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As the bell over my head dinged to announce our entrance, Tazuna paused a second to test the air. While I could smell the pages of beloved books – she was probably taking in the haunting scents of animals that have previously crossed over that same threshold. The welcoming place obviously catered to people with pets – from the dog bed and toys in the window reading nook to the shiny purple water bowl that set on a gray mat by the checkout counter.
The place explodes with color as bright deep purple and teal walls greet you – with a carefully curated collection of both new and used titles that create a sense of diversity. That all are welcome here.
Add in the works of local artists that grace the walls, and the aroma of freshly brewed gourmet flavored coffee? It is a place I know I could fall in love with and see myself visiting often.
Kelly, the owner, could be one of my new best friends. I know I will be back soon, with my teen…but was able to enjoy the time during my brief visit with my pup.
Sheboygan Wisconsin is Pet Friendly
That is just one of the kinds of experiences you can have in Sheboygan Wisconsin – the first city in Wisconsin to be named a Pet-Friendly City by BETTER CITIES FOR PETS*.
During Covid more than 50% of the kids across the country had issues with anxiety, depression, etc. and families snapped up dogs to act as emotional support animals. You literally couldn’t find a dog anywhere!
Why People Want to Take Their Dogs on Vacay
Now that the world is back open to travelers, those same families want to take Fido along with them for their family vacation – for a few reasons. Not only does that new bond with the kid means they still act as a comfort animal, but it is freaking expensive to kennel your doggo for a week!
A lot of the pricing on the net is outdated – it is currently $3-500 a week for that canine condo – averaging $47 a day in just the state of Wisconsin.
There are upcharges for everything! Want them to get a bath before you pick them up? Tack on $15 – and you will want that, as they get dirty during the doggy group playtime that they might get each day.
Don’t like your pooch in the general mixed population for fear they will get hurt? One-on-One play sessions run at least ten bucks. Heck, you can even get a picture or text update for a fee or get them a frozen peanut butter-filled Kong treat for about $5.
If you are a destination reading this article? That is $500 or so that these families can be spending in YOUR area, doing things with their dog, creating memories, eating great local food, and so much more.
We checked out Sheboygan
Yes, Tazuna is my Australian Shepherd Service Dog and can go with me anywhere. We like to check out places where others can bring their non-service dog fur babies.
We all know that microbreweries are the bomb for dog-friendly environments. Who doesn’t like getting a flight, sitting on the patio, listening to live music, and all with your precious pup at your side?
Sheboygan has that, and so much more for y’all to do!
There are 3 state parks in the area, the closest being Kohler-Andre. We LOVE camping there and checking out the Sanderling Nature Center.
Your dog is welcome to walk along the beach north of the nature center and along the boardwalk, but please keep them leashed. Try to stick to those areas as even humans are asked to – they want to protect the ecosystem of the miles of sand dunes.
Pro Tip: park by the nature center as some areas are not dog-friendly.
As for other parks? With 36 city parks, there are in the process of having them all clearly marked as dog-friendly or a dog-free zone. Most we came across were perfect for your pooch to join you. Just pay attention to leash rules and pick up after your dog.
If the idea of hanging at public parks makes you nervous (my dog LOVES to chase a Frisbee even if I didn’t throw it) then check out the Sheboygan Dog Run. Soon, they will have one of the most amazing dog parks! The local Humane Society is in the process of building it and the plans sound amazing.
Other easy things to do
Pose your pup! There are several Instagram-worthy photo opportunities like the big chair in front of the Blue Harbor Resort. We also liked to catch the sunrise from their walking path in the back, along the shoreline.
See the Flag
The Sheboygan Acuity Flag is currently the tallest flagpole in North America at 400 feet tall. You will find this on the Acuity Insurance Company campus. It also has a beautiful garden, a Veteran memorial, and flag facts.
The wreck of the Lottie Cooper is an outdoor gem that is a great place to take your pooch! An 89-foot-long section is on display in Deland Park. There is a ton of signage to learn more about that fateful wreck that happened in 1894.
Pro Tip: look for painted rocks that people leave behind – or plan to place one there yourself.
Where can you stay?
Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE camping in the area. Just not in winter. Brrrr! Check out these few rentals we found in the area that take pets:
- Sheboygan Surf House “Jetties” $70 a night apartment
- Classic Sheboygan $119 a night apartment
- Lovely modern two-bedroom home with fire pit $138 a night
- Dog-Friendly Blue Door Cottage $149 a night home
**Double check the information before you book to verify any pet deposits, special rules, etc. We always bring clean dog blankets to put on furniture and our little hand-held vacuum to catch any stray dog hair.
Need more ideas?
Check out the Visit Sheboygan office. You know they are pet-friendly the minute you pull up as a gravity-fed water bowl is right in front of their doors. We saw more than one pup come through there on our visit. You can also call them at (920) 335-0060.
*The BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ city certification was launched in 2019 as an extension of the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, which works with government, businesses, and non-profits to help communities be pet-friendly.