Dogs and other pets offer much-needed companionship and comfort—especially at tough times. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that the adoption of dogs skyrocketed after the COVID-19 pandemic. Our furry friends help reduce stresses in our lives—and the least we can do is reciprocate the favor by giving them a good time.
Looking to treat your dog but you’re worried about the safety concerns of traveling out of town in Charlottesville? Take heart in knowing that the city at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains is brimming with dog-friendly activities. Whether you’re looking for a trail/dog park to let your pooch lose or a pet store to pamper them, there’s a plethora of amenities and outdoor outlets in Charlottesville.
The Best Dog Parks in Charlottesville, VA
Dogs adore the exhilarating natural aura of dog parks, exploring trails, running free, and interacting with other canines. This helps maintain their social, mental, and physical well-being.
Luckily, Charlottesville is ‘packed’ with dog parks to unleash your friendly pup. Here are some of the best options:
1. Chris Greene Lake Park
Chris Greene Lake Park is a 239-acre park that’s a few minutes from Charlottesville Airport. While there are tons of recreational amenities for virtually anyone, dog lovers will especially appreciate the dog park. It’s a 1-acre fenced area—complete with water access—for your furry friend to let loose on the ground or water.
2. Azalea Dog Park
Azalea Dog Park is an immaculate and fenced off-leash park in the larger 23-acre Azalea Park. It offers a great opportunity for you and your dog to explore and interact with like-minded individuals (whether human or canine). It’s mostly grassy and well-maintained with plenty of poop bags to facilitate an enjoyable experience.
3. Darden-Towe Dog Park
Darden-Towe Dog Park is a popular destination for dog owners, and for good reason. It’s spacious enough to give your dog some freedom of movement, there’s a doggie water fountain, a friendly crowd, and picnic tables for you.
The off-leash area is located on the side of a hill—so expect a good workout.
PS: Remember to bring along your own poop bag to clean up after your pooch. And ensure your dog is up-to-date with vaccinations and licenses.
4. Thatch Winery
Charlottesville is revered for its rich history and wineries, among other attractions. While it’s relatively easy to come across a great winery in the city, Thatch stands out for its dog-friendly approach. They allow leashed dogs to accompany you on your wine tasting excursion. This is an opportunity to sample tastebud-smacking wine as your dog enjoys a change of scenery in the dog-friendly vineyard.
Locally-Owned Pet Stores in Charlottesville, VA
Having outdoor fun with your doggo is one thing; loading up on the essentials to take care of their everyday needs in a whole ‘nother beast. You need a reliable pet store that guarantees satisfaction—both for you and for your pet. If you live around Charlottesville, here are the best locally-owned pet stores to source your supplies:
1. Natural Pet Essentials
Natural Pet Supplies is a store founded by a long-time dog lover for dog lovers. They deal in various kinds of all-natural pet food from approved brands, supplements to enhance your pet’s health, treats, quality grooming essentials, gifts for fellow pet lovers, and a decent collection of toys.
You can also grab pet care items like car seats, diapers, travel gear, training aids, and backpacks. The only downside is a less-than-appealing website and online shop.
Address: 3440 Seminole Trail Suite 105/106; Charlottesville, VA 22911 – (434) 979-9779
2. Pet Food Discounters
If you’re looking for an affordable locally-owned pet store in Charlottesville, Pet Food Discounters is your best bet. To quote their website, Pet Food Discounters is “Locally owned and operated for over 30 years…”
And as their brand name implies, they offer a wide variety of products for all your pets at competitive prices. They even have a dedicated “Special Offers” section in their online store for pet owners who can’t resist a good discount on quality products.
Address: 607 Woodbrook Drive; Charlottesville, VA 22901 – (434) 974-6060
3. Pet Supplies Plus
Pet Supplies Plus is a one-stop-shop for all your pet care needs. The independently owned and operated store deals in everything from foods, edible chews, grooming kits, pest control, apparel, to toys for dogs, kitties, fish, reptiles, and small pets. But what really sets them apart from their crowd is their add-on services such as wellness checks, baths, teeth brushing, and other luxurious grooming offers.
Address: 1240 Seminole Trl; Charlottesville, VA 22901 – (434) 979-2009