postheadericon Knoxville Dogs: Your Guide to Pet Friendly Downtown

Dogs and their families that live in downtown Knoxville are lucky to live in a urban city that cares about it’s canine citizens!  With plenty of pet friendly patios, a growing list of dog parks, and events specifically catering to dogs, Knoxville truly is a pet friendly city.  

sunsphere downtown knoxville

Recently we shared our Guide to Pet Friendly Fountain City, with reviews of local dog walking trails, pet stores, vets, pet friendly apartments, and pet sitting and dog walking services.  Today we’re focusing on the urban center of Knoxville, the downtown area.   We’d love to hear from you as well. What are your favorite places to visit with your dog in downtown Knoxville?  Let us know in the comments below!

Where Can I Walk my Dog in Downtown Knoxville?

Despite being a mostly urban area of the city, downtown Knoxville offers several options for both off-leash play time for dogs, as well as on-leash walks and runs for exercise.  The PetSafe Downtown Dog Park is the top spot for off-leash fun with other canines.  If you visit during the early evening hours of the work week, or most any time on the weekend, you’re sure to find plenty of other dogs ready for a romp.  There are separate sections for small and large dogs, as well as ramps and exercise stations, and dog water fountains.

dog walking downtown knoxville

If you’d prefer a place to walk or run for a little exercise, Volunteer Landing is a great place to start.  It connects with Neyland Greenway, a nicely paved trail that runs right along the river.  You’ll pass the marina, along with Calhoun’s on the River, the Tennessee Rambler train, and likely plenty of others enjoying the waterfront on sunny day.  There are some shaded area, but it can get hot on a summer afternoon, so be sure to think of your dog’s paws before heading to this trail.

Or if you’re really ready for an adventure, head just a few minutes across the river where you can take in Knoxville’e Urban Wilderness.  There you’ll find miles of trails to explore that connect Ijams Nature Center and Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area in South Knoxville.  

Where can I find a Pet Store in Downtown Knoxville?

downtown knoxville tennessee

Until recently the answer would have been that unfortunately there is not a dedicated pet store in the downtown area.  But just recently Citi Fid-O set up shop at 429 Union Street, and they plan to premium pet provisions for dogs and cats.  It will be exactly to see exactly what their store offer after their projected opening this Spring.

If you’re looking for gear specifically suited for your dogs while they accompany you on outdoor adventures, then Mast General Store on Gay Street is going to be your best option.  They carry the Ruffwear brand of gear which offers dog jackets, lifejackets, backpacks, and other gear your dog might need while enjoying time out in the elements.

 Where can I take my Pet to the Vet in Downtown Knoxville?

Although you may not find a vet office located directly in the downtown area, Dr.Bea, The Visiting Vet, gives you an option for a vet that will come to you!  Rather then worrying about loading up your pet and driving to the vet, it’s a great way to keep your dog or cat in the comfort of your own home during their yearly check-up.  Dr.Bea is an extremely compassionate, caring, and experienced veterinarian who offers her services at a quite reasonable rate.  I recently wrote about how she was amazing in her care of my dog who fought the good fight with bone cancer.

If you’d prefer a brick-and-mortar location, Central Veterinary Hospital is located on Clinch Avenue, which is convenient to the downtown and UT area.  They are a 6 vet practice and offer a wide range of veterinarian services.

 Where can I Live that is Pet Friendly in Downtown Knoxville?

Downtown Knoxville has a large number of urban lofts for sale and lease that are happy to accommodate a pet friendly community.  In the heart of the city, you’ve got the Sterchi Lofts, The Holston, The Daylight Building, JFG Flats, The Firestreet Lofts, and The Emporium. This list is just a starting place, and there are many smaller properties and individually owned pet friendly apartments as well.  Downtown Realty focuses on the urban center of Knoxville and can help you find the perfect space for your lifestyle.

market square knoxville

Where can I Eat with my Dog in Downtown Knoxville?

 A couple of years ago a city wide bill was passed allowing dogs on patios for restaurants that acquired the required permit.  Many restaurants on Market Square and Gay Street took advantage of this new opportunity to attract dogs and their families to eat out together in the downtown area.   You’ll often see dogs lounging in the sun on a restaurant patio, just waiting for a morsel to fall their way.  The City of Knoxville maintains a full-list of dog friendly Knoxville restaurants.  A few of our favorite dog-friendly downtown restaurants include Barley’s Taproom (amazing pizza and draft beers), Downtown Grill & Brewery, French Market (gourmet coffee and crepes), and Coolato Gelato.

