Jenny recently booked dog boarding with Kathleen in Columbia
Kathleen was awesome! She notified me each time she came to see Sophie and sent me pictures each time as well. Sophie is often anxious about new things, but seemed to do very well with Kathleen! I would highly recommend her as a pet sitter!
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See what owners are saying about dog boarding in ColumbiaColumbia dog sitters were rated 5 out of 5 stars from 230+ reviews
Sabrina's review on Jun 23, 2019
Emi took great care of my two pups! I recommend her and will for sure use her in the future!
Laurel's review on Jun 23, 2019
Kelly is one of the kindest people I know. Every time my pup stays with her I know he has a great time and is spoiled relentlessly. Kelly sends photos, takes him on adventures, and gives me peace of mind when I travel. 10/5 stars!
Clint's review on Jun 15, 2019
Cassie did a fantastic job taking care of our pups and would definitely request her again :)
Jim's review on Jun 13, 2019
Wow! Kayla B is the best!! She took fantastic care of our Jackson. Pampered and spoiled him as much or more than we do! We could really tell Jackson just loved his time with Kayla because he came home so relaxed and stress free. This has been a really great experience, Thank you Kayla B!!
Linda's review on Jun 10, 2019
My golden loved staying with Zoey. He loved running in the back yard and Zoey took some great pictures. Really appreciated that Zoey was flexible with drop off and pick up.
Megan's review on Jun 02, 2019
Kelsey did great watching my dog while I was out of town. I would highly recommend her!
Tiffany's review on Jun 01, 2019
Breanna and her husband were wonderful with my fur babies. They were happy pups and communication was prompt!
Phillip's review on Jun 01, 2019
Brittany was amazing. Great home for my pups! Accommodating to my odd hour pickup and drop off. Would highly recommend and look forward to using again!
Top Dog Parks in Columbia
Escape from downtown Columbia to the Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, which has a large cave system and a rock bridge in the Gans Creek Wild Area. It has miles of hiking and biking trails over 2,273 acres. There is an easy all-season hike you can take to the spring and underground stream at Devil’s Icebox. You can explore the opening of Connor’s Cave, a look into Missouri’s underworld. Make sure to pack a flashlight and old shoes for your explorations! There are a lot of steps to the rock bridge, but you have your choice of hikes with varying difficulty.
Finger Lakes State Park is one of two ATV parks in the Missouri State Park system. It’s a popular destination for off-road vehicles, with a trail system for ATVs and off-road motorbikes. You can camp in the park in the spacious campground in the rolling hills at Finger Lakes. The former coal mining area also has paths for hiking. You can take the 2.75-mile Kelley Branch Mountain Bike Trail or a 4.5-mile water trail past the ridges and pits of the reclaimed strip mine. Thanks to the Kelley Branch Creek and Peabody Lake, there is plenty to for water-loving visitors, including fishing, canoeing, or swimming.
Columbia Cosmopolitan Recreation Area, called Cosmo Park, is Columbia’s largest park at 533 acres. There are sports fields, tennis courts, and L.A. Nickell golf course. You can hike or walk your dog on the trails, or fish in some of the fishing ponds in the park. There is also the Antimi Sports Complex and Columbia Youth Football League. It is the site of Steinberg Playground, the largest playground in Columbia’s park system. Cosmo Park hosts the annual Show-Me State Games, a huge non-profit event put on by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health and the University of Missouri. 32,000 athletes come to Columbia throughout the year to participate.
Stephens Lake Park is a park with a lakefront boardwalk. There are plenty of areas for picnics. It offers free wi-fi, so you can stay connected if you want. There are miles of trails, plus playgrounds for your kiddos. There is a .6-mile trail around the lake to walk, bike, or run. You are welcome to boat, fish, or cut across the boardwalk through the middle of the lake. The island in the middle of Stephens Lake has a shelter for you to relax or picnic. There is also a 1.7-mile trail around the perimeter of the walk that passes wooded areas, the Hinkson Creek Trail, and an art sculpture.
Columbia's Bark Score
How Columbia got their Bark Score
We love crunching numbers almost as much as we love caring for dogs, which is why we came up with the Bark Score. It's all about how dog-friendly a city is, and is determined using census statistics, local business information, and our own data. Columbia received a 39 out of 100 in vet availability, which includes the number of emergency veterinarians, regular vets, specialists, and the average premium for pet insurance in the area. For pet services—like groomers available, number of dog trainers, and count of Rover sitters—this city earned a 58. For the parks and fun category, Columbia received a 53 for its number of dog parks, sunny days, and dog-friendly restaurants and hotels. And last but not least, for quality of dog life which includes overall dog population, average yard size, and number of dog-friendly property rentals, this city earned a 57.
