How Dog Friendly is Baltimore, Really?

Overall, Baltimore doesn’t receive high marks as a pet-friendly city.

In a 2017 WalletHub poll on the most pet-friendly cities in the U.S., Baltimore ranked 99 out of 100, narrowly beating out Newark, New Jersey for last place. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost for you and your furry friend; there is still plenty of puppy love to be found in Charm City.

Dog advocates have jumped through some hoops to ensure the rest of us can enjoy life with our furry friends, and thanks to them, the city is getting more dog friendly by the day. With some creativity and planning, your dog is sure to have a tail-wagging good time in Baltimore.

A Dog’s Life (in an Apartment)

Many apartment buildings in Baltimore are aiming to win over renters by winning over their dogs. Dog-friendly amenities like rooftop dog runs, on-property relief areas, community washing stations, special “yappy” hours, and vending machines that dispense treats are all becoming more and more common, especially in neighborhoods downtown where there aren’t a lot of green spaces.

Next year Penny. #orioles

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Plenty of Places to Play

The number of official dog parks in Baltimore has more than doubled in recent years, giving residents plenty of options when it comes to off-leash freedom. Fido can frolic at Canton Dog Park, Howards Park Dog Park, Locust Point Dog Park, Patterson Dog Park, or Paw Point Dog Park, a members-only park with water access. Hannah More Park in Baltimore County is a sanctioned off-leash park where Rover can roam free, and there are plenty of other trails, parks, and even beaches where pets are welcome on leash.

Pups on the Patios

In Maryland, dogs are welcome to dine with their owners so long as it’s done al fresco. In neighborhoods like Fells Point and Canton, it’s very common to see people enjoying the sunshine in outdoor seating areas with their dogs by their sides, and many restaurants encourage bringing your dog to dinner.

And for those of you with a preference for cats, Charm Kitty Cafe in Hampden is a co-working space that also offers yoga classes, movie nights, wine tastings, and more — all accompanied by adorable, adoptable cats (sorry, you can’t bring your own).

Pampering Your Pooch

If  you’re looking to splurge on your furry friend, you’ll find plenty of places to do just that in Baltimore. There’s been a boom of locally owned pet stores, groomers, spas, and doggie day care centers as of late. Pick up some affordable, organic dog food at Howl in Hampden, or enlist the staff at Dogma in Brewer’s Hill to help you create a custom doggy bed. At the Dog Chef in Mount Vernon, Chef Kevyn Matthews creates caters to all kinds of finicky canines, and can even make custom cakes.

It’s no wonder WalletHub estimates dog expenses can range anywhere from $227 to more than $2,000 annually: it depends on how much you’re willing to spoil them.

Libby Zay