Bend is as pet friendly as it gets. So much so that Dog Fancy Magazine named Bend the most dog-friendly city in the country! Almost half of our residents are dog owners, and it’s no wonder why, Bendites have big hearts.

When you move here, expect to see dogs everywhere you go. Many restaurants have dog bowls on their patios, and there’s even a Pet Parade in Downtown Bend every 4th of July. Rest assured your life with Rover will be pawtastic in Central Oregon. But there are some tips that will make the move easier, safer and less stressful for you and your dog.

Get Your Dog License

All dogs in Bend are required to get a license and you will have 30 days to do so.

Here is the Dog License Application form and information about where to send it. You’ll have to include a rabies certificate and the license fee. A license is $30 a year for an unaltered animal or $16 for a spayed or neutered animal.

Update Tags and Microchip

Just as you would update your address at the post office this is the time to update your dog’s tags and microchip. Your microchip service should have an online option. If not, call your vet, or whoever placed the chip, and they should be able to give you instructions.

There are tons of places to update dog tags online. Red Dingo is one of our favorites. Do this as soon as you have your new address and take it off your to do list.

Learn the Leash Laws in Bend

Whether you are going for a walk in your new neighborhood, along the Deschutes River or in the Three Sisters Wilderness, it’s important to know the leash laws in Bend. Not only do they keep people, pets and the natural habitat protected, but the first fine can cost $275.

Dogs should be on leash everywhere in the city, except for in official off leash areas. For information on forest trails there’s usually information at the trailhead, but expect that your dog should be on leash during the busy summer months.

Where are the Off Leash Dog Parks in Bend

Thanks to Bend Parks and Recreation, there are 8 off leash dog parks in the city. Here is information from their site.

  1. Big Sky (21690 Neff Rd) 5 acres, fenced and unfenced areas
  2. Discovery Park (1315 NW Discovery Park Drive) 1.6 acres, fenced
  3. Riverbend Park (799 SW Columbia St) 1.1 acres, fenced with river access and small dog area
  4. Ponderosa Park (225 SE 15th St) 2.9 acres, fenced with Small dog area
  5. Bob Wenger Memorial Off-Leash Area at Pine Nursery Park (NE Purcell Rd) 18.8 acres, fenced with seasonal splash pad  and small dog park
  6. Hollinshead Park  (1235 NE Jones Rd) 3.7 acres, unfenced
  7. Overturf Butte Reservoir (Skyliner Summit Loop) 4.6 acres, fenced.
  8. Awbrey Reservoir (NW 10th and Trenton) 5 acres, unfenced.Note: acreage is approximate

Have a small dog? There are fenced small dog areas at the Riverbend, Pine Nursery and Ponderosa Park off-leash areas. The criteria for small dogs is less than 15 inches at the shoulder and under 25 pounds.

What Are the Rules in Off Leash Dog Parks

The intent of these rules is to create a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for all park users.

  • No aggressive dogs allowed. Immediately remove your dog from the park if it is misbehaving or acting in an aggressive manner
  • Keep dogs on leash outside designated off-leash areas
  • Pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste
  • Remain in visual site and voice control of your dog at all times
  • Carry a leash for each dog in your care
  • Closely supervise young children. Children under the age of 12 may not be in the off-leash area unsupervised
  • Accept responsibility for any damage or injury caused by your dog
  • Bring no more than three dogs to the off-leash area at any time
  • Do not bring a dog in heat to a Bend park
  • Do not bring a puppy without a complete cycle of vaccinations to a Bend park
  • Display tags showing proof of current license and rabies vaccinations on all dogs
  • Comply with all other park rules
  • Please be courteous to neighbors and control excessive barking
  • Children under the age of 12 are not allowed in Bend off-leash areas unsupervised

Pet Proof Your New Home

Moving can be hectic. Everything is out of order, and it can be difficult to keep track of everything when you’re living out of boxes. Here are safety recommendations from American Humane:

  • Use childproof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets
  • Place medications, cleaners, chemicals, and laundry supplies on high shelves
  • Keep trash cans covered or inside a latched cabinet
  • Check for and block any small spaces, nooks, or holes inside cabinets or behind washer/dryer units
  • Keep foods out of reach (even if the food isn’t harmful, the wrapper could be)
  • Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent drowning or drinking of harmful cleaning chemicals
  • Place dangling wires from lamps, VCRs, televisions, stereos, and telephones out of reach
  • Put away children’s toys and games
  • Put away knick-knacks until your kitten has the coordination not to knock them over
  • Move common house plants that may be poisonous out of reach. Don’t forget hanging plants that can be jumped onto from nearby surfaces
  • Make sure all heating/air vents have covers
  • Put away all sewing and craft notions, especially thread
  • Clean all antifreeze from the floor and driveway, as one taste can be lethal to animals
  • Keep all sharp objects and tools out of reach
  • Keep laundry and shoes behind closed doors (drawstrings and buttons can cause major problems if swallowed)
  • Keep any medications, lotions, or cosmetics off accessible surfaces (like the bedside table)
  • Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing
  • Be careful that you don’t close your kitten in closets or dresser drawers
  • Look out for paws, noses, and tails when you shut doors behind you or scoot chairs.

And be sure to check boxes before you take them to the trash or recycle bin.

Make Your New Home Feel Familiar

Moving seems like the perfect time to update your furniture, but wait! New furniture means new smells and familiar scents equal comfort to your dog. Consider keeping your old furniture, dog beds, crates and dog bowls for awhile. They may seem old and gross to you, but they mean contentment for your pets, which means less stress.

Help Your Dog Adjust to Your New Environment

  1. Do go for a walk in your neighborhood. Your new neighborhood has new sights, smells and people. Frequent walks will help your dog get used to your new environment.
  2. Do try to spend a few days at home with your pet, then leave home gradually for short periods of time. This allows your dog to adjust to being alone in a new, strange environment.
  3. Don’t allow your dog outside unattended. He may jump the fence to try to return to your old home.

Stick to Your Routine

Moving can be stressful for you and your dog. One way to lessen the stress is to stick to your routines, such as walking and feeding times, the food you’re feeding and the location of your dog bowls, crates and toys. If you kept the water bowl in the kitchen in your old home, keep it in the kitchen in your new home. If you went for a walk at 7 am each day then do the same in Bend. And definitely keep your dog on the same diet. The time to change their food isn’t when they are going through a major life change.

Find a Locally Owned Pet Store

Not only is Bend known for being a dog friendly town, but it’s also known for supporting locally owned businesses. That’s probably one of the reasons you decided to move to Central Oregon! Here at Bend Pet Express we can help with you with your dog’s dietary needs, toys and anything else you might have questions about. We put together community events for your pets, have been in business for over 25 years and we’ll remember you and Fido when you walk through our doors. Stop by for a visit at our Eastside or Westside locations. Open daily from 9-6 and home delivery is available for you too,

Westside Location
133 SW Century Dr · (541) 389-4620
Eastside Location
420 NE Windy Knolls Dr · (541) 385-5298