11 Reasons Why Seattle is the Most Dog Friendly City

Seattle is the best city to travel to, or live with, your dog. I may be a bit biased because we live here and I know all the “secrets” but I have not been to a pace that I found to be as dog friendly as Seattle.

Keep reading for 11 reasons Seattle is really dog friendly and the best place to travel with your dog

Help for Planning a Trip To Seattle With Your Dog - One of the Most Dog Friendly Cities in the Country!

1. Seattle Has Many Off-leash Dog Parks

The Seattle area has a LOT of them. There are 14 off-leash areas just inside the City of Seattle and 10 or so in the surrounding areas.

The crown jewel of Seattle off leash dog parks is Magnuson Park. The 9-acre park is fully fenced, has a separate area for small dogs, and provides access to a portion of beach along Lake Washington.

Norm's Chester2. Your Dog Can Eat With Your INSIDE of a Restaurant

The concept of dog friendly restaurants may not be so unique. However, a lot of them only allow you to dine on the patio with your dog. Whats different about Seattle are places like Norm’s Eatery & Ale House and The Leary Traveler that let you eat INSIDE with your well-behaved dog (which is great in rainy Seattle).

Check out the Bring Fido for many more dog friendly restaurants  and bars in Seattle

Snow Lake Dogs3. Seattle is Surrounded by Many Dog Friendly Trails

Hiking dogs will love Seattle! Just outside of Seattle is a mountainous playground and almost all but National Park trails are dog friendly.

One of the classic Seattle trails, Rattlesnake Ledge, is only 30 minutes from the city, takes only a few hours to hike and ends at a vantage point high above the Snoqualmie Valley.

One of the biggest bangs for your buck (or workout) is the Snow Lake trail, which offers spectacular mountain and lake views.

If you visit Seattle with your dog and can only hike one trail, I highly recommend one of these two.

If you have more time, check out one of these other great dog friendly trails in Western Washington:

4. There Are a Lot of Urban Hiking Opportunities

Seattle has 4 large, wooded city parks that are great for some urban hiking:

Discovery Park, Carkeek Park, Ravenna/Cowen Park, and the Washington Park Arboretum.

In fall you can see salmon spawning in Carkeek Park. On a clear day, Discovery Park offers awe-inspiring views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

5. Your Dog Can Ride the Bus

No car? No problem. You can hop on the bus with your well-behaved pooch and see some of the best Seattle sights.

Depending on where you are staying, you may be able to catch the bus to one of the parks above or ride the bus to a hike in the summer.

Seattle waterfront 6. You Can Take Your Dog on a Cruise

In the summer, you can ride take a boat tour of Lake Union with your dog.

Sharing your ice cream with your pooch is optional.

Paddleboard7. You Can Rent a Kayak, Canoe or Paddleboard for You and Your Pup

Green Lake Boat Rental allows you to rent a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) and cruise Green Lake with your dog.

Green Lake is one of Seattle’s most beloved, and popular, parks.

Once you are finished paddling the 259 acre lake, you can take a stroll along the 2.8 mile paved path surrounding the lake or park yourself on a bench and people watch.

Hotel Gretel8. Seattle Has a Lot of Dog Friendly Hotels

As with dog parks, this city has a lot of them. There are over 70 hotels that let you stay with your dog in Seattle.

Seattle is home to the Alexis Hotel, which was named one of Travel and Leisure’s 500 Best Hotels in the World. There are no fees or size restrictions for dogs and they provide a complimentary bed and bowl with distilled water for your pooch.

If you are on a budget you can choose to stay at a Motel 6 where well-behaved pets stay free.

Check out Trip Advisor’s list of pet friendly hotels in Seattle.

University Village Dog9. You Can Go Shopping with Your Dog

The the University Village, an outdoor mall, has a whole lot of mid to high end shops that are dog friendly.

Seattle is also home to several quality, independent pet stores where you can find premium treats, toys, and accessories.

A few of our favorites are Paddywhack in Mill Creek, Eastside Dog in Redmond and Health Mutt in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle.

10. You Can Take Your Dog to Daycare

Seattleites are more likely to own a dog than have children (there are more dogs than children living within the City limits). This dog obsession has led to an explosion in pet-related businesses.

There are over 100 doggie daycares serving Seattle where you can drop your pooch off to play for the day. Check out the top 12 HERE.

11. You Can Find Premium Pet Care Options

The Seattle area is home to ACCES – the Pacific Northwest’s premier veterinary specialty, 24-hour emergency and critical care center.

There are several places in the City where your dog can get acupuncture or massage to help with injury or stress.

Seattle is also home to several dog spas, many grooming facilities, and many places that provide hydrotherapy. For example, WellSprings-K9, the very first licensed and warm-water swim therapy pool for dogs in the US, can be found in Seattle.

Seattle is a great city for dog lovers

There are more dogs than kids in Seattle so...

What is the most dog friendly City you have visited?

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a Dachshund sitter, President of the largest social Dachshund club in Washington State, a dog trainer in training, and I’ve been a Dachshund owner for 20 years. I have over 150,000 hours of experience with the breed. When I’m not working, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.