 Who can I hire as a Mid-Day Dog Walker in Downtown Knoxville?

You won’t have to do much searching for this answer.  You’re already here!  Waggy Tails Pet Sitting + Dog Walking provides regular mid-day dog walks in the downtown area, as well as pet sitting for when you travel on business or for vacation.  We’ve been in business for over 5 years, have a team of professional pet sitters and dog walkers, and are insured and bonded for your peace of mind.  We offer a convenient online scheduling system that makes adding or canceling a walk a breeze.  Our rates are based on the length of walk and we have both standard and extended length options.  Just fill out our contact form to request an initial meeting, and we’ll be happy to get acquainted!

 We’d love to hear your feedback!  Do you live in downtown Knoxville and enjoy exploring the city with your furry family members?   Let us know your favorite places to visit in the comments below!

dog walking downtown Knoxville

postheadericon Spring Break Pet Sitting

It’s been months of being stuck inside during the cold winter months, and you’re ready to get out and travel this Spring Break! But not everybody in your family is looking forward to spring break this year, especially your dog or cat.  While you’re off having fun, it’s important to make sure your pets are as well!

happy cat pet sitting

Few of us have the option of taking our four-legged kids along with us on spring break or vacation, and while some pets board well, others do not.  Some pets experience separation anxiety, and other pets, particularly older ones, are nervous in the noisy environment of a kennel.  The solution for pet care in your absence isn’t always an easy one.  Your kid has a set routine and feels safe in their home environment, where they are surrounded by familiar sights, sounds, and smells.

At Waggy Tails Pet Sitting + Dog Walking, we offer parents and their four-legged kids an alternative to conventional boarding or imposing on a friend, neighbor, or relative you may have had pet sit for you in the past.  We offer pet owners professional pet care right in their homes, where your kids feel safe and secure.  We provide personalized care that’s tailored to your pet’s individual needs.  We ensure your kid stays on their regular diet, and we schedule walks and playtime to make certain your pet receives both the attention and exercise they need.  Also, caring for your dog or cat in your own home assures you that they will not be exposed to other pets with illnesses.


Our clients appreciate the fact that their four-legged kids are in the care of an experienced professional pet sitter.  There is no need to schedule a drop-off or pickup at a boarding facility, and you’ll be greeted at the front door by a pet with a wagging tail that is happy to have been able to stay in the comfort of their own home.

Did you know that we offer other additional services that might interest you, including complimentary plant watering and bringing in the mail?

If you’d like to give your four-legged kid a break this spring break, contact us today and really enjoy your vacation!

pretty cat pet sitting

photo credit: Apogee PhotographyLeading Line PhotographyJason A. Samfield via photopin cc

postheadericon Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Dog Walker in Knoxville

Here’s a fact that most dog owners may be surprised to learn: Research shows that dogs left alone spend 80% of their time resting, even if they have access to your yard.

pug dog walking


So how much exercise does your dog really need?  At a minimum your dog should have 20-30 minute of “heart-pumping” exercise at least 3 times a week.  This needs to be more than a stroll around the block to take care of business.  I’m talking about power-walking, jogging, frisbee throwing, or other-wise getting your dog’s heart rate up and tongue hanging out!

This means most dogs aren’t getting the exercise needed to promote and maintain their health. With most of us working 10+ hours daily, is it really such a surprise? There simply aren’t enough hours in our days.  Maybe you become a “Weekend Warrior” with your dog and try to make up for the lack of exercise during the week.  While weekend hiking adventures and long trips to the dog park can be a lot of fun, a daily exercise routine is a much healthier and safer alternative.

So what can you do? That’s where an experienced and dependable dog walking service like Waggy Tails Pet Sitting + Dog Walking comes in! Here are 5 reasons we believe hiring a regular dog walker is incredibly important:



1. Health – Your dog’s health depends on you! Consistent exercise can reduce the risk of your dog developing arthritis, heart disease, and other life-threatening illnesses that could become very expensive to treat.

