How Dog Friendly is Salt Lake City, Really?

Emily Long
Last Updated on April 28, 2024
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Salt Lake City may not rank on any list of pet-friendly places to live, but thanks to miles of hiking trails and a robust “social” scene, being a dog here is a pretty sweet gig. Humans agree that SLC has plenty of opportunities for their dogs to get out, get pampered, and enjoy all that the mountains have to offer.

Here are a few perks of dog life in the Beehive State capital.

Parks and trails

City ordinances prohibit dogs, even in cars, in several of the watershed canyons in the Wasatch Mountains around Salt Lake. This may be limiting if you can’t stand the thought of leaving your pup at home while you hike, but there are a number of parks and trails in and around town where your dog is free to explore.

Millcreek Canyon is a popular spot for dog-friendly hiking, and dogs are allowed to be off-leash on odd days of the month. The trails can be quite crowded—especially the aptly-named Dog Lake—so it’s best if your pup is well-socialized and responsive to voice commands. This is also prime rattlesnake country, so keep an eye out on lower elevation trails. There’s a small per-car fee for Millcreek access.

Other great hiking options on the Wasatch Front include Neff’s Canyon, Bonneville Shoreline Trail, the tough-but-scenic Mt. Olympus trail, and Guardsman Pass (if accessed from Park City). Memory Grove Park in City Creek Canyon, Tanner Park, and Lindsay Gardens have off-leash areas, and Liberty Park is a great place to walk or run with your dog (on-leash) while you people-watch.

Dog-friendly patios

Though animals generally aren’t allowed inside SLC food establishments, outdoor patios are prime real estate. Visit Wasatch Brew Pub in Sugarhouse for local beer with your pup, and hit Kimi’s Chop & Oyster House across the street for plenty of space, shade, and seafood. Campfire Lounge, also in Sugarhouse, has a dog-friendly patio with firepits and hosts an annual Pooch Patio Party to benefit the Community Animal Welfare Society (CAWS).

In the Liberty Park/9th and 9th area, check out Publik Kitchen for coffee and brunch. Brass Smoothies right around the corner has treats for dogs of human customers. Order Southern comfort food at Pig & A Jelly Jar—your dog can sit with you on their shaded patio.

Pet-centric events

Utah is home to Best Friends Animal Society, a national rescue and advocacy organization. Best Friends puts on the annual Strut Your Mutt walk to raise money for animal welfare and also hosts super adoption events throughout the year. Other shelters and foster groups like CAWS are active in the community, all working toward the goal of making Utah a no-kill state. These events are an opportunity to meet other dogs and owners and support animal welfare. Plus, walking your dog is a great way to get to know your neighbors.

Doggie daycare

Options abound for daycare, pet camp, and dog walking in Salt Lake. Dog owners report that staff at Camp Bow Wow and DogTown will greet your pets before they greet you! Other recommended options are DogMode, Utah Dog Park, Diggity Dog Resort, and Camp Barkalot.

Salt Lake City does present a few challenges to pet owners—for example, it can be difficult to find a dog-friendly rental, especially one without breed and size restrictions—but all in all dogs will live a happy, comfortable life here.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 30, 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Emily Long

Emily is a writer and editor based in Salt Lake City, UT.
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