NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – We love our pets in the Nashville area, and Mayor Megan Barry recognizes that, which is why she’s been working to make it more pet friendly.
Music City is already well on the way to becoming a “Better City for Pets.”
“I don’t have to worry about you know going out, and having to leave him in my car, or take him back home while we go out with friends,” said dog owner Lee McMurray.
And that’s becoming easier to do. Just this year, Mayor Barry has been working closely with Mars Pet Care and other animal friendly organizations to introduce enhanced amenities, which includes increasing waste station, building and enhancing dog parks and creating signage that encourages responsible pet ownership and educates them on cleanliness and health.
Also this year, a pilot program in Franklin found that pets are good for business and it was discovered that more than 50 percent of people want to travel with their pets and expect pet-friendly amenities.
In Nashville, there are already a number of dog-friendly restaurants like Double Dogs.
“We are big animal lovers here,” said Double Dogs General Manager Chad Dennison.
The restaurant even serves food in dog bowls.
Dennison said since the Hillsboro Village restaurant opened in 2006, more and more people are stopping in with their dogs.
“At any given time there might be five, six, seven animals out there just mingling with each other,” he said.
If you’re looking for a stay-cation, or a place for your animal-loving friends and family to stay when they visit, Union Station is the latest among a string of Nashville hotels to go pet-friendly.
“So many people have dogs, and so many people now are able to travel with their dogs. Where it might not have been possible before, it’s just a thing now and we want to be sure that we welcome absolutely everybody,” said Kate Thompson, Union Station Director of Sales and Marketing.
Mayor Barry has more things in the works to make Nashville more accommodating to pets and pet owners.
“Nashville is absolutely setting a great example for that, and I think throughout the country we’re starting to see more and more as well,” Thompson.
“As an animal owner myself, I think anything we can do to promote and make things better for our pets, I think is a great thing,” said Dennison.
In 2018, Nashville pet owners can look forward to revisiting breed and size bans, installing pet-friendly amenities in downtown, improving the residential pet experience and making public and park space better for pets.
Other things in the works include, advocating on behalf of pets, showcasing the ways they make life better, identifying and tackling barriers to pet ownership, better understanding pet-friendliness in cities around the country and building a model for a pet-friendly city that small, medium and large cities can leverage.
“I can tell you firsthand that pets are everywhere. I see them on walks, playing in our parks, and our top questions from new residents and visitors are about where people can go with their pets,” Mayor Barry said.
“I’m excited to work with Mars Petcare and Nashville Civic Design Center support this program that helps to welcome pets into even more places. Better Cities for Pets is a natural fit to the work I set out to do in driving collaboration among the animal welfare community. The progress we’ve made to build a coalition that will serve the pet homeless population is essential to truly being a pet-friendly city,” she continued.Click here for a complete list of pet-friendly places in Nashville.