How Dog Friendly is Louisville, Really?

Emily Taylor
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There is no doubt about it that Louisville is a city that is built for dogs.

There are dozens and dozens of beautiful parks throughout the city that are perfect for you and your four-legged friend to run, play or just lay in the grass together. The push from the city to make it more walking friendly also creates perfect pup paths throughout downtown and especially by the river.

If you are thinking of packing up, making Louisville your home and of course bringing your pup along, this city is ready with open arms. Here are a few things that will help you both settle into your new territory.

Breed friendly

Pit bulls to this day are by far the most common breeds at animal shelters waiting to be adopted. Many people have a misconception that pit bulls are mean and fighting dogs, when that is not the case. Many dog loving folks in Louisville agree. Especially the lovely people over at Saving Sunny, a foundation in the city that keeps pit bulls out of shelters through rescuing and fostering. They also help provide resources for those who feel like they need to surrender a pit bull and find ways to help them stay with their lovable pup. As a city though, many locals are very welcoming of pit bulls and other breeds that are labeled restricted.

Housing is a piece of cake

There are tons of resources for dog friendly houses and apartments in Louisville. Contacting local shelters and even Saving Sunny is a great way to chat with folks who know specific neighborhoods and what places are open to any kind of breed. Nearly every neighborhood in Louisville is within a 10 minute drive of a park or green space where you can let Fido run around. But keep them on a leash at most places.

The dog parks are where it’s at

The first things you need to know after a long week of moving are where to get a good meal for yourself and where to have some one-on-one time with your pup. Morton Dog Park is completely free and welcoming to any kind of dog. It’s a great space in the Highlands neighborhood to let your pup run around in a fenced-in area and meet new friends. Maybe you will too! Just know that it’s free, but it’s up to the dog park users to take care of it. Folks who bring their pups there have an understanding to clean up after yourself, bring water, donate toys that can stay at the park and keep the space up and running.

There are other dog parks that require shots and a sign up where you can go to a handful of fenced-in puppy playground areas like Tom Sawyer, Cherokee Park and so many others.

The people parks are awesome too

Not only are the dog parks in Louisville all over, the parks for everyone are the perfect destination for dog owners. Cherokee Park, in addition to making you feel like you are in the woods while still in a city, has a “dog hill” which is free and very popular. Make sure and check out the trails that are dog friendly too. Some of the best to check out are: Bernheim Forest, Iroquois Park, Cherokee and Seneca parks.

Dine out with your best friend

Nachbar is a great bar with imports, whiskey and of course a killer patio that is fenced-in. They also allow dogs inside during the winter months. Don’t shy away from bringing your dog for a coffee shop trip too. There are plenty of coffee shops throughout downtown and the highlands that allow dogs to enjoy the patio. Heine Brothers’ Coffee, a Louisville favorite, will give treats to your pup through the drive through. Dairy Kastle, complete with burgers and milkshakes for you, has a pup sundae for dogs on the menu.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on November 17, 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Emily Taylor

Emily is a freelancer writer based in the Midwest.
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