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Bark up the right trees: Seattle is a dog's best friend

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Photo courtesy of The Seattle Barkery
Photo courtesy of The Seattle Barkery

If there's one thing Seattleites love more than good food, it's good companionship. Hailed as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country, Seattle boasts several amazing dog parks, daycares, and even bars dedicated to dog lovers. So if you're looking for the best place to score a special treat for your best furry friends, look no further than these dog-friendly locations!

Photo courtesy of Dog Yard  

Pints and pups
Looking for a place to hang with Rover? Check out Dog Yard Bar in Ballard. For those 21 and older, Dog Yard Bar is the perfect place to make friends, sip pints, and mark your territory.

Each weekend, Dog Yard Bar hosts a breed-specific meet-up for one type of pooch, from "heavy breathers" to "minis" to "chihuahuas and mixes." The events typically last a few hours and are exclusive to dogs that fit the event criteria.

Seattle Pride's 2021 Doggie Drag Queen Champion, Petey "Patricia Chiweenie," had the pleasure of visiting Dog Yard Bar for its latest "Small Dog" meetup. Donning his best attire, Petey enjoyed many treats, pets, and butt sniffs in a friendly and safe environment. Petey spent his morning lounging in the sunshine and making friends with other small breeds. The small-dog environment allowed him to let his guard down and enjoy the company of others without feeling the need to pretend to be a pit bull.

The staff was on the grounds at all times, monitoring the behavior of all those in attendance and making sure the yard remained clean and sanitary while owners enjoyed tasty cocktails.

After the meet-ups and on weekdays, the bar opens up its yard to all dogs — so long as they (and their owners) can provide proof of vaccination. Dogs and their owners love the atmosphere there and relish the opportunity to make new friends and pet all the dogs.

For information on upcoming events including, "Heavy Breathers," "Giants," "Puppy Playdate," and "Doodles," visit Dog Yard Bar's website at https://www.dogyardbar.com/.

Photo courtesy of The Seattle Barkery  

Homemade for your hound
If you're looking for a shop where you can pamper your pups with the finest treats and toys, check out the Seattle Barkery. Originally a food truck for dogs, it has quickly grown into a must-try for all Pacific Northwest pet owners.

"We've been in business since 2014, and we just recently opened up this location in Shoreline, in September," said owner Ben Ford. "The first location was a mobile doggy-treat truck. That's honestly what put us on the map, because it's such a weird idea... But we started driving that around town and built up momentum and got a customer base.

"It's such a foreign concept that a lot of people are hesitant and like, 'What is this?' or confused. So it took a couple of years, honestly, for people to understand what we're doing. We started with a truck, and we're on our fifth location now."

Ben and his wife Dawn started the business as a labor of love, dedicated to all the dogs in their lives. "That was all my wife, Dawn, that was her idea," Ben said. "It was her brainchild, and she did some convincing to me that it was going to work, and here we are."

Each Seattle Barkery location puts its dog customers first. The stores carry toys, clothes, collars, and plenty of yummy snacks for each pooch who enters the doors.

The Fords, like many Seattleites, treat their dogs like their children and wanted to make sure the food they gave them was the best. "We knew how much we were spending on our dogs, so we knew we probably weren't the only crazy dog parents in this town. There are a lot of dogs in Seattle. So yeah, it works."

The Seattle Barkery has twelve types of treats they make from scratch every day, and they make sure to source all their ingredients locally. "We make it all ourselves in-house. We have over twelve recipes, including our cakes, which are all registered with the Department of Agriculture," Ben said.

"We also try to source locally in the Pacific Northwest, so all our elk antlers come from Montana, [and] any of our bags treats come from Portland and Vancouver, so we try to keep it as local as possible.

"Everything is freshly baked each day, so it's all soft and fresh. I think that's why we have such a good reaction to our treats. The dogs seem to like something fresh. A lot of times you're giving them some store-bought treat that's just dehydrated and it's been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long. So yeah, no preservatives. All of our treats have three to five ingredients, all very simple and easy to make."

Giving back one bone at a time
Ben and Dawn also use their business to give back to the community. "My wife Dawn is on the board of Old Dog Haven, so we've been working with them for years," said Ben.

