portland, oregon is know for it’s beautiful scenery, great eats, and friendliness – but did you know it’s also a great city to visit with you dog? With over 400 dog-friendly restaurants, 94 vet offices, and multiple dog parks, portland is ranked number 4 for the most dog-friendly city in america and top city for dog owners according to koin.com.
This isn’t surprising because everywhere you go in portland, you’ll see owners walking, eating, and shopping with their dogs! just back in 2017, multnomah county alone had 81,000 registered dogs. as someone who moved to oregon over 5 years ago, i immediately saw a massive difference in the dog-friendliness that portland showed compared to living in idaho. not only are dogs a huge part of the community, but pet owners deeply care for their fur babies regarding safety and health.
what makes dog-friendly cities different
the main reason why i moved to portland after becoming a certified veterinary technician was because i wanted to work in a city where owners treated their pets as family. having a pet in a state like idaho usually means that they are your last priority or just your working dog. the love and care that pet owners give to their dogs in portland make it a no-brainer why portland is a dog-friendly city.
according to the Animal health foundation, dogs can actually make you a healthier person by lowering depression, increasing your activity levels, and even giving kids a higher allergy tolerance! it’s no wonder why people are just happier here in portland. i feel it too!
Take it from a veterinary professional
i really value being able to take my dog with me when i’m shopping, walking around town, or even just enjoying a beer. life is better with your dog by your side!
as a certified vet tech and dog mom, i love to educate fellow pet owners about understanding animal behavior, safety, and how to involve them in every aspect of your life. so, here’s my guide on how to explore portland, oregon with your dog.
Top Dog Parks in Portland
dog owners love to visit parks because it allows you to walk, run, or even have a picnic with your best friend. portland is known for some of the best parks in the country, but these are my favorite parks to bring your dogs to.
*Please note that if your dog in not in a designated 0ff-leash area they must be leashed*
Off-Leash Dog Parks
the main difference between off-leash and regular parks is being able to have designated space where your dog can go off leash without bothering other visitors or owners and keeping fiddo safe.
thousand acres park – Sandy River Delta
although this is located about 20 minutes east of portland, it is well worth to visit the largest off-leash dog park in the portland area. here you’ll have over 1,400 acres of open fields to explore with your dog. there are also off-leash hiking trails and 2 rivers to let your dogs swim in!
Sellwood Dog park
located in southeast portland, this is a great waterfront off-leash area where dogs and humans come to socialize, play fetch, and run on the beach. there are also several on-leash trails throughout the park.
one of the top rated local dog parks, fern-hill encompasses 4 acres of an off-leash dog area. there is small hills, plenty of trees, and nearby human amenities like baseball fields, picnic areas, and volleyball court.
Gabriel dog Park
this dog park is near sw portland where you’ll find a summer and winter park. this is one of the largest, fenced in dog parks in the portland metro area, making it a great off-leash option.
lastly, this iconic portland park not only includes miles of hiking trails to take your dog, but a small off-leash area to roam with them above the city skyline. the off-leash, forested area is located near se division and se harrison street.
Best Parks to take your dog on a walk
although many of these parks also have off-leash areas, they are much smaller than dedicated off-leash parks and are the best parks to take your dog on a walk instead.
the fields park
this park is ideal if you are walking around downtown and want to hang out with your dog while viewing the city buildings.
hillsdale city park
a great dog park option to catch beautiful sunsets
tom mccall waterfront park
a portland staple, this paved walk lets you and your dog enjoy view of the willamette river and iconic bridges. there’s also a water fountain that displays during the summer and lots of open spaces to sit and relax.
close to the willamette river and access to the water, you’ll enjoy paved walking trails and a fenced dog park area underneath large trees.
this NW portland park includes paved paths and a half acre off-leash area underneath the st. johns bridge. you can also walk down to the waterfront and enjoy views of the industrial area.
Best Hikes with your Dog near Portland
if you’re looking for a more rugged way to get outdoors with your dog, hiking near portland isn’t hard to find. always be sure to bring enough food and water for both human and doggo and keep them leashed up!
this is the only state park in oregon’s major metropolitan area that encompasses up to 8 miles of interconnective hiking trails for you and your pups. do note that some of the trails are very narrow and there are also horse trails, so make sure to give them the right of way. some of my favorite trails are:
- old main to red fox trail (easy, 2 miles)
- triple bridge loop (moderate, 3.5 miles)
- trillium trail (easy, 0.6 miles)
with over 5,200 acres, 40 access points, and 60 hiking trails in a heavily forested area, this park is an excellent choice to go hiking with your fur buddy. be sure to check out:
- skyline cruise trail (moderate, 3 miles)
- wildwood trail (easy to hard, up to 30 miles total) *there are partial closures throughout the trail as of 2023*
- redwood observation deck (easy, 0.3 miles)
- forest park ridge trail (moderate, 4.5 miles)
If you want to experience wide open spaces and gets awesome views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier – then this is the dog-friendly hike for you. this trail is rated moderate and 5.4 miles in length.
looking for a unique PDX hike with your dog? check out this small lighthouse located just north of portland in sauvie island. although relatively flat, it is 7 miles in total.
