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Rapid City: 4 Paws Up!

My 6 pound morkie, Taz, wanted me to share his favorite things about Rapid City. He would have typed it himself but paws and keyboards don’t really get along. I’ve added some of my input when necessary – Taz cannot move past the spoiling and treats to give you the details you may need.

Your excuse for leaving us paw-some dogs behind are out the window! Rapid City loves me and my fellow dog (and probably a cat, BLECH!), so grab the treats and get here already, would ya? I give this place four paws up and a tail wag, because it is GRRRR-REAT! Here are a few of the things that really get my tail wagging:



Whenever I see my harness and leash I can’t help but run in circles because I know it means I get to go on an adventure. The best part? So. Many. Trees! I love sniffing every tree pawssible. I’ve also met new pals on the trail. When I decide I’ve had enough sniffing around she puts me in this bag that lets me still keep watch for any dangers, but I don’t have to do any of the work. Sometimes I even take a nap – but don’t tell her that, I’m the guard dog! She keeps me on the leash pretty much all the time; she tells me I’m too curious to be completely free. Certain places totally embrace freedom and I see dogs off their leash – just make sure you know the rules so you don’t get your dog into trouble.


A tail-waggin’ good tip for my fellow dogs: Be sure to beg (err…kindly remind) your human to pack lots of treats and water for you! We deserve tasty rewards after all that climbing. Three barks if you agree! If you’re looking for some dog-approved trails, check out these from my friend Kaya.

A note from Shiloh: I picked up the backpack at Roam’n Around at Main Street Square. They come in various sizes to accommodate larger and smaller dogs. I love the bag because it leaves enough room to keep Taz comfortable with his water and treats and I am also able to clip him in and double-strap him on to ensure he is safe. They have plenty of supplies for dogs from boots for sensitive paws to bowls and water bottles to make sure they are well taken care of while you’re on your adventure. Don’t forget the doggie bags! No one likes a smelly trail, it’s important we all do our part to pick up anything our dogs happen to leave on the trail.

Reptile Gardens

There are some strange looking things at this Reptile Gardens place – they don’t even have fur! It didn’t bother me though, they were stuck behind glass while I got all the ear scratches and belly rubs to myself. But there were some HUGE, weird creatures without any leash or anything – I wasn’t too sure about them. Sometimes my human likes to take photos of me doing super embarrassing things. I don’t think she realizes I have a reputation of being pretty tough despite my adorable looks. I know it looks like I enjoyed it, but c’mon now! I only smiled for the yummy Mount Ruffmore treats she was taunting me with.

Taz-Reptile Gardens.jpg

Reptile Gardens is one of many attractions that welcome you and your dogs. As always, be sure to check with each attraction’s rules when it comes to pets, and do your part to ensure your pet has their best experience. There will be a lot of people around so only bring your pet if they are well socialized. Keep your dog on the leash and never depend on the location to provide you with water for your dog – even though many of them may have that option!

I picked up these awesome Mount Ruffmore treats from Shop Dog. I can’t be the only person that loves to buy souvenirs for my dog, right?


Table Scraps

There are places in this town where the human sits outside and strangers bring them anything they ask for. The best part? I get to be there, too! I always sit so nice, wag my tail and give that look in hopes that the people will bring me something – no one can resist my charm. When it’s not as nice out the humans have also figured out this magical way of having someone deliver food right to our door! I do my best to contain my barking because the human says it’s not allowed at these hotel places, but oh boy does it smell good! Sometimes I’d rather stay and watch my favorite movie than sit under a table.

Several of the restaurants downtown will allow pets on their patios during the summer. In keeping up with good petiquette, always check before bringing your dog along. The Visit Rapid City staff can also give you some recommendations.


Did you know they have these places called DOG parks? You know a place is going to be fun when it has the word “dog” in its name! These are places I get to be free and chase all the balls and Frisbees my human brings along. It’s the perfect reward after I was so good all day long.


Pet Paradise

Sometimes there are places my human wants to go that simply does not welcome me (ruff, huh?). When that happens there are these places where they drop me off for a few hours. While it’s not as fun as being right next to my best friend, it’s so much better than being left at home fur-ever or even *gasp* left in a car!

There are pet kennel options that will take great care of your dog when you want to visit attractions that don’t allow pets. I would highly recommend this as opposed to leaving your dog alone in your hotel room for an extended period of time. And, of course, you never want to leave your dog in a car! South Dakota summers can be hot and you want your dog to be well taken care of.

Alright humans, it’s time to start planning your trip with your best friend by your side! Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog so you can stay up to date on all my adventures. My human tells me we are going to visit the National Parks this year – something about a big anniversary. I’ll give you all the bow-wowing information to make sure we all have a paw-some time!

Meet the Author

Shiloh Francis

With coffee in one hand, a camera in the other and her four-legged sidekick, Taz by her side, Shiloh loves getting out and exploring Rapid City. Her favorite things about Rapid City include the great dining scene, coffee shops and ease of access to the hiking trails within the city and the Black Hills.

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Shiloh Francis
Guest Blogger

With coffee in one hand, a camera in the other and her four-legged sidekick, Taz by her side, Shiloh loves getting out and exploring Rapid City. Her favorite things about Rapid City include the great dining scene, coffee shops and ease of access to the hiking trails within the city and the Black Hills.

Shiloh is a transplant to Rapid City, having fallen in love with the area during family vacations and deciding to make it her permanent vacation after graduating from college. Traveling and discovering new places has always been a passion for Shiloh, but she loves the site of coming home to Rapid City each time the plane lands at the end of one of her adventures. Despite now being considered a local, she doesn’t let that stop her from taking time to play “tourist” in her own backyard. Shiloh is your go-to source for pup-spiration (all things pet-friendly), the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee or great bite to eat, and helping you find those hidden gems on your next vacation.

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