Like many of my friends this past year, my family adopted a puppy. Because, life wasn’t unpredictable enough, was it? So now we have this puppy, as well as one grouchy French bulldog. The puppy loves going places, which led me to create this list of dog-friendly places in Omaha.
As with all businesses right now, check ahead before going in case reservations are needed, masks are required, and other temporary restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Omaha dog parks
Omaha is slowly starting to become an awesome place to raise an active and well-socialized dog. I say slowly because I still have to drive a ways to get to a quality dog park, but it’s totally worth it.
One tip for all of these dog parks: Bring your own water and bowl. Most parks do not have a water fountain and/or bowls.
Also, know that most places are open from dawn to dusk.
My favorite: Dewey Dog Park at 550 Turner Blvd. There are two separated areas for play, one for small dogs and one for all dogs. It’s Astroturf so there are no muddy paws to contend with and there’s a good amount of shade.
The only downside is that it is a rather small area, so it can start to feel crowded.
Other dog parks around town:
- Hanscom Dog Park – The big draw of this place is that it’s HUGE. If your dog is a runner, bring him here. There are two separate areas, one for small dogs and one for all dogs. The downside is that it’s grass (ie. muddy) and there isn’t much shade. Address: 3201 Woolworth Ave.
- Canine Courtyard Bark Park – You need to time your visit here, especially on cold days, because once the sun sets behind the buildings at Aksarben Village, it’s shady and cold in the dog park area. And I imagine in the summer, it’s going to get super hot when the sun isn’t blocked. There are two separated, grassy dog areas. They aren’t too large, but large enough. There are a few benches. Address: 6515 Shirley St.
- Chalco Hills Dog Exercise Area – This one is not a favorite since it isn’t entirely fenced in. Its an unleashed dog area in a large park. If you have a dog who listens to commands, it’s great to let them run around, but I’ve always worried about my pup taking off and never coming back. Address: Northeast corner of Chalco Hills Recreation Area, 8901 S. 154th St.
- Hefflinger Dog Park – There is plenty of room to run on the grass here, especially the All-Dog Area that’s 5 acres. It was the city’s first dog park. Address: North 112th St.
- Miller Dog Park – One of the smaller dog parks in the city, Miller Dog Park is divided into two areas, one for small dogs and one for all dogs. There are obstacles, shade, and some water features. Address: 2707 Redick Ave.
- Jewell Dog Park in Bellevue – A simple patch of fenced in grass gets the job done here. Address: 600-624 Combs Road, Bellevue, Neb.
Self-serve dog washes in Omaha
There are groomers, sure, but when you rather do it yourself, there’s the dog wash. I have two dogs, one who behaves in the bath, and one who is a terror. The “terror” (known as Stanely) goes to That Dog Wash for his baths, where there is a tub that raises and lowers, as well as a leash holder, scrubbers, a variety of shampoos, and towels.
Stanley had a bit of a moment the first time we went and the woman working there was quick to bring over some treats to distract him.
The best part is that you don’t have to deal with all the fur after it’s all over. That Dog Wash is at 1401 Jackson St., and you don’t need an appointment. It’s $18.50 and they have a frequent visitor program.
Other dog washes:
- The Green Spot, 1110 S. 71st St. K ($15, by appointment)
- PetsEarth, 1529 S. 203rd St. and 8410 S. 73rd Plaza, Papillion, Neb. (basic package starts at $15)
Know that most places in this section request that you puppy pal stay on a leash.
There are two bars that clearly are meant for dogs, and us people are just tagalongs. The newest one is Dog Bar, a 21+ downtown venue that just opened. It’s a dog park-meets-bar at 1231 S. 14th St.
Out in West Omaha, there’s also Barks & Brews at 13730 P St. This place is also a dog daycare.
Other dog-friendly restaurants and bars:
- Brickway Brewery & Distillery patio, 1116 Jackson St. The brewery’s location in the Old Market makes its patio a prime people watching spot.
