Luca crosses Washington Street from The Place at Channelside to the Washington Street Dog Park.

Pet Perks

July 10, 2017 | Tampa Downtown | Activities, City, Dishes, Pets

The verdict is in – Americans love their pets, and Downtown Tampa residents do, too. Across the country, 79.7 million households have a pet. In Tampa, that translates to 56 percent of downtown residents owning a furry friend, up almost 20 percentage points from just three years ago.

Photography Gabriel Burgos || Writer McKenna Kelley

As more residents have become pet owners, Downtown Tampa has responded by becoming increasingly pet-friendly. The city has even been ranked No. 1 in the country for dog friendliness by a multiple travel websites. Residents agree, as nine out of 10 of them believe downtown caters to pet owners.

{Pet-Friendly} Restaurants Downtown
Most downtown restaurants with outdoor patios allow leashed pets and will provide fresh water and even dog treats. Here are a few favorites:
›› The Sail
›› Fly Bar
›› Sono Café
›› Ulele
›› Columbia Café
›› Maloney’s Irish Pub
›› Pour House (Dogs allowed inside!)
›› Café Dufrain
›› Jackson’s
›› Yeoman’s Cask & Lion
›› Taps
›› Bamboozle Café
›› Hablo Taco
›› Zudar’s on Platt


Where to Live
By and large, Downtown Tampa apartments and condos welcome pets. “Most of us consider our pets to be part of the family, and at Richman Signature Properties, that sentiment isn’t lost when it comes to designing and creating amenities and services that serve our pets’ needs,” says Kristen Gucwa, vice president of marketing and national lease-up operations for Richman Signature Properties, which owns downtown’s Aurora apartments.

Still, most apartments and condos have a few general rules regarding pets: You’ll have to pay a little more up front… and a little more each month. Almost every property requires a non-refundable pet fee per pet on top of the regular security deposit. Amounts vary between $250 and $500 and will cover you in the event your pet damages your unit. You’ll likely also need to pay a monthly pet rent between $15 and $20 to help cover the maintenance of areas like private dog parks and green spaces.

Breed and weight restrictions typically apply. Cats and dogs no heavier than 60-80 pounds are OK, but larger or more aggressive dog breeds, like akitas, German shepherds, huskies and pit bulls, likely won’t be allowed in your downtown apartment. The exception here is Grand Central at Kennedy, which does not have breed restrictions.

Some buildings have pet perks. Pierhouse at Channelside, The Fitzgerald, Aurora and 500 Harbour Island have private dog parks, while Skyhouse Channelside is located right beside the Washington Street Dog Park. 500 Harbour Island also participates in Gables Residential’s Paws to Care program, which puts on pet-friendly events in the building and offers residents access to discounted pet insurance.


 {Pet-Friendly} Apartments Downtown
›› Pierhouse at Channelside
›› Skyhouse Channelside
›› 500 Harbour Island
›› Post Harbour Place
›› Towers of Channelside
›› The Place at Channelside
›› Grand Central at Kennedy
›› The Slade
›› The Fitzgerald
›› Bell Channelside
›› Skypoint
›› Element
›› Aurora


Pet Care
Veterinary services are indeed available downtown. On the first floor of Ventana on Channelside, Harbourside Animal Hospital (1112 Channelside Dr., #4) provides routine check-ups, emergency services, vaccinations, microchipping and other services for your pet.

Because downtown’s dense population means there are lots of pets in close proximity, Harbourside’s Dr. Timothy Hodge says urban pet owners need to ensure their cats and dogs stay up to date on vaccines and exams to prevent illness. Additionally, he says urban pet owners need to remember the importance of exercise.


Bark in the Park
Downtown dog parks like these are the perfect place for apartment-bound pups to stretch their legs.
›› Curtis Hixon
›› Washington Street
›› Water Works Park

The Modern Paws
117 N. 12th St.
803 N. Tampa St.

With two convenient locations across the street from both Curtis Hixon and Washington Street parks, The Modern Paws is housed in both Duckweed Urban Grocery stores and carries pet food, toys, health products and more. They even offer free local delivery to downtown residences or offices.