15 Fun things to do with your dog in LA

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Speedy in Hollywood, LA

Los Angeles is one of the most well-known cities in the world and is renowned for being the home of Hollywood and its celebrities. But it is also known to be a dog-loving city with paver 5.3 million family pups. 

n fact, there are more than 1.3 million homes out of 3.3 million with dogs in Los Angeles County. This is probably why you can find so many dog-friendly places and activities in LA, including beaches, parks, hikes, shopping, and dining. 

You can also take your dog to see the stars on the Walk of Fame or to see their mansions on a celebrity tour. See the tar pits at La Brea Tar Pits Museum, watch a movie at an open-air cinema, or have a photo shoot at the Museum of Dream Space. 

This list has 15 fun things to do with your dog in LA, but there are hundreds more from brewery tours to private walking tours. You will have no trouble finding something fun to do here with your pup. 

Explore Venice: Venice Beach 

If you have always wanted to walk along the Venice Canals in Italy, this is the second-best thing. You and your fur buddy will love exploring the beach as well as the canals across the street. Venice is a beach town known for its carefree and free-spirited ambiance. You and Fido can stroll along the Venice Boardwalk to see the murals, shops, and street performers. Just keep your fur buddy on a leash at all times, and be sure to ask before going into any shops or eateries. 

The canals of Venice Beach were the results of Albert Kinney’s love for Italy. In 1905, he built seven canals right across from the beach. Today, there are only four because the others were paved over to make more roads. To see these awesome water features, take the boardwalk to 25th Avenue and look for the sign. Be sure you and your pooch get some selfies on the unique bridges to share on Instagram.

See the stars: Hollywood Walk of Fame

Take your fur buddy to see the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The famous attraction in Los Angeles has more than 2,700 stars along three blocks on Vine Street and 15 blocks on Hollywood Boulevard. As long as you keep your little fur ball on a leash, you can take him the whole way through. It may take several hours to see almost 3,000 stars, and there are quite a few shops and cafes along the way you can stop in. Just make sure they are dog friendly first. 

Your pooch may be especially impressed with the stars of canine actors Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, and Strongheart. You may get lucky enough to see some real stars at an induction ceremony too! But if that happens, you may not get to see any of the stars due to the crowds and security. If you check the official Walk of Fame website, you can find the next upcoming ceremonies you can attend, like Kelly Clarkson, who will be inducted with the 2,733rd star on September 19th.

See celebrity homes: Hollywood Hills Tour

After seeing the stars of the stars, why not take a dog-friendly tour to see their homes? In this 90-minute celebrity home tour, you, your pooch, and a group of fellow fans will be driven from Hollywood Hills to Beverly Hills and including the Santa Monica Mountain homes. This tour is as famous as the stars themselves, so you need to book this way in advance. Your host will give you all the details about the celebs as you check out their stunning mansions. 

Some of the homes you will see include Jason Statham, Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, and Justin Timberlake, as well as Lady Gaga, Charlize Theron, Keanu Reeves, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Besides those, you will also get to see previous homes of Ariana Grande, Tom Cruise, Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, and Frank Sinatra. With the light van used for this tour, you get to see homes that other tour companies cannot because of weight limits. 

Check out the local culture: Museum of Dream Space Beverly Hills

Located in between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood in Grand Central Shoppes, the Museum of Dream Space (MODS) is the first museum in the country that mainly exhibits digital art. Right next door to Versace, this special art museum is the perfect place for you and your pup to get some fantastic selfies that you cannot get anywhere else. There are five distinct rooms that really do not have names, but each is unique.

Some of the rooms are digital art playgrounds for creative photos like silhouettes in front of a giant moon in the Projection Room or a backdrop full of fairy lights in the Lightbulb Room. The Orb Room is full of cool orbs that change color with a seat for photo ops. The Faces Room is an array of colored walls with pop art that can make your portrait shots look incredible. And the Gold Room is what it says it is… a gold room. 

Get trained: Zoom Room 

The Zoom Room can be found off Highway 405 in Marina Del Rey, or you can visit one of their other 18 locations in California, including Burbank, Culver City, Long Beach, Santa Clarita, and Torrance. This is more than just a dog training class here. The expert dog trainers at Zoom Room can teach your pooch (and you) to do anything. Whether you have a new puppy to teach obedience or your senior dog needs some agility classes, they have it in the Zoom Room. 