Columbia River Gorge
Just east of Portland lies the gorgeous Columbia River Gorge. It’s filled with wonderful waterfalls and even springs with wildflowers during the month of May.
These are some of the best trails to hike with dog:
- Memaloose Hills (moderate, 3.5 miles)
- Mosier Plateau (moderate, 2.5 miles)
- Bridal Veil Falls (easy, 0.4 miles)
- Latourell Falls (easy to moderate, 0.2 to 2 miles for full loop)
- Multnomah Falls (moderate, 2.5 miles)
- Ponytail Falls (easy, 1 mile)
Fun Activities with your Dog in the Portland Area
one of the biggest perks about living in a dog-friendly city is getting to be able to experience the city with them and take them along for things like date nights or hangouts with friends. here are some of the funnest activities in pdx to enjoy with your canine while on leash.
Portland Saturday Market
a well-beloved portland tradition, the portland saturday market brings local vendors and the community together to enjoy art, food, and clothing items.
hours: 10 am – 5 pm every Saturday, March through December 24th.
where: 2 SW Naito Parkway portland, or 97204 next to the Willamette River and the Burnside Bridge
this a beautiful area to relax and have a picnic with your dog while enjoy one of the best portland skyline views in the city. dogs are not allowed in the mansion itself, but there is plenty to explore on the grounds and gardens.
hours: dawn to dusk daily. cars must be parked outside gates by 9pm.
International Rose Test Garden
more than 10,000 rose bushes bloom annually from late may to early october here in portland. this is a great place to take a walk, enjoy a picnic, and take photos with your dog.
hours: 5am – 10pm daily
crystal springs rhododendron garden
these gardens are a great way to escape city life and enjoy nature and wildlife through collections of plants and trees with beautiful walkways.
cost: free on mondays, $5 for anyone over the age of 10
hours: 10am – 3:30pm thursday through tuesday, 1pm – 3:30pm wednesdays
going to the coast
although this isn’t located in portland, going out to the coast is rated one of the top activities for you and your dog. you can reach the coast in little as 1.5 hours from the city. the oregon coast is the perfect place to run around with your doggo, fly a kite, enjoy seafood, or even sit by campfire.
some of the best beaches to visit on the northern oregon coast with wide open spaces for you and your dog are:
- cannon beach
- lincoln city
- pacific city
- cape lookout state park
visit Hood River
Just a little over an hour outside of portland lies the cute town of Hood River. Here you’ll find local restaurants, short and rewarding hikes, various wineries, and even u-pick farms.
This is a great day trip to do with your dog because there are so many outdoor activities to share together! Take the walk down Oak street and you’ll be greeted with the main attractions like Mike’s ice cream, 64 TapHouse, and kickstand coffee.
Annual Dog/Pet events in Portland
bringing fellow dog lovers together is a big part of the portland community, so be sure to check out these annual pet-friendly events. note that prices and exact dates change yearly.
put on by oregon humane society, this dog friendly event shuts down roads to allow the dogs to run the streets instead. this is Portland’s biggest pet event of the year and features a fun run, pet festival, pancake breakfast, and contests.
where: tom mccall waterfront
muddy paws fun run
this is a designated fun run meant for you and your pup! located in woodburn, just south of portland, you’ll run through the blooming tulip fields with fellow dog lovers! proceeds go to local pet rescues.
when: may 20th, 2023
where: Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
this annual event is held in portland’s wine country in the tualatin hills where you can take a self-guided tour of 4 wineries with your best friend. you’ll get pet perks like a tasting passport, free wine tastings, and dog activities at each winery where all proceeds will go to the oregon humane society.
when: august 5th, 2023
where: various wineries, see the website here
dress up your pup and come out to local street fair put on by lucky lab and dove lewis animal hospital. there is a costume contest, beer and other beverages, and proceeds support the dove lewis blood bank program. you’ll even receive an etched beer glass with entry!
when: september, tbd
where: lucky labrador
Christmas festival lights at the grotto
this is a fun christmas light exhibit to enjoy with your dog as you can explore the grounds at your pace while listening to live carols and enjoying warm beverages.
cost: $14 and food donations encouraged
when: month of december
where: The grotto
The Top Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Portland, Or
finding dog-friendly places to eat in other cities can be a challenge, but not here in portland! you’ll find dozens of outdoor dining and pet-friendly options, but here are the top places to eat with your pup.
