1. GO FOR A WALK: The Bend is full of gorgeous walking trails from downtown all the way to Potato Creek State Park! I consulted with an expert to discover which trails are a favorite among South Bend dogs. According to the founder and organizer of the South Bend Dog Walking Meetup Group, the best walking trails are Bendix Woods County ParkPinhook Park Riverwalk, Veterans Memorial Park, Rum Village ParkUniversity of Notre DameSt. Patrick's ParkPotato Creek State Park, and, my dog Dingo’s personal favorite, the East Bank Trail in downtown South Bend.
  2. PARTY AT THE DOG PARK: The Bend has eight designated off-leash areas for your pooch to let his/her hair down and frolic with friends. A few of them even have small-dog only sections! Make sure to check out South Bend’s very first dog park - Niles Ave. Dog Park, a popular play spot all year round, as well as Prickett Park in Mishawaka!
  3. PAINT YOUR PET: Unfortunately your dog can’t actually attend this event, but you will bring home a masterpiece he/she is sure to cherish. Gallery 2910 is hosting four “Paint Your Pet” parties this fall, the first on October 28 from 6:00 - 8:00pm. After you purchase your ticket and submit your pet’s photo, the Gallery will create a template which you will paint! Check out their Facebook page for dates and tickets, which are only $25.
  4. IN-STORE PARTIES: PetSmart locations throughout the area are hosting Halloween events this month. Check out PetSmart’s Halloween & Fall Events! On October 21 & 28, stop in your local store for their Halloween Spooktacular party from 12:00-3:00pm both dates. They will be having pet costume contests, a photo op, giveaway safety lights for collars, and plenty of coupons!
  5. "HOWLOWEEN PAWTY" HOSTED BY PET REFUGE: Dress up your pooch and bring her to Pet Refuge on Burnett Drive for their Strut Your Mutt & Howloween Pawty on October 28 from 11:00am - 3:00pm. There will be plenty of local vendors, food, games, & more!
  6. TRUNK OR TREAT: The Humane Society of St. Joseph County is hosting a “Heroes & Villians” Halloween event for pets and people! Dress up your dog and stop by the Humane Society in Mishawaka on October 27 from 6:00 – 8:00pm to check out the decorated trunks and load up on candy and treats!
  7. VOLUNTEER: October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! We have so many incredible shelters and rescues here in The Bend who are always in need of help! Volunteering your time, donating, and even adopting a dog if you can make a huge difference. There are adoption events happening every weekend all fall long! Call your nearest shelter to see what you can do! We will be sharing a list of local shelters and events soon!

After all these parties, events, walks, and fun, you and your dog are probably going to be hungry. Check out some dog-friendly restaurants in The Bend where you and your four-legged friend can chow down.