25 Dog Affordable Date Ideas

Dates can be pricey. Why not some affordable date ideas with your dog and partner? Are you scratching your head? Well, hold on just a second. Have you recently met someone special? Maybe you want to know if that person you met online is worth your time or if you should just swipe left. Or perhaps you’re just looking for a way to breathe new life into your current relationship. There’s one amazing way that will always do the trick and provide you with great information as well. It’s a dog friendly date. Today let’s dig in and discover 25 dog affordable date ideas you and your partner will love.

dog parents enjoy a fun date after learning about affordable date ideas with their dog
disclaimer note
Budget tip:
It may not readily occur to you that taking your dog on your date is a good idea, but it’s actually a great idea! The information your dog can provide is invaluable. You need only to pay attention to what your dog is telling you. Additionally, how your date treats your dog is very telling. Plus, your dog can be a great buffer if neither you nor your date are great conversationalists. 

Focusing on your dog provides a great way to get to know someone or re-kindle a flame. While the options of dates you can take with your dog and partner can vary, the cost can be very minimal or even free. It may be affordable date but it'll certainly be a fun date and that’s a paws-up dog tip!

What are the benefits of a dog friendly date?

As you’ve always heard your dog can size up a person more accurately than anyone else. Trust your dog’s insights. However, if you simply want to rekindle your relationship or need a great date night idea, then let your furry friend show you the path to excitement. Now that I’ve got your attention, today let’s explore some affordable date ideas for your partner and dog and I’m certain you’ll find at least one new fun date idea. 

This will be my first date. What can my dog do to help? 

A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000-100,000 times better than a human’s. Not only is a dog’s ability to smell more heightened than yours but what they smell is more focused. While you might be intrigued by a cologne or perfume, your dog will zoom in on smells like sweat, body odor, and adrenals. This information according to a study allows your dog to know if a person is lying, honest, fearful, good, or bad. I’d say that’s terrific information to know about a first date!

NOTE: If you have never met your date before, then always meet in a public area and keep your safety first. Remember to always tell a friend or family member where you will be and the time you expect to return. Don’t forget your phone either. Turn it on and leave it on vibrate or mute if you want. Location pings can be important.

Look for the cues your dog gives you. 

Your dog will react and tell you how he or she feels about your date. 

Negative cues might be:

  • Aggressive barking 
  • Hairs and ears up with growling
  • Aggressive lunging
  • Blocks you from your date 
  • Hiding as if trying to get away 
  • Shaking

All these cues might be a sign that the person may not be exactly who they say they are or at least your dog doesn’t care for that person.

More positive cues from your dog would be:

  • Relaxed and at ease
  • Enjoys being petted by your date

You may occasionally get a false positive if the person is a great liar or comes with a steak in hand. But overall, you will get honest information from your dog. 

Is there anything I should look for from my date with my dog?

Pay attention to how your date interacts with your dog. 

  • Is he or she patient with your dog? 
  • Does your date allow your dog to sniff or enjoy the surroundings?
  • Is your date embarrassed looking when your dog poos and you pick it up?
  • Did your date bring your dog a toy or treat? Is your dog receptive?

What kind of affordable date night ideas are great for my partner and dog? 

There are many different activities you can do with a date and your dog. However, what you choose will depend on how well you know your date. Again, always think about safety. Of course, if this is an established relationship, then it helps if you both are dog lovers. 

1. Walk with your dog

A walk can be a fun activity. It can also reveal a lot about a person. 

My dog, Henry loves any chance to go for a walk. He enjoys smelling what happened since his last pass-by. Taking a new date to the dog park for a dog walk lets you know straight away if this relationship is worth pursuing. Does your date enjoy this process? Or is your date put off by it? On the other hand, a dog walk with your current partner can be relaxing and allow you both to reconnect. 

Cost: Free

2. Go to a dog-friendly brewery, winery, or coffee shop

What could be better than unwinding at the end of a long week or day with a date at a great coffee shop? Or how about a wine tasting at a winery with your partner and dog? Often these establishments (especially wineries) are located next to great walking trails with lots of people. You can sit, talk, people watch, and enjoy your drinks, or even walk the trails and do the same. This could be a very romantic date idea. 

The cost will depend simply on what you order. Remember to hit the winery at happy hour for a great price. 

