, as well as have a chance to donate to BARK (Bandit’s Adoption and Rescue of K-9s) and also meet dogs that are up for adoption.

In addition, Strangeways also hosts two larger events every year that benefit BARK — BARK-toberfest (Oct. 7) and BARK and Beer Fest (April), which include food trucks, music, dog-related vendors and a couple thousand of your dog and human neighbors.


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What dog wouldn’t enjoy a night out at The Diamond watching a baseball game and spending time with their people? The Richmond Flying Squirrels Bark in the Park is a favorite among dog owners in the area and during Monday home games they invite everyone to bring their dog out for the fun. The first 300 pups are treated to freebies like Frisbees, collars and bandannas). Dogs, of course, get in for free, but owners have to pay their way. This canine-friendly event runs the entire season (April through September), and don’t think there’s a one dog limit, no way. Bring the entire brood!

There are also plenty of other parks, hotels, and restaurants around the city that welcome your pet anytime, as well as more dog-specific events that you can find here at

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