How Pet Friendly is Charlotte, Really?

In the last five years, Charlotte has consistently ranked among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. It isn’t just two-legged workers moving to town, the Queen City’s four-legged population is growing as well, and businesses are making room for both pets and their owners.

Charlotte’s pet-friendly score ranks somewhere around the B- zone. There are still plenty of dining, shopping, lodging, working and outdoor adventure options for furry friends, but the city has been cracking down on areas pets can join you – including banning dogs from brewery taprooms. Below, we walk you through spots around Charlotte known for welcoming (wo)man’s best friend.

Dining

Spots like The Dog Bar in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood and Lucky Dog Bark and Brew outside Uptown cater specifically to dog owners with off-leash play areas, TVs to catch the game and solid beer lists. While they can no longer come inside after a recent intervention by the Mecklenburg County Health Department, most local watering holes allow pets on the patio including popular breweries Sycamore Brewing, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and Wooden Robot.

Shopping

Small business is king when it comes to four-legged friends joining you for a shopping spree. Dog-friendly Sleepy Poet Antique Mall is a 55,000-square-foot thrifter’s dream full of home décor, vintage clothing and antique furniture finds. With so much ground to cover, it’s an easy way to get in a walk on a rainy day. Down the road, Paper Skyscraper’s shop pup Patsy will greet you both at this Dilworth staple for unique gifts and Charlotte-centric kitsch. Fixer Upper fans can bring their mini demolition partners with them to Blackhawk Hardware to browse for home improvement needs.

Patsy is giddy about Big Tasty Treat Day, or Valentine's Day as "people" call it.

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Lodging

Forget fleabag motels. When friends visit you in the Queen City, there are pet-friendly options that also keep them in the heart of the action. In Uptown Charlotte, both the Aloft Charlotte Uptown (connected to the EpiCentre) and the Kimpton Tryon Park (home to the city’s newest rooftop bar) welcome your pets by name with special treats at the ready and minimal size and breed restrictions.

.@charlieloveluck is honored to be the third dog to enter the new @kimpton @tryonparkhotel #kimpton

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Working

Why spend eight hours away from your best friend? Co-working spots Hygge, Bijou Work Space and LiquidSpace are proudly pet-friendly, allowing you to hustle without the overhead. Looking for something a little more traditional? From advertising agencies including BooneOakley and Tattoo Projects to tech giant Google Fiber, many Charlotte-based 9-to-5 gigs are also open to four-legged desk companions.

👀🐶 📸: @scott.wooten

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Outdoors

Outdoor activities for pets is where the QC makes up some ground in its overall pet-friendliness score. The county is home to six off-leash dog parks featuring plenty of seats for owners, shade for pups and often small pools in the summer. Unlike other major cities, access to these parks is completely free as long as your pooch meets all guidelines and vaccination standards.

Another top option for pups (and their owners) is the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Miles of trails, outdoor concerts, festivals, a covered patio – what more could you need?



Dana Boone