If you have just moved to London or have recently joined the ranks of the city’s dog owners, knowing where to take your dog to exercise and socialise can be a challenge. However, when it comes to finding good spots to take your dog walking, London has many hidden gems.
London’s canine community is large and diverse enough that there are several dog walking clubs and groups dotted around the capital, which arrange regular meetups and dog walks in London.
For city dogs and owners of the urban pup-about-town, check out our top picks of six of the best dog meetups in London you should try.
Mutts and Mates, Kingston Upon Thames
Mutts and Mates arranges regular dog meetups in the Kingston Upon Thames area to allow dogs and their owners to walk and socialise while making new friends. Members of the group are encouraged to make suggestions for walks, or even host dog walking meetups of their own. They aim to create a join the community and make connections in order to help each other out with dog sitting and care.
The group is open to non-dog owners too, to give people who love dogs but don’t currently have one the chance to spend time with city dogs looking for new pals! Joining the group costs £12, and then attendance and participation in walks and events is free.
The London Boston Terrier Meetup Group, Bushy Park
Got a Boston Terrier? This dog meetup group is just for you! The London Boston Terrier Meetup Group helps to connect owners and admirers of Boston Terriers in the city. They arrange regular walk meets on a monthly basis, around the middle of each month.
The main venue for the group’s walk is Bushy Park, which is handy for Teddington and Kingston dog lovers. Membership of the group costs £2, and a full list of scheduled monthly walks covering up to a year in advance can be found on the website, to give you plenty of time to plan your outing!
The London Monthly Bulldog Meetup Group, Kensington Gardens
The London Monthly Bulldog Meetup Group is the group to join if you own a bulldog of any variety-whether that be an English Bulldog, Frenchie, American, or any variant including the increasingly popular Old Tyme Bulldog, Leavitt, and Victorian.
The group meets on the first Sunday of each month in Kensington Gardens (next to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground) at 11am, with around 30 bull-breed dogs in attendance at each meet. These dog meetups are relaxed and casual with plenty of opportunities for off-the-lead play, while their owners have the chance to chat and compare notes.
London Pugs, various locations
One of the most popular breeds for city dogs is of course the pug, and so it makes sense that the London Pugs meetup group is one of the largest in town, with over 2,000 members and a vibrant, active online community.
If you are looking for a new spot to take your dog walking, London Pugs hosts a well-attended regular monthly meetup near to the start of each month. The group enables pugs and pug people to walk, meet and socialise, at a range of different locations across the city.
Membership is open to all pugs and pug admirers, and invites a suggested donation of £5 to contribute to organisation and administration costs.
London Dog Walks Meetup, various locations
London Dog Walks Meetup is a reasonably new group, having hosted their first meeting earlier on this year in May.
The group aims to organise informal weekly dog walks for both dog owners, and those considering dog ownership who want to chat with other owners of city dogs, and is designed to provide valuable opportunities for urban dogs to socialise and walk in safe, open areas such as Hyde Park.
North London Small Breed Dog Meetup, Seven Sisters/Stoke Newington
Finally, the North London Small Breed Dog Meetup is the place to take your small (under 10kg) dog to meet other pint-sized pooches and their owners for a coffee and a relaxed walk through some of North London’s dog-friendly parks.
This is another new-ish group, and so is reasonably small so far, making it the perfect time to join up and make friends with a sociable bunch of owners of city dogs and their canine companions.
Tips and advice for group walks and dog meetups in London
Dog meetups and group dog walking in London provide great opportunities for city dogs and their owners to make friends and find new places to visit and explore, but the onus still falls on each individual dog owner to keep themselves and their dog safe, and ensure that their dog doesn’t cause problems.
• Contact the group organiser before attending a meetup. Some meets are restricted to group members only, and/or require you to sign up to attend meets in order to keep the numbers manageable.
• Find out about the planned area and route for the walk or meetup ahead of time, and ensure that your dog will be able to manage it.
• Keep your dog under control at all times, and don’t bring along a very reactive or antisocial dog without first talking to the group’s organisers.
• Make sure that your dog is up to date with their vaccinations and flea and worming treatments, to minimise the risk of exposure to lots of other unknown dogs.
• Investing in insurance for your dog, particularly a policy that includes third party liability cover is wise for all dog owners, especially those attending group meets and social sessions where a lot of other dogs and owners will be present. Group meetings are generally informal, and are unlikely to include insurance coverage for participants.
• Take some water and treats along for your dog, but leave favourite toys at home if your dog does not want to share.
• It is a good idea to take a little cash along as well, as many walks and meetups start or end at a coffee shop, or with social drinks afterwards.
• Follow the directions and rules of the group’s organisers when out on walks, and speak to them if you have any problems with another dog or owner.
• If you find that the walk isn’t working out for you or your dog isn’t handling it well, you can leave whenever you are ready.
If you are around London on a meetup and need some treats for your dog group, why not visit Pet Pavillion, who stock our Cotswold RAW treats. They have stores in Notting Hill, Chelsea, Gloucester Road and Wimbledon.
We also offer a full delivery service in London through Mobile Pet Supplies, so you can get your slice of the British Countryside in the big smoke!
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