Blog

Jul
26
Pet Friendly Sarasota

This has become one of our hottest topics when looking for a place to call home with your family. We definitely understand that your family also includes those with 4 legs and a wet nose. It is certainly a requirement for those who are active with their pets to know that they are accepted outside of the walls of your own house, and may even be a deciding factor when choosing the right area to call home. It is not an easy task to locate pet-friendly places to visit, which is why I wanted to take the time to discuss this.

Sarasota is home to shopping, dining, beaches, parks, and even events that will welcome both you and Fido. Not only is Sarasota very accepting of your pets, but so are the surrounding areas of Venice (in Sarasota County) and also just North of Sarasota in Bradenton.

Pet-Friendly Communities

For those of you looking to move into a place that has a condo association, there are normally restrictions as to how large and how many pets you can have, or if they even allow them at all. When speaking to your realtor about what requirements you have for your next house, make sure you let him/her know that you do have animal/s and their approximate weight.

For example, the high rise condominium complex of Bay Plaza located in down town Sarasota, surprisingly does allow pets, but the restrictions state that you may only have trained, well-mannered, and under 25 pound pets. They do not have restrictions on the number of pets, but they do mandate that they are not allowed in the pool area and must be leashed in other common areas. As a dog owner myself, I know that my boy may love the pool and the sunbathing more than I do. This would not be a prime location to call home for me. For those that have smaller animals and don't need the amenities like my Great Dane, this may be perfect, as they do offer concierge services for those who require the extra assistance.

It is going to be more difficult to find a condominium that accepts larger animals, than it would be to find a home in a similar price range. Most Homeowners Associations do not have restrictions on animals living in their community; they just ask that you don’t run a breeding facility or any business venture using your pets as income. Some communities even accommodate homeowners with a dog park, giving Fido a place to run around and release built up energy. Simply ask your realtor which communities have this feature, and if it is a requirement, make sure you have communicated this.

Central Park in Lakewood Ranch is a newer community in Sarasota County that actually has 2 dog parks and sidewalks for that leisurely walk or run with your dog. There are plenty of communities situated within 5 miles of public dog parks where you can let your pooch off the leash to socialize and play.

Sarasota Paw Parks

Let’s talk about where you can plan you next family outing to include both children and pets. Taking a look at how Trulia rates Sarasota’s top 5 paw parks, they are as follows:

1. Bay Front Park at Marina Jack’s – Not a park built specifically for the dogs, but spectacular to play, watch the sunset and make plenty of doggie friends. Joggers who are dog owners from all over, stop in regularly from dawn to dusk to exercise and enjoy the music that always floats in the air and watch the sailboats easing in and out of the Bay. There is even a restaurant in this park where you may bring your 4-legged family member to sit and enjoy the scenery. Bay Front Park at Marina Jack’s is a great spot to walk right in the heart of downtown and around the outdoor art. Located at US-41 and Ringling, this park includes pick-up bags and seating.


2. Arlington Park – The BEST PARK FOR fenced leash-free play area, fresh water, large and small dog separate play zones, shade and picnic seating. Located at 2650 Waldmere Street in Sarasota, Arlington park offers a 1/2 mile shady jogging trail, benches, beautiful pond setting, and drinking fountains.


3. Brohard Paw Park and Dog Beach – Located in the southern-most part of the city of Venice, on the Venice Airport property on Harbor Drive, Brohard Paw Park and Dog Beach boasts a watering hole to quench thirst, a penalty box for those that get a little too frisky, a hitching post, and picnic tables. Boasting 22.25 acres, of which 1 acre is for dogs, the paw park has a separate area for small dogs with benches and waste disposal. The boardwalk leads pets and their people to the only dog friendly public beach in the area. Dogs are permitted in a restricted area along the beach, but have the run of the Gulf of Mexico. The park is open from dawn to dusk. Nearby you will find a fishing pier, bait shop and restrooms.


