As a breeder, its remarkable how many pet support and help questions I get asked by my clients especially in case of first-time pet parents. Honestly speaking I love dogs especially french bulldogs. Consequently, I am more than happy to discuss them, give advise or brainstorm for solutions to frenchie problems. Being an avid French bulldog owner myself honestly, I really don’t mind being asked pet support and help questions even though that’s not usually a part of the package when you buy a puppy from a breeder.
Amongst all the questions I get the most frequent relates to about the best vacation spots to visit with a frenchie. Since I am myself very enthusiastic about taking my pet on vacations with me. I don’t really believe in leaving them behind in a pet care facility no matter how fancy it is. So it is that I always advise pet parents to take your french bulldog with you and make it a petcation (I call it that ) rather than leave your pet with a friend /caretaker or at a petcare hotel. At least in my case it works better as I don’t worry incessantly about my frenchie despite some of the fancier places giving you online webcam access. Plus given the wonderful temperament and human friendly nature of the French bulldog, a petcation is easy as frenchie’s are one of the best canine vacationeers.
So amongst all the vacation spots I recommend, Los Angeles or the city of angels is one of my favorites. It is a great place for a petcation with your french bulldog. Not only are Los Angelites simply dog crazy just like me ( where else would you find an airport terminal with animal helpers to help passengers de stress? I am talking about unstressing passengers (pup) at LAX Los Angeles International Airport) they actually understand the need to take care of a pet parents pets. It is a wonderful city with many Pet-friendly parks, shopping malls and restaurants.
Any vacation or should I say petcation starts with the comfort of a clean ( if possible luxurious) and ‘pets are allowed’ hotel. It should have a pet friendly concierge who is an ace at procuring pet services, a pet usable bathroom and bedroom with at least some doggy treats in a decent pet food menu. One of the best Los Angeles hotels that is fabulous with your pet dog almost everywhere throughout the hotel at no additional cost is the Kimpton chain’s Hotel Palomar at Beverly Hills Los Angeles. This hotel has dog water bowls outside the door and special doggy beds and bowls on request. Doggy’s are allowed throughout the hotel except in the restaurant and bar. The Peninsula at Bel Air is great for humans and pets. Dogs are provided with water, treats, monogrammed towels and soft beds. They have a phenomenal doggy burger on their pet food menu made with half a pound of beef and vegetables.
- Dog walking
- Dog spa treatment
- Pet room service
…all of these are available at an extra charge. There are many more such hotels like the Loews at Santa Monica, The Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Viceroy L’Ermitage ( best pet food menu !!), The Sofitel ( pets above certain weights are extra costs) amongst others each of which allow you to bring along your pets including your pet dog at no extra cost for some basic services during your stay in their hotel rooms.
In Los Angeles you could include a range of activities in your itinerary ranging from shopping, visits and strolls in a mall, eating a meal together at a restaurant, to a doggy work out at a dog park, or swim therapy and last but not the least catching a movie together. You may add a simple or easy hike to your to do with my frenchie list but most french bull dogs are not much of a walker much less hikers and you may not be able to get them enthusiastic for the great outdoors if the walk is too long or if it’s too hot.
A visit to the movies
Eat See Hear hosts regular movie screenings at various spots throughout Los Angeles for you and your dog. You can visit their website for schedules during your vacation visit days. Your pet dog also gets free biscuits on entry and there are usually plenty of food trucks to satiate hunger pangs.
Streetfood cinema also organizes potluck picnic style movie screenings this also through various locations in Los Angeles. This is an afternoon well spent with your French bulldog as both of you will enjoy the sociable nature of such a movie screening.
Canine swim therapy
Canine swim therapy is great for your pet dog. It is not only a great form of exercise, but also de stresses and it’s fun plus it’s actually therapeutic for older dogs or dogs in pain physical or emotional. Dogs also like the feeling of weightlessness and bounciness in the water as this works as a gentle massage for them and releases their happy feelings. Of course in the case of your frenchie this is only possible if he or she take to swimming and water well. A 15 minute session for the french bulldog is equal to a 15 minute brisk walk in the park. I say that because french bulldogs are not the most enthusiastic of swimmers but investing in a good life jacket can ensure some regular fun times in the water with your frenchie. So if you can get your french bulldog into water this is a great activity to do together.
“Two Hands Four Paws” in Los Angeles is one of the well recommended ones with 43 reviews and 4+ star rating on yelp. That says it all need I say more than that this is a must visit and a great way to spend an afternoon.
Doggy Spa and Daycare
Los Angeles boasts of many decent doggy daycares and/or dog spas. Citydog club being one of the most recommended with its luxurious daycare that pampers your pet including fruit facials and spa treatments. They also do provide you with an online log in so you can log in online to see your pet through a webcam.
Shopping at Pet Friendly Shops
Visit the Amoeba Music and Record Shop which is extremely pet friendly and even stocks treats for your frenchie while you shop for music. Another great place to shop and visit is Leanna Lin’s Wonderland. Here you’ll find bow ties for your pup and doggy themed art and jewelery.
Strolling about at Dog Friendly Malls
This one is right up your french bull dog’s alley. There are many malls in Los Angeles which are pet friendly in particular for french bulldogs who are so people friendly. Most of these malls are equipped with water drinking stations and treat stops for pet dogs who may accompany their pet parents for a restaurant meal or a shopping trip or a simple stroll.
