How Dog-Friendly Is Albuquerque, Really?

If you’re a pet owner planning a move, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind: How is your dog going to cope with the stress of moving? Will Fido hang with you in the moving truck or will you have to find some sort of dog-friendly transportation? And, more importantly, is the new city you’re moving to a good place for dogs and their owners?

If you’re Albuquerque, New Mexico-bound, the answer is a resounding yes. This casual and laid-back city is a great spot for canines and their companions. Here are three reasons why.

Dog-friendly restaurants and bars

As a rule, life in Albuquerque is pretty low-key and informal. Because of that, it’s no big deal to bring your dog along with you to many places in the city.

In plenty of establishments in Albuquerque, it’s totally fine to bring along a four-legged friend as you enjoy a meal, a pint (or both!). Since we have moderate temperatures for most of the year, plus over 270 days of sunshine, lots of spots have patios that are perfect for both you and your pup. Some of our fave drinking holes include Anodyne (a cavernous bar where dogs are known to lounge under the many pool tables), Bosque Brewing (great beer, cool patio) and Gecko’s (where the outdoor seating always has a dog or two in attendance).

For restaurants, El Patio De Albuquerque (a classic New Mexican spot where you and your dog can enjoy live music on the patio on Fridays and Saturdays), Kelly’s Brew Pub, and Flying Star (a local chain with locations all over the city) are great bets.

Dog parks

Albuquerque has fourteen dog parks—that’s a lot for a city of just over 500,000 people! Located all over the city, the dog parks are maintained by the City of Albuquerque. Some offer off-leash areas and some do not.

Popular parks for you and your dog to socialize include the downtown-area Rio Grande Triangle Park, the west side’s Ouray Dog Park (comfortably covered in sniff-friendly wood chips) and Canine Skyline Dog Park in the foothills, which has an absolutely killer view of the city.

Hiking and outdoor spaces

Albuquerque is a veritable playland for outdoor enthusiasts—and their dogs. Not only does the city itself maintain over 400 miles of trails and bike paths, but the close proximity to the Sandia Mountains means adventurers and their dogs have an almost endless choice of wilderness to explore. And don’t forget that the Santa Fe and Taos areas—chock full of their own trails—are within easy driving distance. If you’re a hiker, you and your dog will have plenty of trails to tackle.

If you’re not interested in leaving ABQ’s city limits, you and Fido can roam at the Paseo Del Bosque wilderness area, which runs north-south through Albuquerque along the Rio Grande river. There are often off-leash dogs there, although the rules technically specify that leashes are required. The volcano area at Petroglyph National Monument, on the west side, is also a terrific place to walk your dog.

The east side of town, close to the foothills of the Sandias, has many other options for dog-walking, plus gorgeous views of the valley. And don’t think your dog has to be a big breed to enjoy strolling the mountain trails in this section of the city—we’ve seen plenty of Chihuahuas, dachshunds, and other small breeds breathing the desert air with their owners.

Carrie Murphy