Traveling with Pets

Traveling with Pets: Nashville

You’re visiting Nashville with your cat or dog. Here’s your quick guide to pet care, pet-friendly lodging and dining, pet supplies, dog parks, and other resources.

Emergency Pet Care

Let’s deal with crisis situations first. What if your pet gets really sick after hours? Although the headline at the top mentions cats and dogs, these facilities treat a wide range of pets–no tigers, please. I won’t waste words; here are numbers, locations and websites.

Nashville Veterinary Specialists

Open 24/7. You can call your vet first or head straight to their clinic. If your vet is affiliated with NVS, they can access your pet’s medical records. In addition to emergency care, they offer a wide range of specialties including including surgery, cardiology, oncology, neurology and dermatology. Near 100 Oaks: 2971 Sidco Drive (615-386-0107).

Blue Pearl Vet

The Nashville location is at 2409 21st Avenue S. (615-383-2600). The Franklin (Cool Springs) location is at 3020 Mallory Lane (615-333-1212) .

They’re open 24/7 with specialty work including cardiology, neurology, and dermatology by appointment When our dog messed up his leg, they did a great job on his orthopedic surgery.

Vets Near Downtown

ReadiVet. Mobile vet clinic serving most of the Nashville area. 615-970-7307.

GoodVets. The Gulch. Closest vet to downtown. 606 8th Ave. S. 615-551-4100.

Little Urban Vet Clinic SoBro. 64 Hermitage Avenue. 615-942-7020.

City Pets Animal Care Germantown. 1016 Jefferson Street. 615-678-8013.

Thrive Pet Health Care between The Gulch and Melrose. 811 Wedgewood. 615-205-7513.

Pet-Friendly Restaurants and Hotels

It seems like these lists are expanding daily. Bring Fido keeps track of pet-friendly restaurants and pet-friendly hotels. You can also cross-reference these with the Visitors Corporation’s Dog Friendly Nashville post. It’s always wise to call ahead and verify that your pooch or howler monkey is welcome.

Dog Parks

Although few private dog parks including BarkPark have started to spring up, most people take their fur babies to these established public dog parks. Owners tend to come at the same time every day so you can build familiarity naturally. Before you go, you might want to bone up on the rules of dog park usage. Here are your destinations.


Adjoining Ascend Amphitheater and almost beneath the Pedestrian Bridge at First Avenue S. Unlike most of the other parks, pups run on Astroturf in a fairly small area. However, high marks for convenience if you’re a downtown dweller or visitor. Won’t be much shade until trees mature. If you’re looking for a longer traffic-free walk, head north (toward downtown) beyond Fort Nashboro to pick up the Cumberland River Greenway.

Shelby Park–East Nashville

Located in East Nashville’s Shelby Park. Some shade amid the mostly flat, expansive field. One report says that larger dogs dominate the park–but that’s one person’s view.

Centennial Park–Vanderbilt/West

Just up the hill to the west of the Parthenon. Actually two parks in one: a petite enclosure for smaller pooches and a large sloped area for medium and larger dogs.  Eclectic mix of folks and dogs with the occasional famous dog-owner dropping by.

Fairgrounds Nashville–Wedgewood/Houston

The newest dog park is right out in the sun near the Fairgrounds at the corner of Bransford Avenue and Craighead Avenue. Covered in astroturf, there are separate areas for large and small dogs. Bonus points for a mini-agility area.

Edwin Warner Park–Bellevue/Forest Hills

Run with the big dogs here on this flat open field. I’ve seen a bunch of retrievers and labs bounding about.

William A. Pitts Park–Tusculum

Probably more geared to locals than tourists because it’s located in the bedroom community of Tusculum. There’s a two-acre fenced area adjoining a four-acre nature park with a one-third-mile trail if your beast prefers something more rustic.

Two Rivers Park–Donelson/Opryland

If you’re in the Opryland or Donelson area, this is your most convenient dog park. There’s a huge area including tree lines on three sides and a wide concrete walking path.

Percy Priest Dam–Hermitage/Old Hickory

A 2.5-acre area is part of the Stones River Greenway, located between I-40 and the dam.

Daycare and Boarding

In addition to the many vets that offer boarding, Nashville has an ever-growing pack of daycare and housing options. I’m not going to favor one and frankly, the reviews run all over the place. One person says it’s the only place she will take her dog; the next person will tell a horror story about the same place.

Rather than list all your options, I’m going to defer to Google Maps for doggie daycare (which frequently also includes kitty care).


Here are the basics of pet ownership in Metro Nashville-Davidson County:

  • Leash law. All dogs must be on leash unless in a properly enclosed area; Invisible Fence and similar products qualify. No dog is allowed to roam free in Metro-Davidson County. Owners are liable for any damage or injury caused by a pet.
  • Animal waste. If it’s your pet, it’s your poop. Pick up what your animal leaves behind and dispose of it properly. Some neighborhoods are downright hostile toward those who disregard this law.

Pet Supply Stores

You’ll find locations for Petsmart and Petco here along with a number of regional and local businesses.

Nashville Pet Products The stores vary in size including the mega-location above off Thompson Lane in Berry Hill.

Wags and Whiskers The link will take you to the list of its shops around town. Two of its three locations also have a dog wash.

Pet Wants The closest location to downtown at 1106 Division Street. Delivery service available.

Spot’s Pet Supply Both its Green Hills and East Nashville locations offering dog and cat supplies as well as grooming. The East Nashville shop also welcomes DIY dog washing.

Baxter Bailey & Company Located in East Nashville, it aims for the upscale pet.

Crossroads Pet Shop In a cool old house in Germantown, the shop skews toward healthy pet food and animal accessories.

Hollywood Feed Three locations in the Nashville area.