*It is against public health code to dine indoors with your animals, so all pet-friendly dining is outside*
rated one of the top restaurants to eat in portland with your dog – this cafe not only lets you dine on the patio together but it has its own doggie menu!
if you purchase one of their bandanas (which supports a local rescue) and have your pup wear it next visit, you’ll receive half off your meal.
enjoy homemade breakfast, lunch, and dinner items all made with love from scratch.
a 40-year old establishment that specializes in American dishes and hand-crafted cocktails for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
casual dining take on vegetarian comfort food and fresh ingredients.
fine dining for mediterranean cuisines that is meant for family-style sharing.
with 2 locations, one in northeast and the other in the southwest districts – you can enjoy slices of quality pizza with your dog.
a homey tavern serving sandwiches, appetizers, and craft beer.
bringing mexican cuisines to brunch, classic dishes, and even a seasonal menu.
this patio features heating to keep you and your pup warm during cold portland months while enjoying comfort food and beverages for brunch and dinner.
some of the best burgers in portland with local and fresh ingredients served from a food truck near scout beer tap house.
serves classic brunch, salads, and sandwich dishes along with specialized cocktails.
plant-based indian cuisine that provides bold and flavorful dishes to enjoy.
food cart options
another great thing about eating with your dog in portland is the food cart options. there are over 600 food carts within city limits!
here are some of the best food cart pods to dine with your doggie:
Which bars will let you bring your dog in Portland, Oregon?
Most bars in portland that have outdoor seating will allow you to bring your dog, but here are my top favorite bars to sip and relax with the pooch.
one of my favorite pizza and bar joints in portland with 3 locations, lucky labrador says dog-friendly just with the name and bring a great outside environment for you both.
this pdx company also has 3 locations to choose from for you and your doggo to enjoy local beer.
quirky and cash-only bar, but is loved by locals for its dog-friendly and plant filled patio. Fire pits are also here to relax by!
this bar has a huge outdoor patio to hang out with the dogs and enjoy alcoholic beverages in the heart of the pearl district.
located in southeast portland, this covered patio (heated in the winter too) is a great option to sip on drinks and even order deluxe chaucertie boards.
this casual bar loves when you bring your pup. they have a large dining patio decorated with cute cafe lights.
dog-friendly wineries / tasting rooms in portland metro area
even outside of portland, there are a lot dog-friendly options – especially when you are wine tasting! most wineries have outdoor patios and grounds to explore and will allow you to bring the fur babies along.
dog-friendly vineyards in portland wine country
offers a dog-friendly membership, pinot & puppies, that give your pup monthly organic treats and play dates on the vineyard.
the owners themselves are big dog lovers and will even show your pup to the swimming pond on site.
sokol blosser winery
dog aren’t allowed indoors, but can enjoy the covered patio where it’s heated during the winter.
portland tasting rooms that allow dogs
bring your dog to this indoor tasting room in portland. they also have dog-friendly special events and pop up bars!
portland wine company
in the heart of the city, you can enjoy the grape with your doggos on their streetside patio with walk-ins or private reservations.
another great tasting flight experience where you can dine indoors or out with you dog in tow. they even offer charcuterie boards and local chocolates to pair.
top 10 Coffee shops in Pdx that are dog-friendly
portlanders are known for their love of coffee and dogs, so you’ll find a lot of options to choose from. here are the top places to take your dog and sip on coffee!
one of the best dog-friendly coffee shops in portland that offers coffee, tea, and shaved iced. they even encourage you to take a polaroid photo of your pup and hang it on their community dog board!
3 dog-friendly locations to choose from, roasting their own special beans.
cute southeast coffee stop where you can sip on coffee with your pup inside or out! they also have some simple bakery items.
a new establishment started in 2022, this st. john’s coffee shop allows you to sit inside with your dog. you must try the butterbeer latte!
a light and airy environment to work and bring the doggo with. they also have some killer brunch entrees.
oldest coffee cafe in portland where you can sit on their dog-friendly patio and enjoy the view.
a very dog-friendly industrial coffee shop with multiple locations in portland.
inside this double-decker bus, they provide Turkish and egyptian-style coffee drinks to enjoy with your dog by your side.
this coffee shop has vegan options and a dog-friendly environment that has a shuffleboard inside.
a portland classic, this coffee shop has multiple locations and provides dog-friendly seating.
