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Welcome to Dogedin, Florida, a Coastal Dogpacking Town

Discover this coastal adventure town where the locals love dogs so much they nicknamed their town Dogedin.

By Krista Halling DVM CCRP DACVS

When considering your next dogpacking adventure, look no further than the Gulf Coast of Florida. Located 30 min from Tampa, the town of Dunedin is not just for Blue Jays. Dunedin has proudly dubbed itself “Dogedin” because of how dog-friendly it is. 

True to its name, as River and I walked down the quaint Main Street containing locally-owned shops, almost every establishment had a bowl of fresh water outside and a “Dogs Welcome” sign on their door. The Saturday morning market had fresh produce, items by local artists, and several dog-treat and dog-accessory vendors. 

On nearby Honeymoon Island – a state park accessed by walking, cycling or driving over a causeway – there is a dedicated dog beach with soft white sand and shallow waters. So River and I went over to check it out. 

In addition to several dogs swimming and running on the beach, there were a couple of pups enjoying paddleboard and kayak outings with their owners. Once you and your furry-and-now-sandy friend have finished your beach adventure, there’s a free dog-washing station in the parking lot, equipped with a hose and fresh water. 

If you’re more into walking or bikepacking with your dog, you’ll have fun on the 60km (45 mile) -long Fred Marquis Pinellas rail trail which runs through downtown Dunedin, connecting the town of Tarpon Spring to the north, with the city of St. Petersburg to the south. 

Often tree-lined to offer shade, the trail is very popular with locals and tourists alike. In fact, as we were standing on Dunedin’s Main Street watching trail users pass by, a cyclist rode by with a Boston terrier in a basket and many dog walkers passed us.

Dogedin/Dunedin has a permanent population of 36,000 (humans), and receives a moderate influx of tourists, primarily in the winter months and during spring baseball training season as it is home to the Toronto Blue Jays training camp. The locals tell me that it never gets as crowded as do Clearwater and St. Petersburg, its neighbouring beach towns to the south. 

For added exploring of the area, head over to Safety Harbour, another lovely small town just 10km east of Dunedin. Safety Harbour is home to the Neighborhood Bark, an off-leash-dog-park meets human-bar. At this popular dog-friendly pub, you can enjoy a cold one on their enclosed patio while your dog runs around with other furry friends. 

Popular dogpacking activities to do in Dunedin:

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking
  • Walking
  • Running on the beach
  • Dining in restaurants and on pub patios 

Next time you’re looking for a warm-weather adventure with your dog, consider treating yourself and your furry friend to a few days in Dogedin, Florida. River and I are pawsitive you’ll enjoy it!

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