PITTSBURGH - Dog lovers across the area came together June 23 for the Summer Doggie Party at Bakery Square.
Dozens of pups and their owners had the opportunity to try organic treats, socialize, cool off in doggie kiddie pools, and learn how to help different animal rescue organizations.
"It's a great way for people in this city to bring their pups for something fun and constructive to do with their families," Revive Marketing Group owner Eileen French said.
Some dog owners enjoyed the different activities and features for their furry companions. Children's kiddie pools filled with cold water and dog toys were used to help the pups cool off in the sun.
"I think for the dogs to be able to lie down in the water is a good way for them to cool off quickly, especially in Pittsburgh when it can often be hot," Steel City Greyhound volunteer Megan Olson Hunt said.
This was the second year Bakery Square transformed into BARKery Square.
"The owners [of Bakery Square] are dog lovers, and they want to make sure everyone knows that this is a dog and pet friendly property," French explained.
Local pet vendors brought different foods, treats, toys and various pet items for dog owners to purchase at BARKery Square.
"We always make sure that we reach out to the local people that are involved in the pet community as well as the community as a whole," Revive Marketing Group owner Jack Bellas said.
Some vendors brought their own pups to the event. Lil' Buddha's Homemade Pet Treats owner Tim Schmitt had his beagle by his side at the treat table.
"It's a good promotion for business, and it's fun for me and Buddha," Schmitt said.
Many of the treats available were healthy alternatives to store-brand options. Lil' Buddha's Homemade Pet Treats are made of naturally grown items such as kelp and organic flours.
"They're made up of ingredients that I think are best for dogs," Schmitt said. "It's not junk food."
Some BARKery Square participants were grateful for the healthier options.
"Dogs can get cancer and things like that too, so you shouldn't feed them of quality that you wouldn't want to eat," Olson Hunt said.
The Summer Doggie Party also helped raise money for the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.
"I got little Buddha at the Humane Society," Schmitt said. "They do a lot for dogs and other animals; I mean that's where I went to get a dog."
Throughout the event, animal lovers had the opportunity to make donations to the cause.
"There was a $5 donation for craft beers at the bar that goes directly to the Humane Society, as well as tips, and some vendors do choose to give back," French said.
Volunteers stressed the importance of community involvement at BARKery Square.
"People need to come down to things like this because there are boutiques and shelters that need support to remain functioning," Olson Hunt said.