Is Florida Dog Friendly?

Is Florida Dog Friendly?

Is Florida Dog Friendly?

I have lived in Florida now for about 10 years and have always been hoping that we would be able to find the perfect city to live in that is completely dog friendly.  I have lived in Daytona Beach, Palm Beach, Naples and Miami and still have not felt that my dog is welcome or at home yet.

To start with, there are very few Florida beaches to take your dog to – and those beaches have MAJOR restrictions like the beach is only open for dogs on certain days and only at certain times during those days, dog owners must pay additional fees to enter the beach, which to me is discrimination.  Aren’t all beaches in Florida, public? Usually, we all pay to park our cars, but then the beach access is free.  Why do only dog owners have to pay extra?  Where is this money going and to whom?  People shouldn’t have to search high and low and drive long distances to find a dog friendly beach.

Regarding restaurants, there are still several Florida restaurants that will not allow my dog to sit outside in their outdoor patios.  This really confuses me, why will they allow squirrels, birds, ants, geckos and every other animal to enjoy their patios except my dog?  I actually prefer sitting inside anyways, because the cigarette smokers ruin any chance at actually enjoying my experience “outdoors” anyways.  I absolutely love the idea of sitting outdoors to enjoy the beach atmosphere, ocean breezes, etc. but unfortunately the second-hand smoke invading my lungs I do not love, neither do my dogs.  There are just a handful of Florida restaurants that will allow you to actually bring your dog inside.   There are a few, and when we find them, we will post them on

Don’t even talk to me about Florida condominium living and dogs.  The way I see it, usually a home or a condo is one of the largest investments a person will ever make in a lifetime.  Most of us only have one or two dogs and the reality is they live as our family members, in our homes (and in most cases, in our beds too).   Dogs have been a huge part of all stages throughout my life.  I have had dogs since I was a baby, throughout my childhood and adulthood and I’m sure I will have dogs when I am a senior citizen.  For the elderly, dogs not only bring unconditional love and constant companionship, they are a healthy lifestyle choice as well.  It gets people out and about, with daily walks and socializations.  Unfortunately, there are very few condominiums that allow dogs!  To me this is crazy, these are our family members.  And for those condos that allow dogs, they have MAJOR restrictions like only one dog, weight under 15 pounds, dogs not allowed to walk on the floors they must be carried and dogs not allowed in any common areas!  Why is it that ultra luxurious hotels like Loews, the Four Seasons and Kimpton allow dogs of all sizes to enjoy their hotels, but in condos – our actual homes, they will not?

Florida needs to move forward and accept the fact that most households have dogs, they are family members and we spend a fortune on keeping our dogs safe, healthy and happy.   Even during our current financial crisis in the world, the amount of money we spend on our dogs has not been affected, it has actually increased.  Restaurants need to open their doors to our dogs, they need to make ALL our beaches dog friendly without additional costs to dog owners and condominium associations need to change their rules on dogs and make all condos dog friendly.   If most households have dogs and Florida doesn’t become more dog friendly, what is keeping people from finding somewhere else to live?  We have investigated several cities throughout Florida and our search will continue.

DOGZAR is excited to begin our search for the world’s most dog friendly places to live.

DOGZAR wants to help keep your dog . . . SAFE, HEALTHY and HAPPY!


Patricia · November 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I developed to provide pet friendly resources for Florida residents and visitors, including places to play, vacation, dine and live. I put the site online back in 2001 and since then, I have seen too many dog beaches fall by the wayside. Dog parks are faring better, but there have been several closures just in the past couple of years. As far as overall pet-friendliness, there are pockets in Florida that coexist with pets just fine and then, there are other areas that can’t for the life of them, incorporate man’s best friend into their psyche. Our favorite pet-friendly areas in Florida include, but are not limited to, Amelia Island, St. Augustine, Orlando, the Tampa Bay area in general, and Miami. In my opinion, the future of pets in public places will hinge on two very important factors: 1) Well-behaved humans accompanying pets and 2) Those humans picking up after themselves and their pets during their visits at those public places.

    DOGZAR · November 3, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Thank you so much for your information regarding the cities you have found to be your favorite dog-friendly areas in Florida. We are so excited to investigate and report from the cities you suggested. I totally agree with you about the responsibility of dog owners for the future of Florida (and every state really) being more pet friendly. In our efforts to find more welcoming dog friendly cities, DOGZAR has events at new locations everywhere, bringing together dogs and their dog parents. Our DOGZAR ROYALS are an elite group of dog parents that go above and beyond for our furry loved ones. We are responsible, loving and caring dog parents that keep our dogs safe, healthy and happy. We consider our DOGZAR Royals role models for responsible dog parenting. We have excellent dog etiquette by picking up after our dogs when they poop. We will be discovering exciting new destinations together and it’s very important that we express through our actions that we respect the environment and the people that have opened their doors to our dogs. We want to show everyone that we are THANKFUL for making more destinations dog-friendly! We would love to have you JOIN DOGZAR Events, since you share the same beliefs. I know there tons of responsible dog owners exactly like us, if we join together we can make a change and make this world 100% DOG FRIENDLY!

Buddy Broderson · November 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

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