Minneapolis nabbed the No. 8 spot in Smart Asset’s list of the Top 10 Most Dog Friendly Cities in America in 2016. The Midwestern city received high marks for its pooch-friendly restaurants and parks and high walkability score. However, it was also recommended that you better purchase yourself and your pup a toasty winter coat before you go out exploring the city during the colder months.
Minneapolis is not alone in its love for dogs. Nearly 43.3 million households own at least one fury four-legged companion and 67.7 percent of those dog owners consider their pups to be family members, according to The Humane Society of the United States
What makes Minneapolis stand out as so dog-friendly? Here are seven reasons:
1. Patios galore
“Minneapolis has hundreds of restaurants and the majority of them have dog-friendly patios,” said Ali Jarvis, CEO and founder of Sidewalk Dog Media. (Minneapolis residents take advantage of milder weather whenever they can and that includes sipping cocktails on patios).
Examples include Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, a Minneapolis “favorite hideout for characters — both the upright and four-legged kind,” according to Sidewalk Dog. It has a cool, updated tiki-bar vibe. The patio sits right on the Mississippi River, offering a beautiful view for both you and your fury friend.
Meanwhile, Sociable Cider Werks in Northeast Minneapolis is just two miles from the St. Anthony dog park and also near softball and soccer fields where Fido can run. The patio’s picnic tables are huge and offer pups plenty of shade, according to City Pages.
2. Doggy menus
“Many [restaurant patios] offer their canine guests fresh water bowls and treats, and some even have their very own doggy menus,” Jarvis said.
For entrees at both restaurants, your pooch has five options including homemade “Turkey Muttloaf” loaded with veggies, oats and flax. At brunch, there’s a “pooched” egg bowl option. All pups receive a complimentary “Homemade Nilla Woofer.” If you visit during “Yappy Hour,” you’ll get $1 off all doggy entrees.
3. Dog-friendly beer scene
“Minneapolis also happens to have a terrific craft beer scene, and it’s been very welcoming of the dog community, “Jarvis said. “Many Minneapolis taprooms even welcome dogs indoors. In fact, Sidewalk Dog’s bestselling product is an Indoor Brewery Pass, which scores dog owners free beer at these taprooms.”
4. Dog-friendly shops
Taprooms aren’t the only establishments that welcome your pup indoors during Minnesota’s cold winters, Jarvis said. Many boutiques, bookstores and other shops also allow leashed dogs indoors. Here’s a list of nearly 200 shops that will let you bring Fido in tow.
5. Dog-friendly lodging
There are 47 pet-friendly hotels in Minneapolis, according to Bring Fido. For example, the Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis and the Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown Hotel each welcome two dogs of any size for no additional fee.
6. Dog-friendly employers
For most dog lovers, the opportunity to bring their pup to work is a dream, reports Sidewalk Dog. They can snuggle with their pooch during breaks and have a good excuse to get outside a little more often during the day. Here’s a list of some dog-friendly companies in Minneapolis.
Twin Cities commercial furniture dealer Prevolv has a dog-friendly environment.
“Dogs are just so friendly and happy all the time,” said John Ewine, president and founder of Prevolv. “Why not bring your dog so you can spend more time with them? A lot of people here do. When you work at home, your dog is probably laying at your feet sleeping. Why not have them at the office laying at your feet sleeping? And you can get your dog out for a walk every couple of hours, and you get out and get a little fresh air.”
7. Excellent dog park scene
Outdoor space in parts of the city can be tough to find. Fortunately, the city boasts several great off-leash dog parks. Just make sure to pre-purchase an off-leash permit for use in city parks.
One favorite park is the Minnehaha Off-Leash Dog Park, which has trails to explore and a sandy beach on the Mississippi riverfront where Rover can cool off and practice the doggy paddle.
Some dog parks even offer heated shelters, trails with night lights, and separate areas just for small dogs.
“And if the leashed-up life is more your dog’s scene, there’s no shortage of human parks and trails for hiking and biking with your pooch,” Jarvis added.