City Editor Rilee here. 👋 When our team told me I had the opportunity to tag along with two Publix Employees Federal Credit Union employees to take a shelter dog on a doggie date, I must admit I was nervous. I’m not a dog owner myself, so I went to the shelter crossing my fingers and hoping they would give me the smallest dog they had… and then I met Titan.
Luckily for me, my experience with this 125-pound Great Dane showed me how fun + easy it is to take one of the SPCA Florida’s pups out for the day, and I learned that the phrase “gentle giant” exists for a reason. Thanks, Titan.
What we tried (with pricing):
It didn’t take much time with Titan to realize he was a very good boy, so we started our doggie date with treats — specifically, a puppuccino from Starbucks. In case you weren’t aware, Starbucks offers free puppuccinos (small cups of plain whipped cream) for dogs to enjoy while their human counterparts get caffeinated.
From there, we took Titan for a walk around Common Ground Playground’s tennis courts and found ourselves watching (or, in Titan’s case, attempting to chase) the birds on Lake Hollingsworth.
What not to miss:
One of the best parts of taking a dog out for a doggie date is getting them exposure to the community. Oftentimes, dogs meet their future owners while they’re out for the day with a doggie date volunteer. So even if you’re not ready to adopt, you can help a pup find their fur-ever home by introducing them to Lakelanders around town. 🐶
What we’re still talking about:
Did we mention how fast you can fall in love on a doggie date? Whether you’re considering adopting your next furry family member or just looking to spoil a dog for a few hours, it’s important to be aware of the adoption process + associated costs, just in case your pooch runs away with your heart. 🐾
- Vet expenses — costs vary by your dog’s weight and breed
- Microchip — an optional precaution to prevent losing your pet
- Pet insurance — an optional measure to prepare for medical emergencies
- Food — costs vary by your dog’s weight and breed as well as the frequency and quality of food purchased
- Training — financial + time commitments will vary by the age, breed, and temperament of your dog
- Toys — keeping your animal entertained can prevent them from chewing on furniture and other belongings
- Beds and crates — a safe space to go to while calm or sleeping
- Accessories — think: collars, tags, and leashes; items that are necessary to walk dogs outside
How you can experience this:
For a $10 fee, you can select one of the SPCA’s adoptable pups to take out for a day about town for 1-4 hours.
When you pick up your dog, you get everything you need for the perfect doggie date:
- Information about the dog
- Suggestions for what to do
- Harness and martingale collar
- Water bowl
Things to know if you go:
- Experience: Doggie date at the SPCA Florida Adoption Center
- Price: $10
- Website: https://www.spcaflorida.org/doggiedate
- Address: 5850 S. Brannen Rd.
- Hours: Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.;Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Specific doggie date pickup and dropoff times can be found here.
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