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. You have less of the constant indoor and outdoor space whether it’s the small apartments or lack of greenery. Our schedules are somehow busier, our lives are somehow more rushed. But, it means that our dogs become our actual best friends — the person we tackle the city with, the one who makes the city a little less lonely and a lot more abundant.

So whether you’re new to New York 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, Manhattan actually.

We started with Manhattan because we know how we can all get trapped in our little New York bubbles and how much geography plays into things (yes, even across burroughs.) But we promise, this is all just a start. Brooklyn, you’re next!

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 Manhattan for a pampering or an overnight stay for your dog.

D is for Doggy — These guys do it all with cage-free playrooms and a backyard for soaking up the sunshine, D is for Doggy also has rave reviews for their grooming servivces. Puppies and adult dogs who are known to hate the groomer almost never complain about a visit here.

Luxury Groomer — Let the grooming come to you! If you live in Manhattan, Luxury Groomer will come to your home and do it all — bathing, drying, haircuts, nail clipping and ear cleaning. Their founder Ani has been doing this for the last 20 years. This is her life’s passion and her calling. And the results and glowing reviews reflect that!

Towne House Grooming — Based in Chelsea, Towne House Grooming has been grooming in the neighborhood for the last 40 years. You can choose between a mini groom and a full groom (which includes a great haircut!) They’re experts in specific dog breeds, and they what it takes to groom each breed expertly.

New York Dog Spa and Hotel — Also a Chelsea mainstay, New York Dog Spa and Hotel has you more than covered if you ever have a full day or are going to be out of town for a stretch and your dog can’t come with. If you keep your dog in overnight care when you’re away, each dog gets their own sleeping quarter to make sure they get their space and rest.

Camp Canine — Located in prime location on the Upper West Side, Camp Canine does dog boarding, dog daycare and dog grooming. If you’re out of town, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your dog’s doing okay without you (don’t worry, they still miss you!) With wellness checks, custom meals and continuous monitoring, your dog’s good to go. If you’re just looking for somewhere for your dog to spend the day while you’re at work, Camp Canine keeps them socialized and stimulated. Plus, dogs are required to pass a social evaluation that helps ensure a good “fit” with the other campers, so there won’t be any surprises.

Paws Country Club — These guys do it all. Paws Country Club does grooming, walking, daycare and boarding. Everyone who works there has at least 10 years of experience in professionally caring for dogs, so you can trust your dog is in good hands. If you live uptown, Paws Country Club could be an awesome fit.

Gotham Canine — Gotham’s founder Khrys Solano started her dog walking business when she was just 19 years old and has steadily grown the business over the last few years through word-of-mouth and referrals. She’s a native New Yorker who knows the city inside out and regularly traverses the city with her own dog, Butter. We’ve met her, we love her and she’s total light.

Throw me a Bone — With locations all over the city, Throw me a Bone is easily accessible no matter where in Manhattan you live. We also love them because they offer a variety of services from walking to grooming to overnight stays, which means you can use these guys for just about everything. We love a one-stop shop.

MixyPaws — Located on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and Greenwich Village, MixyPaws covers a wide geography in Manhattan. We love them for their single walks and group walks.

NY Tails — The amount of care and effort NY Tails puts into matching you up with their services is really a cut above. You start by filling out an online questionnaire about your dog and your needs. And then before you ever sign up for their services, you’ll get to do a meet and greet to figure out if it’s a fit. We love the hands on approach.

Swifto — If security, safety and tracking are your thing then Swifto could be the way to go. All of their walks are tracked on a proprietary GPS app. The walk, the keys and more are covered by their insurance policy, and they only offer private walking (unless of course you have more than one dog of your own!)

Tribeca Dog Walking — For a hyper-tailored and personal feel, owner of Tribeca Dog Walking, Rob, runs and conducts all of the walks himself. Rob works 7 days a week, in all weather conditions with no more than 3 dogs at a time. He covers Tribeca and the North Battery Park area, so if you’re in the neighborhood, he’s an awesome person to start with.

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 swanky hotel bars, New York actually has a variety of dog-friendly spots!

Coffee shops and cafes:

Boris & Horton Café — We know that if you search for dog-friendly coffee shops in New York, you’ve definitely heard of Boris & Horton. Located at the border of the East Village and Alphabet City, it’s the perfect place to bring your laptop and dog and work in the middle of the day, and also a great place to meet a friend for coffee. They have an extensive food and drink menu, which we love. We also love this space because on weekends, they’re known for hosting events — whether adoption events or events for new brands, it’s always a great place to absorb any dog-related content.

Café Bark — Located in Washington Heights, there’s really no place in Manhattan that’s anything like Café Bark. Incredibly chic, airy, open, beautiful — this retail store and cafe hybrid is truly one-of-a-kind. Aesthetically pleasing for you while also being fun and functional for your dog, you could spend an entire afternoon here and not get bored. We promise. Your jaw will drop when you walk in because you’ve never seen a dog café quite this chic.

