Dogs & Coffee: The Low Down on the State of Wyoming


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Are you packing up the kids and your dogs to enjoy experiencing the beauty of Yellowstone National Park? Perhaps you have a work project in the area and want to bring your pooch along. It doesn’t matter why you’re heading into the Equality State, knowing your way around the place and determining whether it’s pet-friendly for your pooch is a must. Those who are coffee lovers also will want to know what specialty shops are around so you can grab a cup of joe in the morning before you start your day.

Wyoming is a state located in the western United States where you can see the history of the area while enjoying all the amenities of the modern world. With a scenic view that you can’t find anywhere else on earth, this state is a great option for a visit or even a relocation. Most people visit to enjoy the beauty of the place but end up falling in love with everything else it has to offer. For outdoor lovers, it is a space like no other and you will find more than your share of activities to take part in.

Today, we’ll be looking at how dog-friendly this state is and whether bringing your pet pooch along is a good idea. We’ll look at attractions that are dog-friendly, cafes and restaurants that serve coffee and water for pups, as well as other destinations you and your dog will enjoy experiencing together. First, we want to offer a bit of insight into what to expect from this natural state.

The Most Important Things to Know About Wyoming 

We want to offer you some thoughts on the most important things to be aware of when you are visiting or moving to Wyoming. While everyone knows that Yellowstone is there, there’s a lot about the state that isn’t really talked about. We want to share the things you may not have heard about in the past so you can get packed and ready for your trip with your entire family, four-legged buddies included.

The Weather Varies Based on Location and Season 

Wyoming is a state that has a climate that varies largely depending on the area you are in. Temperatures can be very different from one season to another. For instance, in summer the temperatures can reach 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day while they fall to 60 degrees during the evening hours. In winter, on the other hand, the temperatures are often just above freezing. The state is often quite dry and averages less than 10 inches of rain in an average year. However, the areas with mountains can expect 20 inches although most of that is due to falling snow.

This State is Full of Wide Open Space 

Wyoming is the Cowboy State and as you might expect, a state with that name is full of outdoor space. The state is best known for its Old West culture, beautiful scenery, high quality of life, and low taxes. This probably makes it no surprise that many of the cities in the state are attracting new residents every year. The top choice is the capital city of Cheyenne, which offers exceptional healthcare along with a good amount of culture and arts destinations. Some of the other top spots to make your home in the area include Jackson, Gillette, Cody, and Rock Springs. Each has its own feel but manages to show the spirit of Wyoming well.

Great Spot to Work, Grow, and Visit 

When it comes to economics, few states can beat Wyoming as somewhere to live and work. The state is known for a low operating cost along with business-friendly regulations, which means that both officials and residents support the smaller businesses that dot the state. In addition to that, the state has no individual income tax or corporate income tax. It also boasts some of the lowest property and sales taxes in the entire country.

Selection of Healthcare and Energy Jobs 

One of the top industries in the state is energy production with distribution, education, mining, and healthcare also in the top spots. Some of the top public employers are the F.E. Warren Air Force Base, the University of Wyoming, state and city government, and the school districts. As far as private employers go, they span a number of sectors and include Thunder Basin Coal Co., Rio Tinto Energy America, Walmart Distribution, and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.

Outdoor Activities for Everyone 

Anyone who enjoys participating in outdoor activities is going to fall in love with Wyoming. There’s something for everyone from climbing mountains to water sports in the river. Some of the most amazing skiing in the country can be found in Jackson Hole while Grand Teton National Park offers top camping, mountaineering, and hiking. Those who want a more relaxing experience can visit Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park, which erupts every 30 to 120 minutes. Another option is visiting Old Wild West in Cody at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

A Good Combination of Quantity and Quality 

The Equality State is one of the most affordable spots in the United States, along with having no income tax and low property taxes. The median home price in the state is $194,800 while the property tax is super low at 0.61%. The low rates of tuition and schools that are funded well create a community where both children and adults have access to quality education.

No Chaos During Commutes 

Since Wyoming is full of open spaces, that also means that commuting or road trips are super relaxing experiences. With low gas prices and light traffic, this makes the state one of the best for driving a vehicle, even over a long distance. The largest airport in the state is Jackson Hole Airport where over 500 employees work. Many of the larger cities like Jackson and Cheyenne offers public transportation and can be traversed on foot or with a bicycle. How3ever, there aren’t a lot of public transportation options that run through the entire state, so that is one downfall of Wyoming.

