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Pet Friendly Downtown

Mount Dora goes to the dogs!
Mount Dora has gone to the dogs. Ok, so not literally, but you get it; this is a dog-friendly community. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy time in the Mount Dora and Historic Downtown area of Mount Dora with their canine family members along for the fun. On a realistic scale of 1 – 10, I’d give Mount Dora a solid 7+ for being dog friendly.

Yes, this is a town you can enjoy with your fur-ball along, but there are some restrictions in place and you should be aware, or you’re going to find you and Fido in a bind and not much you can do. Here is a basic rundown of the current dog knowledge you should have when visiting Mount Dora:

1. While dogs are most always welcome in Historic Downtown, during city events requiring street closure, by ordinance, dogs/pets are not allowed. This would include the very popular Fall Craft Fair, Spring Fest, and Art Festival. Dogs will not be allowed into the closed off areas during such events. DO NOT BRING YOUR DOG as they will not be allowed and you will be turned away.

This is the City ordinance:
Sec. 74.295. – Animals prohibited without special permission.
Per section 18.070 of the Mount Dora Code of Ordinances, animals are prohibited from special events unless specifically authorized by permission of the city council. Service dogs are permitted per state statute. In the spirit of communicating current policy direction and avoiding on-going requests for special event consideration to allow animals, the current policy direction of the city council is to not allow animals at our special events, other than those specifically oriented toward pet-friendly activity ( e.g. Yappy Hour, PAWS events, etc.)
(Ord. No. 2011-18, § 2, 12-15-11)

Sec. 18.070. – Public events.
No animal owner or person having charge, care, custody, or control of any animal shall permit, either willfully or through failure to exercise due care and control, any animal to enter upon public property being used for a special event authorized by the council without the permission of the council.
This prohibition shall not apply to animals properly trained for and being used for the assistance of a person who is blind, deaf, or otherwise handicapped.
(Ord. No. 634, § 1(6.080), 4-19-94)

2. There is an off-leash dog park in Mount Dora. This park is a bit outside of the Historic Downtown area. You can walk or drive to the corner of Unser Street and 11th Avenue, behind the Ice House Theater adjacent to the City ball fields.

3. Many, but not all, Historic Downtown businesses and restaurants do allow dogs to visit. They must be on a leash and kept under control. Some require they be carried. Signs are not always posted indicating if a business is welcoming, so do ask as you enter. Most restaurants with outdoor seating will allow pets.

4. There are no doggie bag containers distributing doggie bags, so bring your own and please pickup after your pet!

5. Water may be obtained from restaurants or a few spots that sell bottled water and many restaurants and shopkeepers do put out water bowls for our four-legged friends, but do have a plan for your dog in regards to a drink of water. Especially on warm days of which there are many!

6. A monthly event every 3rd Friday of the month celebrates dogs: Yappy Hour hosted by Piglet’s Pantry and The Wine Den.

7. There are a handful of dog-friendly lodging options around the Historic Downtown. Their policies may change, so do check with the individual lodging establishment. Among those currently dog-friendly; Lakeside Inn, Tremain Street Cottages, Maison En Ville. For more, visit our Pet-friendly page. There are two dog businesses in town: Piglet’s Pantry and just at the edge of the Historic Downtown, Hobscot. Both offer dog-related products. Piglet’s in downtown offers treats, cat items, and people as well. Hobscot offers items for the pets in the family including dogs, cats, birds and more. There is also Pet Supermarket, outside of the historic district on Route 441 if you cannot find what you need in town. CLICK Here for pet friendly lodging options


8. Mount Dora is a great walking community, there are plenty of streets with shade, so bring your dog and take a walk.

9. The Sunday morning Mount Dora Village Market is pet friendly and offers a great chance for you to socialize your pet in downtown Mount Dora.

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