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Doggie's Day Out

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They say that when a woman first gets a puppy, it's a sure sign that her biological clock has begun to tick and that men should run for the hills. While this may be true, we here at Broke Girl's Guide still support dog ownership -- it's good for your mental health, it's good for the little pup you obviously rescued rather than bought, and, if we're being honest, it's far less of a sign that you're going to die alone than cat ownership is. For those of you who've recently found yourself mothering an adorable little pup with lifestyle demands similar to your own, we've put together the following "I'm not a regular (dog) mom, I'm a cool (dog) mom" itinerary to help keep your social calendar alive, your wallet full, and your new best friend happy and healthy:

While you may not be a morning person, your pup sure is. Start your day early with a walk around Runyon Canyon -- the hike will be good for your bod, good for your pup's social life, and good for wearing out the little guy (or gal) early in the day. It's off-leash if you're into that -- just be wary of snakes and other critters that trump your pooch in the food chain. If the gym is more of your dog's thing, give the Zoom Room a try -- get your dog trained and ready to be discovered (move over, Uggie)!

After, there will be no need to skip brunch just because you have a new charge. Pick up some all-natural dog food (we recommend Krisers, Tailwaggers, and Got Pet Food) and take your canine pal to brunch with your gal pals. As of February, LA County allows restaurants to decide if dogs are allowed on their patios (they were previously banned). The list of pet-friendly eateries goes on and on, but we're partial to Kitchen 24, Lulu's, and King's Road Cafe in and around WeHo, The Kitchen in Silver Lake, and 3 Square Cafe and Venice Beach Wines in Venice. These restaurants don't merely allow your dog to hang out, but rather make him or her feel welcome with a doggy water bowl and the occasional leftover bite.

Once you and Fido have had your fill, it'll be time for some shopping. Let your little barker help you browse the sale racks at Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and/or Bloomingdales, as all three are friendly to leashed dogs. However, don't get too caught up in your own selfish purchases -- now that you have a dependent, remember that life can no longer be all about you. Splurge on a doggy dress and, OK, a toy, too (what's the point of having a puppy if you can't spoil him or her??) at Bark N Bitches, D.O.G. or To Wag For. We're also all about the dog apparel at Target -- why spend more when your four-legged fashionista is only going to wear something for one season (and chew holes in it) anyway?

Little Woofy will probably start to get antsy if your shopping trip runs too long, so be sure to cut out to the dog park before he or she gets frisky all over the sale racks. The parks in Redondo Beach, Brentwood, Culver City, Laurel Canyon, and Silver Lake are all great, though the one in WeHo leaves a bit to be desired in terms of size and the muddiness factor. If your dog is more of a beach bum, there are a few spots along the coast where you won't risk getting ticketed: Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu, Rosie's Dog Beach in Long Beach (the only official off-leash dog beach), and Huntington Dog Beach. Wherever you end up, we hope that all you broke girls out there take advantage of the best fringe benefit of dog ownership: single dudes who own dogs. They run rampant at dog parks, and they're uber-datable given they've already demonstrated that they will be excellent fathers to your as-of-yet-unborn children.

After rolling around in the dirt all afternoon, Rufus may be in need of a little bath. Save some cash on the groomer (Bark Williams can be a birthday treat, along with a decadent Three Dog Bakery cake) and bathe him or her on your own using the PetHead shampoo you snagged at a discount online. Make it a full, at-home spa experience by giving your broke pet a "paw-dicure" (yes, we went there) using Pet Nail Polish and a lot of patience.

Once you're both gussied up and ready for a night out on the town, it'll be time to grab the drink you deserve for walking around with biodegradable bags of poo all day. Luckily, there are several bars around town that accept our four-legged friends. For instance, Fat Dog allows pups on their patio until 7 p.m., so the two of you can hit up happy hour with gusto. Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, also pet-friendly, has vegan food and board games so that you can add checkers to the list of tricks you need to teach Fido, and you won't have to worry about freaking him out by eating his fellow four-legged creatures. If you're headed downtown, Spring St. loves dogs and has a happy hour from 5-8 p.m. If you're particular to the westside, head instead to Wurstkuche in Venice for a beer and a 'dog with your dog.

We get that you might have a "life" outside of your little one, and that you can't always dedicate the entire day to ensuring his happiness. For busy broke girls, we recommend the PetSmart on La Cienega as a solid one-stop-shop. Not only do they have day camp, boarding, a pet hospital, grooming, and mega sales almost every week, but their staff genuinely loves dogs and will have the tail on yours wagging non-stop from drop-off to pick-up.

One final note before we let you get back to pampering your pooch -- September 1st is the next Bark in the Park at Dodger Stadium. It may be one of the most intense experience of your life (puppies, puppies everywhere!), but it'll be a day that you and your doggie will never forget. Or, at least, he'll remember for a minute before his own tail distracts him. Anyway, making him into a (non-edible) Dodger dog is the least you can do for the fluffy little love of your life, no?