It’s not the next gold rush, yet there’s a stampede of a new kind of prospector heading to Denver. Whether they hit the thriving craft breweries and chef-driven farm-to-table restaurants or find jobs in the exploding startup scene or along Aerospace Alley, residents realize their city ranks as a true boomtown.
And it’s easy to see why. For starters, Denver is easy on the eyes. Its location at the base of the Rocky Mountains provides beautiful vistas and serves as the year-round gateway to the great outdoors. The city also offers people ease in other ways: affordability in relation to other metro areas, an assortment of sports teams, access to the arts and world-class cultural attractions, and plenty of pet-friendly places for dog owners.
With nearly 736,000 people calling Denver home, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department estimates there are more than 158,000 dogs across almost 100,000 households. This means there are more dogs than children in the Mile High City, making canines a key demographic in Denver. The city recognizes its four-legged residents also require upgraded amenities and has made substantial progress in drafting policies to help design a more dog-friendly city. Officials’ efforts have paid off — the city consistently lands on most pet-friendly city lists, most recently appearing in the 24th spot on personal finance site WalletHub’s 2020 list and receiving a third place on Rover.com’s 2019 compilation.
Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Bars in Denver
While it’s no secret that Denver is a must-visit destination for craft brew aficionados (there are 90+ breweries in downtown Denver alone), the city also is the gold standard for dining out with your dog. Start the day with a coffee and bagel on the dog-friendly patio at The Radiator Cafe & Bar, then head for Sloan’s Lake to take a walk and grab a beer at Joyride Brewing Company. Once your pup has their patio manners perfected, take things up a notch and get a pass for the off leash beer garden at Romero’s K9 Club and Tap House.
Where to Get Your Dog Groomed in Denver
Whether you’re looking to give your pup an all-out spa pampering or just need a down-and-dirty DIY dog wash, Denver’s grooming scene has it covered. Take your anxious pup to Lily’s Bath and Biscuits for a Fear Free certified grooming experience or hit the dog wash at Luke & Company Fine Pet Supply & Outfitter for a quick bath before you head home from the park. And if you feel like shopping while you wait for your dog to finish up, Dog Savvy has a wide selection of treats and toys for pups and their people.
Denver-Area Animal Rescues and Shelters
If you’re looking to add to your pack, foster a pet or give back to the Denver community by volunteering, there are a number of rescues and shelters to support. MaxFund makes it easy to help with lifesaving duties, like providing food, medical care and grooming for shelter animals, by offering a tiered, donation-based membership. And if you’re interested in a slightly larger four-legged companion, Dumb Friends League offers horse education programs for folks interested in equine adoption, care and training.
The Best Dog Parks in Denver
The best part of Denver is arguably (we see you, beer people) its fresh mountain air and accessibility to the outdoors. Fortunately, there is no shortage of incredible dog-friendly parks and landscapes to explore. If you want to hit up an off leash park in the city, locals love Lowry Dog Park for it’s agility area and spacious size. For a slightly longer adventure, consider Cherry Creek State Park Dog Park, a 107-acre park with a dedicated dog area located about 20 miles from downtown.
Where to See a Veterinarian in Denver
If you’re new to Denver, new to pet parenting or just looking to revisit your pup’s care provider, the city has a wide range of veterinary clinics to consider. Some, like Caring Hands Veterinary Hospital, offer boarding, grooming and daycare services in addition to veterinary care while others, like Vida Veterinary Care offer after-hours urgent care services in the event of an emergency.