The Barkery works alongside the elderly-dog rescue to provide extra treats and donations every year. "We used to go to the Humane Society and donate there, too, but we've got it down so well [now] that there [aren't] a lot of leftovers, but we do donate a lot of different [things] to Old Dog Haven," he said.

"We have a Barkery Box, each month it rotates and changes. It's sponsored by one of our fan's dogs, and each month they choose a different organization to donate to. Last month, for instance, it was Parkinson's. So, a dollar of every Barkery Box goes to Parkinson's. And that averages to about $300 a month. It's up to whoever is sponsoring the box to choose what they want to do. Old Dog Haven seems to be about three or four months out of the year. We try to spread it out as much as we can. Kind of a fun and creative way to help get other people involved."

The Barkery is also currently working to help dogs affected by the war in Ukraine. "We're doing a benefit for Ukraine dogs, so for every Banana Bone, we're donating a dollar, which is great. I know it sounds a little silly, [what with the] war and everything, but you know those people have dogs as well, and they're a part of the family, so we found a reputable rescue group and organization that takes in all the dogs that are having to deal with all of this, too."

Photo courtesy of The Seattle Barkery  

Creative treats
It's clear, from nose to tail, that everyone at the Seattle Barkery is dedicated to improving the lives of the dogs who love them.

"We've been doing this for many years, and like I was saying before, it was kind of a leap of faith as to whether it would work or not, and I think it taught me that we value our dogs here," Ben said. "Not just in the sense that it's a dog, it's a part of our family. My wife and I are childless — we're not going to have kids. So we've put all of that love into our dogs. I realize that there's a market for that here in Seattle, and hopefully, it spreads all over the place."

Petey's favorite part of the store was the "treat chute," a whimsical dispenser that launches a tasty sample to every dog who comes by. His favorite treats were the fresh chicken hearts, perfect bite-sized snacks for dogs of all sizes and a delicacy Ben and Dawn make every day. "I make those fresh each morning. We put a little coconut oil in them and air-fry them. Those seem to be everyone's favorite," Ben said.

Petey also enjoyed the cheesy donuts, a freshly baked snack from the downtown location, courtesy of dedicated employee Keazia, who informed us that the store is getting ready for a new seasonal batch of Girl Scout—inspired dog treats. "We have some fun ones coming up with Girl Scout cookies and Easter candy and stuff. We try and [do something for] the holidays. For Valentine's Day, we did a peanut butter—pumpkin pretzel heart, and then we did little heart[-shaped] peanut butter—banana bones. It's really fun," she said.

Photo courtesy of Wag N' Wash  

Clean dogs and clean ingredients
If you're seeking a one-stop shopping experience with your dog, look no further than Queen Anne's Wag N' Wash. It offers a unique opportunity to use its in-store grooming equipment to make sure your pet is smelling just as good as their gourmet treats!

Wag N' Wash offers special grooming opportunities for the hands-on pet owner, a specialty nail trim service, and best of all, a deluxe pet bakery in the back. The bakery items are made fresh each day by an in-store baker, Peter, who loves to receive feedback from all his happy customers.

Wag N' Wash's most popular pet treats include "Muttballs," "Pet Pies," and special "Pup-Cakes" for all your most festive occasions. The cakes are made from the same human-grade ingredients you might find in your birthday cake, except they do not include sugar, which can be harmful to pets.

The treat counter was a must-see for Petey, especially after a quick pedicure with Wag N' Wash's excellent grooming staff. His favorite treats were the Muttballs, a soft bread-like ball he could gobble in one bite! He couldn't get enough of their soft and easy-to-chew texture and was begging for more as soon as he got home.

Wag N' Wash makes sure to market all its treats at affordable prices so that everyone can get the chance to spoil their pets. The store also carries specialty items for dogs and cats, such as antianxiety CBD and catnip sprays, high-quality organic toys, and plenty of dog raincoats.

Our dogs are more than just pets, they're our babies, our best friends, and sometimes our favorite drag performers. They deserve all the best treats, and thanks to Seattle's dedicated dog-loving business owners, there are a plethora of local options to choose from! Petey rates all the treats he tried at Dog Yard Bar, The Seattle Barkery, and Wag N' Wash an 11 out of 10. If my picky Chiweenie will eat them, your dog will love these treats too!