The Grove at Third St and Fairfax is a mall that offers shopping, dining and entertainment all in a pet friendly way. However there are a few restrictions your dog must be well behaved of course with your French bulldog this poses no trouble at all. However, certain dog breeds have been restricted entry or banned. Even in the farmers market nearby which is a great attraction only well behaved dogs are allowed inside the dining patios of a few places, most will request you to tie your dog to their outer railing while you sit inside. Usually friendly calm dogs are not a problem and the french bull dog given its human friendly nature is mostly welcomed. This mall also has water stations and a park adjacent to it. Other must visits here are The Dog Bakery and getting a treat at Sprinkles.
The Village at Topanga is another great mall to visit for you with your dog. I really liked the red water stations ( they look like old fashioned fire hydrants ) for pets to drink at in the pet strolling zone of this mall in the San Fernando Valley. You and your pet can grab treats here too before you play a game of boccie ball. All in all a favouite.
Other pet friendly malls are the Third Street Promenade by the beach mall, the Melrose Trading Post and Venice Beach also has some great shopping spots or is great for even a stroll with your dog to name just a few.
So having already said before that french bulldogs are not much of walking or hiking dogs here are some beginner level walks or hikes at beautiful nature spots you could try to take your frenchie to if he or she is open to the idea. You could try Mount Hollywood Trail in Griffith Park. It is a simple 3 mile hiking trail which is an amazing 1.5 hour walk with your pet if you both are up for it. Remember however that it’s not easy to abandon mid way and leashes, of course are necessary. Also you must clean up after your pet. You could drive there and it does have stunning views of the Hollywood Sign, the ocean and Los Angeles basin. There are many places to stop on the way since your and your frenchie may need several rest stops as french bull dogs are not much of a hiker. Runyon Canyon is another option though overcrowded although the main attraction in its case is that it’s an off leash and it has a group that carries out a bow wow doggie fitness workout. Another great hike (or maybe it could be a simply curious smells and sounds day ) is at the Westridge Canyonback wilderness park. Located near Mulholland Drive in Encino this park allows dogs to be off leash in certain areas on its wide open trails.
Rosie’s dog beach is the only dog friendly beach in Los Angeles and is located in Long Beach this is a little bit of sea, salt and sand paradise for you and your pet dog to enjoy.
Outdoor Parks including Dog Parks
Parks and dog parks are aplenty in dog friendly Los Angeles. Some may be with leash and with segregated places for smaller dogs, some may have designated off leash areas or they may be completely off leash parks. I personally prefer the off leash parks even if they are sometimes smaller. When you visit a dog park be sure to get to know their rules and do adhere to them. Most dog parks have A “ no poop left behind rule”. Please follow it. Here is a list of some and brief description of a few of them.
The Boneyard in Culver City is a very popular off leash dog park. The park timings are from sunrise till 10 pm. Arts district park is a nice dog park with a small separate area for small or timid dogs. This is a strictly pick your own dog poop park and there are only poop scoops and no doggy poop bags. The park is clean and well maintained and usually not very crowded. Water stations are also there. Sepulveda basin in Encino is another popular off leash dog park and Is a must visit for pet parents vacationing with their pets. It has a 6.5 acres green area to run about and explore with your pet and also has picnic tables and you can bring your own food except in the off leash areas to have a wonderful picnic with your pet in this park’s picnic zones. It’s easy to spend the day with your pet here. This park also has big dog and little dogs pet areas too.Silver Lake dog park is an off leash fenced off dog park with a separate area for smaller dogs. There have been complaints about the cleanliness of the sandy smaller dog area, and the lack of grass and muddy ness of the park although it is a popular much frequented Park with some amazing pet parents and dogs to socialize with.
Some more popular dog parks are Alice’s dog park, Redondo Beach dog park, Laurel canyon park, Crescents valley dog park, Oberrdierr dog park, Polliwog park dog run amongst others.
Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Los Angeles.
To name a few there is the Muddy Paw Coffee, The Backyard at the W, Morrison Pub at Atwater Village ( doggy menu on the doggy patio), Messhall Kitchen to bane a few.
Salazar ‘s at Fletcher drive Elysian Valley has a second open patio where you can hang out and grab a drink with your dog.
One of the few noteworthy favorites is the Park Bench Cafe at Huntington Beach Central Park established in 1988. It’s been an outdoors pet-friendly cafe with a biped menu and also a separate canine menu to order from.
Just Food For Dogs is also great. While this is not really a restaurant for pet parents to eat at it’s a great place to pick up a human style canine meal for your dog to take home with you on special occasions or just as a special treat maybe. Ranging from beef and russet potato to turducken on holidays it’s a great visit with your pet.
Fisherman’s outlet downtown Los Angeles if your dog enjoys seafood. Although it’s a wholesale kind of place out in the front they have an order at the counter restaurant where many a dog has had a blissful meal with its owner.
The Raymond & 1886 is an upmarket restaurant with amazing food for dog and owner both which is served with great class and in great style.
Ayara Luk is a Thai Asian food restaurant which welcomes dogs in their open-air patios and often has several homemade dog treats to offer them while their owners eat their meals. This Thai pop up has its base at the old Chalet Edenweiss restaurant.
Angel city brewery in the arts district welcomes dogs with their owners in almost every part of their brewery except the brewing area. Pet parents must clean up after their pets and keep them on a leash. A great place to grab a beer and hang out at a table with your dog. Their howl-o-ween event in October is fabulous.
Having said all of the above I also want to point out that all above recommendations are from the perspective of a visitor to Los Angeles and not a local. It is quite likely that the places Los Angeles locals choose to take their pets to may be somewhat different.