Whether you're new to town, or a Missoula O.G, here is what you need to know when it comes to your furry friend and the amazing place we call the Zoo.

It's obvious Missoula is a very dog-friendly town. We have multiple walking trails, dog parks, hiking trails, city-provided waste bags, an amazing humane society, and super fun events centered around our pets. However there are always a few bad apples in the batch that can make the rest of us look bad, so I thought it was time to go over some Missoula do's and don'ts when it comes to Fido.

The Missoula County website has been super helpful in this aspect. Many of these things I'm about to list are either listed there in great detail or should just be common sense.

Pick Up After You Dog: This is a given, and the duty (pun intended) of every responsible dog owner. This doesn't just apply to your yard, but if your dog has to go while on a hike or at the park, make sure you clean up. I can't tell you how many times I've been so grossed out walking up Blue Mountain. It can make some of our trails literally unusable.

Know Where You Can Un-leash And Where You Cannot: Taking the pup on a good long hike and letting them free to run and explore is the whole point, and like you, I love it. There are many places in city limits where this is absolutely permitted like Mount Jumbo, North Hills, Mount Sentinel, Tower St, Kim Williams Trail, and Jacob Island Dog Park. Now otherwise in city limits, please leash up. Even if your dog is incredibly friendly and well-behaved, not all folks are fans of dogs. We can't have your pet running up to people uninvited or darting into traffic. It's a safety concern.

Keep Up With Shots and Vet Visits: This is not only important for the health and safety of your own dog, but other pets in Missoula. Many boarding places and groomers won't even take your pet unless you are up to date with their shots.

Proper Behaviour Training:  Have you ever been at the dog park and had someone's giant pet come jump up on you, attack your dog, or possibly run over a small child? If you are going to have a dog in public, you need to make sure they are trained. The Humane Society has many behavior classes, and they are a great resource for advice and training.

License Your Dog: There are many of us that "forget" about this one. If you get busted without a dog license and proper documentation, it could be a $95 fine. And remember, when you are in public your dog must have proper tags and a collar.

Chip Your Pup: This is some of the best money I've ever spent. Getting your dog chipped can ensure you get your furry buddy back if they ever run off, or prove that they are yours if they get stolen. It's well worth the money.

If we all adhere to some simple, and courteous dog rules in Missoula we can ensure it is a puppy paradise for both them and you!


Adorable Dogs of Missoula

Missoulians submitted pictures of their dogs for National Dog Day. Enjoy!

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