Café Grumpy — Don’t let the name fool you, this coffee shop has some of the warmest and chillest spaces to hang out in New York City. Their outdoor seating is perfectly curated for bringing your dog along for solo time or for a coffee date. The outdoor seating area is also outfitted with water bowls and sometimes treats.

The Bean — With paid wifi, you can bring your laptop, linger and get some work done without having to leave your dog at home. The Bean has treats for you and treats for your dog with five locations around New York City, you can find The Bean that’s closest to you and build your new coffee shop routine with your dog.

Restaurants

Shake Shack Madison Square Park — The OG Shake Shack, the ultimate in fast-casual NYC dining. While Shake Shack is now all over the country as a wildly popular national brand, the original location is still as dog-friendly as they were the day they opened. It’s a walk-up restaurant with a ton of outdoor seating, perfect for warm months and chill solo hangouts or group get-togethers.

The Soho Grand Bar & Lounge — If you’re looking for a slightly more upscale environment, the Soho Grand is one of our favorites. Located right in Soho, any non-table seating, meaning couches, chairs, lougne areas are open to dogs. Grab a drink, grab some small bites and cozy up in this ultra-chic downtown space.

THEP — Right in the heart of the Upper East Side, THEP is an ultra-chic and modern Thai restaurant with a totally unique and fun menu. While dogs aren’t allowed inside, their outdoor patio is dog-friendly and has been around long before COVID. It’s a patio you can depend on for an inspired dinner out with your pup.

The Wilson — This all day Chelsea restaurant has a special menu just for dogs. Yep, you read that right. The Wilson offers a special menu just for dogs. The menu includes a 16-ounce grilled ribeye steak, pan-roasted salmon or grilled chicken breast all available on the side patio seating. During warm summer months, the front terrace is also open to dogs. There’s a special feeling in knowing a restaurant takes such care in catering to your dog just as much as they cater to you.

Bars

Lobby Bar in the Ludlow — Not only is the Ludlow hotel incredibly dog-friendly if you’re visiting New York or have guests from out of town, the Lobby Bar is ideal for grabbing a drink with your pup. You can grab a seat in one of the comfortable lounge couches or a coveted seat on the patio, and as always, your dog’s allowed with you. We love their craft cocktails. They’re a little pricey, but totally worth it.

d.b.a. — This place was a dog friendly bar long before COVID made any bar dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed out on the d.b.a. patio AND are allowed inside, which is the ultimate game-changer. There’s no food available here, but the drinks are amazing and the indoor option with your dog make this place a New York City dog bar staple.

Dog & Bone — You know you’re in good hands when the restaurant is inspired by a dog, specifically an English bulldog named Winston. Dog & Bone is located in Kips Bay and has a massive dog-friendly sidewalk café that extends out onto the pedestrian pavilion on 25th street. You get classic pub foods, Sunday roast, brunch and a cozy spot to spend with your dog any day of the week.

Love Thy Beast — With locations around the city, Love Thy Beast is the ultimate dog boutique classic. Whether near Grand Central or the East Village, you’ll find a variety of super unique toys, food bowls, treat dispensers. Everything in there feels perfectly curated and meticulously designed. Their cult favorite product? Their branded totes and carriers.

Canine Styles — We’ve already raved about Canine Styles for their grooming services, but now it’s time to rave about their boutique and product selection. They’ve been in business since 1959, and though their product selection is vast on all dimensions, they really stand out in wellness products. Because they also offer grooming services, you can be sure the adjacent grooming products are to die for.

Dog & Co — Located right next to Central Park on the West Side, Dog & Co carries a bit of everything from sweaters to toys to treats. And you can be sure that everything in there is perfectly selected and curated. We personally love their tailored bundled collections for totally unique gift ideas.

Max-Bone — For a truly upscale experience, look no further than Max-Bone. Max Bone is the ultimate in luxury dog lifestyle brands. Every single element of being in that store is thoughtfully designed with you and your dog in mind with the ultimate balance of fashion, function and design. You’ll find totally unique, one-of-a-kind products. Their Soho store never disappoints and if you ever find yourself on the West Coast, you can visit their LA sister store.

Zoomies — A West Village mainstay, Zoomies has the ultimate personalized and neighborhood feel to it. The space is both warm and inviting while also being chic and aspirational. It’s New York’s first Biscuit Bar for dogs and also carries a variety of collars, treats, toys and wellness products. The co-owners used to own a retail space in Paris, and you can feel some of those elements throughout the Zoomies space.

Coming soon: Wild One — We’ve been anxiously awaiting the opening of Wild One’s Nolita boutique. COVID has had other plans, but we know that once this place opens, the Wild One boutique will seamlessly fit into the neighborhood.

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 New York City 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.

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.

If in-building dog amenities matter to you, they can and do exist — New developments in the city might lack the character of older neighborhoods and apartments, but they never fall short on ameneties. And those ameneties often include perks for your dog. A lot of these buildings have private dog runs, play areas and walking services that are exclusive to your building. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some of our favorite newer developments: