It used to be a little scary to move to some foreign country half-way around the world. Who knew what it would be like? Now, the internet has made international relocation much more comfortable, no matter where you’re headed. You can learn online so much about your soon-to-be home. Some might say that takes away all the intrigue, but if you’re moving to Hong Kong, it will still be plenty exciting.
Making friends will be so much easier
It will be a real tail-wagger for your dog as well as you and the other humans in your family because Hong Kong is the definition of cosmopolitan and it’s pet-friendly, too. And thanks to the internet, you can start searching right now for groups of fellow dog-lovers, locals and expats from virtually everywhere. Setting up play dates for your pooch is a great way to meet new people, and you’ll already have something important in common – your furry best friends.
Since you’ll be in Hong Kong, you will want to check out meetup groups. There are a dozen groups focused on dogs, including:
- Weekend Dog Hiking – this group invites Fur Moms and Dads and their pups to join in weekend morning hikes, for exercise and social interaction. Anyone can join, even if you’re dog-free.
- Or Happy and Healthy Life for Everyone – this group is into eating, drinking, hiking, and volunteer work, all in pursuit of a happy and healthy life. They look for restaurants to sample together and love to discuss everything from career life and investment knowledge to ways of keeping fit. On the volunteer side, they note that “we should not forget our minorities in the society -- stray dogs on the street.” So they also host gatherings at the dog shelter to spend some meaningful time with pooches awaiting a furrever home of their own.
Head out on your own
Getting out and about with your dog is a great way to explore Hong Kong. You’re likely to run across other dog owners to make new friends, and as you explore you can decide which spots you like best for future doggie play dates. As Hong Kong’s Sassy magazine notes, this is “a city where we can go from concrete jungle to actual jungle in the blink of an eye.” Woof!
Looking for dog-friendly bars and restaurants? In Central Hong Kong and Sheung, Sassy suggests:
- Brunch Club, a neighborhood café with a quiet outdoor garden suitable for pups and their people.
- Stazione Novella, a neighborhood Italian Wine Bar with an all-Italian wine list. And pup parents, take note: you are encouraged to take selfie with your pooch to win a free drink for each of you Aperitivo hour (5-7pm, Monday-Saturday).
- Bocadito, in the mood for tapas? This little bar offers lighter fare and renowned cocktails for humans with dogs at their side.
In Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town, Sassy suggests:
- Locofama, where you can enjoy organic treats and fresh juices while your dog plays with the other pooches. Looking to expand your pack? Every Sunday is Puppy Adoption Day at Locofama.
- Open Door Cafe + Courtyard, another neighborhood favorite for coffee and smoothies as well as eats. Your four-legged friend can order his own doggy-chino. Keep an eye out for the restaurant’s canine-focused special events including play dates and yoga sessions
- No Milkshake No Life, located just outside exit B2 of HKU station. Who doesn’t love a great milkshake? And you can slip Fido a bit of your Classic Grilled Cheese.
Hong Kong is home to a number of dog-friendly parks, too, though your pooch is not necessarily welcome in the majority of public parts or beaches. Some play date options to check out:
- Butterfly Valley Road Pet Garden, Cheung Sha Wan
No butterflies here, but it is Kowloon’s biggest park, with dog agility equipment including rings to jump through (your dog, not you) and railings you can maneuver around together. Great exercise and training opportunities, plus dog drinking fountains, poop bag collection bin and hand-washing station.
- Central and Western District Promenade, Admiralty
Large grassy area where your canines can folic off-leash, fully fenced for safety. This park is open 24 hours and also includes clean-up facilities.
- Penfold Park, Sha Tin
This 20-acre public park is located within the Sha Tin Racecourse. In addition to plenty of grass to romp on, your pup can take a swim in the small lakes. The park is open on non-race days.
- Tung Hei Road Sitting-out Area, Shau Kei Wan
Beneath the Island Eastern Corridor expressway, this park is another spot where your dog can train on agility equipment.
There are far more places to explore with your dog. Whether you head out for a play date or just the two of you, you’ll never be bored in Hong Kong.