For the Dogs

Never has there been a better time for pets in Hillsborough County and the Tampa Bay area! Ranked as one of the most pet-friendly cities and regions in the nation, there’s never a shortage of things to do with our pets or resources to help us in our journey of being a pet parent.
As the downtown area and Channelside have been growing, so have the number of pet-friendly areas. Boasting four dog parks, there’s always something going on! The Riverwalk and Curtis Hixon Dog Park are a favorite. Many restaurants in the downtown area and Hyde Park have dog-friendly patios. Moving out away from downtown, the eastern part of Hillsborough also has many options with Saldino Park on Bryan Road, Mango Dog Park and the Plant City Dog Park. Many neighborhoods have also started incorporating dog park areas as the number of residents with pets has increased steadily over the past few years. And don’t forget about the local craft-beer boom too! Most of the craft-beer breweries allow pets inside or have a pet-friendly outside patio. Have a craft beer, relax and pet your pup! If you and your dog love the beach and water, check out Davis Island Beach Dog Park, which is just outside of downtown, and Picnic Island Beach Dog Park, which is near MacDill AFB. Both are great options if your dog likes to run free and play the water! A quick web search will give you a bunch of options for spending the day with your dog!
If you are thinking about adding a cat or dog to your family, please contact a local pet rescue to learn about the animals available for adoption. These are dedicated groups of volunteers that rescue abandoned cats and dogs. Here’s a few to check out – Makin’ Biscuits Rescuary (Lithia), New Life Dog Rescue (Riverview), 4 Lucky Dogs Pet Rescue (Valrico), and C.A.R.E Animal Shelter (Ruskin). There are many more! Most of the groups in the area have a Facebook page or their own website for additional information.
When you are out shopping for your food, treats and pet supplies, please consider visiting one of the smaller, family-owned pet stores in the area. There are so many options in this area aside from big box. In the Lithia and Valrico area, there is Dog Gone Holistic in FishHawk, as well as Earthwise Pet and Kim’s Natural Pet Foods, both on Lithia near Bloomingdale.
Have fun and explore the area! There are so many pet-friendly things to do and places to visit!