Do You Know Just How Doggone Friendly Downtown Knoxville Is?

Take a stroll down Knoxville’s Gay Street or Market Square and you may be surprised by the number of dogs you see walking alongside their owners. In fact, some might say that Knoxville has gone to the dogs, which is not by accident.

In 2009, Knox County officials and PetSafe Brand established a goal to make Knoxville the nation’s “Most Pet-Friendly Community” and we’re getting close. In 2011, Dog Fancy Magazine named Knoxville the most dog-friendly city in the Southeast. Since then, the city has been on track to earn the magazine’s national “Dogtown USA” title.

Rick Emmett, Downtown Coordinator for the City of Knoxville says, “In response to demand from residents and visitors, we have worked to make downtown Knoxville a welcoming place for dogs and dog owners. Our downtown dog park is heavily used year round, and the annual Mardi Growl parade attracts hundreds of dogs and thousands of spectators. Allowing dogs on restaurant patios downtown has been a big boon and a great addition to our local dining scene.”

Visit Knoxville, the official Convention and Visitors Bureau for Knoxville and Knox County, even has a dedicated section for pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and activities. And a resident dog named Daisy offers a charming Dog-Friendly Knoxville tour of the city from the canine perspective on Visit Knoxville’s website.

Dining — Bone Appetit!

One clear sign that Knoxville literally puts its “money where its mouth is” is the number of restaurants, cafes, and breweries with “dog-friendly patios”. More than 50 restaurants all around town are happy to host dogs on their patios, including many on Gay Street and Market Square.

Most of these restaurants have water bowls on their patios and the servers may even offer your furry friend a dog treat. Downtown Grill & Brewery, Barley’s Taproom, Trio, and Tomato Head are just a few of the downtown eateries welcoming dogs on their patios. So grab a bite or a brew while your furry friend takes a rest beside your table.

Festivities & Events

Home of the 1982 World’s Fair, Knoxville always loves a party or a parade, and dogs are one more reason to celebrate. In March, the annual Mardi Growl Parade and Festival draws hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators. The streets swell with dogs wearing tutu’s, feather boas, or other festive costumes to benefit Young-Williams Animal Center.

In June, Bike Boat Brew & Bark takes place on Volunteer Landing and celebrates the outdoor adventurer, the dog lover, the craft beer enthusiast, for locals and tourists interested in exploring Knoxville’s urban wilderness. And Bark In The Park also takes place in June, gathering dog lovers for a festival at World’s Fair Park to raise awareness and funds for the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley.

In October, the spooktacular HOWL-O-WEEN Pooch Parade and Pet Expo at UT Gardens sparks some hilarious canine costume creativity on Sunday, the 22nd. This fun Halloween-themed event is sponsored by UT Gardens Knoxville and the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and showcases a judged costume parade with prizes, plus an expo of educational booths, pet businesses, and rescue groups.

And, on October 25 – 29, Knoxville will host the 2017 DockDogs® World Championship event for the first time at the Knoxville Convention Center. Spectators will watch the best of the best canine athletes compete in three aquatics competitions.

Shopping & Playing

First of all, it says a lot that the Knoxville’s Visitors Center on Gay Street is pet-friendly. Dogs on leashes are allowed in the Center, and will likely be loved on and may even be given treats. The same goes for the ever-popular Mast General Store on Gay Street, where there’s a bowl of drinking water by the front door and employees often offer dog visitors a bone. Plus, the store carries a variety of stylish items for the dog lover, such as leashes, collars, and outdoor adventure gear.

Just a short walk away, CitiFid-O on Union Street offers many local products for the urban pet owner. Dogs, of course, are welcome and the shop also acts as a community bulletin board for lost and found pets.

Then, when it’s time to go off-leash and romp with other dogs, the PetSafe Downtown Dog Park is the place to sniff and socialize.

To round it all off, downtown Knoxville will have a PetWellClinic® nearby in 2018. Renovations are underway on a property at 308 Randolph Street, which is within a few blocks of the Old City. Close to the freeway off-ramp and with ample parking, this fourth PetWellClinic® location will also be convenient for clients coming from other parts of town.

However you choose to explore downtown Knoxville with your pet, be sure that your pup is wearing a collar with ID tags at all times, is licensed, and has all vaccinations up-to-date including Rabies, Distemper and Bordetella. You also want to make sure your dogs are on effective heartworm, intestinal parasite, and flea/tick prevention products.

PetWellClinic® is able to offer substantially discounted prices for heartworm, intestinal parasite, and flea/tick prevention products, as well as vaccinations for Bordetella, Distemper, and Rabies by operating limited hours for non-surgical care. Think of us as a walk-in “minute clinic” for your pet’s wellness—no appointment necessary, with quick in and out service.

As featured in the Journal of Veterinary Medicine Association, PetWellClinic® is leading the nation in making preventive care affordable and convenient.  

PetWellClinic® is open during evening hours and on weekends. We are located in Farragut at 10549 Kingston Pike, near West Hills at 7329 Kingston Pike and at 228 S. Calderwood Street in Alcoa. Learn more about how the PetWellClinic® can exceed your expectations for affordable, top quality pet care by visiting our website at


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