2. Behavior – A well exercised dog is a well behaved dog! With regular opportunities to run, play, and get out of the house, a dog will have calmer behavior at home, and be less inclined to bark, chew, bite, and use the bathroom indoors.

dogs playing frisbee

3. Stimulation – For dogs, mental stimulation can be as exhilarating as physical exercise.   Avoid the guilt of leaving your dog alone all day long. Think about how bored your dog must be during your hours away from the house! A dog walker can break up the monotony of the day, offering the stimulation and socialization that is likely the highlight of your dog’s day.

4. Save Time – Avoid spending your lunch hour rushing home to let out your dog. Don’t worry if you need to stay late after work or want to go out to eat. By using a professional dog walker you’ll free up your schedule, and check one of the items off your daily to-do list without lifting a finger.  You’ll come home to a much more mellow dog who will be happy to enjoy time relaxing with you after work.

5. Peace of Mind – Your dog will have already developed a friendship with an experienced dog walker who can also provide pet sitting visits when you travel for business or vacation. Rather than disrupting your dog’s daily schedule when you travel, your dog walker/pet sitter can help ensure your dog stays happy and healthy in the comfort of your own home.

dalmation dog walking

So why not let Waggy Tails help you in your efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle for your best friend?  Your dog’s daily exercise routine and healthy lifestyle no-longer has to fall squarely on your shoulders.  Fill out our Schedule a Meeting form to get to know one of Waggy Tail’s professional dog walkers, and get your dog started on an exercise routine ASAP!  Your dog will thank you!

photo credit: Gunni CoolGunni Cool, and Dogwalker Brasil via photopin cc

postheadericon Boarding vs. Pet Sitting in Knoxville: Explore the Options


With Spring fast approaching it’s soon to be “Traveling Time in Tennessee.”  Although the snow may have put a damper on your travel plans this winter, Spring Break and Easter will be here before you know it, and maybe you’re already day dreaming about your upcoming summer vacation.  If you’re a family with pets, one part of going on vacation that you’ll likely spend a lot of time considering, is who will be taking care of your furry family members while you’re away.  In Knoxville and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, you have two quality options, boarding and pet sitting.  Some dogs and cats are better suited for one option, while others take better to another.  Today we’re comparing boarding in a kennel vs. pet sitting options in the local area so that you can make the best decision for your pets.  To keep things consistent, we’ll look at PetSafe Village for boarding and Waggy Tails Pet Sitting + Dog Walking.



Boarding – PetSafe Village offers a variety of room options ranging from indoor only, to indoor/outdoor suites, and condos for the cats.  Most rooms are in a range from 4x4ft to 4x8ft, with cat condos at 3x3ft.  There are also several Luxury Suites with a bit larger space.  Several include a raised cot and a webcam.

Pet Sitting – Your pet will stay in the comfort of their own home.  Does your pet normally sleep on a cozy mat by the foot of your bed, or on their “pet couch,” or in the safe haven of their crate?  Great! Then that’s where your pet will continue to sleep during your time away.  Your pet sitter will follow your pet’s regular routine.  So whether your cat is used to having the run of the house, or your dog is used to having indoor/outdoor access through your doggie door, then that’s what your pet sitter will continue to allow your pet to do.


Exercise/Play Time/Interaction:

Boarding – Depending on the room type purchased, PetSafe always offers 3 potty breaks per day for dogs confined to the indoors. Solo playtime can be added for $4.95 (which is 15  minute of unsupervised play in the yard).  So really unless your dogs likes “playing” by themselves, this really isn’t going to do much for them.   If you want your pet to have playtime with an employee, then the charge is $7.95 per 15 minute session.  A final tuck-in (last bathroom break and treat) can be added at night for $3.95.  This is of course per dog, so if you have several you’ll need to multiply the prices.

Pet Sitting – Pet sitting allows you to personalize your pet’s schedule depending on how many visits per day your pet needs. Your dog is used to just a morning and evening feeding and walk?  Perfect, then we’ll make 2 visits per day.  Your pet like to have opportunities to go out in the morning, at lunch, at dinner, and before bed?.  That works too, we’ll visit 4 times per day.  Pricing is based on the length of each visit, so you can customize an exact schedule that works for your pets.  Playtime, walks, and one-on-one attention is always included at no additional charge.  Our visit price is based on up to 3 dogs, or 4 pets, so for most pet families all of their pets are included in the base visit price.


