How Dog Friendly is Kansas City, Really?

Thinking about relocating to Kansas City, MO, with your best four-legged friend?

First you’ll need to make sure this Midwestern city is a dog-friendly match. Before you both hop into the car, make sure you sniff out how welcome little Fifi or big Bubba will be at parks, restaurants and city events.

You don’t have to spend all day researching Kansas City’s dog-friendliness. We’ve got the scoop for you below. Here’s what our hunt for information revealed.

Dog-friendly restaurants and bars

Bringing your dog to happy hour or brunch is the best way to meet new friends who love to lavish attention on furry beings and the humans attached to them. Kansas City has plenty of restaurants, bars and coffee shops with outdoor seating where you can sip and dine with your doggie. (KC restaurants don’t don’t allow dogs inside due to health code restrictions.) Here are some of Kansas City’s most popular dog-friendly eateries and bars:

Restaurants & bars:

Coffee shops:

Lots of other coffee shops welcome dogs on the patio and have water bowls at the ready.

Doggie day care and cage-free boarding

You’ll have no trouble finding doggie day care and cage-free boarding facilities in Kansas City. They’re everywhere, and most do a brisk business, so your dog will be in good playmate company.

Veterinary care

Kansas City offers excellent veterinary care, ranging from inexpensive full-service or vaccinations and microchip clinics to super pricey animal hospitals. Brookside, a popular and fairly pricey neighborhood, has top-notch veterinary clinics but also the highest prices. You’ll find lower vet costs for equally good care in neighborhoods where housing is less costly. Kansas City metro area, which includes Kansas and North Kansas City municipalities, also has several 24-hour emergency and specialty hospitals.

Off-leash parks

Kansas City, MO, is fairly unimpressive in its number of off-leash dog parks (only four), and most are a short drive to an area with few residents in the immediate neighborhood. However, KCMO’s off-leash parks are large (ranging from 1.5 to 5 acres)  and well-maintained, with small and large dog areas, high fences and doggie drinking fountains. You’ll also find several off-leash areas in neighboring municipalities, and your dog can even swim in the lake at the 53-acre Shawnee Mission Dog Park.

Sustenance for dog souls

Not only do several  churches offer their annual “dog blessing” day,  your mutt can howl along with the choir every Sunday at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, which lets you bring your dog to services.

Dog-friendly events

You can bring your leashed dog to the Plaza Art Fair, a weekend event that attracts around 250,000 people every September or the Brookside Art Annual, a smaller but impressive art fair. Lots of people bring their dogs to First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District, and Kansas City has lots of outdoor festivals but not all of them allow dogs, so check each festival’s website for pet rules.

Also check dog rules for farmers’ markets in Kansas City. The River Market City Market doesn’t allow dogs but the Brookside Farmers’ Market does, so check first before leashing your Saturday romping buddy for some homegrown tomato shopping.



Deb Hipp