Flagstaff is totally for the dogs

dog amid the flagstaff sunflowers
Gosh it’s been hot in Phoenix this week – makes you want to take the dog and head for the hills of Flagstaff. Right?

Flagstaff may well be Arizona’s most dog-friendly town. It’s a super casual place with dog-friendly restaurants, bars and outdoor spots. And it has its own dog-food plant right in the middle of town.

On the east side of Flagstaff, Purina manufactures more than 1,000 tons of dog and cat food every day – I always wonder about dogs who come into Flagstaff for the first time. Can they smell what Purina has cookin’ in there? But there’s no word if Purina gives out samples.

dog in flagstaff bar
Flagstaff = Wagstaff

Throughout Flagstaff, I’ve seen dogs in everything from bookstores to bars. One bartender explained to me that dogs are allowed as long food isn’t being served. “What we have for food, isn’t really food, per se,’’ he told me, pretty matter of factly.

Because it is such a casual town, Flagstaff offers a lot of burger-and-brew places and provide outdoor seating. Even in indoor establishments, dogs are honored. Biff’s Bagels has a homage to dogs on with dozens of canine candid photos hanging on their walls.

Even the town’s visitor center is pup friendly. If you swing by there, show them proof that you are staying in town, your dog gets a special treat.

And there are all kind of hiking trails and paths to meander through, either in the forest or just in town.

dog ready to hike in flagtaff

Just be careful

Ok, now the dog-motherly advice comes out. A couple things to think about when traveling to Flagstaff with your little pupper-roo.

There’s altitude. It affects you; it affects the dog. Your dog may not her perky self because the air is thinner and it is harder for her to breathe. You two will be outside more and with all of the sunshine and dry air, you can get dehydrated. Vets say they see it all the time. So just take it easy – this is supposed to be leisure time for you both!

Also, there are some different kinds up North, including giardia, an intestinal parasite. Ticks are plentiful as well so just make sure you’ve got her prepped for fleas and ticks.

And last thing, gas up and stock up on water for the trip back to Phoenix – you never know when there is going to be a traffic snarl on freeway.

Now, go have a great time!


Flagstaff road trip!

Attention: residents of Phoenix. It is hot, still hot. You’ve still got time this Labor Day weekend to head up to Flagstaff, which may be Arizona’s most dog-friendly town.

In fact, it may be easier to list the places that aren’t dog friendly in Flagstaff than those that area — especially in downtown, historic Flag, where there dogs in all the best places.
dog friendly flagstaff

Shopping in Flagstaff with your dog

You know how sometimes stores say they are dog friendly but you get a way-different vibe once you and poochie get inside? In Flagstaff, they offer genuine hospitality for dogs. There’s water bowls, dog treats and even resident dogs in the stores. Check out the art galleries along San Francisco street for a lot of love for dogs as well as dog-related art.

biffs bagels flagstaff

Dining with the dog

For breakfast, hit Biff’s Bagels, which is named after a beloved pet and has photos of everyone else’s dog on the wall. For lunch, wow — so many choices. Charley’s on Aspen and Leroux has a great dog-friendly patio. Or Mix.  Or Macy’s. Or Mother Road Brewery. Or any others from our fine list.

roxy at tuthill fairgrounds

Hiking with the dog

You don’t have to be a super wilderness person to enjoy a hike with your dog. There are a lot of mild trails out there — which is especially nice since you and the dog may not have been as active during this hot summer season. Altitude change can also affect breathing for you and the dog.

There are several dog-friendly park trails throughout Flagstaff. Just have a leash and plenty of water.


  • Wilson Meadow at Hart Prairie:  A hike that can go as short as you want it to go. Wilson Meadow offers plenty of romping room and a pond to swim in (That’s for the dog; not you).
  • Griffith Spring Trail: Another short hike that allows your dog to wade in a creek.

Drinking with the dog

After a hard day of shopping, dining and hiking, it’s great to kick back with an adult beverage. Your best friend can come into the bar with you as long as the fine establishment doesn’t serve food. And that’s why we can get great scenes like this one at Hops on Birch:

dog in bar, Flagstaff AZ