Top Dog-Friendly Accommodations in Portland
although there are over 200 dog-friendly hotels in the area which make it quite easy to find a lodging accommodation, these are my top 6 hotels that include some extra pet perks.
Kimpton Hotel vintage
this hotel includes food, plush mats, bowls, and a door hanger to let other guests know your dog has stayed behind at no extra cost. you can even bring them to their nightly happy hour down in the lobby/living room area. lastly, they’ve also partnered with Wag to connect you with pet walkers and sitters for 10% off during your stay.
Address: 422 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
Phone: (503) 228-1212
The Heathman Hotel
here your dog will be V.I.P. status (very important pet) with the $40 pet package. which includes pet bed, bowls, food, and a welcome kit complete with treats, a toy, and list of local pet groomers, vets, and walkers.
Address: 1001 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
Phone: (503) 241-4100
national luxury chain that includes 4 hotels in the portland area, all dog-friendly. These stays include a $50 a-list pet package with pet bed, bowls, treats, a toy, local walking guide, and pet care recommendations.
jupiter next hotel
This $45 dog package includes a Jupiter next bandana, jupiter next bag holder, and pet bowls. Dogs are also welcomed on their property-wide amenities including the lobby & bar, workspace area, 5th floor balcony, secret garden tent, and the dream tent.
phone: (503) 230-9200
this is another great chain of hotels in the area that allows dogs with no size or weight restrictions. although there are not pet perk packages, all of their stays allow dogs and most of their bars, lounges, and restaurants are dog-friendly.
it’s a no-brainer that taking your dog to an airbnb can be a great experience for you both and reduces your stress about them making noise. do note that airbnbs do require pet fees which range from $20-50/night.
a very unique stay that is only a short drive from downtown portland in west slope neighborhood. they allow 1 dog with you to enjoy this treehouse, private patio and hot tub, and zipline!
Best Campgrounds for Dogs near Portland
sleeping out in nature with your best 4-legged friend is easy to do with so many choices in the portland area. check out these campgrounds to get away with them!
portland metro area
location: 30 minutes west of portland
accomodations: tents, rv sites, cabins, and pet-friendly yurts
features: forested hiking and biking trails, disc golf, off-leash dog area
champoeg State area
location: 30 minutes south of portland near canby
accomodations: tents, rv sites, dog-friendly cabins and yurts
features: hiking and biking trail, water access, disc golf
columbia river gorge
mt. hood national forest
fun Stores in Portland to shop with your dog
local pet store that specializes in recycled dog collars made out of bike tubes. this store also features both indoor and outdoor play areas with a dog-friendly tavern.
a unique museum-like store that encompasses plants, taxidermy, local jewelry, and gems. Dogs are more than welcomed here! they have 2 locations to choose from in portland.
with 3 portland locations to choose from, you’ll have fun shopping with your dog while browsing this local oregonian gift shop.
pnw local and long-term running store that sells rugged outdoor clothing, travel bags & watches. bring the pup with you!
specializing in brightly-colored and quirky home goods and offers a dog/pet section to shop from.
Tips for Traveling with your Dog
exploring with your dog by your side is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but you can run into potential problems. so here’s the best tips to keep fiddo safe!
keeping your dog safe while hiking or Walking
Not all dogs are fit for long hikes, hot weather, or rough terrain. It’s important to know your dog’s physical limits because it can be detrimental to their life. If you are wanting your dog to hike with you but they’re a beginner, make sure to ease them into it.
make sure to always bring plenty of water and snacks/food for your pup and rest them frequently throughout the trail. If you are hiking in the summer, I’d recommend hiking early in the morning to avoid hot conditions.
dog sweaters, raincoats, and cooling vest/bandadas are fantastic gear options to bring as well.