4. 17th Street Paw Park – Located in north Sarasota, this expansive dog park features acres of grassy and wood-chip-strewn play space for pooches. It provides plenty of room for off-leash play, shade/shelter, pick-up bags, and agility equipment for large dogs. Hours are dawn to dusk. Adjacent to the paw park are baseball, softball and soccer fields, a snack bar and restrooms.


5. Lakeview Paw Park – Located next to Lakeview Elementary School off Proctor Road at 7150 Lago St., Sarasota, Lakeview Paw Park offers a cool, shady oasis on hot summer days. This 26-acre park features a picnic shelter, playground and restrooms and is open from dawn to dusk. Adjacent to the Paw Park is an area with a jogging and fitness trail, restrooms and picnic tables.

By far, my favorite area to take my big guy for a fun adventurous day would be park #3 - Brohard Paw Park & Dog Beach. To have beach access with powdery, white sand is a huge bonus, but to be able to let my pet off of the leash in a beach environment - yes please! This is the perfect place to bring a cooler and lunch and spend the day letting your whole family splash and play.

Pet-Friendly Outings

Another great location to spend the afternoon is Lido Key, home of Saint Armand’s Circle. This is a fantastic area that hosts art festivals, car shows, and many more events where you can bring your pup to enjoy the fun. When there are no events being held, you can still literally spend your whole day with your furry family member. Start off with a visit to Starbucks where there is an outside seating area to sit and read the newspaper. After you have sufficiently caffeinated yourself, you can burn off that energy walking the circle, where you'll find many favorite shops such as, White House Black Market, Sunglass Hut, and Tommy Bahamas to name a few. Once you have worked up your appetite walking with your friend there are plenty of restaurants with outdoor seating where you can sit and reflect on your purchases. The scenery is so beautiful on Lido Key and there are plenty of sidewalks to be able to explore this area near the beach.

Some area attractions even hold events to celebrate having a pet and encourage you to join with your furry family member. There are local sports teams that advertise an event called “Bark in the Park” where your dog/s can join you to watch 9 innings of baseball and a hotdog. This is a great event to include your dog to enjoy the game without the guilt of leaving them at home, where they are all too familiar.

There are quite a few restaurants hired on to host events and fundraisers for animal lovers and also extending an invitation to your furry, winged, or scaled pet. Coming up, Clayton’s Siesta Grille is actually going to be hosting a “Yappy Hour," with wine, beer, and a buffet. This is not uncommon for our cultured area to host fundraisers like this for local animal shelters. Just North of Sarasota you will also find that the smaller town of Palmetto is host to the world famous South Eastern Guide Dogs. This is a great place to get your dog fix, especially if you have circumstances that prevent you from being a pet owner. They regularly schedule open houses, tours, and my favorite - puppy hugging sessions for visitors to enjoy the perk of lower blood pressure brought on by the “AWWWWWWWW” effect.

As a parent to my 4-legged monster, I can’t imagine living in a place that will not accept him and provide pet friendly areas for him to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors. This is why I call Sarasota "home," and more often "paradise." I love that I can take my dog to a ball game, lunch, ice cream parlor, the beach, a dog park or state park, shopping, or to enjoy a good beer. The area is also home to many clinics and emergency care facilities so I know my boy is always taken care of if there is a problem.

For visitors just looking to vacation, many of the hotels are pet friendly due to the active pet population. I give Sarasota "2 paws up" for providing activities and locations where I can get my lazy boy off of the couch and out into this world to enjoy a good romp in the park or sunbathe at the beach. The only downside to taking your dog out and going to lunch - he isn't going to pay the bill. If this is all I have to complain about, I think I can manage even treating him to ice cream after.

If you would like to learn more about pet-friendly options in Sarasota, please don't hesitate to contact us at (941) 284-4474 or Toll free (941) 404-4737. One of our qualified agents will gladly get back to you.


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