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Dogs in Denver: What You Should Know Before You Bring Your Dog with You

Denver is a friendly city: bike friendly, weed friendly and definitely dog friendly. As you head out around town, you’ll see people with their pooches in all sorts of places, from King Soopers to the bike shop to the pharmacy. But before you bring your furry friends anywhere, you might want to read up on what’s allowed and what isn’t.

The Basics

Denver has a few dog-related rules that can result in citations if not followed. Dogs are required to be on a leash anywhere in Denver, except at the dog park. Authorities are particularly aggressive with ticketing dog owners at parks like Cheesman or Washington Park, so don’t just let your dog roam, as much as you want to. Additionally, all dogs in Denver are required to be licensed and vaccinated against rabies. The Denver Animal Shelter provides low-cost rabies clinics as well as licensing.

Stores

Dogs are allowed on a storeowner-specified basis unless the store serves food. Food, while usually not a debatable item, now includes beer as many brewery owners found out in early 2016 when they were cited for health violations. Denver has its own city health codes, so even if you’re familiar with state laws, the city of Denver can cite for a variety of local reasons. While you may not think it’s a big deal to bring your dog into these establishments, you can get your favorite places fined if you bring your dog. Be smart and only bring your pet along if you know you’re allowed to.

Restaurants

Dogs are not allowed inside restaurants in the city of Denver, but any place with a patio larger than 400 square feet can opt to have a dog-friendly patio. This law came into effect in 2014 and since then, there have been a number of restaurants that have become popular dog owner bonding spots. These include the Irish Snug, which has a side patio for dogs and a running night on Thursday, which is great exercise for a city pooch.

Dog Parks

The best place to hang with your dog is probably one of Denver’s many dog parks. Besides being a great place to meet neighbors and other dog owners, these spaces give dogs a place to run without the owner having to worry. A list of Denver dog parks can be found at the Denver.gov website.

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