Besides training classes, you and your fur baby can take part in learning new tricks, hunting, and scenting or something totally new like Puplates, Urban Herding, and Canine Cross Training. And even though the LA weather is almost always exceptionally beautiful, the indoor gym is a convenient temperature-controlled setting that is safe for everyone. After your training, take your pooch shopping for toys, puzzles, and treats at the gift shop or have a drink on the private patio. 

Watch a movie: Rooftop Cinema Club

You and Fido can see a movie anytime here as long as he is leashed. The Rooftop Cinema Club has outdoor movie venues all over the city as well as in other cities in California. The El Segundo rooftop is on the parking structure on Franklin Avenue and boasts movies until the end of October. Show up early for some fun such as lawn games, picnicking, or just for the views of the LA skyline and sunset. The huge LED screen is easy to see from anywhere, and you get wireless headphones for great sound. 

Although other locations allow watching from your vehicle, this one is special because it has a whole setup of seating from the lounge chairs in the front, Adirondack chairs in the middle, and the open seating in the back with tables and chairs by the concessions. You can park on the third floor, and there is an elevator to get up to the roof. The movies start just after 7 PM, but it is a first-come, first-served basis so get there early if you really want to see the show that is playing. 

Walk the boardwalk: Santa Monica Pier and Boardwalk

California’s most popular pier is perfect for you and your fur baby to enjoy some shopping, dining and playing. The boardwalk and pier are both dog-friendly, but you will need to check first before going into any of the shops or restaurants. Many of these have outdoor areas like souvenir carts, retail kiosks, and some of the games at the arcade. The boardwalk is constantly full of street performers where you can see dancing, singing, and all sorts of other talents. 

You will have to keep your pup on a leash and ensure he is well-behaved. It gets crowded at times, so if he does not like crowds, go on a weekday morning. The aquarium and Pacific Park are not allowing dogs right now, but you can check before you go, just to make sure. The carousel does allow you to bring your pup on the ride, so you can do that too. 

Grab some grub: The Fat Dog

This dog-themed eatery loves dogs, and you will see that as soon as you see it. Located in the NOHO Arts District next to the Sherry Theater on Magnolia Boulevard, you and your fur buddy can share a meal together on the spacious patio at The Fat Dog. They are open every day, and their menu is full of various cuisines from avocado toasts to hot wings, as well as short ribs with french dip, house pasta, and fish & chips. 

Many of the items on the menu are dog friendly as well, like the grilled chicken, alternative burger, potato skins, and The Fat Dog grilled hot dog. You can also enjoy a cheese board, a plate of mussels with white ale and garlic, Swedish meatballs with baby potatoes, or the steak fries. There is also a kid’s menu and a variety of sweets for dessert. Also, check out the full page of beverages, including beer, wine, and cocktails. 

Let him run free: The Boneyard at Culver City Dog Park

Right in the southwest of Culver City Park on Duquesne Avenue, the Boneyard is one of LA’s most popular dog parks. Not only does your pooch get to run around and play off his leash, but he is also welcome in the main park while on his leash. Although it is only about an acre in size, the fenced dog park is sectioned off with one side for small breeds, shy dogs, and puppies while the other is for larger, more outgoing fur babies. 

In addition to the large open spaces, the Boneyard also has benches, water fountains, and trees for shade and weather shelters. Culver City Park itself has just over 41 acres with a picnic area, ball fields, a skate park, and a rope course, as well as a rose garden, trails, and an overlook with sensational views of the city. Be sure to keep your fur baby on a leash when not inside the dog park. 

See the Hollywood Sign: Griffith Park

At about 4,310 acres, Griffith Park is one of the largest and most popular parks in Los Angeles, and it is mostly dog-friendly as long as your fur buddy is on a leash. Inside the park, you can find the LA Zoo, Griffith Observatory, several museums, and a theatre but these areas do not allow dogs. However, you can take your pooch on a train ride at the Travel Town Museum railway as long as he fits in your lap. 

Many trails in Griffith Park will lead you and Fido to the iconic Hollywood sign on the hill. The famous sign can be seen from just about anywhere in LA, but getting close to it can be pretty exciting. You will not be able to get too close, though, so don’t get your hopes up. All of the trails to the sign are dog-friendly, but some are easier than others, so you will have to choose the one that fits your ability and schedule. 

