University, Florida is a census-designated place located just north of Tampa. Be careful not to get it confused with the other University; this one is located in Hillsborough County, while the other is located in Orange County, which is closer to Orlando. University got its name because of its proximity to the University of South Florida. However, locals have a unique name for the community. They call it “Suitcase City” because of how many people come and go; perhaps college students are to blame for this.
Whether you’re a college student with a pup or two or you’re looking for somewhere new to settle down with your canine crew, University is a great place to consider! While there aren’t any dog-friendly dining options or dog parks in University, the heart of Tampa is just ten miles away. There, plenty of Fido-friendly fun awaits you and your pooch. Tampa also has several different veterinarian clinics, so you can take your pick about who gets to care for Fido when he’s sick, injured, or just needs a checkup.
If you’re looking for a smaller community that provides quick access to the amenities of a large muttropolitan area, University in Hillsborough County can’t be beat!
Park Place of Tampa is located just outside of University; it’s less than two miles away. If you’re looking for somewhere to dine with your dog, Park Place is a great starting point! Mission BBQ serves up delicious ribs, hash, and pulled pork. The restaurant has six dog-friendly patio tables. Looking for something a little lighter? Tarek's Café is open for breakfast and lunch. Whether you’re looking for the classic bacon and eggs or you want a vegetarian entrée, Tarek's has something for you. Fido can join you at an outdoor table. A leash is required at both restaurants. Bone Appetit!
Four miles from University, you can let your playful pup get some off-leash exercise at Rowlette Dog Park. There are two separate sections in Rowlette, with one set aside for small dogs and the other for large dogs. The best part? Each section has agility equipment for dogs who aren’t happy just running around. The bark park also gives your pup the ability to socialize with other dogs, which will help them develop good manners down the road. You’ll want to make sure you bring along water and waste bags to clean up your dog’s mess. Have a ball at Rowlette Dog Park!
About seven miles directly south of University, Southeast Seminole Heights is home to Giddens Dog Park. Although small, this bark park allows your dog to get some off-leash exercise and play with their pawesome new friends! The park also has shaded seating for dog moms and dads. After you spend the day playing at Giddens, go grab a bite to eat at the neighborhood’s dog-friendly Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café. This café dishes up American comfort food with a quirky twist, such as star-shaped meatloaf. We bet it’s great for picky eaters! Fido can join you at an outdoor table, but make sure they stay on their leash.
Al Lopez Dog Park is located about ten miles south of University. The bark park is located inside of the massive Al Lopez Park, so there are actually two separate dog parks. Let your dog enjoy some off-leash fun. Here, they can play tug-o-war with their new friends, play fetch with you, or just sniff around to their heart’s content. If you want to get some exercise in, don’t let the fun end at the bark park. Fido can walk around the rest of the park with you, but once the both of you leave the bark park, they’ll need to stay on their leash.
University Square, which is just a few miles from University, is home to several dog-friendly restaurants. Two of the local favorites are First Watch and Little Greek Restaurant. Little Greek Restaurant has one outdoor table that’s dog-friendly, so you might want to wait until after peak hours to chow down here. They dish up delicious Greek classics, including gyros. First Watch is a café-type restaurant; locals rave about how delicious the omelets are. They have a few dog-friendly patio tables. Fido must be on a leash at both restaurants, and you’ll want to make sure they’re on their best behavior.