Top Dog Neighborhoods in Columbia
Benton-Stephens is one of the oldest and most popular neighborhoods in Columbia. It has affordable, safe housing and is a green, calm neighborhood. In addition to notable properties designated by the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, the area is highly walkable to the University of Missouri as well as Stephens College and Columbia College. Nature loving Missouri dog walkers can enjoy the access to Stephens Lake Park, with its lakefront boardwalk. There is also a community arts program, Access Arts, and a Salvation Army shelter, Harbor. Some of the favorite places there include Walts Bicycle & Wilderness shop, Ragtag Cinema, and Activity and Recreation Center (ARC).
Historic Old Southwest
Old Southwest is just to the west of University of Missouri and downtown. It is a peaceful, quiet neighborhood with many pet-friendly residents. You can join the Southwest Swimming Association, which is a swim club in the neighborhood. You can get out and walk your dog at the Kiwanis Park or Westwinds Park, or check out fishing at nearby Hulen Lake. This neighborhood is also close to the MKT Parkway, a 10-foot wide and five-mile-long trail made of crushed limestones built on the MKT railroad. You can also go to 3M Flat Branch-Hinkson Creek Wetlands. When you get hungry, you can eat at CC’s City Broiler or Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro.
Known as “The District,” Downtown Columbia has some fun events planned throughout the year, including Drinks in the District and Wedding Stroll in the District. Currently in the planning stages, an art installation throughout the area, called the Light Hub, will feature globes strung across streets that lights up at night. You will be able to see the Light Hub at important district areas, including Flat Branch Park, The Sharp End, and Wabash Station. The North Village area has Orr Street Studios, a series of warehouses converted into artist studios. It is within walking distance to the Stephens College Costume Museum. The West End was once home to Columbia’s African American neighborhood and the home of ragtime singer John William “Blind” Boone. You can also find the home of the Columbia Daily Tribune.
East Campus (University of Missouri)
The University of Missouri, or Mizzou, takes up a large portion of downtown Columbia. The benefit of the university is the number of art galleries, plus educational and health facilities they bring to the city. There are also several parks in the area, such as Flat Branch Park, Peace Park, and the Mel Carnahan Quadrangle, with its classic architecture that helped Columbia earn the nickname “Athens of the West.” You can even find the original grave marker of Thomas Jefferson near the College of Arts & Sciences. Some excellent places to eat near Mizzou include The Heidelberg, Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, and local favorite Tropical Liqueurs, for after-dinner drinks.
Why do dog owners love Columbia?
A dog-friendly town where you will find plenty of trusted local sitters and boarders, Columbia was founded in 1821. The area was once inhabited by Osage and Missouri Native Americans, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed within a few miles of the area in 1803. The Smithton Land Company purchased 2,000 acres in the area and named their village Smithton, but the settlement moved east across the Flat Branch Creek due to lack of water and was then renamed to Columbia. In the 1850s, Columbia grew from trading with pioneers on the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. Then, the Missouri Kansas Texas (MKT) railroad helped the city grow even more. Throughout the 1800s, three colleges were established in the city: Stephens College (1855), University of Missouri (1839), and Columbia College (1851). Today, it is Missouri’s fourth-most-populous, but fastest growing, city. This midwestern college town, known locally as CoMo, offers many cultural events and museums, such as the State Historical Society of Missouri, the Museum of Art and Archaeology, and the annual True/False Film Festival. The Missouri Tigers are the state’s only college athletic program, so have a lot of fans cheering for them at Faurot Field and Mizzou Arena. Columbia has many great outdoor spaces, thanks to its rolling hills and limestone bluffs and glades. You can explore caves and underground springs at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, or hike in nearby Mark Twain National Forest and Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Columbia Cosmopolitan Recreation Area—Cosmo Park, to locals—is the city’s largest park, and five-acre Shelter Gardens is another serene spot. Then there’s Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, a riverside preserved wetlands. And Columbia is also close to Kansas City, St. Louis, and Jefferson City, so residents can get a Columbia dog boarder, and head out to the other city’s for a weekend getaway to see some theater or other museums. If you are staying in Columbia with your dog, there are 30 pet-friendly hotels. You can choose from Staybridge Suites Columbia, Red Roof Inn Columbia, or Drury Inn Columbia. When it’s time to choose a restaurant, you can head to Houlihan’s, which offers tacos and fresh chips, 55 Stone Public House, or The Upper Crust, which has delicious-looking salads. There are also two locations for the popular local pizza chain, Shakespeare’s Pizza South or Downtown. If you want sushi, check out Sake. You can check out the gorgeous nature trails around Columbia, many of which allow dogs: Stephens Lake, Twin Lakes Recreation Area, Grindstone Natural Area, and Hinkson Woods Conservation Off-Leash Area. Don’t forget to go on the MKT (Missouri Kansas Texas) Fitness Trail from Columbia to McBaine, or hike through Finger Lakes State Park.