Pet-Friendly Santa Fe

Indisputable Fact #1: A dog is human’s best friend. 

Indisputable Fact #2: Being with your best friend is the best. 

Indisputable Fact #3: Santa Fe is a superduper dog-friendly city.

Conclusion: Bring your best friend along when you travel to Santa Fe. 

OK, admit it: As a dog owner, you can be a bit permissive when it comes to your dog’s behavior. Perhaps your pup is allowed on the bed, licks the dinner plates clean, or roams freely through your neighborhood. That’s perfectly fine on the homefront, but traveling can introduce some restrictions. Fortunately, The CIty Different is pretty dang welcoming of the furry, four-legged bestie. Learn about dog-friendly lodging, restaurants, places to walk, and much more!

Places to Stay When You & Yours are Dog Tired

Canyon Road dog

A pretty critical piece of the travel itinerary is determining where to rest your weary dogs (i.e., feet). You might think you have to rent an Airbnb or Vrbo to house yourself and your pup, but you would be surprised by how many dog-friendly hotel lodging options exist in Santa Fe, whether you tend toward luxury or economy, a resort base, a downtown scene, or a neighborhood vibe. Not only that, thoughtful amenities abound: Think pet relief areas, treat bags, fluffy floor bedding, special water and food bowls, and toys. That said, read the fine print: there’s generally a pet fee, a weight limit, restrictions about leaving the dog unattended. 

A Hungry Dog Hunts Best: Restaurants & Bars that Heart Dogs

Santa Fe Brewing Company

It would be really easy to suggest you just cross the threshold onto any restaurant or bar’s outdoor patio and expect that your best friend is welcome, but your misstep might land you in the doghouse. So, until dogs run the world, do a little research before embarking on that spot for your hair-of-the-dog beverage. Two aspects in your favor: 1. Santa Fe is home to 400+ restaurants/bars, so you have A LOT to choose from. 2. Santa Fe’s excellent four-season climate features 320+ days of sunshine per year, allowing nearly that many days to imbibe, nosh, and hang with your leashed loved one patio side.

Walking the Dog: Trails, Parks, and Cityscapes

Dog Park

“If you don’t know how to do it, I’ll show you how to walk the dog” sang Rufus Thomas in 1963. Now with the tune firmly planted in your brain, consider the many possibilities for stretching your collective 6 legs. It should come as no surprise that a leash and a pet waste bag are integral aspects of your journey wherever you roam. Now get goin’! 

Trails: It’s no joke that Santa Fe and the surrounding area is home to hundreds of miles of wilderness trails, many of which wind through the 1.6 millions acres of National Forest, beginning just 4 miles from the historic downtown Plaza. Call it what you will–a hike, a traipse, a walk. Beyond the beauty and the solitude, there’s the sniff factor for your dog. You can get pretty remote quite easily, so be sure to tote along a map, extra water, some snacks (read: dog treats), and that trusty leash. Find trails here

Parks: “Off leash!” Two words never sounded better to your dog or to you, with perhaps the exception of “Dinner Time!” The most epic of off-leash parks in Santa Fe (and the largest of its kind in the country) is none other than the Frank S. Ortiz (named after a former mayor), a 138-acreage just two miles from the historic Plaza. It’s rather wild and topographically undulating with two enormous parking lots, water stations, shade areas, waste bag stations, and industrial-sized garbage cans. You must go at least once during your stay–your pup will thank you. And this exemplary park was just rated in the "Top 120 Hidden Gem Dog Parks in the US" by Technobark.

Other notables include:

1. Santa Fe Humane Society dog parks on the vast and beautiful Animal Shelter campus. Choose the 7-acre park if you’ve a big dog who thrives socially, or one of the three others if you’ve a small dog or one who’s accustomed to recreating solo. While in the area, which is approximately a 15-minute drive southeast from downtown Plaza, perhaps you’ll consider adopting yet another animal from the Shelter or donating to its worthy cause. 

2. Fort Marcy Recreation Complex, where two fenced areas are designated for smalls and bigs respectively. This 30-acre area also sports pickleball courts, play equipment, grills, restrooms, and an indoor fitness center and pool.

3. And at the Salvador Perez Recreation Center, affectionately called Train Park in honor of the retired steam locomotive that denominated the property, you’ll find a fenced-in space for pups. The 16-acre park also features tennis courts, a playground, a soccer/football field, and an indoor fitness center and pool.

Cityscapes: The recommendations are endless should you love to amble with your leashed beast along streets in Santa Fe’s many charming neighborhoods. Take a scenic jaunt along the tracks beginning at Railyard Plaza and the water tower (can’t miss it!) and on the promenade through Railyard Plaza, where you’ll discover a beautiful grassy spot to soak in the sights. Another favorite: the miles of sidewalk and trail along the Santa Fe River, which you can begin in the downtown Plaza area and head East toward Patrick Smith Park, named after a pastor of the adjacent Cristo Rey Church for many years. Or West toward Alto Park, both of which feature large-growth trees, grassy areas, and playgrounds.

They Call it Puppy Love: Specialty Pet Stores, Vets & Daycare/Boarding 

Dog Park Kiss

Run out of dog food? In need of a bone or special toy, or perhaps some additional bedding? The City Different has you covered with a variety of stores to choose from, carrying your pup’s brands.

Critters & Me
Shine Pet Food Co.
Teca Tu
Tullivers Pet Food Emporium

While in town, we sincerely hope your pup does not require medical attention, but if so, there’s one location that accepts walk-in patients:

Smith Veterinary

For emergencies, consider these locations, which are within an hour of the downtown Plaza:

Roadrunner Emergency & Specialty Hospital
Route 66 Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Center
Thrive Pet Healthcare Specialists
VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital & Referral Center



Pet-Friendly Businesses