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Boulder County was made for dogs


Dani Hemmat

Master and commander at the helm on Lake McIntosh

If it isn’t clear by the random water bowls outside of boutiques and every other person walking a dog or two, Boulder County was made for dog lovers. More often than not, dogs are seated side by side with their human guardians at outdoor cafes, and we have our fair share of natural pet supply stores and dog-friendly trails.

And let’s not forget that your well-behaved mutt is as welcome in the aisles of McGuckin’s Hardware as you are. Maybe even more, if your pooch is a real cutie.

But even the most die-hard dog owners may not realize that there are more places that you can bring your buddy along with you than you can shake--and then throw-- a stick at. Go fetch!


Although the most exceptional walking and shopping area around, Pearl Street, doesn’t allow dogs, and neither does the Boulder County Farmers’ Markets, there are plenty of other shopping experiences that welcome you with your pooch in tow.

There is the 29th Street Mall in Boulder at 29th and Canyon, an outdoor promenade that features wide sidewalks, and even free dog waste bags, plenty of waste bins and small relieving stations intended for a dog’s business. Then there is the aforementioned McGuckin’s, and you can also bring your furry pal to Home Depot, any pet store in Boulder County, and some of the more relaxed boutiques in town. Just remember that not everyone loves, or is comfortable around, dogs. Read the room before you barge in with your buddy.

Socializing with alcohol

While your dog can’t drink, she sure can hang out with you while you imbibe, and be there to walk you home when your revelry is done. BoCo is home to several establishments that not only brew the good stuff, but they love your dog, too. Romero’s K-9 Club & Taphouse in Lafayette is targeted to dogs and their people who like to drink, but there are brewhouses aplenty that accept your dog along with your drink order: Asher Brewing Company, Avery Brewing Company, Boulder Beer Company, FInkel and Garf, Gunbarrel Brewing, J Wells Brewery, Rayback Collective and Upslope Brewing. Raise your glass and your paw!

Socializing without alcohol, otherwise known as the dog park

Lame romantic comedies aside, the dog park is a great place to chat with strangers while you watch your dog get his ya-yas out on a sunny day. Grab a matcha latte and head out to one of many fine dog parks in our area. They include, but are not limited to: Foothills dog park, Valmont dog park, Louisville dog park, Great Bark dog park, Airport dog park, Boneyard at Reliance Park, Autrey dog park, Howard Heuston Off-Leash, and Longmont dog park. While it’s tempting to stick to a favorite, you can mix it up so Fido doesn’t squeal and whine every time you get near one of them, plus you get to explore new places and meet new people.


There is a special place, and for a short time each year, its doors open just for the dogs. The public pool at Scott Carpenter Park hosts Dog Dayz at the end of every outdoor swimming season, kicking humans out of the pool for two weeks and opening up the water for dog shenanigans. This is a fun tradition that has been frolicking along for a decade, and more than 2,000 canines have enjoyed cooling off in the waters with their peers during the actual dog days of summer. Unfortunately, the pool will be closed for serious renovations and revamps during the 2019 season, but work is projected to be done before the 2020 swim season, and we can only hope that Rover will once again get to romp in this super cool Boulder tradition.

Dani Hemmat

Boulder County was made for dogs

But if Fido digs the water, there’s always another way to get him out into the waves. Paddleboarding abounds in BoCo, with plenty of places to rent or buy one, and if your little skipper has a life jacket, you can train him to stay steady on your board while you paddle around Longmont’s Lake McIntosh. I like to let my dog pretend she’s captain of the ship, even though she’s only ten pounds.

All in all, the place we live is for the dogs, and we’re lucky. Remember, as accepting as the merchants and public spaces are of our dogs here in BoCo, it’s always contingent on what sort of citizen both you and your dog are. Well-behaved humans and canines keep those dog-toting privileges open, but if you or your pooch are jerks, the general consensus can always change to a less dog-friendly state of mind.

So, who’s a good dog?


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