  1. I love the Alexis hotel (and Kimpton in general)! I’ve stayed there twice, though not with a dog. Ruby is not a city vacation candidate with her reactivity. I sure wish more cities allowed dogs on public transportation. Your 9 acre dog park with beach access sounds like a dream!

    1. I would love to try out the Alexis, or another Kimpton, hotel but I think they are a bit outside of my budget.

  2. Okay, normally I would agree with you (being someone who grew up in Seattle) but sadly I have to disagree. Having lived in Carmel, CA for the past two years I would say that this is by far the best pet friendly city – hands down! Take all of the wonderful points you said about Seattle and add in year round beautiful weather, beautiful sandy beaches (that are not consumed by rocks) and the fact that everything is within walking distance (dog friendly hotels, beaches, parks, services, shops, restaurants) in a town that looks like a village in Europe – and you get Carmel.

    1. I have not been there myself so it doesn’t exist 🙂 Luckily, Seattle is not up againt Varmel for the vote (yet anyway).

      1. Too bad you weren’t able to make it here while we were still in the area. It’s definitely a great place to visit!

    2. Carmel is about the size of a postage stamp in comparison to Seattle. It’s more of a village than a city. Also not all those beaches like dogs. Many of them you cannot go on with your dog because of the Snowy Plover protections set up to protect nesting sites.

  3. Loved this post! My hubby and I + 2 furries moved to Portland 8 months ago. Have yet to visit Seattle, but it’s ‘on the list’ with about a million other things 🙂 A lot of what you listed are reasons why we love Portland-very dog friendly indeed. Glad to hear Seattle will welcome our whole family when we decide to visit!

  4. Glad you made a plug to get the vote out for Seattle, Jessica! While I have lived in Seattle with dogs for over 30 years, I have also been to 49 states, and every province with dogs and I have seen more pet-friendly places… but since one of them isn’t up against Seattle in tournament I say vote for Seattle too! 🙂

  5. Wow! Dogs can ride a bus!!?? Thats PAWsome!!!! I have never heard of any city letting dogs ride the bus! Thats great!
    ((husky hugz))
    Frum you pals at Love is being owned by a huskY!

  6. Seattle does sound like a great city for dogs so good luck! Of course we are a bit prejudice towards Chicago as we have many of the same features. Maybe we’ll think about retiring in Seattle some day! Love Dolly

  7. What a great promotion for Seattle! We never get to experience Seattle as dog owners; but Mill Creek is closer and it isn’t half bad. 🙂

    1. Well. we should fix that 🙂 I know it’s hard with 4 dogs but perhaps you could bring one or two of them down and have lunch with us at a dog-friendly restaurant like Norms or something.

      1. If we still had Blue, I’d be there in a heart beat. He was the dog who we could take anywhere. Thanks for the invite. I should test out Scout at a place here – I wonder how he’d do.

    1. It’s too bad they aren’t allowed on the bus there. The trailer was a good idea but I know what you mean about the “dislike”. I still have hope that I will one day be able to ride around town without Chester and Gretel barking the whole way but I am a dreamer…….

  8. Columbus, Ohio has lots of dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and more for canine owners. Most of the restaurants and bistros in the trendy Short North area leave water bowls and jars of free dog treats out during the warm summer months when guests relax on the open-hair patios.

  9. I am about to move from San Diego to Redmond, WA and am very sad about leaving behind all the beautiful dog beaches! I know there is one in Seattle but I’ve been to it and it’s nothing compared to the ones here. This post did cheer me up a little! The PT and kayaking options will be nice to try, as well as hiking in places with hopefully more shade than there is out here in the desert 🙂

    1. Hi Jen. Welcome to Washington. You are right, our beaches are not like beaches in San Diego. The closest thing you will find are the beaches along the coast (ocean). However, there are many wonderful beaches around here that are dog friendly. For the most part, dogs are not allowed on the beaches in King County. Two exceptions would be the dog park in Edmonds and the beach at Saltwater Park in Shoreline (off leash only allowed from October to May). If you find yourself exploring the state, another great beaches is North Beach in Port Townsend. There are places your pup can play in the water closer to home. Marymoor dog park in Redmond has a stretch of area along the river for dogs. Magnuson Park in Seattle has a small waterfront “beach” along Lake Washington, as does Luther Burbank dog park on Mercer Island. My favorite thing to do in our state with dogs is explore our hundreds of amazing hiking trails. I hope you and your pup enjoy it here.

      1. Thanks for all of these insider tips!! My dog and I have been enjoying Marymoor; we go almost every day. I definitely want to check out North Beach and Luther Burbank at some point too! What is your favorite place to hike with your dogs? Your doxxies are very cute and it looks like they are pretty cooperative in posing for photos too.

  10. Thank you so much for this post! I am going to be driving up for work to Seattle from Los Angeles with my Husky and Puli (odd couple) and will be here the month of September and hearing as well about the bus situation and hiking! As well as the dog day care as I know the husky will be anxious the first few days up there and I want her to settle into the sublet nicely .

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