How to be a dog lover (without a dog) in Boston

You don't have to be a dog owner to be a dog person.

A woman holds a rescue at Wag Wednesday at City Hall Plaza.
A woman holds a rescue at Wag Wednesday at City Hall Plaza. –Eva Maldonado

Do you love dogs but lack one of your own? Whether you’re a college student homesick for the family pooch, a canine aficionado with a not-so-pet-friendly landlord, or just too busy for a full-time Fido — we’ve got you covered.

Here are seven ways you can hang with dogs in Boston without having one of your own.

1. Join Dogspotting.

Dogspotting, a crowdsourced compilation of pupper pics, is an allergy-friendly way to get your fix. By joining the “Dogspotting” Facebook group, you’ll see a plethora of breeds — spotted all over the world by fellow dog enthusiasts.

2. Score a dog-friendly date with Dig.

Must love dogs? Find the one with Dig, a dating app that matches dog lovers based on a mutual appreciation of man’s best friend. The New Orleans-based service was founded by Newton-raised sisters Leigh and Casey Isaacson, who told the Globe that with their app, at least you know you’re meeting someone who is a dog person. And who knows? Maybe they’ll even have a dog who can tag along on dates.

boston dogs of Instagram
Clockwise from top left: Bear, Harper, and Knox; Moose and Brandy; Ueli; and Ernie. —All photos provided

3. Follow the Instagram-famous dogs of Boston.

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Boston boasts numerous canine celebs. Among the many social media-savvy dogs to know are Brandy and Moose (@BrandyandMoose), a mixed-breed rescue and Bernese Mountain Dog; Zach Burrus’s five-year-old Dalmatian, Ernie (@ErnieSpotted); Knox, Bear, and Harper (@KnoxandBear), a triple threat of rescues; and Berger Blanc Suisse Ueli (@UeliBoy), who may be hard to find in the snow but will definitely make an impression on your feed. 

4. Become a part-time pet owner on Rover.

Want to get paid to play with dogs? Rover matches owners to sitters and walkers. If your home is pet-friendly, you can sign up to watch a pup during the day or even board them overnight. If not, you can visit or stay with pets in their own homes while their owners are away. Rover also has a dog-walking service that allows you to pick up dog walks whenever it’s convenient.

5. Volunteer at MSPCA-Angell or the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Calling all responsible dog people (older than 16): Dedicate six months to helping animals in need by applying to volunteer at MSPCA-Angell or the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Volunteers can perform tasks that range from helping out around the shelter (feeding, cleaning, walking) to fostering pets.

6. Cuddle with a rescue at Wag Wednesday at City Hall Plaza.

You can enjoy some furry friends every Wednesday at City Hall Plaza. Pups looking for permanent homes visit from Shultz’s Guest House, a dog rescue shelter in Dedham. Initially scheduled as an eight-week program, the program is now going to run through October due to the overwhelmingly positive response, according to shelter director Deni Goldman. “[Wag Wednesdays] is bringing a lot of people to City Hall Plaza,” Goldman said, adding that the shelter receives an influx of adoption applications after each Wag Wednesday.

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Wag Wednesday takes place in City Hall Plaza from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday through October 2018.

7. Make your way to Dog Therapy.

Dog Therapy is a puppy daycare that teaches manners to young woofers, like potty training, but it also offers lessons in socialization. For a $10 fee, visitors are allowed to drop by to hang out with puppies, which will teach them how to interact with people in a safe environment. 

Visiting hours run Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dog Therapy is located at 90 Linden St. in Waltham.

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