Play all day: Runyon Canyon Park

In the Hollywood Hills area between Griffith Park and Franklin Canyon Park Mountains, Runyon Canyon Park boasts over 160 acres of dog-friendly open space. In fact, it is home to the largest off-leash dog park in the state of California at 90 acres. Besides being a fantastic dog park, there are quite a few hiking trails to enjoy. If you want to do a quick and easy walk with your pup, try the Mulholland Drive hike of just under a mile in the northern section of the park. 

The 2.7-mile Runyon Canyon Trail will take you and your buddy for a challenging hike with excellent views and an elevation gain of almost 750 feet. Your pup can be off-leash for most of the hike but should be voice-trained. On this walk, you get spectacular views of the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Observatory. Even if your dog is trained well, you may want to keep him on a leash near the dropoffs and bring a lot of water for both of you. 

Shop ‘til you drop: Westfield Century City

Your pooch can shop with you at almost all of the stores in Westfield Century City. Those that do not have outdoor shopping often allow dogs inside as well. There are more than 200 retailers, restaurants, and entertainment sites, with stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale’s being just a few. Besides the shopping areas, the mall also has two doggie relief areas where you can let him play, rest, or do his go potty. 

The grassy area behind Constellation Boulevard even has a fire hydrant that sprays water so they can cool off or get a drink. It is just outside Nordstrom by the garden. The other space is a dog park across from Healthy Spot near Macy’s. If you get hungry, there are 56 different places to eat, from Ardi’s Organics to Zinque. No matter where you and your fur buddy go at the mall, he will need to be on a leash at all times. 

Soak up the beauty: Mathias Botanical Garden 

You can find this stunning seven-acre garden on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). All pups are welcome as long as they are on a leash, so grab your fur buddy and head out to the garden to see some of the most beautiful flowers and interesting greenery. Considered a living museum, the collection is one of the most important in the United States, with plant specimens from all over the world.

You can take a self-guided audio tour to learn all about the different varieties or just stroll along at your leisure. There are 14 different sections, including the Stream, Subtropical Woodlands, Palms, Mediterranean Ecosystem, Lilies, Hawaiian Plants, Habitat Garden, Ferns, and Desert Garden Cycads, Conifers, California Natives, Bromeliads, and the Ancient Forest. One of the most popular is The Stream, which has a stream lined with water plants and a variety of different types of wildlife.  

Hit the beach: Rosie’s Dog Beach

At Belmont Shore Beach on Ocean Boulevard, you will find a beach just for dogs named Rosie’s Dog Beach. It is not fenced or marked, so it can be difficult to determine exactly where it is, but it is between Argonne and Roycroft Avenues. The rest of the beach is often referred to as Granada Beach, and it can get extremely crowded with popular beach events like volleyball. There is about a mile of beach and has restrooms, trash cans, and metered parking spaces.

In addition, you can usually find doggie bags and poop scoops but bring your own just in case. The beach is open from 6 AM until 8 PM but there is no lifeguard so be careful. In all, the beach space is just over four acres, so there is plenty of room for your pup to play with other pups or for a game of fetch. The park got its name in honor of the bulldog that got it all started, Rosie, who was the dog of Justin Rudd, and it is the only dog beach in LA.

Visit the pits: La Brea Tar Pits

You may have seen the hit television series La Brea on NBC starring Jack Martin and Jon Seda. It is all about the tar pits with a twist of a giant sinkhole that collapses in the middle of LA. The site of the pits is in front of the La Brea Museum on Wilshire Boulevard across from Hancock Park. The Tar Pits are at the site of remnants of the ice age between 11,000 and 40,000 years ago, when prehistoric animals got trapped in the sticky stuff. 

The display features a mammoth elephant trapped in the pit as its family watches on. You can also find a variety of ice age plants, including chaparral, evergreens, redwoods, riparian, and coastal sage. The “tar” that bubbles up in this makeshift tar pit is not actually tar but an underground oil field that seeps up to the top of the water. You and your pup can stroll along the display here and then head over to Hancock Park to enjoy some more outdoor fun. 

The Final Woof

With so many things to do in Los Angeles with your dog, there is no reason to leave him at home the next time you go out. 

No matter where you and your fur baby go, you will probably work up an appetite. And, of course, your pooch is always hungry. We have one dog-friendly restaurant on the list, but there are many more. 

Some of these include Masa of Echo Park on Sunset Boulevard, Sugar Taco on Melrose Avenue, Fred 62 Diner on Vermont Avenue, and Toast Bakery Cafe on 3rd Street. Just be sure to check first in case policies have changed. 

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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