We know that having a dog in a city is a totally unique, special and sometimes chaotic experience. There’s something different about it, especially in a place like New York.
Last week, we published our Dog Owner's Guide to Manhattan. Though Manhattan and Brooklyn are technically both a part of New York City, the reality is that many of us end up sticking to our burroughs and even within that, our individual neighborhoods...or the 2-3 adjacent neighborhoods. So while last week was all about Manhattan, this one is all about Brooklyn.
Whether you're new to BK or you’ve been here for a while, we wanted to make having a dog in NYC a little bit easier. Consider this your ultimate guide to having a dog in New York City. Well, Brooklyn actually.
Included in this guide are some our favorite walkers, groomers, boarders, dog friendly boutiques and restaurants, along with some of our favorite hacks for living with your dog in NYC.
Also, if you don’t see some of your favorites or recommendations on our list, comment below. We want to hear from you and learn about what we’re missing and what new spots to hit up that should be added to our list! Let’s get into it…
Whether you’re looking for a groomer, a place for your dog to socialize while you’re at work midweek or an amazing boarder to ensure your dog is taken care of when you’re out of town, here are some of our favorite businesses around Brooklyn for a pampering or an overnight stay for your dog.
Brooklyn Paw House - A space that's meticulously designed for both dog and dog parent, this is actually a spot you'll want to linger in. These guys do it all: daycare, boarding, grooming and self-wash. The upstairs area also has a curated selection of thoughtfully chosen products in a retail space. As a husband and wife team with three dogs of their own, you get the benefits of a small community business with the highest level of grooming and boarding services.
Paws and the City - Located right on the border of Crown Heights and Bed Stuy, Paws and the City is a go-to spot for grooming, dog sitting and boarding. Their grooming services are breed specific with an understanding of each dog's needs. Looking for an overnight stay? Their custom rooms provide total comfort and safety for your dog while you're out of town. If you'd rather have someone come to you, they also offer in-house sitting options.
The Pooch Parlor - An affordable and calming dog spa, their services include grooming, daycare and boarding. The staff takes the utmost care to be sure your dog is comfortable and safe during their grooming. They also carry a large variety of brushes, leashes, bowls, etc.
Pampered Paws - A fully cage free grooming salon for dogs, their menu of services is extensive with so many options and add-ons for the perfect experience for your dog, including options with all natural and organic products. They also offer house on-call dog grooming services in the privacy of your home for that spa treatment for your dog in the comforts of your own house.
Fresh Paws Bath House - Located in Williamsburg, Fresh Paws has a staff of fantastic groomers who are ready to make your dog's styling experience as relaxing and comfortable as possible. Pricing varies by dog breed and hair type, but full service grooming includes a bath, drying, ear cleaning, nail trim and a light brush out with your choice of premium shampoos and conditioners for the ultimate personalized experience.
Jason the Dog Walker & Co — Covering a wide swath of Brooklyn, Jason the Dog Walker & Co do more than just dog walking, but we love them for their walking services. The vast majority of their walks are midday group walks that last between 30 and 50 minutes with no more than 2-3 dogs per walk. They do also offer solo visits for puppies and solo walks for dogs that have special needs. You'll get a daily push notification when your walker arrives and when the walk is over. Though the majority of walks are midday, they also offer evening and weekend walks to meet your flexibility.
Brownstone Dog Walkers - If you want your dog socialized on a group walk, Brownstone Dog Walkers could be for you. Based out of Park Slope and covering Park Slope, Gowanus, Boerum Hill, Columbia Waterfront, Prospect Heights, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. They're currently taking on new customers who need dog walking at least 3 days per week midweek, which could be perfect now that work life is starting to get back to normal.
Prospect Bark - Covering Greenpoint to Bay Ridge, Prospect Bark takes a hands-on, personalized approach with their customers. You'll have a primary walker who's your usual point of contact as well as a consistent back up walker in case of emergencies as well as a neighborhood manager. This personalization gives you a supportive team behind you no matter what. You can also reach Prospect Bark through their Client Chat supported in Whatsapp, allowing you to always get in touch with them no matter where you might be.
Urban Wag Brooklyn - Based around Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwhick, Urban Wag offers a free consultation at an intitial Meet & Greet to figure out if this is the right fit. They do GPS navigated walks in small groups only and can even accomodate personalized solo walks. Dog parks are off limits without consent forms, but they're always prepared to walk in all weather conditions - a major plus in a place like New York.
Brooklyn Bark - The team at Brooklyn Bark has been servicing Northern Brooklyn for ten years now. You know your dog is in great hands here - the whole staff is certified in dog first aid and CPR if anything were to ever go wrong. All walks are tracked via GPS on phones. If you have a dog who's working with a trainer, you can let the team know and they will make it a point to continue your dog's specific lessons when they walk together. You can guarantee training consistency even when you're away. It also doesn't hurt that Brooklyn Bark has racked up glowing reviews on Yelp.
Not the Rug - With Williamsburg roots and a desire to keep things local, founder Luis started Not the Rug back in 2011. You can count on Luis to always be there for you. Instead of a massive company with a huge staff, Luis is directly involved in each walk, so if you run into any issues or questions, you can call him. They never walk more than 3 dogs in a session and offer things like puppy visits if you're worried about your puppy staying home all day on their own.
We’re living in that weird COVID limbo period where every bar, restaurant and coffee shop is dog-friendly because they’re all outdoors. But, when indoor dining returns (fingers crossed) and we go back to an indoor-outdoor hybrid, these are some of our favorite spots to bring our dogs along. You’ll get a combination of indoor dining, outdoor dining and varying levels of fanciness. From small cafés to outdoor patios, Brooklyn actually has a variety of dog-friendly spots!
