My husband and I have two young children. We fuss over them, buy them luxurious bedding, toys galore and always ensure they eat only the best food available. Our social life revolves around them… Double Date? How about come over for a BBQ so the kids can play in the yard! Weekend hike? Sure, but let’s make sure it’s suitable for the kids! Spur of the moment trip with friends? Hmm… we’ll have to pass cause we can’t find a sitter. Yes, like many couples, our life revolves around our kids…. Oh, did I mention our kids have four legs, a furry coat and wet nose? Yup – our fur babies run our life but it’s not only us, most of my 20-something friends are the same! We come to work and laugh at each other’s funny stories, give each other advice during those frustrating ‘early’ years and feel for each other when our dogs have ailments. I remember a time when dogs were DOGS; growing up, my dogs were left outside day and night, fed whatever food was on sale and left at home all day without as little as a “goodbye Fido”. Now in my mid-20’s, I’ve noticed a transformation in the roles dogs take in families. Like me, most of my friends and co-workers are childless with no plans on having kids in the near future which leaves me to wonder if having ‘fur-babies’ is something new to our generation?

[caption id='attachment_46' align='alignleft' width='343' caption='Playing along the Thompson River']Kona & Bailey playing in front Mt. Peter and Paul[/caption]

Needless to say, if you’re a dog owner and reading this blog entry – you’ll benefit from my ‘crazy dog lady’ behavior, I promise. As mentioned above, much of my social life involves Kona (Boxer/Shepherd) & Bailey (Boxer/Lab) so please enjoy the following tips and recommendations if you plan on visiting Kamloops with your own fur-baby.

One of Kona’s favorite things to do is swim and play fetch in the river and surrounding lakes. Pioneer Park and Overlanders’ Beach both offer great off-leash areas for dogs to run, play, and swim. Both are located within 5 minutes from the city centre, making it easy and accessible to visit. McConnell Lake and Isobel Lake are both excellent circle loops approximately 25 minutes from downtown. Taking an hour to walk around the lake via nature trail, there are plenty of opportunities for the dogs to take a dip. There are also resting areas, outhouses and picnic tables for the humans.

Kona also loves hiking with his dog pals and there is no shortage of trails in Kamloops either. Two great off-leash areas worth mentioning are Kenna Cartwright Park and Petersen Creek Park. Both are located within city limits and offer a several hiking and biking trails ranging from green to black diamond.

[caption id='attachment_48' align='alignright' width='249' caption='Kona and Bailey enjoy the view from Petersen Creek Park with their pal, Neika']Kona and Bailey enjoy the view from Petersen Creek Park with their pal, Neika.[/caption]

Bailey is our social butterfly. She loves interacting with other dogs and there is no better place to do that than one of the many dog parks in the city. With 15 off-leash park areas, she is able to run and play with her newly found friends, then returns home exercised and satisfied! The dog park at Ord Road is the busiest in town – you’ll often find other dogs and owners there regardless of the time which means no matter when you go, there will likely be someone there to socialize with. Another one of Bailey’s favorite past times is running. We often strap on our rollerblades and/or bike and take her on a nice long run along the Rivers’ Trail, a 20+km designated walkway expanding throughout most of the city. Maps are available online or at the Kamloops Visitor Centre.

If you’re visiting the city, there are over 30 accommodation options in Kamloops that accept dogs to stay over (call ahead of course!). In addition, there are plenty of doggy daycare selections in case you want to take in a few attractions on your own, numerous veterinarians in case of emergency and even a 5 km dog friendly cross country ski trail at Stake Lake if you visit in the winter. When we say Kamloops is dog friendly, we’re not joking around! If you want any more information on dog friendly activities, accommodation or more – check out our dog friendly vacation page .

This is the last long weekend of the summer, so get out there with your pooch and have some fun!