- Corkscrew Wine & Cheese Blackstone back patio, 3908 Farnam St. The patio at Corkscrew is a bit hidden.
- Dante Ristorante Pizzeria patio, 16901 Wright Plaza, suite 173. I love that Dante is dog-friendly. It’s one of the best restaurants in West Omaha.
- Dundee Cork & Bottle, 614 N. 50th St. The Cork & Bottle loves dogs so much, there’s usually a treat for them. However, current pandemic restrictions mean no dogs permitted indoors at this time.
- Nite Owl, 3902 Farnam St. Soon! Nite Owl has applied for a patio permit to allow dogs, so cross fingers that they’ll be approved by spring.
- Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing, 17111 S. 138th St., Springfield, Neb. The winery has a patio and expansive lawn. Just make sure your pup is leashed and you pick up after him.
Dog-friendly hotels in Omaha
Visiting Omaha with your four-legged friend? Here are some Omaha hotels that are pet-friendly:
- Element Omaha Midtown Crossing, 3253 Dodge St. (8.0 Booking.com rating)
- Magnolia Hotel Omaha, 1615 Howard St. (8.3 Booking.com rating)
- Residence Inn by Marriott at Aksarben Village, 1717 S. 67th St. (8.6 Booking.com rating)
- Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel, 302 S. 36th St. (8.8 Booking.com rating)
- Cambria Hotel Omaha Downtown, 740 N. 14th St. (extra charge; 9.0 Booking.com rating)
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Omaha Downtown Old Market, 555 S. 10th St. (7.9 Booking.com rating)
See all 40+ pet-friendly hotels here.
There is an army of COVID puppies who are having to adjust to their family’s “new” schedules that involve in-person work and school. I have a COVID pup myself and he is not adjusting well to having all four of us gone for a few stretches of day. While Stanley hasn’t literally eaten our house, he’s eaten A LOT of important things.
So, we’ve found a dog daycare to let him socialize while we’re out. So far, we’re extremely happy with Ruff Luv Doggie Daycare, at 10913 Elm St. in Rockbrook Village. You can save some money if you buy a multi-pass (so, for example, a pass for 20 half-days).
Others dog daycare options:
- Bark Avenue, 13706 C St.
- Downtown Hound, 1513 Leavenworth St.
- F Street Hound, 7824 F St.
- The Paw Spa Resort, 16912 Audrey St.
- Waggin’ Tailz Ranch, 11819 Stonegate Drive
Bakeries for dogs
Sometimes, a boxed dog treat just isn’t sufficient when it comes to spoiling your dog. Luckily, a few Omaha bakers make dog-friendly treats for you to order (some even do customization):
- Brix Tix Bakery For Dogs – Custom dog treats, plus just about any holiday or occasion you can think of. You can buy their treats at That Dog Wash, too.
- Tilly Willow Treats – Homemade and all natural dog treats.
- Two Tails Unlimited – Gourmet dog treats plus some cute shirts for you.
If you’re more of a spur-of-the-moment shopper when it comes to showing your dog with treats, here are a few shops in Omaha with fresh baked goods:
- The Green Spot at 1110 S 71st St. K has a bakery of fresh dog treats and cakes.
- The Loveland location of Long Dog Fat Cat at 2501 S. 90th St., suite 123 has custom-made and pre-made baked goods, like pupcakes.
Stuff for dog moms
You’ve got the world’s best dog, so tell the world. Here are a few online shops owned by Omaha makers selling dog mom apparel, home decor, and more:
- Oakley Rae Designs sells really cute stickers plus a few customizable shirts. Check out these dog stickers.
- Knotty Dogs Decor makes a lot of fun wooden signs, as well as tumblers and shirts for dog moms.
- Lulu’s Calligraphy has a couple stylish phone cases for dog moms.
- Totes McGoats Co. has a ton of fun t-shirts and totes to choose from to match your favorite dog. My non-social dog is a French so this shirt is perfect.