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. 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.

3. Follow the Instagram-famous dogs of Boston.

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.


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.