By Teresa Mears
If your dog likes to get out and about, then you’ll find plenty of places to take him in Miami.
Miami loves dogs, and you’ll find dog parks, dog beaches, dog boutiques, dog-friendly restaurants and hotels and even dog-friendly shopping malls. Miami’s a bling-y place, so you might have to dress him or her up a little to get into the best places. (Just kidding, but we do see a lot of well-dressed dogs here.) If you’re looking for a diamond-studded collar, rain boots or just a simple rhinestone-studded shirt, you’ll have no trouble finding whatever you need to make Fido and Fifi look their best.
Even if you your dog prefers to stay au naturel, you can find plenty of places to take him where he can hang out with other dogs and people and just enjoy Miami life. Of course, there are plenty of groomers, doggie spas and dog-friendly hotels as well.
Many restaurants with outdoor seating allow dogs, and well-behaved dogs on leashes are often welcome at outdoor festivals and events. But it’s always smart to call ahead and make sure before you go.
Here are some places where you know your dog will be welcome:
Dog & Dog-Friendly Parks in Miami
Miami-Dade County has at least 28 dog-friendly parks. Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove and West Kendall District Park offer separate areas for small and large dogs to play off-leash. The West Kendall Park is practically a doggie theme park with water sprays, play equipment including tire and window jumps. Tropical Park, in the west Miami area, has a dog-washing area just outside the park for cleaning your pooch off if he gets dirty while playing. Perrine Wayside Park is a three-acre park designed for dogs, complete with a lake where they can swim. It has separate areas for small and large dogs, too.
A “dog park,” by the way, means the dogs can run off-leash. In contrast, a “dog-friendly park” means dogs are welcome on leashes. Here’s a list of 28 dog parks and dog-friendly parks in and around Miami.
Dog Beaches in Miami
Many dogs like to swim, but most public beaches do not allow dogs, on or off leash. So you need to find a dog beach, some of which are only open to dogs during specified hours.
At Haulover Beach Park, there is a dog park and also special “dog beach days.” On those days, dogs can run off leash on the beach across from the bark park, between lifeguard towers 2 and 3. Dog beach hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Hobie Beach Park, on the Rickenbacker Causeway on the way to Key Biscayne, also allows dogs to play on the beach off-leash.
Miami Beach has a “bark beach” open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday just east of the North Shore Open Space Park between 81st and 82nd streets. Dogs must have proof of rabies shots and need a pass to go on that beach.
Dog Shopping and Promenades in Miami
One of the favorite places to take dogs in Miami Beach is the Lincoln Road Mall. Dogs are welcome at most of the sidewalk cafes, and you can enjoy lots of great people-watching (and dog-watching) here.
If your dog likes to shop, he’s also welcome at the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, including inside some stores and sidewalk cafes. Small dogs in strollers, carriers or in owners’ arms are welcome at The Falls in South Dade. If he can afford it, you can take your dog to the Bal Harbour Shops where he is allowed inside some high-end shops and outdoors at some restaurants.
Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Miami
Miami has many dog-friendly restaurants, and a few even have special dog menus.
If you want to take your dog out for a beer, the Taurus in Coconut Grove welcomes dogs inside the bar and was recently named the Dog Friendliest Place in Miami by the Miami New Times. Canine guests even have their own The Dog Days of Taurus page on the website. The dogs don’t get their own beers, however. You can share yours, but it’s probably not the best idea.
At LoKal Burgers & Beer in Coconut Grove, not only can you get a craft beer, your dog can get a special non-alcoholic beer for dogs, as well as choose from meatloaf or chicken and rice on the doggie menu.
Shake Shack in Miami Beach offers a special custard with peanut butter and dog biscuits for dogs, and Ms. Cheezious on the Upper Eastside allows dogs in the courtyard, plus often puts on dog-friendly events.
If you’re interested in a more upscale dining experience, you and your canine companion can visit the courtyard of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District, where you can enjoy fine cuisine while your dog can sample the fresh-baked dog biscuits.