Everything You Need to Know About Living in Salt Lake City With Your Dog

Whether you’re a longtime local, new pet parent, or recent transplant, we’re so glad you’re here. Utah is a wonderful place to be a dog and Dog Friendly SLC is here to provide all the resources you need to make sure your pup has the best life ever. 

While Salt Lake City may not have the longest or the strongest reputation of being dog-friendly, with the famous Cottonwood Canyons being off-limits to dogs, the city and surrounding areas are still an outdoor mecca with plenty of activities for both of you.

One of the best parts is the amazing community of dogs and owners in the area. One of the most important things you can do for you and your dog when moving to a new place is finding a community of friends (for both of you). The Dog Friendly SLC Facebook group is a wonderful place to start.

Where To Live With Your Dog In Salt Lake City?

In the Salt Lake City metro area, Salt Lake County is definitely the most dog-friendly area to look for a place to live, with the highest concentration of dog-friendly things on the northeast side of Salt Lake. Some of the best neighborhoods for dog accommodations (according to us!) include 9th & 9th, Sugar House, Liberty Wells and The Avenues. But no matter where you and your pup land, you’ll still be able to take advantage of plenty of dog friendly activities in the area!

If your budget allows, there’s no doubt the most dog friendly city in Utah is Park City (aka Bark City). Park City is about a 20-minute drive through Parley’s Canyon from Salt Lake City. Like Utah’s capital, Park City has expansive options for you and your dog when it comes to outdoor recreation, parks, dining, and other dog friendly places.

If you own multiple dogs, be aware that certain cities along the Wasatch Front have limits on the number of dogs residents are allowed to own. While Salt Lake City proper doesn’t have limits, cities including West Valley, Sandy and Midvale all have a cap on dogs per household. Here is a comprehensive list of limits for cities in Utah.

Breed restrictions are another common issue dog owners run into when looking for housing, particularly for owners of Pitbulls, German Shepards, and Huskies, among other dogs. Good news, here are some options for housing in Salt Lake that don’t restrict certain breeds!

Salt Lake City Dog Moving To-Do List

Your first step when moving anywhere should be to update your dog’s microchip information. According to Rescue Rovers, many fosters still receive many calls on missing dogs because adoptive families fail to update their pet’s microchip information.

Along those same lines of keeping your pooch safe, get them an updated tag with your new information. You’ll find we’re big advocates of buying local, so we love local vendor Uinta Tags.

Salt Lake County and most other places around the metro area require dog owners to register their animal(s) with the city by the time they are 5 months or have been adopted/moved into the area within 30 days. Yes, it might feel inconvenient getting your dog registered but it does offer many benefits and you can do almost all of it online.

Benefits Of Dog Licensing: 

  • Quick reunification if your dog(s) get lost (find lost dog resources here)
  • Your dog must be registered to enjoy restaurant patios
  • Access to emergency care if your pet is found injured

Information Needed For Dog Licensing: 

  • Dog name, date of birth (or approximate age), breed, and color
  • Rabies certificate
  • Proof of sterilization (if registering as sterilized)
  • Microchip number (optional)
  • Your contact information
  • Driver’s license number

Here is a full guide to getting your dog licensed upon moving to Salt Lake City.

Important Dog Things To Know About Salt Lake City & Surrounding Areas

Hiking, Playing, & The Watershed

If you move to Salt Lake City, you’ll soon become familiar with the term watershed. Some canyons or outdoor recreation areas are off-limits to dogs because they are in the watershed that provides the city with water. Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons are both off-limits to dogs for this reason. We even have a shirt playing off of this!

But, the Salt Lake area has plenty of canyons and outdoor areas where dogs are welcome! Neff’s, Millcreek and American Fork Canyons all welcome pups. Although Neff’s and American Fork Canyons allow dogs off leash daily, Millcreek Canyon requires leashes on even days of the month and is off leash on odd days of the month. Take a look through our complete guide to Millcreek Canyon.

The All-Trails app is great to help you find out which hiking trails are and are not dog-friendly and whether or not your dog needs to be on a leash. We also recommend Girl On A Hike for detailed, dog friendly trail guides!

Here are two helpful guides to hiking and dog parks in Salt Lake City. (You’ll definitely want to save these)

Rattlesnake Aversion Training

If you plan to spend a lot of time hiking, camping, and enjoying the great outdoors rattlesnake aversion training is something you should consider signing your dog up for. The foothills and mountains surrounding Salt Lake City have no shortage of Great Basin rattlesnakes and if your dog has never encountered one, it’s best to have some training to rely on.

Here is a guide to finding the right training for your dog and a list of potential trainers. 

Algae Blooms In Utah’s Lakes

Swimming is a popular summer activity for dogs and humans alike. Unfortunately many of Utah’s lakes can be impacted by Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), cyanobacteria that produce potent toxins that pose serious health risks to both pets and humans. The blooms typically happen in the summer at lower elevations where temperatures get higher. Learn more about protecting your dog from toxic algae blooms and be sure to pick up a self test kit for your car.

The state of Utah monitors lakes and posts about which lakes are impacted on this map. To keep you and your dog safe, make sure to check this map before heading to a lake.

Restaurant and Patio Requirements

As we mentioned above, local health departments require your dog to be licensed with the city in order to enjoy many of the local dog-friendly restaurant and bar patios.

In order to enter, restaurants, breweries, and bars will check that you have both your license and up-to-date rabies tags on your dog’s collar.

Once you’ve got that done, you can check out our interactive map or find our full list of dog friendly patios here.

Rules, Laws and Regulations

On top of watershed rules and licensing laws, there are a few other regulations dog owners in Salt Lake City should be aware of.

First off, dogs must be kept on a leash in public spaces unless it is an established off-leash dog park/area. Below is a list of a few other common rules to be aware of, a full list of laws can be found here.

  • Salt Lake County and surrounding areas abide by the National Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control which requires rabies vaccinations to be kept up-to-date.
  • All bites treated by a vet for physician must be reported to animal control regardless of vaccination status.
  • If you’re adopting from a shelter, the animal must be sterilized.

Stay Up To Date & Enjoy Dog-Friendly Things To Do In Salt Lake City

We know you and your pup will love Salt Lake City! At Dog Friendly SLC we want to help maximize the fun for you and your dog. Here are some tips:

  • Bookmark this map! It’s a great resource for things dog-friendly in Salt Lake City.
  • Follow us on Instagram! We’re always posting great places, upcoming events, and tips to remember.
  • Join our Facebook group! You can make new dog friends and really get involved in the community because let’s face it, you can’t (and shouldn’t) do it all alone.
  • Sign up for our newsletter below! We’ll keep you up-to-date on events and seasonal information. We promise to only send the important stuff.

Happy moving and remember if you need anything, feel free to contact us via Facebook or Instagram DM, we are always happy to help out a fellow dog lover!

Might as well go ahead and stock up on some gear!

This post may contain affiliate links which result in Dog Friendly SLC making a small commission. By shopping products we recommend, you ensure that we can keep finding dog friendly places in Salt Lake City and Utah. We appreciate your support!