Some of the Best Education Opportunities 

The public school systems in Wyoming have been ranked in the top ten by Education Week in terms of student success and school performance. With this sort of school system available, the high schools in the state have an 80% graduation rate, which is about average for the national average. As far as university goes, the University of Wyoming is the sole option while Wyoming Catholic Collages it the only private four-year school. There are also seven different community colleges to choose from.

Dogs That Handle the Wyoming Winters Well

Any dog can visit Wyoming with you, but some tend to do better in the climate during the winter than others do. Those who live in the state and want a dog who can join you on all your activities may want to choose one of these breeds as your new outdoor buddy. Of course, almost any dog can make a great companion indoors in Wyoming or elsewhere.

Golden Retriever 

Not only are golden retrievers constantly the top of the lists for America’s Most Popular Dogs, but they also do quite well as pets for those who spend their time in Wyoming. This dog comes with a reasonable long coat which will keep them warm throughout all the winter months. Those who enjoy hunting will find this dog has a lot of enthusiasm for fetching, which makes them the ultimate companion. This breed also has a gentle temperament and is very affectionate, which means they do well in families with kids.

Anatolian Shepherd 

The Anatolian Shepherd was originally bred in Turkey to make long treks through the mountains. That means this dog breed offers an excellent hiking partner for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. This breed is also known for their herding skills, which makes it the ideal breed for those who own and breed livestock. The only serious issue with this breed is that they can be rather stubborn. It’s important to make sure that you socialize them when they are young, so they aren’t cranky as they get older.


The Keeshond used to be called the German Spitz and is another dog that does well in frigid temperatures. This breed has a two-layer coat that can handle even the coldest of winter days outdoors. These dogs tend to learn quickly and have a need to please, which can make them a fantastic family pet. Keeshonds are also great in agility and obedience competitions for this same reason.

Tibetan Terrier 

Are you the kind of person who prefers a dog that is fairly small? One of the best for this state is the Tibetan Terrier. These dogs tend to weight 30 pounds at the most and have an undercoat on their fur that helps them keep warm even when it’s very cold outside. This dog breed was first bred in monasteries and the dogs were given as gifts from monks. However, this is a dog that doesn’t do well in households with small children, so keep that in mind.


Newfoundland dogs are probably best known for their use during water rescues. They have a very thick coat that can handle serious winters and are common in cold areas of Canada. This is a large dog with an average weight of 120 pounds. That might seem intimidating, but the breed is super gentle and holds the nickname of “gentle giants.” The dogs are excellent with kids and loyal to their owners. They also enjoy staying at home just as much as heading out in the wilderness, making them a top choice for families in Wyoming.

Where to Get the Best Food at Dog-Friendly Spots in the State 

One of the most important things to have at your fingertips when visiting any state is a selection of restaurants with foods you enjoy eating. When you’re bringing along a dog, you want to be sure those dining establishments offer a spot like a patio where the whole family can enjoy a meal together. This section of the article is going to look at restaurants and coffee shops where you can grab a sandwich, snack, latte, or macchiato in Wyoming with your dog right by your side.

Sidewinders Tavern – Jackson 

Sidewinders is an American bar and grill that puts games on the televisions and offers a huge selection of beer on top. The upper deck seating area is open to dogs so you and your buddy can have a meal together. The menu is large and includes a range of appetizers, salads, specialty burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and other entrees. Try the St. Louis ribs or order the chicken fried steak with gravy and two sides. This little spot also hosts parties and events if you have special going on in Jackson. It was founded by a group of US Marine Veterans and has 30 different televisions, so there’s sure to be something on you will enjoy.

D.O.G. – Jackson 

As is evidenced by the name, D.O.G. is a pup-friendly place with patio seating. This is a spot that focuses on breakfast and lunch entrees. For breakfast, the ginormous bagel with meat and cheese is a good choice, as is that steak and egg burrito. Those who stop in with their family for lunch can enjoy a Kalifornian Burger, Hot Diggity Dog, hand-cut fries, garden burgers, and more. This spot offers the feel of a beach hangout in the middle of the mountains and is the home of the “World’s Greatest Breakfast Burrito.”

Turtle Rock Coffee & Café – Laramie 

When you need a dose of caffeine and want a spot your dog can sip with you (remember not to share any caffeinated drinks!), Turtle Rock Coffee & Café offers just what you need in the middle of Laramie. The menu doesn’t end at coffee as there are many salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups, and a breakfast menu to choose from. The restaurant offers espresso shots, lattes, mochas, Americanos, cappuccinos, and much more. There is also wireless Internet available, just ask for the access code when you make a purchase. We recommend trying some of the baked goods to go with your coffee.

