NEW RESIDENT'S GUIDE

Pet-Friendly
Santa Fe

A dog and cat stare at one another

Saint Francis, with his legendary love for and rapport with animals, is the city’s patron saint, so it should come as no surprise that Santa Fe is a pet-friendly community. Santa Fe residents love their four-footed friends. And, for the most part, Santa Fe makes it easy for dog-lovers. Dogs on leads are welcome in parks and public places, on sidewalks and even, more often than not, in shops and on restaurant patios. There are dozens of pet-friendly eateries in The City Different that encourage owners to bring their canine friends for patio meals. Some establishments even regularly serve them water and doggie appetizers!

Legalities of Pet Ownership

There are some things every Santa Fe pet owner should know about owning an animal within the city or in Santa Fe County. The city requires that dogs and cats be licensed, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered by the time they are six months old. Breeder permits are available, and full information is available from the City of Santa Fe Animal Services office. Santa Fe County animal regulations are similar.


Ordinances prohibit pets on the Plaza during public events such as the 4th of July Pancake Breakfast, Indian and Spanish Markets, the Labor Day Arts and Crafts Market, and Fiestas de Santa Fe. Dogs are not allowed in Cathedral Park, on school grounds, playing fields, or children’s playgrounds. Owners are required to carry plastic bags and must pick up and dispose of their animal’s waste when walking a dog off their own property.
Enigma, the cat, looking to the right.
Ernie Zapata and his dog, Jehz on the portal at Barker Realty.
Well-behaved pets are welcome most places in Santa Fe. The Archbishop of Santa Fe presides over an annual Blessing of the Animals service at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. This special day includes a well-attended celebration of children and pets that spills onto the city’s Central Plaza. Also, the costumed pet parade each September is a beloved part of Santa Fe’s annual Fiesta Celebration.

Frank S. Ortiz Dog Park on Camino de las Crucitas is an off-leash park with 135 acres of paths and open space, picnic tables, and a playground for the kids. There is no water, however, so be sure to bring your own. The city also has a small dog park, located in front of the Animal Shelter at 100 Caja del Rio Road.

Places to Take Your Pet

Caring for Your Pet

Be aware that wild animals live in the surrounding mountains and sometimes venture into neighborhoods. Small dogs and cats are favorite prey. Do not allow small pets to remain outside at night, even if your yard is fenced.


Be wary of snakes and skunks when you’re out doors with your pet. Check your pets and yourself for ticks after a hike.


The Santa Fe Animal Shelter provides spay and neuter services as well as vaccinations, and has domestic animals available for adoption if you’re looking for a pet.


The city has excellent veterinarians as well as grooming, boarding and spa/daycare services for pampered pets.

Sign at Smith Veterinary Clinic, Santa Fe, New Mexico.