Plan a Trip to Minneapolis with Your Pooch

    A family vacation is a wonderful opportunity for bonding with loved ones, so why should your four-legged family member miss out? Minneapolis, Minn., is a very dog-friendly city, but it’ll take some careful planning to make the most of your stay.

    Minneapolis, MN
    Minneapolis, MN

    Book a Pet-Friendly Hotel Early

    Demand for pet-friendly hotels is strong, so book early to enjoy the best selection. helps you easily search pet-friendly hotels in Minneapolis and its surrounds.

    Pets are allowed at the Marriott Minneapolis City Center, but you’ll need to cough up a $100 sanitation fee. They’re a little more welcoming at W Minneapolis – The Foshay, although a $100 sanitation fee and an additional $25 nightly pet surcharge are applied. At least that money buys a few extras including a pet-friendly bed, bowls, a customized W leash, toys and treats, and dog-sitting services.

    If you baulk at the surcharges, try Aloft Minneapolis, where extra housekeeping charges are only applied if your pup fouls the room. Dogs up to 40 pounds use a special bed and bowl during their stay. They also receive a special doggie bag filled with toys and treats.

    Get Your Dog Vaccinated and Microchipped

    Some Minneapolis pet-friendly events and establishments only allow vaccinated dogs on their premises, so make sure your dog’s shots are up to date.

    If your pup’s not microchipped, there’s no better time to get the job done. Some dogs become anxious in unfamiliar environments and try to escape. A microchip will make it much easier to be reunited with your furry friend if he gets lost during your trip.

    Read Up on Local Events

    You won’t want to miss some of the great dog-friendly local events that are on during your stay.

    In March, dogs compete in the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine’s annual Dog Olympics. Prizes and trophies are awarded to the highest jumping, fastest, most obedient, and most talented pups. Money raised helps benefit the St. Paul Police K-9 Foundation.

    In June, the Minneapolis Convention Center comes alive with the Minnesota Pet Expo, a massive free pet-friendly event with agility and obedience demonstrations, book signings, pet product displays, pet workshops, giveaways and a massive adoption drive.

    Every August, The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes hosts Woofstock, a free doggy festival with market stalls, live bands, a photo booth for snaps with your canine pal, and much more.

    Reading up on local events can help you plan your itinerary. Visit for an up-to-date dog-friendly event calendar.

    Suss Out Dog-Friendly Eateries

    Most Minneapolis restaurants don’t welcome pets, so it’s a good idea to make a list of places you can visit with your pooch.

    Enjoy amazing Italian at Amore Victoria, where dogs are welcome on the sidewalk seating and rooftop patio area. The friendly staff will welcome your dog with belly rubs and his own water bowl. The Aster Café also has a dog-friendly patio, and water and treats for your furry friend. Barbette is a high-end French restaurant that seems like it’s come straight out of Paris with its dog-friendly patio.

    Have we missed any other great dog-friendly places in Minneapolis? Share them with our readers in the comments below.

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