Bring your boots and your fur friend to America’s “Music City.” Nashville, Tennessee welcomes well-behaved dogs in many eateries, parks, shops, and hotels.
Eateries for People and Pets
- Double Dogs invites you to “Sit. Stay. Eat.” The dogs in this pet-friendly sports bar are Bo, a yellow lab, and Chancey, a black lab mix. Try dishes like Pickled Paw Prints and Bo’s Dog Bowl Nachos. While you watch the game on the patio, your pup can enjoy a water bowl and bandana courtesy of Bo and Chancey.
- Come to Jackalope Brew for Lappy Hour on the patio with your dog and enjoy a discount. Tour the brewery, hear live music and dine from food trucks during the week. The brewery store sells snazzy dog collars.
- Visit Nashville’s Frothy Monkey coffee shops often enough, and the owners will start to call your pet by name (and you, too). They admit they “accidentally” drop some bacon now and then for their fur guests—but only if the pet parent says it’s okay.
- It’s fun to eat at Puckett’s Boat house, hear live music and dance, and your pup can “sing” along. Fresh Gulf oysters and other seafoods are the specialties, along with Cajun and creole dishes.
- Snack on Buffalo feathers (Nashville’s version of hot chicken) at Jackson’s Bar + Bistro, or order dishes ranging from grilled salmon with champagne vinaigrette to brunch mimosas. The patio has a garage door, so you and your pup can sit outside in all kinds of weather.
Bark in the Park
Leashed pets are allowed in Tennessee’s state parks. Check with the one you want to visit about specific pet policies for private cabins and restaurants on state property.
- Centennial Dog Park is a large, fenced dog park near the Nashville Parthenon. It has separate areas for small and big dogs, benches, picnic tables, a water fountain, and shade trees. You may find tennis balls around the entrance.
- Maggie’s Bark Park in Franklin Tennessee, about a half-hour from Nashville, was the state’s first off-leash dog park. Enjoy a quarter-mile walking trail and two fenced areas for pets with a drinking fountain and kiddie pools. The bigger space has dog agility equipment.
- The Trails and Greenway at Fontanel is a short drive from Nashville. You and your pup can hike three miles of wooded and asphalt trails to a creek. Portions of the trail sometimes close for construction.
- At Two Rivers Dog Park, your four-legged pal can romp in a big, grassy area while you walk the paved track around it. Have a picnic in the covered pavilion.
- Pitts Dog Park has two fenced acres for pets to run and play. There’s also a nature trail through a 4-acre wooded area to explore, a water fountain for pets and people, and a plaza with seating.
Fun Pet Shops
- Baxter Bailey & Company – The company motto is “luxury living for the discriminating mutt.” The store sells canine bath and spa products, plush dog blankets and much more.
- Wags & Whiskers – Shop here for holistic pet foods, treats and toys, or use the self-service dog wash.
- Crossroads Pets – Shop and Adopt – Already have one dog? Get another one! This non-profit saves abandoned animals and adopts them out. They also sell healthy dog foods and treats and offer self-service dog washing and professional grooming.
Pet Friendly Places to Stay
- The Hyatt Place in downtown Nashville and the Hyatt Opryland say they’re happy to host “tails and wags.” The Opryland location is a short drive from three pet stores (Petco, PetSmart and Pet Supermarket) and three miles from Two Rivers Dog Park (see below).
- Loews Vanderbilt has a “Loews Loves Pets” program that makes your canine companion a VIP (Very Important Pet). Fido will enjoy special bedding, a leash, collar, tag, bowl, and rawhide bone. Order a gourmet pet meal from room service when he’s hungry. Need a break? Request pet-walking or pet-sitting.
- Aloft Nashville West End, close to downtown, offers an ARF (for Animals Are Fun) kit with a signature bed and bowl for your pet’s use during your stay, and a doggie bag of treats and toys.
- Book ahead at the Days Inn Airport Nashville East or Days Inn Nashville at Opryland/Music Valley, since pet-friendly rooms are limited.
Note: Most accommodations have limits on the size and/or number of dogs per room. They may charge cleaning fees, too, so before you go, check their pet policies.
Nashville is so pet-friendly, it even has an official Web page devoted to dog-friendly spots.
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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