Moving to Melbourne? What a treat! It will be different, for sure, but in lots of good and interesting ways. And, if you’re moving from the US, you won’t even have to learn a new language – although Aussie-speak may sound a bit foreign at first. You’ll be making friends in no time, especially if you join some dog walking groups. That way, Rover can make new canine friends, too.
Melbourne is a dog-forward kind of city
No doubt you’ve already boned up on your new home, but if not, you should know that Melbourne is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria (that British influence, you know), located in the southwest part of the country. Think lots of luscious coastline and wine country, too. Melbourne is home to more than 4.6 million people, making it the second-largest city in Australia, but not by much. Lots of new friends to be had in Melbourne!
Lots of social dog walking groups
One of the easiest ways to find like-minded folk almost anywhere is to check out Meetup online. The site for Melbourne lists more than two dozen social groups, most of them doggie-oriented, or at least dog-friendly.
For example, wouldn’t you love to join a group that calls themselves Barking Mad? Their goal is “bringing dogs and their owners together to foster an environment for people to meet and for dogs to play.” They do, however, admit to a fondness for coffee and brunch. (Melbourne is riddled with dog-friendly pubs and eateries. Read on to learn more about that.)
If you and Rover want more than just a walk, consider joining Doggy Tea Breaks, a group formed for “just the most awesome social activities for you and you dog buddy!”
Along that same line, your pup would undoubtedly enjoy meeting new four-legged friends through canine play groups. And, of course, doggie moms and dads want to socialize, too, so you might want to consider the Drinks and Dogs group, “for those who fancy a good pint and happen to have a pup.”
Exploring on your own with Rover
Joining groups is great, but naturally you and your intrepid pooch will want to wander off on your own, too, to further explore all that Melbourne has to offer. It’s a big city, but you won’t feel so overwhelmed if you start with this handy online reference, the “Comprehensive Guide to Melbourne’s Dog-Friendly Destinations.” It is a lengthy compendium of cafés, bars, pubs, markets, and events “where you can find dogs, pat dogs, play with dogs, pose with dogs, buy dog accessories and generally be a die-hard dog lover with other like-minded souls.”
Two of our favorite examples:
- Dog House, in Collingwood
This is a dedicated dog café – that is, it’s for dogs but you’re welcome, too. Amazing menu of snacks and dogachinos, including chicken-flavored pup-corn and turkey muffins. But here’s the part you won’t believe: Dog House is also a venue for pet birthday parties and weddings. We’re not making that up.
- The Dog Café, in Boronia
Another establishment dedicated to dogs, this one features not only canine-appropriate eats but a full menu of fun, including multiple swimming pool, a sand box, and – once again, we are not making this up – a movie theatre complete with doggie beanbag chairs. 101 Dalmatians, anyone?
Melbourne is home to dozens of the other kind of dog-friendly cafés, too, the kind that aim to please people but welcome canine companions. And if it’s beaches or parks that ruffle your fur, you won’t be disappointed. Melbourne is a happening place. Nonetheless, once you and Rover are well and truly settled into your Melbourne routine, you’ll undoubtedly want to go farther afield, to see the sights elsewhere in Australia. Whatever your interest, there’s a place for that in this vast country, so you can plan a lifetime of amazing (and dog-friendly) vacations.
Wherever you are, after a tough day of walking, playing, and hoisting a few cold ones, there is one more thing you can do to make your pup’s day complete. Give him a massage. Think of it as a slightly more formalized version of the every-popular belly rub – except that you can massage the rest of his body as well. Who knows? Maybe someone will come ’round to give you a soothing foot massage, too.