Pets  |  Things to Do

How to Celebrate National Dog Day Around DC

Because your furry best friend deserves some fun.

Dogs and humans both love drinking outdoors at Dacha. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Pet owners may treat every day like National Dog Day, but the actual date falls on Friday, August 26 this year. Here’s where to bring your canine companion to commemorate the occasion with special events, activities, and excursions all weekend long.

Head to a National Dog Day Event 

If you’re hitting the streets for a morning walk on Friday, August 26, bring Fido to the NoMa BID’s free gathering at Alethia Tanner Park (227 Harry Thomas Way., NE), featuring treats and toys. In the evening, Kentlands Mansion (320 Kent Square Rd, Gaithersburg) is hosting an outdoor fête from 5 PM to 7 PM. Learn how to compose a “bark-cuterie board” (yes, that is charcuterie for your dog), and snap a keepsake with Rover in the photo booth. For a sweet snack, Bark Social in Bethesda is putting together a dog-friendly dessert buffet of popsicles, cupcakes, and ice cream starting at 6 PM.

Break a sweat together 

Pose in downward dog with your dog at boutique fitness venue BarkFit (3210 Georgia Ave., NW), where pooches can join owners for yoga and cardio boot camps ($15 per class). If your pup has a sense of adventure, bring extra water to a hiking spot for a change of scenery. Scott’s Run Nature Preserve (7400 Georgetown Pike., McLean) features 385-acres of trails for leisurely strolls, scenic streams, and rocky hikes. We recommend scouting paths with maximum shade to keep hounds safe in the heat—think a leashed amble through the National Arboretum (3501 New York Ave., NE).

Toast on a dog-friendly patio 

DC-area dog bars aren’t the only spots welcoming four-legged patrons. Chill by the water at Vola’s Dockside Grill (101 North Union St., Alexandria) in Old Town while your doggy dining partner gets a menu of their own, complete with beef entrees and frozen yogurt popsicles. Dacha’s Navy Yard and Shaw locations (1600 7th St., NW, 79 Potomac Ave., SE) welcome fur babies as well. Bring friendly canines to Brentwood’s transit-themed Metrobar (640 Rhode Island Ave., NE) on Thursday, August 25 and Wunder Garten (1101 First St., NW) in NoMa on Sunday, August 28 for beer deals and puppuccinos during “yappy hour.”

Dip into the water 

Cool down at the end of a hot day with sprinklers and splash pads at District Dogs’ (3210 Georgia Ave., NW) summer party on Friday, August 26 from 5 to 7 PM. Plenty of pools open their gates to pets for the final swim of the season, but dogs can channel their inner mermaid before the end of the summer on Saturday, August 27 at Reston pools Dogwood (2460 Green Range Dr., Reston) and Ridge Heights (11400 Ridge Heights Rd., Reston). Both spots are hosting hour-and-a-half dog paddle sessions ($20 per dog), including a special slot for petite pooches. And if your dog prefers to stay dry? Embark DC’s fleet of sport boats invites dogs onboard for a cruise on the water.


Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.