Pat O’Hara Brewing Company – Cody

If you’re in the mood for some Irish American fare, you won’t find much better than is available at Pat O’Hara in Cody. The restaurant also offers local and homebrewed beer options for the drinkers out there. Traditional fare, Irish meals, and vegetarian food are across the menu. This pub has some outdoor seating where the dog can join you for a meal. Some of the best options here include the fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and the Irish sandwich. And don’t worry, they serve a fine cup of coffee for those who want it.

Accomplice Beer Company – Cheyenne

 Accomplice Beer Company is located in the historic Cheyenne Depot and offers a wide selection of craft beer for a fun evening out. There are also many meals on the menu and you can take up outside to sit with your pooch. The brews are rotating so you never know what is going to be on tap from one week to the next. As far as the food goes, you can choose from BBQ ribs, wings, beer brats, sliders, and more. There’s also a children’s menu if the entire family wants to stop in together for a delicious meal.

Up in Smoke – Buffalo 

Up in Smoke is a beloved barbecue joint located in the heart of Buffalo. It has patio seating that welcomes dogs and serves only hormone-free and organic proteins. In addition to ribs and other grilled dishes, this place offers up pizza, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Make sure to try the Triple Chocolate Teacup Brownie if you have a bit of a sweet tooth. There is coffee available here and it’s just as organic as all the meats offered at Up in Smoke.

Paramount Café – Cheyenne 

Looking for a trendy spot to grab some grub and a coffee in Cheyenne, Wyoming? The Paramount Café is exactly where you want to be. The menu offers pastries, salads, bagels, baked goods, sandwiches, tea, coffee, and much more. Spot can sit with you at once of the outdoor tables and help you snack on whatever you order. The coffee options here range from house coffee to espresso shots, flavored lattes, and more. You can add any flavor you can imagine, and many come in sugar-free versions. We recommend the Mary Poppins, which includes sugar, almond, salted caramel, and white chocolate. It’s a sweet beverage, though!

Silver Dollar Bar & Grill – Jackson 

This bar and grill is located in Jackson and offers a wide variety of tasty meals, no matter what kind of cuisine you are partial to. There are outdoor tables available so your dog can join the rest of the family while you dine. You can begin with a beer along with an appetizer like the blackened ahi tuna spring rolls before moving on to a grass-fed beef burger with lamb bacon, onion jam, and white cheddar. Another popular option is the flat iron steak which comes with tomatoes marinated in bourbon, mashed potatoes, and Romanesco sauce.

Rocky Mountain MoJoe – Cody

 For the go-to spot to get a latte or cappuccino, Rocky Mountain MoJoe is a fantastic option. There are patio tables complete with shaded umbrellas so your puppy can come along with you. This place has a focus on coffee but also serves tea, cold drinks, pastries and other bakery items, breakfast, and lunch menus. There is a special student menu with items that are only $5 for those who are in university. Some of the most popular dishes include the Glorified Grilled Cheese with basil and three types of cheese and the veggie scramble if you come in for breakfast.

Wyoming Rib & Chop House – Sheridan 

The Rib & Chop House located in Sheridan has dog-friendly seating on the patio outside and tons of menu items to choose from. Start off with the chicken fingers or buffalo chicken wings and follow it up with a New York strip steak, chicken marsala, or beer-battered fish and chips. Regular coffee and decaf are served along with an assortment of sodas, hot drinks, and cold beverages. Make sure you leave some room for dessert since the apple cobbler is out of this world and maybe be what brings you back in a second time.

Terry Bison Ranch – Cheyenne

 There is no lack of outdoor tables at Terry Bison Ranch, which means your furry buddy can enjoy a meal with you and the rest of the family. The dog and yourself can get up close to the North American bison on the ranch to marvel at how large they are. As far as the menu goes, expect both beef and bison burgers topped with all sorts of tasty ingredients. The bacon cheddar burger comes with BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and crispy bacon.

Sanford’s Grub & Pub – Casper

 This restaurant is a casual spot that offers up a selection of American cuisine. The menu has everything from appetizers to wings, salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, steak, chicken, fajitas, pasta, ribs, and more. There are 10 tables outside that are pet-friendly so your dog can join you while you chow down. There is a kid’s menu as well with dishes that appeal to their taste buds so the entire family will be happy when you stop in. In addition to great meals, there is a large dessert menu with items like Sanford’s Sundaes, Sanford’s Shakes, and a deep-fried Oreo sundae.

Millstone Pizza Company & Brewery – Cody

 If you are in the mood for Italian and have your dog on their leash to come along, try visiting Millstone Pizza in Cody if you happen to be in town. There are eight tables outside that are welcoming to dogs. The name of the restaurant should clue you in that this restaurant focuses on pizza, but they also serve pasta, hot dogs, and other fare. Coffee is available as a beverage as is soda, beer, tea, and hot chocolate. We recommend grabbing a pie to share with the family after trying the pepperoni rolls or a stack of boneless chicken wings.