Lastly, you should pay extra attention to your dog’s paw pads. If you press your hand to the surface they’re walking on for 5 seconds and it’s uncomfortable for you, it’s unsafe for them. Dog booties are a great idea in extreme cold and hot situations!
the best way to drive with your dog safely in the car is keeping them in a crate like impact dog crates. metal crates like this will help protect your pup if a car accident occurs.
if you choose not to kennel your dog during car rides, i’d highly recommend getting a harness seat belt, back seat hammock, or dog guard. these will help prevent your dog rolling around during a car accident and keep them from crawling up in the front seat as distraction.
lastly, this is a no-brainer to most dog owners – but you should never leave your dog in warm/hot or extreme cold weather. temperatures inside your car when its only 70 degrees outside can rise to 100 degrees in just a matter of minutes. an American veterinary medical association study showed that even cracking the window did very little to help.
traveling with your dog can be more involved than when traveling with just yourself. make sure to include plenty of stops to let your dog stretch their legs, go to the bathroom and drink/eat.
you should refrain from feeding your dog 2 hours before car rides to avoid car sickness. If your dog has vomiting due to motion sickness, i highly recommend visiting your vet to obtain an anti-nausea medication like cerenia.
travel checklist for your dog
check out this gear list for all your dog travels needs.
- leash / harness
- collapsible bowls
- travel water dispenser and treat holder
- poop bags
- paw balm and dog booties
- first aid kit
- any necessary paperwork (vaccines, certificates)
environments and crowds
sometimes bringing your dog around big crowds or loud environments can overstimulate them. if your dog is not desensitized to these sounds or reactive to other dogs and people, it may not be the best decision to bring the along.
off-leash dog parks are a great way to let your dog explore new smells, but you should follow these tips to avoid fights between the doggos.
- ensure the park has plenty of space for the amount of dogs present so they can all have room to themselves.
- avoid dogs or leave the park if other dogs have stiff bodies, high hackles, or holding their trails high. this can make your dog uncomfortable and leave to incidents.
- actively supervise your dog and keep them moving around the park
As a responsible dog owner, it’s important for you to respect others and their dogs too. Be sure to check out these quick guidelines from Portland.gov to keep your community healthy and safe while exploring Portland with your dog.
not cleaning up after your dog is not only irresponsible as it can transmit disease and parasites to others, but you could receive up to a $150 fine. this applies to off-leash areas as well.
not only required by law, but is a common courtesy, is leashing your dog when outside off-leash areas. even if your dog is well behaved off-leash, other dogs may not. you also put your dog in increased danger to unexpected events like wildlife attacks or being hit by a car.
as a veterinary technician, i cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard owners letting their dogs walk beside them without a leash and resulted in their pet being hit by a car. animals get spooked and you will not be in control of that situation.
Dog-off Leash Area (DOLA) Rules
- you cannot bring more than 3 dogs to an off-leash area so you can supervise and control them appropriately
- make sure your dog is wearing their current and appropriate dog tags (proof of current license and rabies vaccine) – you can register your dog for a current license online here
- remove gentle leaders or “choke” chains while your dog is in DOLAs
- be considerate by not bringing food into the off-leash areas as dogs can be aggressive or excited over this
- if there is any sign of aggression, remove your dog from that situation
because dogs can have accidents on the floor, employees can pet dogs and not wash their hands, or owners let their dogs eat off their plates – pets are not allowed to dine indoors.
all healthy and able dogs should be current on their “core vaccines”, especially if they are in public or encountering other dogs. according to the American Veterinary medical association, the “core vaccines” recommended for dogs are rabies and DHPP (distemper).
if you are visiting or living in pacific northwest, veterinarians recommend Leptospirosis (which can spread to humans) and Bordetella (kennel cough).
if your dog comes into contact with other dogs frequently – such as dog parks, grooming, doggie daycare, or boarding facilities, it is recommended to update them on the influenza vaccine.
lastly, please seek care with your veterinary professional to discuss any of these vaccines for your personal pup!
if you are flying with your pup, you’ll need to obtain a health certificate from your vet no sooner than 10 days prior to your flight. if your dog can fit in cabin, JetBlue, Southwest, and Spirit airline don’t require a certificate.
for more details on health certificate and requirements you’ll need, please checkout the corresponding website you are flying with.
get out and explore portland with your dog!
Being able to live in such a dog-friendly city is one of the best decisions I made to move to Portland. You’re not only able to go out and enjoy a hike with the pup, but you can eat, drink, or shop with them too! Most cities do not have this huge perk.
so if you’re a dog owner in pdx, it’s time to check out some new places and get outside with fido safely and happily!
Make your own city more dog-friendly
Better Cities for Pets is a program that encourages cities to become more pet-friendly by assessing how they can make changes and improvements to the city. this is a great start to pave the way if you want to see more d0g-friendly options in your own community!
wanting to get married with your pet present?
Make sure to check out this guide below if you are wanting to get married with your fur baby present.