Jacksonville may not rank very highly on any “Pet-Friendly Cities” lists but I have to completely disagree. I love animals, especially dogs and continue to find new ways to take them everywhere with me around town. I have two; a Great Dane named Moose and a Schipperke named Tucker. Both seem to follow me everywhere I go and there are constantly events around town to bring your pets with you.
Jacksonville has some of the best dog parks, both free and paid for. Dogwood Park off of Butler Blvd does require a fee to visit (or you can get a membership at a great deal) but there are acres and acres for dogs to run and play, a large small dog area, wooded trails to walk in, a large dog lake, a swimming pool for the puppies and so much more. Dogwood offers classes such as obedience training or agility classes. You can also buy some locally made dog ice cream at Dogwood, my dogs absolutely love it. There are tons of free options as well: Jacksonville Beach has a dedicated dog park and Ed Austin Regional Park in Arlington features a small & large dog park with a 1.75 mile walking trail.
I’ve also found that many restaurants and bars in town will happily welcome your fur babies in. I find that so many restaurants our dogs are welcomed with open arms and given water bowls, treats, and tons of love. The culture around Jacksonville is very dog-friendly, there are always people to be seen walking their dogs, carting them in strollers, or just holding on to their little dogs as they walk through a shop or two. If you’re thinking of moving to Jacksonville, don’t be afraid to bring your dogs or even find a new best friend at our amazing Humane Society. Remember, adopt don’t shop!