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Dog Parks and Other Activities in Wyoming

 Now that you know where you can grab some of the best food in the state, it’s time to look at exercise. Many dogs can get frustrated if they aren’t allowed to run and play and the good news is that there are many spots to facilitate through across the state of Wyoming. If you aren’t sure where to go, this list will give you a start to finding an option both you and your dog are sure to love.

Cheyenne Community Nancy Mockler Dog Park – Cheyenne

 If you are in Cheyenne, this dog park is fenced in for safety and offers a great spot for your dog to play off-leash and get to know other dogs from the area. There is a separate section for small and elderly dogs so they don’t get intimidated by the big guys. There are benches so you can relax while you toss a ball and plenty of shade, so you don’t burn up when the sun is beating down in the summer months. As far as Cheyenne goes, this is one of the best spots for your dog to let loose and burn off some extra energy.

Optimist Dog Park – Laramie 

The off-leash dog park area of Optimist Park is fenced in so your dogs can rip and run without worrying that they will run off somewhere without you. The park isn’t large, but it does include poo bags, although you should bring your own in case the space runs low. Keep in mind that this park is sometimes closed due to the weather, so it’s best to double-check before heading out, so nobody gets disappointed. However, when open, it’s a nice spot for your dog to socialize with other pets from Wyoming.

Morad Park Off-Leash Area – Casper

 This park offers an unfenced area where dogs are welcome to run around off of their leash. Since there is no fence, it’s best only to bring along dogs who are well trained and capable of listening to verbal commands. This park includes picnic tables, toilets, benches, the Platte River Trail, and access to the river itself. This is a natural park with no gates and dogs must be leashed in other areas. However, there are plenty of signs that let you know if you are moving into an area that requires a leash.

Beck Lake Bark Park – Cody

 The Beck Lake Bark Park is an excellent Cody park that offers three separate fenced-in areas for canines. There is a traditional dog park as well as a mall dog area and finally a dog beach. The latter has a lake on one border so your dogs can not only run but also enjoy a dip in the water on warm days. While there are shade trees and seating to enjoy, water isn’t available, so make sure to bring some yourself. You’ll also have to park down the road and walk a bit to get to this park.

Grand Teton National Park

 While you’re in Wyoming you probably want to visit a national park or two, the problem is that not all of them allow your dog to come along. One of the exceptions is Grand Teton where dogs can hang out with you as long as you keep them on a leash. They can go to any area that cars can go including the picnic areas, roads, campgrounds, and parking lots. The leash is required to be six-foot-long or less and the dogs must be within 30 feet of the nearest road. However, they are not allowed in any of the buildings and cannot join you on the hiking trails.

Medicine Bow Trail in the Routt National Forest – Laramie

 This trail is one of over 1,600 that is supported by Rails to Trains Conservancy which works to create a network of trails from former rail lines and corridors that connect them. This area used to be a rail corridor but went unused and now offers a great place to walk your dog while you are in Laramie. There are tons of trails to walk and you are right by the water so your dog can enjoy a dip if the weather is right when you are in town.

Cody Wyoming Adventures – Cody

 Want to enjoy some outdoor fun that doesn’t take place at a park? If you are in Cody, Wyoming, that’s a simple thing to do. Cody Wyoming Adventures lets your dog join you on many outdoor adventures. You can go on a whitewater adventure on the Shoshone River or try a land-based activity like the Wild Mustang Tours at McCullough Peaks. Those who are excited to explore Yellowstone National Park can go on the Yellowstone Wildlife and Photo Tour. Dogs are welcome on any of the tours as long as other tour-goers aren’t afraid of them.

Shoshone National Forest – Cody

 Shoshone National Park is open to dogs and their owners and there is plenty for humans and canines alike to explore. This forest is a massive 1,300 miles with trials, scenic byways, picnic sites, and much more. You can travel through the forest and take in the glaciers, rivers, mountain peaks, streams, and plateaus that Wyoming is best known for. As long as you stay in the developed recreation areas, your dog can come along but must be on a leash. If you head into the backcountry, the dog should be on a leash or well trained to handle verbal commands.

Yellowstone National Park

 As long as you stick to the developed areas of the popular vacation spot, dogs are allowed to come with you to Yellowstone National Park. You can take in the beautify of the geysers, hot springs, and mud pots while you wander around near the mountains and forests where wildlife makes its home. There is plenty to see and do here so if you plan to visit, make sure you put at least a day aside for it. It’s something you won’t regret taking time out for.

