Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Has New Orleans Gone to the Dogs?

For anyone in New Orleans who is not a pet parent, visiting a boutique, coffee shop, cafe, or even a big box store lately, it may seem, as the saying goes, that New Orleans is slowly "going to the dogs." All the things that make the city of New Orleans a great year-round travel destination contribute to making it an even better place to live, especially if you have a dog.

Dogs are no longer "just animals" relegated to the background of our lives. They are cherished family members with an important place at the center of the existence of their humans. As a result, pet parents are looking for more ways to include their fur babies in their active lifestyles.

Dogs have been welcome at Nola coffee houses for some time, and modern pet parents are starting to choose their outings based on where their four-legged family members will be warmly welcomed, as evidenced by comments on sites like Yelp and PetFriendly Restaurants.com.

Increasingly, more and more New Orleans businesses are allowing people to bring their dogs in with them to dine, shop, and even drink. Everywhere you look these days someone is out in public with their dog.

Window sticker at Santa Fe Restaurant in Esplanade Ridge

The list of dog-friendly venues in New Orleans is surprisingly long; some are well-known such as Dat Dog and the Bulldog, and some fall in the best kept secret category. A few of the places around town to get your caffeine fix with Fido at your side include. PJ.s, Fair Grinds, Morning Call, Croissant d'Or, and CC's.

Pooch patiently waiting for her Dad to return on the Patio at PJ's Maple St.

Many Nola restaurants with outdoor dining happily allow pups on their patios and even set out water bowls for them. In the Warehouse District, Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Grill is not only dog-friendly, it offers a separate dog menu for canine visitors. In uptown, Cafe Freret's A La Collar menu, is vet approved.

Dog treats on the counter at Satsuma on Maple St.

In a place where much of leisure time revolves around drinking, it's no surprise that several bars allow dogs inside. In fact, the phrase, "Yappy Hour," was probably coined right here in New Orleans. We're not sure it's a great idea to bring your dog to the bar with you, but at least in this town in you have options.

Swirl Wines, not exactly a bar, has always been dog-friendly, even before you could purchase wines by the glass, and Leora Madden's own petite pup is often seen running around her Mid-City Pearl Wine Company location.

Shop sign at Swirl Sensational Wines on Ponce de Leon

While there are an abundance of places around town to sit and drink with your pet, probably the best known is The Bulldog where on the third Thursday of each month. 20% of Yappy Hour sales between 5-7pm are donated to a local animal-related charity.

Nola local, Eric James, at the bar with his dog.

Visitors and locals alike are often surprised while out shopping to learn that dogs are allowed in certain stores. Many Nola area businesses keep treats at the counter for visiting pups, including at least one big box store.

Of course, all this begs the question, "Should dogs be allowed?" Not all patrons are as open minded about dogs being out in public, especially at restaurants, so please be considerate. If you do decide to take your dog with you to run errands or have a quick bite, be sure to take them on a long walk first to do their business. You may also want to call ahead and double check that your pooch is welcome, as policies often change.

For more on where you can bring your NOLA fur baby, please see our Pinterest Board, NOLA Local.

Useful links:

Pet Friendly New Orleans Louisiana

Pet Friendly Do's and Don'ts of New Orleans

Dog-Friendly New Orleans

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