Coffee shops and cafes:
Sey Coffee - Located in East Williamsburg, Sey Coffee is one of the most dog-friendly coffee shops out there. They have beautiful decor inside with hanging plants and white washed walls. The coffee is to die for and if you have a dog, they're welcome inside. If you don't have a dog, you can spend some time with them in there while you get some work done. They also sell subscriptions to their own roasted coffee if you're ever looking to brew some at home.
Blue Bottle - Well, specifically the Cobble Hill location. Most of us are familiar with Blue Bottle, but this location is known for always having water bowls out and dog treats waiting. If you're looking for a bit of socialization, you'll find other dog owners lingering outside, soaking in the sun.
Sweatshop - Right in Williamsburg, Sweatshop is an Australian-style espresso bar and cafe. Known for their flat whites, they also have an extensive food menu that goes beyond your typical coffee shop baked goods, which makes this the perfect spot to linger. You'll always see people sitting outside with their dogs and enjoying breakfast, so it's a great spot to meet up and interact with others.
Caffeine Underground - With a vibe unlike other coffee shops, the Underground is a haven for creatives, musicians, artists, intellectuals, makers, dreamers and anyone who feels like they don't fit in or want to break the mold. They'll customize any drink for you and the space is often used during the week for things like open mics, film screenings and martial art. There's a resident dog around who always makes this spot feel extra cozy with that familiar face.
Pig Beach — This place is stunning on a summer night, simple as that. It's also amazing by day with a massive open air venue and an extensive barbeque menu. You get stringy lights, picnic tables and casual barbeque. It's the perfect place to meet up with friends without having to leave your dog behind. Make sure to try all the sauces with whatever it is that you order.
Forrest Point - Located in Bushwick, this place has phenomenal cocktails and a large patio designed for bringing your dog. In the winter, they set up outdoor igloos to keep the patio running. They have a phenomenal and diverse food menu with tacos, burgers, salads and appetizers. If you stop by over the weekend, their brunch menu is also worth exploring.
Sunshine Co. — The outdoor patio is dog friendly and the staff is known to bring your dog a water bowl and ice when you're seated. With a super simple, but delicious food menu, and a wide variety of signature cocktails, Sunshine Co. is a Prospect Heights mainstay. You can even stop by midday with your laptop and get some work done while you sip wine and have your dog beside you.
The Levee — Their slogan is "Beer. Booze. Pool. Dogs." Enough said. They have board game, all kinds of cheesy appetizers and a super chill atmosphere. Nothing high maintenance, nothing frilly.
Mission Dolores — Liking dogs is almost a prerequisite for hanging out on the patio at Mission Dolores. Bartenders are known for coming around and giving your dog treats. It's a super casual spot located right in Park Slope where you can stop by, have a beer or one of their famous Bloody Mary's, and hang with your dog (and other people's dogs.)
Lucky Dog - I mean, the name says it all. Dogs roam freely both inside and out, so it's essentially a dog park with beer. People have even hosted birthday parties for their dog at this spot. It can get crowded on weekends, but you can always count on this place for a good time.
Sunshine Laundromat & Pinball - This place is eclectic to say the least, but for arcade games, beer and yes, laundry, Sunshine Laundromat & Pinball is one of a kind. Plus, they're dog-friendly. This is the only place in New York City to play some games, get your laundry done and have some fun with your dog by your side.
Brooklyn Paw House — While they also offer grooming and boarding services, it's their retail experience that really makes Brooklyn Paw House stand out. Everything in there is handpicked for functionality, durability, aesthetics and ingredients. They carry everything from food to apparel to bowls to toys, all of it perfectly curated.
Bushwick Bark — With two locations right in Bushwick, this female owned businesses specializes in healthy dog food and supplies. Their Knickerbocker location offers a full grooming salon on top of their retail space, and their Irving location is a spacious store for all your dog's needs. It's also a multi-functional space perfect for dog lovers. They regularly host adoption events in their backyard and partner with rescue organizations. You can indulge your dog with the best products and do good for your community at the same time.
Muddy Paws - After not being able to find a store that suited him and his dog's needs, owner of Muddy Paws, Michael, set out to build it for himself. Muddy Paws, which is located in his old apartment, has a selective number of products based on research and reviews. They edit down everything in their store based on experience to take the guesswork out for you. The staff is always on hand to answer any questions you may have.
Hunting for a dog-friendly apartment in New York City
The New York City rental market can be … messy. We may or may not have cried once or twice while apartment hunting, so no judgement. Each apartment is different when it comes to their rules around dogs — some are dog friendly, some have weight limits, some have breed restrictions, some are intentionally designed with dog amenities.
We’re all looking for something a little bit different with our living situations, so depending on your preferences and your desires, here are some hacks to consider and questions to ask as you apartment hunt in Brooklyn with your dog.
Zone in on certain neighborhoods — There are dog-friendly apartments in every neighborhood, but some neighborhoods are more friendly than others. If you’re open geographically around New York and are just looking to optimize to find dog-friendly areas then Street Easy has mapped out the best neighborhoods for dogs. You’ll get more space, more access to parks and a bunch of vets around you. Brooklyn though is already known for having more space, more greenery, more parks and for being generally more dog-friendly than Manhattan, so you're already a leg up.
Be conscious of restricted dog breeds— A lot of apartment buildings and landlords, though they technically allow dogs will end up restricting certain dog breeds. Many landlords do this in order to keep other residents safe and minimize property damage either because their insurance company has a blacklist of breeds that they have to abide by or because they consider these breeds to be aggressive. A lot of these restrictions are based on stereotypes, but it’s worth noting that you might run up against some issues. We made a list of commonly restricted dog breeds in New York City apartments. If your dog’s breed is on that list, don’t be discouraged. We also included some recommendations to work around some of those restrictions.