Other Places for Dogs and Owners to Explore in Wyoming

 At this point, you have activities and meals taken care of, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when it comes to pet-friendly locations to explore. All of the below destinations don’t really fit elsewhere but are ready and willing to allow your pet dog to join you there. Depending on your needs, these places may come in handy at some point during your trip.

Red Ruff Inn – Cheyenne

 The Red Ruff Inn is a pet hotel and doggie daycare that makes an exciting spot to leave Fido if you need to take a day to explore the state on your own. This is a locally owned and operated establishment that places emphasis on offering the best possible service. Your dog will be established into a playgroup based on personality and spend time with other dogs while staying here. The dog gets to enjoy playing as much as they want all day long, but at a pace that is comfortable for them.

Laramie’s Basecamp – Laramie

 Laramie’s Basecamp is an outdoor store that is super pet-friendly. It offers everything you could possibly want for an outdoor adventure, including books, footwear, shelter, toys, apparel, maps, optics, paddleboards, and more. In addition to all of these items, this shop also rents out skis and provides repair and maintenance services if you own a set of skis of your own. Also available for rental are kayaks, paddleboards, tents, and items for kids.

Atmosphere Mountainworks – Laramie

 Another outdoor shopping destination that allows dogs to come in the doors is Atmosphere Mountainworks. Your dog can walk along with you as you look at the apparel and outdoor items that line the shelves. This shop’s specialty is bags and you will find duffel bags, fanny packs, shoulder bags, backpacks, and yoga bags available for purchase. There are also items there for your dog, including high visibility yellow dog jackets which will keep your dog warm during hikes and ensure others see them wherever they roam. Other items for sale include t-shirts, hoodies, women’s shirts, and long-sleeve shirts.

Wrapping Up

 You should be just about ready to pack up everything you need and take a vacation into Wyoming! Don’t worry, the state is super dog-friendly and there is plenty of great coffee to be found there. Whether you just take in the national parks dotted across the state or stop in at many of the large cities, your pooch and you will find plenty to keep yourselves entertained.  Make sure to keep tabs on the spots you want to visit and have a good time while you explore the site of the American Wild West and what it looks like today.

Bonus Questions

1. What is the best place to live in Wyoming?

This is going to vary based on your lifestyle and personal preferences, but some of the top spots to live in Wyoming include Green River, Cheyenne, Lander, Buffalo, Rock Springs, Evanston, and Gillette.

2. Is Wyoming safe?

When it comes to state safety, Wyoming is one of the top options. Other than a handful of thefts, the state is highly safe. It has low crime rates, but locking your car and keeping valuables somewhere safe is still recommended.

3. What is the climate like in Wyoming?

The climate of Wyoming is continental and semi-arid, which means it tends to be windier and drier than other parts of the United States. The summers in the state are fairly warm although the evenings can get fairly chilly. Winters can range from mild to quite cold, depending on the day.

4. What is Wyoming best known for?

One of the top things that Wyoming is known for is Yellowstone National Park, which has more geysers than any other field on the earth. It was also the first state that offered women the right to vote. The first woman governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, was elected in 1925.

5. What are the most common jobs in Wyoming?

Some of the careers that are growing the most quickly in the state include assistant management, personal care assisting, certified nursing assistants, preschool teaching, registered nursing, and medical reception.

6. Is Wyoming retirement friendly?

Wyoming is a very retirement friendly state and is considered only second to Alaska. The state does not have an income tax, which means retirement income is not taxed in the state. In addition, the effective property tax of the state is only 0.61%.

7. Are there bears in Wyoming?

There are bears in this state, both black bears and grizzly bears. While grizzly bears are considered the more aggressive type of bear, black bears also can be dangerous. Understanding how to identify bears can keep you safe when you visit this state.

8. Can you gamble in Wyoming?

Lottery betting, charitable gambling, land-based casinos, and pari-mutuel wagering are all legally allowed in Wyoming. There are some of each of these things in the state, but the chance to gamble legally is still small due to the small population density of the area along with the large amounts of open spaces.

9. What is the best city to retire in Wyoming?

Some of the top cities to retire in if you are moving to Wyoming include Evanston, Jackson, Worland, Torrington, Casper, Sheridan, and Riverton.

10. What color is the Wyoming flag?

The flag for the state of Wyoming offers a silhouette of an American bison. The red is symbolism of the pioneers and Native Americans who gave their lives while the white symbolizes uprightness and purity. Blue is also included in the flag colors and is represents the distant mountains and the color of the sky.

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