Cost: $

3. Check out an outdoor cafe

This can be a fabulous idea for a cheap date with your dog. It’s relaxing, you get to eat or even enjoy ice cream on a hot evening. Plus, you can evaluate not only how your date treats your dog, but also the wait staff. Remember to keep an eye on your dog. 

While some outdoor cafes can be pricey, you can still generally find ones that are reasonably priced and welcome dogs. Some outdoor cafes will offer happy hour prices, which are great for a cheap date idea with your dog.

Cost: $$

4. Play date with your dog

If you’re nervous about your date or simply need a different idea, this is a fun activity you and your dog will love. All you need to do is go to your local neighborhood dog park and play with your dog. You may want to play fetch, frisbee, or even a sniffing game with your dog. This is an ideal cheap date for accessing your partner with your dog. 

If your dog doesn’t like to play with toys then think about a sniffing game. Henry doesn’t like dog toys, but he loves sniffing games and really enjoys a great game of chase. 

Another great aspect of a sniffing game is that you don’t need an off-leash park. 

Cost: Free

5. Baseball game

Do you love baseball? This is a terrific idea for game night at the ballpark. You get to spend a few hours getting to know someone or cuddling up with your current honey. It can also be a great budget-friendly date idea. 

For instance, my local minor league baseball team has a grassy field behind the outfield. This area is open to people and dogs to enjoy a picnic and a game. It’s a great idea that I wish would catch on especially since the cost of sporting event tickets can be very expensive. These outfield tickets are much more reasonable and more relaxing too! 

Of course, you’ll need to clean up after your dog and make sure he or she doesn’t get too warm. Don’t forget your dog will need water and maybe a doggie treat. 

The cost will vary depending on your baseball team’s grass field tickets. Thankfully, the prices in my area are still reasonable. 

Cost: $$

6. Picnic 

Another wonderful cheap date idea with your dog is a picnic in the dog park. You can relax, get to know each other, or get caught up with your current partner. Make sure to bring dog-friendly treats for your furry friend and water too. You can enjoy yummy treats with your dog (dog and human treats) and establish a connection or reconnect with your date. 

The cost will vary depending on the food you select for your picnic.

Cost: $ 

7. Horse carriage ride with your dog

Do you love horses and leisurely tours? A horse-drawn carriage ride with your dog and partner can be a fun date. Make sure to check with the carriage owner that your dog will be welcomed. This can be a fun idea. Plus, it’s definitely a very romantic date idea that will allow you to start or rekindle a relationship. 

The cost will depend on your area.

Cost: $

8. Beach stroll

Henry would vote for anything involving adventure and animals. You will most likely encounter sea life, even if that’s a seagull. A slow stroll down a populated local beach with your dog and date can be a fun way to spend the afternoon. It can also be very memorable. You may even want to snap a few photos to mark the start of the relationship or rekindling of it.

Cost: Free 

9. Star gazing sounds spot-on 

This is a fun date night idea. My dog, Henry loves to just sit and people, dog, critter, or whatever watch. If you and your date want to look at the stars, this can be a great opportunity to take your dog, a blanket, water, and a few snacks to the local dog park. It’s a leisurely and romantic date. A fun activity to get to know someone or re-light the flame for a current relationship. 

Cost: Free

10. Botanical garden walkabout

Outdoor gardens are often dog friendly. However, call ahead to make sure that the garden you want to visit will welcome your dog. Also, make sure you keep your dog on the path and he or she doesn’t pee or poop on special plants. Of course, make sure you remember the poop bags and stay on the main path. It can be a delightful way to spend an afternoon date.

The cost will depend on the botanical garden. Some are free and some charge a fee.

Cost: Free-$ 

11. Drive-in theater

Who doesn’t love movie night? Once again, you’ll need to verify that the theater will welcome your dog. Some will and some won’t. Of course, you will also want to pick a film that isn’t super noisy with fireworks or explosions. This should be relaxing for your dog as well. Remember you’re taking your dog to help you on your date, so you don’t want to stress out your pup. 

Cost: $

12 . Walking tour

A lot of towns have walking tours touting the local history. My town has something called the “Ghost Walk”. It takes people back in time to the mining days when this area was founded. However, dogs are always welcome on the tour. Although, they may need to stay outside of any historic homes included on the tour. This can be a super fun date and one your dog would love as well. Any ghosts you might see are always included for free too! 

The cost of the tour is generally fairly inexpensive, at least it is in my area.

