How Dog Friendly is Nashville, Really?

Nashville, Tennessee, may be best-known as Music City, but it’s also growing a reputation as a top spot for pet owners.

For example, Nashville scored a spot on WalletHub’s list of Most Pet-Friendly Cities in 2017, and the city was named one of the Top Places To Retire With Your Dog by The Huffington Post in 2014.

What makes Tennessee’s capitol so dog-friendly? Here are four reasons dog lovers are putting down roots in Nashville.

Dog-friendly restaurants and bars

If you want to dine and drink with your pup, you’re in luck. Many Nashville eateries and watering holes welcome your four-legged friends on their outdoor porches and patios, including places like Village Pub & Beer Garden, Mitchell’s Deli and M.L. Rose.

Fido, a former pet shop that’s now a coffeehouse and casual restaurant, also offers plenty of outdoor seating for both dogs and their owners in the trendy Hillsboro Village neighborhood. Another favorite pet-friendly dining spot is Double Dogs, which has two Nashville locations and offers a selection of dog-themed menu items like Bo’s Dog Bowl Nachos (yep, that’s nachos served in a dog bowl).


Getting active with your dog is easy in Nashville, thanks to the city’s many dog-friendly parks and outdoor spaces. In fact, every Metro Nashville public park welcomes leashed pets, and many also include off-leash dog parks.

Located in the heart of the city, Centennial Park – home to the iconic Parthenon replica – is a popular place for dog walking, and it includes a spacious, fenced dog park that has separate areas for large and small dogs. Two Rivers Dog Park is also a favorite destination for dogs and their owners, with a paved path circling the park and a fenced area for pets to run freely.

Unique events

Music City lays claim to Middle Tennessee’s biggest dog festival, Barktoberfest, which is a free event featuring dog Halloween costume contests, a pet adoption fair, canine sport demonstrations and several other events for the whole family to enjoy. Another dog-focused event in October is the Halloween Pooch Parade at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, where costumed pups and their owners spend a morning strolling through the gardens.

There’s also DogFest Nashville, a springtime event that raises funds and awareness for Canine Companions for Independence and includes a Walk ‘n Roll (a fun walk for leashed pets and their teams of fundraisers), as well as the Dog Day Festival and Music City Mutt Strutt that take place in Centennial Park and serve as the Nashville Humane Association’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Pet-friendly lodging

 Furry friends are welcome at hotels across Nashville, with dog travel directory identifying more than 150 dog-friendly hotels in the city. One of Nashville’s most popular (and conveniently located) hotels, Omni Nashville Hotel has plenty of pet-friendly rooms available for pets up to 25 pounds, while Hotel Preston welcomes dogs up to 50 pounds for a small additional fee.

Nashville is also home to several highly-rated doggie daycares, grooming spots and boarding facilities, such as The Belmont Pet Resort and Daycare, The Dog Spot and Pampered Pets – just to name a few.

Jessica Walker Boehm