10 Dog-friendly places in Ellicott City, MD

Ellicott City, MD was recently named one of the best pet-friendly places to live in the US. The US News and World Report (Palmer, 2009) took into account the number of pet-friendly restaurants with outdoor seating, parks, the proximity to large veterinary hospitals, dog parks, and the number of areas where dogs are legally allowed off-leash.

  1. The Wine Bin is pet-friendly and allows dogs in the store while their owners are shopping. Say hello to Chloe the Boxer/Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Bull Terrier she is lovely and sweet. They also have Yappy Hours from 6-8 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Check their website for additional information.
  2. The Yuppy Puppy Pet Boutique allows pets in the store and has a cute selection of collars, leads, toys, treats, and accessories. Merchandise tends to favor the smaller dogs, but large dogs are welcome, and I've never met a large dog willing to turn down a treat no matter how cute or dainty it may be.
  3. Centennial Park has a lovely lake with a roughly 2.5 mile trail surrounding it. The park is great for running, walking, biking, and is quite dog-friendly with bag pickup stations at various points around the lake. Walking or running with your pooch at Centennial Park is fun, safe, and a great way to stretch your paws, or legs.
  4. Lake Elkhorn is technically in Columbia, but it is quite accessible for residents of Ellicott City. It is roughly a 2 mile walk around the lake, and the paved path is well-maintained. There are often lots of people out and about, particularly in the early evening hours, and dogs will find many socialization opportunities at Elkhorn.
  5. Worthington Dog Park has an off-leash area and is a great place for high-energy dogs to get some serious exercise. It is not free though, and day passes or annual passes can be purchased with current county licenses and rabies vaccination information. It is a drag paying for park admittance, but the licensing and vaccination information will ensure that all dogs entering are up to date on their immunizations, so that gives an added sense of safety.
  6. The Maryland City Dog Park is in Laurel, MD and is a bit of a hike from Ellicott City (about 20 minutes), but it is still manageable. Park entrance is free, and the park has all the standard amenities (water, pick up bags, waste receptacles) although a common complaint is that there isn't much shade in the dog park.
  7. The Columbia, MD trail system is quite intricate and can be a little confusing, but since it's so expansive, there are tons of options for varying your route and coming up with new/boredom busting walks for you and your dog. Best bet is to figure out your route beforehand, and give yourself plenty of time in the event that you get a little turned around.
  8. Lake Kittamaqundi is also in Columbia and is another scenic destination for you and your pooch. It is possible to walk all the way around the lake, but it isn't always convenient as the lake trail is not entirely paved and portions can get pretty muddy. If you and your dog like the idea of off-roading it check out this beautiful lake destination and it's abundant wildlife.
  9. The Howard County Nature Conservancy is just a short drive from Ellicott City and has a beautiful network of nature trails. The scenery is lovely and it is a quite dog-friendly location, although until you know how your dog behaves around goats, best to avoid the pen near the old farmhouse.
  10. Many of the villages of Columbia have fantastic footpaths with lovely scenery. Kings Contrivance has a particularly lovely path along the Middle Patuxent River. There are lots of shops and opportunities to enjoy a little Starbucks or a frozen treat while you and your pet relax.

It's no wonder that Ellicott City was ranked so favorably among pet-friendly cities in the US. There are tons of options to keep you and your pet busy and plenty of businesses which welcome you and your pet.

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