Need some stress relief? SPCA Florida relaunches ‘Doggie Date’ program

Doggie Date — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Rita_Kochmarjova

Need a companion to go shopping with you? How about a lunch date? If so, SPCA Florida is offering you the perfect addition through one of its programs.

The “Doggie Date” program, which allows residents to take dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages (six months old and up), has returned. This program is perfect for those who want to experience what it’s like to have a dog, those who can’t have a pet of their own or those who simply want someone to hang out with. The center is located in Lakeland, Florida, and is dedicated to improving the lives of pets in Polk County and surrounding areas.

SPCA Florida says this program gives dogs the chance to interact with different faces and spaces outside of their adoption centers, giving them a bigger chance of finding a forever home as they are exposed to potential adopters. 

Those who cannot adopt or foster an animal can still interact with a dog and plan a day with their “rented” furry friend.

SPCA Florida provides participants a sheet with ideas, including:

  • Visiting a local park
  • Walking around Lake Hollingsworth
  • Downtown Lakeland window shopping
  • Visiting Starbucks for a Puppuccino
  • Going to Benson’s Canine Cookies for a free treat
  • Netflix at your place

Each puppy comes with everything you need for your date, including specific information about the dog, a harness and martingale collar, a suggestion sheet, and a water bowl. Dogs are pre-selected by kennel staff, which can be found in the dog’s bio indicating if they are available for the program.

“This fun opportunity is perfect for those wanting to see what it’s like to have a dog, those who can’t have a pet of their own, or just want someone to hang out with,” SPCA Florida said on its website. “The Doggie Dates also allow the dogs to interact with spaces outside of the adoption center, helps relieve stress, and give them more exposure to potential adopters.”

Participants can enjoy a three- to four-hour date and drop-off times may vary. There is no fee to participate, all the organization asks for is that you provide photos and/or videos of your doggie date adventures.

Dates are only available to dogs who are over 40 pounds.

In an effort to keep everyone safe through COVID-19, face masks are recommended, and all adoptions are currently by appointment only. Dog visits are limited to three dogs per appointment.

To view available dogs for the Doggie Date Program, please visit
Like what you see? Click here for more stories about everything Florida. Florida Insider is dedicated to educating, entertaining, and informing its readers about everything in Florida. Easy to read content at the palm of your hands and covering the stories that matter.