Dog Friendly Sarasota

Posted by Julian Yates on Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 at 10:46am.

As we reported a couple of years ago, both the city and county of Sarasota are pretty dog-friendly places. According to, a website that highlights places where dogs are welcome, Sarasota has 194 restaurants that offer doggy dining, including El Greco and Cafe Epicure, two of my dog Nemo's favorites. And in addition to the off-leash Paw Parks we highlighted in 2015, a resolution was passed by the Sarasota County Commissioners last December which designated 71 local parks and preserves as “dog friendly,” meaning that you can bring your dogs as long as they're on a leash.

This is great news for dog owners in Sarasota. For most of us, our four legged friends are part of the family, and if you're like me, you like to take your dog with you wherever you go. My hound, Nemo, loves getting out and about, and it brings me great joy that I live in a place that is open to that.

Of course, as much joy as pets bring to their owners, they also lift the spirits of other people. I know quite a few folks who enjoy their trips to the local farmers' markets as much for the parade of pets as the fresh local produce. Since they offer us such unconditional love and companionship, we as pet owners want to be able to provide all that we can for our pets to be healthy and happy.

You've probably already opened your pet up to one of the best lives imaginable by moving to Sarasota in the first place, but there are a few other things to consider to truly provide for your four-legged family member.

For those of us who have busy lives, and can't take our dogs with us everywhere we go, it's often good to have people that will drop in to look after them and take them for walks when they need it. Jim LaClair has been a godsend for Nemo and I. Nemo's favorite part of his week is going out on Jim's boat to go play on the Sarasota Bay sandbars. Not only is Jim a great dog walker, but he's also a trainer, which helps a great deal in making even the most unruly canines easier to take out in public.

For those out of town trips, Jim will even board your dog and train him while you're gone. While there are a number of kennels where you can also board your dog, many prefer pet-sitting services that allow your pets to stay at home in the environment in which they're most comfortable. Whether you prefer an independent pet-sitter like Michelle Harper or want to go with a business like Wet Noses, which also specializes in grooming and offers a variety of pet foods, toys, and accessories in Downtown Sarasota and Gulf Gate, Sarasota has a number of options to keep your pets safe and cared for while you're away.

Sarasota also has a number of great veterinarian clinics. Nemo loves Dr. Smith and the wonderful staff at Bay Road Animal Hospital. For more pressing emergencies, it's good to know that Sarasota has an animal ER at Critical Vet Care, as well as an animal ambulance service through Vet Care Express. For those pet parents that worry about their pets as much as their own children, Sarasota goes a long way to ensure that those tails keep wagging.

While I always enjoy helping people find their perfect home, it's nice to know that I'm helping to create the perfect home for their pets as well. I hope that you and your family, even the four-legged members, make the most of your life in Sarasota.


Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist

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