It's no secret that Pittsburghers love our dogs, and summer is the best time to show it. Now that the weather is warm and the sun is shining, it's time to shake off the winter blues and get outside with your furry four legged friend. Are you visiting with your pooch and not sure where to go or what to do?  Well no worries, I've got you covered.      

First of all, TONS of Pittsburgh-area hotels are pet friendly. The Omni William PennHotel Monaco, and The Fairmont are some upscale downtown hotel options, but there are many other options such as the Hyatt Place North ShoreDoubletree by Hilton Pittsburgh Green Tree, and Hampton Inn University Center. No matter what your budget or location, Pittsburgh has great place for you and your furry friend to rest comfortably. 

And eating...well, let's just say there's a myriad of restaurants to choose from! A quick Yelp search yielded me over nine pages of results for the Pittsburgh area! Most of these are dog-friendly because they offer seasonal outdoor seating where you can sit with your dogs, so make sure to call before you go if you're not sure. A few of my favorites in different neighborhoods are:

Just like us, our doggies love to cool off from a hot day in the water.  Lucky for them, there a lots of places where your pup can doggy paddle to their heart's content!

Bulldog Swimming

One great location is the Misty Pines' Dog Park which features their "dog pond", playground, and wooded trails. Their spring-fed pond is the perfect place to get your dog acclimated to water and water retrieval training, and you can watch your pup jump, swim, and dock dive. Their park even features large grassy areas, a new pavilion for picnics, and a smaller area for petite dogs and puppies. Bonus, Misty Pines offers a "Yoga with your Dog" class. Namaste! 

Lucky Paws Resort is the Pittsburgh area’s only indoor/outdoor dog park, and it offers year-round enjoyment for you and your dog in a safe and healthy environment. The double-gated entry, off-leash property is a 3,000 square foot, zero-entry swimming pool and water park designed and maintained specifically for dogs (Pool is seasonal). It features slip-resistant surface at the entrance of the pool and special anti-microbial K9 Grass around the entire area. To top it off, the entire park is enclosed by a 6 ft. high fence. There are water fountains for the dogs and humans, a large pavilion with picnic tables and park benches, mountains, tunnels, and play equipment for the dogs. How can they not have fun at a place like this? 

Frick Park Dog Park also called "Hot Dog Dam" is a public city park accessible from the Tranquil Trail at Frick Park. It is a great (and free!) way to spend some quality exercise time with your dog and features a gated dog pen for off-leash play. A section of the park includes a dog-friendly creek for romping, but be sure to keep pets on leash when park rules dictate. Swims here are best kept outside of the rainy season as the creek can get quite deep when rains cause area overflow. Following playtime, take a hike on the Riverview Trail where water fountains and bags for waste disposal are available. 

Boxer HikingIf you and your pup love nature, check out Venture Outdoors' dog-friendly hikes! Their activities calendar is full of fun things to do - look with the “dog-friendly” labels (shown with a paw print) for events that welcome canine companions. Their Doggie Day Treks are social hikes that start out by letting the dogs get to know each other, and then participants will hike 4-5 miles out and back along dirt roads and forest trails. Sometimes these hikes include a stop at Blue Hole, a large swimming hole for the dogs to enjoy. 

How about a baseball game with your best friend? Pittsburgh can do that! Pup Nights at PNC Park are back, and you can reserve your seats now to enjoy the excitement of Bucs baseball with your pup at PNC Park. Deck seating is reserved for dog owners and their pets, with fun activities planned for both dogs and owners. There are four Pup Nights remaining, two in August and two in September, so grab your tickets soon. The "dog package" covers admission for one person and one dog for $30, with a portion of the proceeds benefit local animal shelters.

Yorkshire TerrierLooking for something super unique to do with your pooch? Animal Friends has you covered! On Saturday August 1 they are hosting their Pup Crawl 2015: "The Big Sit" from 6:30 - 9:00 pm on the Roberto Clemente Bridge. This year they are attempting to set a world record for ‘Most Dogs Sitting Simultaneously’! 

Are you and your four legged friend a classy pair interested in socializing and sophistication? If so, W(h)ine might be just your cup of....Pinot Grigio. On Friday, August 14th from 7-8:30 pm at Animal Friends (562 Camp Horne Rd., Pittsburgh PA 15237) join your fellow wine and animal lovers for a wine tasting/doggie social event! Talk about two great things in one. Registration is limited, and proceeds benefit Animals Friends, Animal Rescue League, and Western PA Humane Society.

There are so many more ways to enjoy Pittsburgh with your FBF (Furry Best Friend) that I may well do a second installment of Pittsburgh Dog Days of Summer! What would you like to know about traveling with your pup in the Steel City?