Dog-Friendly Guide to Minneapolis, MN


Population: 420,324
Off-leash dog parks: 13
Accommodation: Fair
Restaurants, pubs, & cafes: 187
Most popular dog breed: Labrador Retriever

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With 187 dog-friendly establishments in a city of less than half a million people, Minneapolis has earned the position of 11th most dog-friendly city in America. Along with all of these dog-friendly businesses, Minneapolis packs in 13 off-leash dog parks where urban-dwelling dogs can stretch their legs and play together, though dogs need an off-leash license to use these parks.

Like the rest of the country, the most popular pooch in Minneapolis is the Labrador Retriever. Living here, you can keep up to three pups before you need a special license, though every dog will need a basic pet license. A great place to live with your dog, Minneapolis isn’t quite as great for those traveling with a canine in tow as dog-friendly accommodations aren’t as plentiful as other cities known for making it easy to bring your dog with you on vacation.

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Interesting Facts
  • Because dogs in Minneapolis must be licensed, the city keeps tabs on the names of all dogs. Apparently, Lucy is the most popular canine name in the city, with more than 200 registered canines sharing the name.
  • While Lucy is a popular name, it’s not nearly as popular as the Labrador Retriever breed is within the city. More than 21,000 Labs are registered, with more than 2,500 registrations being active. In fact, there are efforts currently underway to make the Labrador Retriever Minnesota’s official dog breed.
  • Next to Labrador Retrievers, Pit Bulls are the second most popular breed with more than 1,000 active registrations.

Leash Laws & Licensing

In Minneapolis, you can own up to three dogs in a single household. Additionally, you can also have one more pet for a total of four in any home. If you want to keep more dogs though, you’ll have to get a kennel license.

When your dog is under four months old, you don’t have to worry about licensing. Once it reaches four months, your dog must be licensed with the state, just as all dogs are required to be. To get a pet license, you must have no unpaid fines and your dog must have a current rabies vaccination.

Basic pet licenses last for one year and must be renewed annually. It’s $30 per year for spayed or neutered dogs, or $80 if your dog isn’t fixed. Seniors and those on low-income assistance will pay $15 per year for fixed dogs and $70 if they’re not. For fixed dogs with a microchip, a three-year license is also available at $85 or $45 for senior citizens. A lifetime license can also be purchased for $250.

The off-leash dog parks in Minneapolis are a bit different than in other places. Here, you must have an off-leash dog park permit before you take your dog to an off-leash park. This license is separate from your pets’ licenses and must be acquired for each dog you wish to take to the park.

Credit: Bogdan Denysyuk, Shutterstock

Living in Minneapolis with a Dog

If you’re going to live in Minneapolis with your furry friend, then licensing is one of the first things you need to understand. Once your dog is licensed, then it’s able to live in the city without worry. Next, you need to think about healthcare for your pooch. Luckily, in Minneapolis, animal hospitals, pet clinics, and veterinarians are plentiful

You won’t ever have to drive far in this city to find pet healthcare services. With no less than 20 locations in the heart of the city that you can head to, your dog is sure to receive immediate attention when it’s needed, and you’ll never have to go more than a mile or two.

When it comes to supplies, the story is the same. There are dozens of pet suppliers all crammed into this city, so you’ll never have to travel far to find one. From big-box stores to small specialty shops including a pet food deli, your canine’s needs will be well met in Minneapolis.

Credit: JROriginal23, Shutterstock

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Average Cost of Ownership

In Minneapolis, one of the major costs of ownership to be accounted for is the licensing of your pet. This requires an annual fee, plus, you have to get an additional license if you wish to take your dog to the many dog parks scattered throughout the city.

If you’re looking for pet care, such as pet sitters and boarding, it’s rather affordable in Minneapolis. The average rate of pet care is just $12.75 per hour in this city, so you can expect to spend $12-$20 per hour on services like pet walking, pet sitting, and more.

Finding living accommodations with your dog is easy in Minneapolis since there are many pet-friendly apartments and rental homes available. The average cost is a bit cheaper than other cities, with the deposit for your dog averaging $185 in Minneapolis, compared to $300 in other major urban areas. Monthly pet rent of $25 here is about the same as other places.

One unique thing about many apartments in Minneapolis is that they take a DNA sample of your dog. This allows them to swab any waste left behind to hold the culprit responsible. About 300 of the apartment complexes within Minneapolis rely on this DNA testing and require it for residency.

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Shelters & Rescue Centers

Adopting a dog in Minneapolis is easy. There are more than 15 adoption centers located throughout the city, including multiple Animal Humane Society locations, as well as other adoption clinics and rescues like the Underdog Rescue, Secondhand Hounds, and Safe Hands Animal Rescue.

Of course, in Minneapolis, you don’t have to go through one of these rescues to adopt a new pooch. Another option is to go through the Minneapolis government website, which allows you to apply for dog adoption. Dogs adopted through this method cost just $50, though you’ll also have to purchase a license.

Luckily, all of these dogs are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped, so you can purchase the cheaper license for these adopted dogs. Plus, they’ve already received medical care, and you’re guaranteed to get a healthy dog when adopting through the Minneapolis government.Divider 3


When it comes to living with your pup, few places are better than Minneapolis. And if you don’t have a dog yet, this city makes it incredibly easy to get one. Just make sure you get all of the licensing taken care of and don’t take your dog to the off-leash park unless you get the special permit! Traveling here isn’t nearly as easy with a dog since they don’t have as many dog-friendly accommodations as some cities, though with 187 pubs, cafes, and restaurants that allow dogs, you’ll still have plenty to do as your pup comes to socialize with you.

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Featured image credit: Goodfreephotos_com, Pixabay