Home and Pet Safety:

Boarding – PetSafe requires all of the pets that they board to be current on vaccinations.  However, you simply can’t guarantee the  full health of all pets when housing such a large number under one roof.  Your pet does run the potential risk of picking up a contagious disease when being boarded at any facility.  This can be especially dangerous for young puppies and kittens.  You’ll also need to think about the safety of your home since there will not be anyone in it while you’re away, and you may have to impose upon friends/family to stop by to check in.

Pet Sitting – With pet sitting your pets stay in the safety of their own home, and they will not be exposed to any diseases, viruses, or parasites due to other animals.  They also will not have to deal with the stress of the unfamiliar sights, smells, and loud sounds of a kennel environment.  Pet sitters can perform complimentary tasks such as bringing in the mail/newspaper, alternating lights, and turning on/off the TV or radio, to give your home a lived-in feel while you are away.  The action of a car arriving at your house several times per day is enough to ward off most would-be burglars.



Boarding – PetSafe Village’s rates for a cat condo range from $16.95 – $37.95 per night depending on the size of the space.  For dogs, the rate for a single dog starts at $26.95 per night in a standard indoor/outdoor suite and goes up to $47.95 per night for the Luxury suite.   Remember this is only for 1 dog.  Each additional dog is 25% off the room price.  If you want to add in any playtime be sure to add in the $4.95-$7.95 fee, per 15 minute session, per pet.  If your pet needs medication, or wants a peanut butter filled treat that’s also an additional charge.

Pet SittingPet Sitting visit prices are based on the length of visit scheduled.  A 20 minute visit is $18, a 40 minute visit $22, and a 60 minute visit $26.  These prices are for up to 3 dogs, or 4 total pets included.  During the visit, your pet sitter will be giving your pets one-on-one attention.  This could be playtime in the yard, long walks at the park, or cuddling on the couch – it’s whatever your pets want and need to be happy and healthy!  Treats, medication, and bathroom breaks are always included at no additional charge.

When you’re ready to go on your next vacation and are considering care options for your pets, take a good look at what would be the best fit – boarding or pet sitting. If you decide that pet sitting is a great option for your pet family, we’d love to provide those services for you!  The first step in getting set up with Waggy Tails Pet Sitting + Dog Walking is to fill out our new client “Schedule a Meeting” form so that you and your pets can become acquainted with one of our experienced pet sitters.  Look forward to hearing from you!

photo credits: Viola & Cats =^..^= , Finn FrodeJelly DudeHumanSeeHumanDo, and sarah … via photopin cc

postheadericon Knoxville Mardi Growl 2014

MardiGrowldogsIt’s time to break out the purple, green, and gold to dress up your dog for Mardi Growl!  I know you must have some feather boas and bead necklaces tucked away in your closet somewhere right?  The 7th annual Mardi Growl Parade and Festival, hosted by Young Williams Animal Center is coming to Knoxville Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 11am – 2pm.

It’s a rain or shine event, so let’s hope for a bright sunny day instead of the snow flurries that we had last year.  Brrr!  All proceeds benefit Young Williams Animal Center, and you can register online now. The cost is $15 per dog for pre-registration through February 26, or you can register the day of for $20 starting at 9am.  All festivities on Market Square are free and open to the public.


The parade is a ton of fun with dogs of every shape andsize dressed up in costumes hoping to win one of the coveted parade costume awards.  From Vol spirit to Naked Dog awards, everyone has a chance to pick up a prize.  The parade starts at the PetSafe Downtown Dog Park at 11am and continues through the Old City, down Gay Street for judging (this is a great location to watch), and ends in Market Square.

In Market Square you’ll find festivities taking place until 2pm with pet-related booths and a peanut butter-licking contest (sorry, only dogs can participate!), along with $10 microchips and $10 rabies vaccinations available.  You can keep track of all the Mardi Growl 2014 updates on their event Facebook page, and be sure to let them know you’ll be attending, as well as invite your friends!

I’ll be there with my 1 year old daughter this year!  She LOVES dogs and will be in heaven with all of them running around.  I’m not sure if our pups will be coming with us or not, but I can’t wait to see a bunch of you and your furry family members there!  See you then!

Dog Walking
Dog Walking
Pet Sitting
Pet Sitting