Good news for Seattle dog lovers: Seattle is dog crazy!
According to Seattle Magazine, “With more dogs than children living within city limits, Seattle has officially gone to the dogs.”
This may seem preposterous, as most places you frequent on a regular basis like Starbucks or Safeway aren’t exactly welcoming to our canine companions. But the truth is we live in one of the most dog-friendly cities in the United States.
There are now more dogs in Seattle than children, by a lot: about 153,000 dogs to 107,178 kids, according to figures from the U.S. Census and the Seattle Animal Shelter. In Seattle, you can take your dog to “doga” where people practice yoga alongside their dogs, or hop a flight together to the San Juan Islands on Kenmore Air! Heck, in Seattle you can even ride the bus with your dog!
This may sound crazy, but our dog obsession is not without its benefits. “Studies have shown that interacting with a dog not only lowers a person’s blood pressure, but can cause a release of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding and feelings of love, in both humans and dogs.” (Seattle Mag.)
Kate Munson, a volunteer with the Seattle Humane Society, says, “Whether people want to dress up their dogs, take them to dinner or whatever they want, it is not that unusual or unhealthy unless it keeps you from living your life or hurts you or someone else.”
Some establishments in Seattle tend to agree. Take Norm’s Eatery and Ale House in Fremont, owned by Steve Habecker, which allows dog owners to bring their pets to the table. Habecker contends that things run smoothly at Norm’s, and most dog people are conscientious.
Even though technically allowing dogs in an establishment that serves food is in violation of King County Public Health Codes, in fact even Public Health officials admit that a restaurant could not be shut down merely for allowing dogs. Not surprisingly, then, there are many establishments seeking to gain favor with the dog-loving consumers of Seattle.
Not every business publicly proclaims their tolerance of dogs, but over the years of asking… and asking, and asking, and asking… I have built a good-sized list of local restaurants, pubs, cafes, and even salons that indeed allow, even welcome, dogs.
My aim is to share and grow my list of doggy digs with a community of dog-lovers via Dog Gone Seattle, and I hope my fellow dog-loving Seattlites will support me through comments, questions, and personal experiences in this endeavor.