Fitness trackers are a big thing these days. We've all heard of Fitbit and Jawbone, but did you know you can get one for dogs? It's called PitPat. Yep, literally everyone and their dog can track their activity levels now!
Harley's been testing one out over the last few weeks! The black and orange monitor is attached to the collar with a piece of Velcro, so he barely feels it. I downloaded the app, and all I have to do is push the button on his collar to sync it with my phone! You enter your dogs breed, age and weight and it calculates how much daily activity they should be getting. I'm not sure exactly how it works but I reckon it's fairly accurate.
Apparently Harley should be getting 80 minutes every day! I always thought he got plenty exercise running around my mum's big garden, but it turns out some days he's only on the go for 5 minutes! Suddenly I feel guilty about all the times I thought a quick 20 minutes round the block was enough - he'd been running round the garden "all day". Oops! It's definitely made me more conscious of how much exercise Harley needs so we've been out exploring new places for walks, and he's joined me on a couple of day trips to Aberdeen. He's happy as larry exploring the city and sniffing out the doggy ice cream, so I thought I'd share some of our favourite dog friendly spots in Aberdeen.
The Long Dog Café
The obvious place to start, and an ideal lunch spot in the West End. This small dog friendly café is home to two lovely sausage dogs - Gavin & Galinda! - and the best freak shakes in town. (Don't worry, that picture's just a hot chocolate!) All dogs are welcome as long as they're accompanied by a "well behaved owner". The Long Dog Cafe offers Billy + Margot iced treats (ice cream for dogs) which Harley loves, and the human food is just as good!
66 Claremont Street, West End
The Long Dog Boutique
The sister site to the Long Dog Café, the Boutique is just recently opened and is a dog lover's dream. I dropped by with Harley the other week and browsed the shelves, while he made pals with the other four legged shoppers! You'll find leads and collars, toys and treats, and everything in between - there's even doggy birthday cakes and Pawsecco!. I'll be back to do my Christmas shopping soon!
86 Great Western Road, West End
Harley's never been here before, so here's a pic of me with my pal Beau! It's a well known fact that Brewdog are dog friendly (the clue is in the name) and I really should make a point of taking Harley along. You can enjoy a few beers, some tasty food (I recommend the crack fries!) or my personal favourite, a Lonewolf G&T. If they're lucky, your pet might score a glass full of biscuits like Beau!
Castlegate, 5-9 Union Street, City Centre
You could argue this one isn't technically dog friendly. Waggy tails can't sit inside but they are welcome in the outside seating area where they can tuck into Cognito's very own doggy ice cream! Don't worry, the terrace is sheltered and there are patio heaters and blankets for chillier days. Ideal for coffee, cake and catch ups, and open til 9pm.
39 St Swithin Street, West End
Well you can't really be vegan and not dog friendly can you? Bonobo is a small but perfectly formed 100% vegan, workers cooperative. I highly recommend the satay wrap! On sunnier days you can relax in the gorgeous garden terrace upstairs.
73-75 Skene Street, Rosemount
I've been visiting Foodstory for a long time now, but I've only just recently learned that they're dog friendly. We popped in for a coffee with Laura on Sunday and he was made super welcome. If there's one thing Harley loves, it's a window seat! The more people he can watch the better, and if they scratch his ears on the way in the door? Even better!
13-15 Thistle Street, West End
The Craftsman Company
New on the scene, is the aesthetically perfect Craftsman Company. Water is readily available for dogs and Harley made himself at home and lapped up 3 bowls full! He got lots of attention in here. FYI dogs make the perfect wing man if you need an excuse to strike up a conversation! The coffee and soup is worth the visit, but I'll be checking out the gin list next time.
2 Guild Street, City Centre
Aberdeenshire has more than it's fair share of beaches, perfect for a stroll with your pup. Visit the main beach esplanade in Aberdeen and carry on down to Fittie (Footdee) to explore the picturesque fishing village. Balmedie and Stonehaven beaches are worth a trip out of the city, and Cruden Bay is popular too. The pictures above were snapped at Peterhead's Lido beach.
You are spoiled for choice with parks in Aberdeen! Personal favourites include Hazlehead Park with it's maze, Duthie Park and the winter gardens, and colourful Seaton Park, where you can walk along the river. We also love a visit to Mintlaw's Aden Park!
Our favourite hills to climb with Harley are Clachnaben and Scolty Hill near Banchory and of course, beautiful Bennachie! Harley's got a few more grey hairs these days and anything higher than these would probably be well over his recommended 80 minutes. We stick to the smaller hills when he's in tow, but younger pups could possibly tackle a munro or two - Lochnagar and Mount Keen are closest!
Where are your favourite dog friendly spots in Aberdeen and shire?
Would you ever use an activity monitor for your dog?!
*I received a Pitpat activity monitor in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and 100% genuine.