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Atlanta offers many pet-friendly outings

July 22, 2010

Planning a family outing is half the fun, but often the thought of leaving our four-legged friends behind can put a damper on the whole process. Fido’s hangdog expression as you close the door behind you is enough to turn the car around. Fortunately, there are many pet-friendly events scheduled throughout metro Atlanta this summer – from cocktails to baseball – so bring Rover right over.

Before leashing up and heading out, however, there are some basic pet etiquette rules and safety advice to follow. According to Dr. Shannon Ewing, DMV of Collier Animal Hospital, to ensure a good time is had by all, your pet should play well with others prior to subjecting him to large crowds, children or potentially aggressive animals.

“There are two good ways to socialize your pet; a visit to a doggie daycare facility or a puppy training class,” Ewing told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Your dog will acclimate to social situations better assuring a more relaxing outing for all. By participating in a class with your pet, there’s no question who’s the boss and he’ll listen to your commands in public.”

Ewing also stressed the importance of keeping a fresh water supply on hand at all times; never leave your dog in a hot car and avoid jogging with your pet after 10 a.m.

Here are a rundown of area events where fur is all the rage:

Dog Days of Summer Dog Walk

Great Harvest Bread Co. and Atlanta Pet Rescue host the second annual Dog Days of Summer dog walk in Smyrna. All two and four-legged friends are invited to meet at the bakery and enjoy a leisurely stroll to nearby Taylor-Brawner Park, less than half a mile away. Dog trainer Amber Burckhalter from Atlanta’s K-9 Coach will greet participants at the park and dole out doggie advice. Back at the bakery, both human and canine treats are available as well as live music and giveaways. Two dollars from every loaf of bread sold at the event will benefit Atlanta Pet Rescue.

8 a.m. August 7. Free. Great Harvest Bread Co., 3246 Atlanta Road, Smyrna, 30080. 770-431-9743, http://www.atlantapetrescue.org .

Atlanta Unleashed

Meetup [sic] group Atlanta Unleashed invites all dog owners to Canton’s Canine Ranch for a day of leash-free fun and frolic. The ranch boasts an 11-acre doggie playground complete with swimming holes, docks, fields for fetching and Frisbee as well as indoor facilities. Ranch staff is available for those requiring special assistance. The area is completely secure and leashes are not required. Agility, diving, lure coursing and sheep herding demonstrations are scheduled for 10 a.m. Swimsuits are encouraged as humans are allowed in the pool with their dog for the event. Pack a picnic lunch suitable for pets and people.

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. August 7. $20/30 per family, The Canine Ranch, 165 Doug Smith Lane, Canton, 30114. 678.493-8040, http://www.thecanineranch.com .

Mutts and Martinis

Put the yap back in happy hour by taking FiFi over to W Hotel Midtown to mix and mingle with other fluffy friends. Enjoy specially priced cocktails, giveaways and raffles in the hotel’s tony lobby lounge. Remember, dogs are great conversation starters; let the ice-breaking begin!

6 p.m. – 9 p.m. August 11. Free. The Living Room, W Hotel Midtown, 188 14th Street, N.E., Atlanta, 30361. 404-892-6000, http://www.atlantapetrescue.org .

Piedmont Dog Park Grand Opening

Midtown dog owners rejoice. Piedmont Park officially opens its enlarged dog park with a grand opening celebration. The facility now includes a three-acre dog run and separate spaces for large and small dogs. New trails and landscaping were installed along with benches and restrooms for those requiring more than a tree. The park is located at the Park Drive Bridge. General admission of $5 gets you and your pooch a sneak peak access to refreshments and a take-home doggie bag. $10 guarantees a special caricature souvenir of your pet. Big spenders can plunk down $50, which immortalizes Fido with a unique commemorative bone-shaped plaque inscribed with his name.

6 p.m. — 8 p.m. August 12. $5 to $50. Piedmont Park, 10th Street and Piedmont Road, Atlanta, 30309. 404-875-7275, www.piedmontpark.org .

Park in the Bark

All dogs are MVPs (most valuable pets) for a day at Turner Field. This is a unique opportunity to take in America’s pastime with your best friend by your side. Coca-Cola Sky Field is transformed into a doggie’s delight, complete with on-site veterinary services in case your friend over-indulges or overheats, doggie pools, water misters and plenty of watering holes since seating is not shaded. Fans must pre-register at http://www.braves.com/bark and proof of certain vaccinations is required. Walk-up tickets are not available. The game starts at 1:35 p.m. but the festivities begin as early as 11 a.m.

1:35 p.m., August 29. $25 includes one “human ticket” and one “dog ticket.” Additional “human tickets” $12. Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, 30315, 404-522-7630, www.braves.com/bark .

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