Cost: $

13. Visit a dog self-wash station

Ever thought you could have a date washing your dog? Why not? It can be a super fun activity. This type of date will really tell you a lot about your date, especially if the person is new in your life. How gentle are they with your dog? Is your dog receptive to being washed by your date? 

However, if this is a date with your current partner, then make it fun. Get more involved in the process and enjoy getting the dog washing process. But always keep your dog’s safety and well-being in the front of your mind. 

This type of date doesn’t put pressure on either of you to talk too much. You can focus on your dog. 

The cost will depend on the cost of the wash station, but honestly, it shouldn’t be very much. 

Cost: $

14. Dog yoga

I know you’re thinking dog what? If you love yoga then try doing yoga with your dog and date. It’s an added challenge and one I know both you and your dog will love. It’s also something you can do with your date. Sometimes dog yoga is even offered at local dog parks. Check with your neighborhood dog park if you’d like a guided session. 

However, you can still do dog yoga in your dog park without a class. Simply take your laptop or iPad and then pull up a dog yoga video and begin, like this one from AnimalWised. 

Doing yoga with your dog and date puts no pressure on either of you to talk much, but you get to learn whether you like being active together. 

Cost: Free-$

15. Dog exercises

Are you and your date health nuts? Then why not take your partner and dog for a unique exercise date like running stairs, biking, or even paddle boarding? It can be a great cheap date idea. However, make sure everyone is up for the date, and take snacks and water for everyone, including your dog. 

The cost will depend only be the price of the snacks and gas to get to your location. Assuming you select a free park, then it’s an inexpensive option and perhaps even free. 

Cost: Free-$

16. Doggie photos, anyone? 

Love taking photos of your dog? This is a fun activity date idea where you can walk down main street or around town looking for great places to pose for goofy or even serious photos with your dog and date. Let the laughter begin! Heck, you may even take a gem of a photo, discover you have a gem in your date, and have your next Christmas card photo as well. 

Cost: Free

17. Create dog art 

Who doesn’t love a fun date idea? This is a fun activity date that is sure to have you giggling. Plus, you get a keepsake of the event. You can help your dog paint something fun in your local dog park. This short video by MaddCrafty shows how to create a beautiful piece of art while playing with your dog (no peanut butter mess involved). Who knows, you might have a “Pup-Casso” in the making, even if your date isn’t a keeper. 

The cost will depend on the paint and canvas you buy. However, you can often get these supplies on sale. 

Cost: $

18. Go on a boating adventure

Do you love the water? This could be a great activity with your date and dog. Of course, first, make sure your date and dog are not scared of the water. Also, make sure that everyone has a life jacket, that includes your dog.

You can rent a boat at most lakes or water areas. Again this is a date option where you’ll want to call ahead to make sure that your dog will be welcomed on board. 

If this is a first date, then you will want to wait until you know your partner better before being alone on the water with no exit doors. 

However, for a well-established relationship, this would be a terrific option for a dog date. My dog, Henry loves being on the water.

The cost will vary depending on the rental prices.

Cost: $$

19. Go explore a hiking trail

Does your dog love the outdoors and exploring? How about you?  Hiking seems to be in most dogs’ DNA despite their size. Henry is a born hiker. You can pack a lunch for your dog and your partner. Don’t forget water for everyone and poop bags for your furry friend too! 

If this is a first date, you may want to wait a few months or go with a group of friends.

The cost depends on where you go and if the park charges a fee. Of course, there’s also the cost of your picnic snacks.

Cost: $

Henry always approves of affordable date ideas, especially if he gets to go for a hike.
Henry always insists we must enjoy all the sniffs on any trail.
That includes watching the fish in a creek.

20. Dog training session

Does your dog love to learn new tricks or behaviors? Henry thrives on learning. The idea with this dog friendly date idea option is to schedule a private session with a trainer for your dog date. This is a terrific idea because it allows you both to experience training with the highs and lows that go with it.

After the session, decompress with ice cream for you, your date, and a special treat for your pup. Your dog will appreciate the extra attention and it’ll give you both a chance to enjoy what you’ve learned and each other. 

The cost will depend on the cost of the trainer. 

However, you can also use your laptop or iPad and pull up great online dog training videos which are free.

Cost: Free-$$

21. Make some yummy dog treats

Do you love to spend time in the kitchen with your partner? Then include your dog in this fun activity date and make some dog cookies. It’s often fun to bake and cook with a partner. Make an extra batch and donate them to the local shelter. The homeless dogs will love them and you’ll both love making them. 

