Pride Season is Upon Us!

Pride Month is a time to honor the history and impact of the LGBTQ+ community as well as work towards creating  diverse and inclusive environments everywhere. 

Did you know that our 20-year-old business has a long history of supporting the queer and other historically marginalized communities? 

Downtown Dogs and Dog’s Day Out owner Ralph shares, “Several of our current and former team members are members of the LGBTQ+ community, and I’ve been told by several employees that we are known as a ‘queer friendly’ employer. We are members of Quorum (Minnesota’s LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce) and a few years ago we hosted their first-ever ‘dog-centric’ networking event. For many years Downtown Dogs sponsored the Doggy Drag event at Pride. At our Change Unleashed! Barktique, we feature vendors that give back to pets, people or the planet — many of which are LGBTQ+-, women- or minority owned.”

Ralph adds, “While I’m glad that people feel that we are a queer-friendly place to work (and patronize), it infuriates me that such a distinction has to exist.”

We asked our employees to share how they feel about LGBTQ+ inclusivity at Downtown Dogs and Dog’s Day Out and/or what makes them proud to work in a queer-friendly environment. Here are some of their comments: 

“Going from having to hide being queer from everyone but my close friends, to being able to go by my chosen name and pronouns, has made me so much more comfortable and confident that I have a future as my true self, as a trans man. Thank you for creating a safe place here. It means so much to me, especially as a Southern queer.”  —Max

“In my experience, there’s a difference between an inclusive workplace and a queer friendly one. Downtown Dogs is inclusive in its hiring, training, and rules AND friendly in its environment and practices. I am incredibly proud to work somewhere that values me and celebrates all of the queer members of its staff.” —Andy 

“Coming from a not-so-friendly state/city/school, it is awesome to be able to say that I have a very accepting and kind group of people to work with, and a work environment where I feel not just safe, but celebrated! Thank you all for making this place so welcoming.” —Finch

“It’s important to me that I spend my time in places that are safe, kind, and welcoming for queer and trans folks. That’s one reason working at Downtown Dogs is important to me, and why I’m proud to work here.” —Anonymous 

“I love that Downtown Dogs and Dog’s Day Out’s inclusivity philosophy extends to the dogs we care for. I’m proud of our ‘all paws welcome‘ commitment to caring for all breeds, ages, and sizes of dogs!” —Anonymous 


To make your Pride extra fun and colorful, we have special Pride offerings for our customers:  

Celebrate by having Dog’s Day Out decorate your dog with a Pawdicures ($15) or colorful stenciling, ears or tail! (Airbrush-effects start at only $10. Contact us regarding more complex or larger design options.) To schedule, call 612.374.3647

This includes our EXCLUSIVE Minnesota Pride plush bone and popular “I Love My Gay Dog/OwnerPrideattire❣️

Everyone at Downtown Dogs and Dog’s Day Out wishes you (and your pups!) a safe and celebratory Pride Month! 

The advice provided is based on many years of experience as dog parents and operators of one of the largest and longest established dog daycare and boarding facilities in the Twin Cities. Always consult your veterinarian—and in the case of pet trusts, a legal professional. When not sharing advice, our dog bloggers—Frannie, Lyle, and Helen—share a space with their people, Downtown Dogs and Dog’s Day Out owner Ralph Bernstein and his wife, Abbe.