NYC is famous for its hustle and bustle, and for being a concrete jungle. However, the Big Apple is one of the most dog friendly cities around, and offers plenty of activities and accommodations geared toward canine companions. So, if you plan to visit sometime soon and you’re wondering whether or not to take your dog along, rest assured that he’ll be welcomed with open arms, and that it will be a trip you’ll both love.
While small dogs are allowed on New York City subways and buses, larger dogs are not. Cab rides can be a good transportation option, however, it’s up to the individual cab driver whether he wants to transport your dog, and many won’t take larger dogs. Your best bet for getting around in the Big Apple is to walk. Fortunately, the city blocks are short and set out in a clear grid pattern, so it’s easy to get from place to place on foot.
NYC offers many dog friendly hotels. However, there are a couple of standouts that really cater to their canine guests. Located right in Times Square, The Muse welcomes pets of all kinds, and even has a Pomeranian “Director of Pet Relations” named Ginger. In Midtown, the Affinia 50 provides food, water bowls, and doggie sidewalk bags, and offers guests amenities like grooming, dog-walking, gourmet birthday cakes and even a pet psychic.
Like hotels, there are many dog friendly restaurants in NYC. However, some of the best can be have their dog friendly nature right in the name. The Barking Dog at 94th Street’s slogan is “Sit, Stay,” which gives you an idea of how dog friendly they are. Well-behaved dogs are highly welcome, but the menu doesn’t disappoint for the humans either – delicious, hearty homestyle breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are available at great prices every day. Over on 3rd Avenue, Fetch Bar and Grill is as dedicated to providing you a great meal as it is to helping deserving pets. The restaurant works with Animal Haven and the ASPCA to help abandoned pets find a home.
While visiting the top of the Empire State Building with your dog isn’t really feasible (they unfortunately aren’t allowed), most of the landmarks that make New York famous, such as Times Square, Ground Zero, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Greenwich Village are outdoor attractions that can be enjoyed right from the street. The Brooklyn Bridge features a suspended pedestrian walkway that welcomes dogs, as well as a nearby dog park with fantastic views of the bridge. Dogs are also welcome in Battery Park, which offers a view of the Statue of Liberty
Believe it or not, NYC offers a wealth of entertainment that’s not just dog friendly, but designed with dogs in mind. Fall brings the My Dog Loves Central Park Fair where dogs can participate in beauty and obedience contests, fashion shows, and giveaways – as well as the annual Pups on the Runway Halloween Costume Ball and the Tomkins Square Halloween Parade (dogs in costume – who can resist?).
New York offers fun things to do together year round, as well. Each month, Central Park hosts Bagel Barks, a Saturday morning event where dogs and their owners can gather during off-leash hours and enjoy bagels, coffee and dog treats. Dog club, Fetch Club, which features a VIP nightclub, a spa, and an indoor park specially designed for the canine set. If you’re looking to enjoy some unique relaxation and exercise with your pup, you can try a “doga,” or dog yoga session at the Bideawee in Manhattan.
Zerve.com offers fantastic guided tours of midtown, downtown, and Central Park that are sure to please both you and your pet. You can learn all about the city and see a number of famous landmarks, side by side with your best four-legged friend.
Museums and Galleries
Most museums and galleries in New York are decidedly dog unfriendly. However, one museum doesn’t just welcome dogs – it’s all about the canines. Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the William Secord Gallery specializes in fine art depictions of dogs from the 19th and 20th centuries, and even does commissioned works of visitor’s dogs.
Dog Friendly Parks
In spite of its urban scene, NYC offers plenty of open spaces for dogs to roam. There are dog parks all over the city of all shapes and sizes where dogs can socialize and exercise. Leashed dogs are allowed in nearly every human park, including Central Park, and parks offer off-leash hours between 9 PM and 9 AM, where pups can play unfettered to their heart’s content.
Keep in mind that not every dog is suited to tour the Big Apple. If your dog is skittish in crowds, uncomfortable in new places, or is used to the quiet country life, it may be best to leave him at home as you travel. However, if your dog loves people, loves exploring, is well-behaved, and is used to accompanying you on adventures, bring him along on what’s sure to be an unforgettable trip for you both.