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Seattle's pet friendly city scape

Roam: Pup friendly Seattle offers hiking, boating and shopping

If you and your dog enjoy a good walk, Seattle is your kind of place. In 2016, this West coast city was named the 8th most walkable big city in the US, according to Walk Score, a company that measures the “walkability” of locations all over the world. Even though Seattle is hilly, its temperate climate, parks and hiking trails encourage stretching your legs with your best fur-friend. WalkScore says you and your dog can even stroll to an average of 5 different bars, restaurants, and coffee shops in just 5 minutes.

Of course, the city offers much more for people and canines. When feet and paws get tired, you can hop a King County Metro Bus with your pooch, cruise around the waterfront, shop with your dog and for your dog, or grab a bite to eat in many canine-welcoming restaurants, bars and cafes.

Pet-Friendly Shopping

If your dog needs a special diet, or just healthy food, stop in at Mud Bay, where the animal-loving staff will help you find the perfect food from hundreds of formulas.

Visit Scraps Dog Bakery for gourmet doggy treats, cookies and birthday cakes. Can’t make it in? This shop delivers in the downtown area.

People deserve treats, too, and Fido is welcome to browse with at the boutiques, home furnishing stores and other retailers and eateries in open-air University Village shopping center.

Trails and Parks that Welcome Dogs

Seattle’s beautiful surroundings invite you to spend time on its trails. Before you head out, check to see if your pet must be leashed. Leashed dogs are welcome in most Washington state parks.

For a challenging outdoor adventure, hike a dog-friendly trail at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, about 14 miles from Seattle.

Walk the paved trails at Washington Park Arboretum with your leashed pup and look for wildlife and spectacular plants, some of which grow nowhere else in the Northwest. The trees explode with color in the fall.

Let Fido hit the waves at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park. It’s open seasonally to unleashed dogs that respond to voice control, so check the website for dates. Note: this area is unfenced.

Hotels Where Your Dog Can “Stay”

The Maxwell House, a boutique hotel near Seattle’s famous Space Needle, offers dog-friendly rooms and goodies that include a dog bed, water bowl and treats.

Lodge at the Sheraton Seattle if you need dog walking and dog sitting services. The concierge can tell you about pet-welcoming attractions.

Seattle’s historic Fairmont Olympic Hotel has a doggy treat menu, for in-room dining. Note: Pets must be 40 pounds or under.

Activities for You and Your Pup

Rent a kayak, canoe, sailboat or stand-up paddle boat from Greenlake Boathouse, and take your dog for a float.

Get the scoop every Sunday, so to speak, when you and your pooch take an ice cream cruise via the Seattle Ferry Service. Both of you can duck into the heated interior, if it’s cold or snowy.

Soar away on Kenmore Air, with your pup beside you on a seaplane tour or other flight. Call ahead for information and reservations; there’s a limit of one pet per plane.

Dining with Dogs

Many restaurants and cafes now allow canines on their patios and terraces. It’s harder to find a place that lets you bring your pup inside, unless you visit Norm’s Eatery & Ale House. Request their menu of doggy treats.

Cold, rainy days are perfect for visiting House of Ruff, an “indoor canine social club.” Your pet can play in the big indoor dog park while you order drinks or snacks, but club membership is required.

Drop into Tallulah’s, a café in Seattle’s historic North Capitol Hill, for dishes with global flavors, like blistered shishito peppers, as well as classics like roasted chicken. Dogs can hang out with you on the patio.


Lynn Coulter is owned by two rescue dogs—Molly and Miss Paws—and occasionally blogs at LynnCoulter.com. She’s also the author of three books and a freelancer who writes about travel, gardening and more. She and her husband live in metro Atlanta, where they cheer for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and spend their money on dog biscuits.

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