St. Pete is Going To The Dogs

by Erin Cody Published August 13, 2019

For years, St. Pete has been recognized by real estate sites like Zumper, resources like Bring Fido, and major corporations like Mars, as one of the most pet-friendly cities in the country. Of course, we locals already knew that! To lock in this status, the city has recently launched its St. Pete PAWS program, seeking to ensure that the ‘burg is a place where our fuzzy friends are healthy, happy, and enthusiastically welcomed.

There are a great many venues around town where you can spend your free time with man’s best friend. Parks and beaches, as well as numerous bars and restaurants, offer stellar service to both humans and their furry companions. The following are just a few, but make sure to keep an eye on the Mayor’s Pet-Friendly Business Program that’s in the works for even more great options that are certifiably suited for Rocky, Spot, and Bingo.

Dog Bar, 2300 Central Ave. Photo by Brooke DeMartino.

What Makes a Venue Pet-Friendly?
What makes a bar or restaurant particularly welcoming to pups and their owners? Ashley Pearl, owner and founder of local dog walking and pet sitting business, Paws & Relax, believes, “Having multiple water bowls with fresh water is important. If it’s an outdoor area, as pups are generally not allowed indoors due to health codes, there should be a shaded section where dogs (and humans) can get away from the sun. And let’s not forget the most important thing – waste bags. Although pet owners should bring their own bags to pick up after their animals, some might forget. A venue can have some waste bag dispensers at the entrance to ensure that cleanup goes smoothly.”

The Chattaway, 358 22nd Ave S. Photo by Brooke DeMartino.

One of Pearl’s favorites is Three Birds Tavern which meets all the above criteria and more. “The staff always provides fresh water and, from time to time, treats for the pups. They don’t just allow dogs, they love them! Plus their food is always great and the service is super-friendly.”

A few others folks mentioned as great options to enjoy with their canine companions were The Queenshead, The Chattaway, Urban Brew & BBQ, and Bella Brava. Of course, no list of venues for doggy lovers would be complete without the Dog Bar! They not only offer all the perks you would expect, but also have an optional separate section for smaller dogs to enjoy, and special events like themed parties, adoption days, and a dance party every Friday night.

Dog Bar, 2300 Central Ave. Photo by Brooke DeMartino.

No Pupper? No Problem!
Want to get in on the action, but don’t have a pup of your own? Local shelter, Friends of Strays, has the perfect option for you. Their Doggy Day Out program allows you to take a dog at the shelter on a field trip! It’s a wonderful way to get to know an awesome animal and to give them a break from the shelter. Outings can be short as an hour or last a full day, and options can include a trip to the beach, a nice long walk, playing and relaxing at home, or perhaps a visit to one of the venues listed above! Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to join in the fun. No training or orientation is necessary, and the staff will provide everything you’ll need for your adventure. Stop by the shelter or check online for more details and to sign up.

I hope you’ll enjoy these wonderful pet-friendly spots this summer – whether or not you have your own fuzz ball at home. Stay cool, have fun, and enjoy all the perks of this awesome city we call home!


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