Zandra Straple
Assistant Manager, Pet Paradise Gainesville

From a pet parent perspective, Gainesville is a great place to live. There is something pet friendly to do in almost every part of the town and surrounding areas. There are several restaurants and bars that offer outdoor and patio seating so you can bring your four-legged baby with you. Some even provide bowls of water for them to drink while you are out there! You can also choose from a variety of activities to do with your dogs. There are multiple dog parks in the area you can take them to play and socialize with other dogs, including Pet Paradise and Dogwood Park. If you prefer to be outdoors and enjoy nature, there are a multitude of trails and state parks to hike with your fur baby. Paynes Prairie and Devil’s Millhopper are two such options that are my personal favorites. It is great to be able to spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful scenery that Gainesville has to offer and tiring my pup out at the same time.

Gainesville also has many companies that host pet specific events throughout the year. From Pet Paradise’s Splash Bash competition in April to the American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life relay in November, there is an event to look forward to in almost every month. When I am not participating in an event as a Pet Paradise representative, I try to attend as many as possible with my own dog. It is a great way to have fun and meet other pet parents in the area. Many of the events are also charity functions so you know you are supporting a great cause at the same time. If you want to go on vacation or need to go out of town for any reason, you never have to worry about where you are going to keep your pet. There are numerous options to choose from! Most of the veterinary offices in the area offer boarding services and there are several pet resorts that cater specifically to boarding and daycamp. It gives you peace of mind knowing that you have so many places to take great care of your pet when you cannot be home with them or take them with you. 

You will also find the best care for your pet in Gainesville. There are a few different national chain pet stores in addition to many locally owned pet stores to find your pets’ needs. Some of the locally owned stores offer all natural, organic, and homemade pet supplies that you will not find anywhere else. If you do not own a dog or cat, there are a few specialty stores that have supplies for both reptilian and veterinary services for all pets. In addition to the myriad private and holistic veterinary practices, the University Of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine’s small and large animal hospitals are available to everyone. They have every type of specialty medicine you could need, including zoological medical services for exotic animals!

As a pet owner myself, I could not find a better place to live with my dog. Gainesville has an option for every pet need I have.

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