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Healthy Paws: Trotting into Spring with Your Pup

Healthy Paws

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

As the weather gets nicer, we’re all eager to get outdoors with our dogs for some exercise and recreation, so we want to share a few resources with you as you’re looking for some dog-friendly recreation options.

First and foremost, we are really excited about the Pups in the Park events offered by Arlington County. These naturalist-guided walks are a great way to get outdoors with your dog and also learn something along the way. (Pre-register on the website from the link above).

  • The Carnivore Way: Sat., Mar. 26, 10-11 a.m. Adults. Your dog is part of a large group of mammals known as carnivores. Find out what defines a carnivore and how they survive in the wild as we walk with our canine friends through Glencarlyn Park. For information: 703-228-6535. Meet at Long Branch Nature Center. Free.#632946-A.
  • Naturalist Guided Trail Sniff: Sat., Apr. 30, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Adults. Explore the trails with your dog at Potomac Overlook Regional Park with a naturalist for a fun hike. Learn about wildlife your pup might encounter in the park, and many of the scents that attract and interest canines. Meet at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 N. Marcey Road, Arlington. Free. #632946-B.
  • Sniffing and Listening: Sunday, May 1, 2-3 p.m. Adults. Dogs sense the world differently than we do. Acute hearing and sensitive noses give canines access to stimuli that we cannot sense. Bring your dog along on this naturalist-led hike and see the world through a wild canine’s senses. For information: 703-228-3403. Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center. Free. #632846-C.

In addition to the parks above, there are many other great locations for hiking in and around Arlington with your dog.

Dining al fresco with your pet is a great way for them to get some fresh air and do some “doggy watching.” Some area restaurants offer outdoor patio seating for patrons with pets.  Just be sure to check before you head out to be sure dogs are, in fact, allowed, as ordinances vary by location.  

A few things to keep in mind no matter where are venturing out to with your pet:

  • Please clean up after your dog — pet waste left behind eventually makes its way to our waterways and drinking supply.  
  • If your dog is not well-socialized or nervous or aggressive around other dogs, a group activity may not be for him or her.  Start slow and work your way up to larger group activities. The Arlington Shelter has a great group called the Pit Crew, which sponsors group walks providing guardians of ALL dog breeds an opportunity to exercise and socialize their dogs in a controlled setting.
  • Respect all leash laws. The vast majority of outdoor recreation options for dogs in our area do require that your dog be on a leash.  
  • Be sure your pet is up-to-date on their Rabies vaccination, AND has a valid county registration tag.  

And, stay tuned for our upcoming “Yappy Hours” in and around Clarendon, as well as our Bark in the Park event June 5th at the Clarendon Dog Park!

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