Resolve to Spend More Time With Your Dog in 2019!

Frolick Dogs offers activities and classes for dogs of all ages, even puppies. (Photo: Karen Johnson)

New Year, More Woofs!

By Karen Johnson, PawsGo

Dogs keep us happy and healthy, so why not make a 2019 resolution that’s good for you and your dog? Spend more quality time together!

It’s so easy to do that in this area, with our numerous dog-friendly shops and restaurants, wineries and breweries, and historic areas made for exploring! And Alexandria is home to some leading dog training facilities and rescue organizations.

For many people, a top New Year’s Resolution is to get more exercise, and what better way than with your dog? A goal of 10,000 steps a day is easy to achieve in historic Old Town by starting near the King Street Metro station and working your way to the Potomac River and back. That’s an interesting and historic 10,000 steps.

Only a 30-minute drive from Alexandria, Scott’s Run Nature Preserve feels like it’s a world away. (Photo: Karen Johnson)

If nature is more your thing, Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in Great Falls is just a 30-minute drive from Alexandria, but you’ll feel as though you are hours away from home and your dog will love romping through the forest! (Note: Dogs must be leashed.)

Trying new things tops many lists. If it’s on yours, consider Virginia’s many dog- friendly wineries and breweries. They’re great fun, even in cold weather. In 2018, the Virginia Legislature passed a bill allowing wineries and breweries the option of allow dogs in their tasting rooms. Some of our favorites are 8 Chains North, Maggie Malick Wine Caves, Barrel Oak, Cobbler Mountain and Aspen Dale. But keep in mind that being dog friendly doesn’t always mean dogs can come into the tasting room, so email or call ahead. is a good place to start.

Mustang Sally Brewery in Chantilly and Black Walnut Brewery in Leesburg both let dogs in their tasting rooms. Closer to home is New District Brewing, adjacent to the Shirlington Dog Park. New District has a dog club, and for a $15 membership fee you can join your dog in their tasting room on Wednesdays and Sundays. And $5 of the membership fee goes to toward the Shirlington Dog Park! Paws UP for that!

8 Chains North in Waterford, VA welcomes dogs in its tasting room. (Photo: Karen Johnson)

Do you want your dog to pick up a new skill? Wholistic Hounds Academy and Frolick Dogs, both in Alexandria, offer classes and courses ranging from agility to CPR. If you both want to make new friends this year, check the various Meet-Ups on Frolick Dogs’ events page. They can provide a warm place to play during freezing February weather.

Giving back and engaging in the community are meaningful resolutions. Alexandria-based animal rescues always need assistance. The Pet Rescue Alliance, for example, needs both fosters and volunteers to walk their dogs. It’s something you and your dog can do together!

Regardless of when you start working on your resolutions for 2019, achieve them with your BFF (Best Furry Friend) and you’ll both be happier and healthier!

Karen Johnson is the founder of PawsGo the Alexandria-based online community for people and their dogs, promoting an active lifestyle for both! PawsGo merchandise can be found online and locally at From Head to Tail Grooming and Spa, Bon Vivant Café and Farm Market, and Reunions.

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