Or you can swap dog treats with your dog community. The bonus is that you will save on your dog treat bill. 

The cost will depend on the ingredients you select. But it shouldn’t be much.

Cost: $

22. Go to an outdoor museum or national park

This can be a terrific option and one your dog will love! Although, always call ahead to make sure your dog will be welcomed. 

This date option allows you to reconnect with your partner while enjoying the surroundings and your dog. Don’t forget the water and poop bags! 

The cost will depend on the fee of the park or museum. 

Cost: $

23. Dog massage anyone?

Does your dog love being massaged? Henry begs for it at times. The idea with this dog date is that you both get to talk while petting and massaging your dog. Meanwhile, your dog gets a spa day massage

Have you ever noticed it’s often easier to talk with someone when you are focused on something else like massaging your dog? So, if you need to talk with your partner about not squeezing the toothpaste in the middle of the tube, this might be a great cheap date idea to have that conversation. Don’t forget to always pop some popcorn and end with a movie night together. I suspect Henry would recommend “Lady and the Tramp.” 

Of course, this is more for an established relationship.

Cost: Free

24. Make a cute DIY dog toy

Are you crafty? Share your love of crafts with your date and make a dog toy for your pup. It doesn’t need to be super involved. It can be simple like these easy DIY dog toys by Let’s Make It Academy. If you make extra dog toys, you can donate them to the shelter and brighten a homeless dog’s day. 

The idea with this date is to determine how well you can give instructions without confrontation. Make it a fun activity. 

The cost will depend on the items you select to use to make your dog toy. However, often the items can be up-cycled and therefore cost you nothing. 

Cost: Free-$

25. Build a dog feeding station

Are you always drooling over repurposed furniture? Truthfully, it’s not difficult. You can easily pick up a nightstand or shelf on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace and breathe new life into it. Maybe you even have a piece of furniture you want to repurpose? The folks at Vintage Statement provide a terrific tutorial on repurposing a dresser into a dog feeding station.

The thought behind this cheap date idea is that your dog is nearby you. Meanwhile, you and your date get to relax, talk, and build something together. You both give and take instructions. How well do you work together?

The cost of this date will depend on any supplies you need to purchase. 

This date option is best suited for a more established relationship.

Cost: Free-$

Related articles:

Summary of 25 affordable date ideas for your partner and dog

I know sometimes a date night can be intimidating but taking your dog with you provides a sense of calm. Dog friendly date ideas are a great option! Your dog also gives you great information if your date is someone new. However, if your date is with an old flame, your dog allows you both to let your guard down and enjoy each other with your dog. It’s a dog-approved fun activity and one you may want to mark on your calendar and revisit often. Your furry friend will love date night! 

An adorable husky enjoys affordable date ideas with his dog parents.

Do you take your dog on your dates? Have you ever done any of these dog friendly date ideas? 

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

5 thoughts on “25 Dog Affordable Date Ideas”

  1. I love everything about this post and these great dog date ideas! Everything you said is spot on about seeing how a potential date treats your dog and about the date being relaxed, easy and inexpensive. ,We had taken our dogs on fabulous ghost walks in Salem, MA and at Colonial Williamsburg, VA, it was so much fun. Great job Terri!

    • Awe, thank you, Cathy! Ghost walks can be a hoot and they are generally dog friendly. I bet one in Colonial Williamsburg would really be something to remember. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement! I greatly appreciate it!

  2. Great post and ideas. It is so important that your future is a dog lover or you will have problem in the future so rather catch it in the beginning.

  3. Gahhh, I love everything about this! What a great way to date or go on a date with partner. Wow. So many fun and reasonable this to do! I do love the horse and carriage ride, that would top my list! Followed closely by a walk on a beach and stargazing, yes! The cafe, brewery, etc., is a lovely idea to have one’s dog as company when meeting someone new, or just to have a relaxing time chatting over a drink or food with pup by one’s side. I really love that. And…and added bonus is not having to cut the date short to get back home for feeding/potty/medication time for the dog because s/he is with you! Each one of these is just fantastic, and I love taking one’s dog on a date to meet someone new. Dogs truly are great judges of character, not to mention a great safety back-up for new dates. Love, love,love this! Sharing!

    • Awe, thank you, Dorothy! I’m always encouraged by your kind words. It was a fun article to research and write. I hope people find it helpful. Thank you for your continued support. I really appreciate it!


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