Considering taking your furry friend with you on your next adventure? Pups make great travel companions, but more and more exciting destinations offer pet-friendly activities, dining options, and accommodations.
Here are a few of the top Fido-friendly destinations in the United States, as well as tips to ensure you and your four-legged friend have a great experience.
Preparing to Take Your Dogs on Vacation
A trip with your furry friend is lots of fun, but there are important steps you should take before your dog vacations with you to make sure you both have a great time. Additionally, there are a few things you can do while on your trip to keep your dog comfortable in a new environment.
- Create a checklist of everything your dog will need on the vacation – sensitive stomach food, treats, bed and/or carrier, favorite toys to calm your dog, waste bags, etc.
- If traveling by plane, make sure your pet carrier is approved by your airline.
- If driving, plan stops accordingly. Make sure your pup has plenty of bathroom breaks and never leave them in your car unattended.
- Confirm that your hotel is pet-friendly and if you’ll have to pay an additional fee for your pup.
- Check the weather. If you live in a warm climate and are headed to a cold climate, bring a sweater for your dog to keep them cozy. If your dog has thick hair and you’re headed to warmer weather, consider giving them a cute “summer cut” to keep them comfortable.
- While on your trip, try to keep your dog on the same meal schedule they are at home in terms of time and portions. Following the same routine can help dogs feel more comfortable in new environments. Setting up a sleeping space with your pup’s favorite blankets and toys can also help make them more at home.
Five Dog-Friendly Places in the United States
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Austin, Texas
- Bozeman, Montana
- Denver, Colorado
- Portland, Oregon
Atlanta’s gorgeous Piedmont Park offers three acres for you to explore with your furry friend. The city has tons of delicious restaurants, bars, and breweries that have dog-friendly outdoor patio areas. For added fun, schedule your visit around one of Atlanta’s many dog-themed events. In September, the Atlanta Braves hold an annual “Bark in the Park” night for baseball fans where you can bring your pup to a ball game. In October, there’s the Splish Splash Doggie Bash in Piedmont Park, where your furry friends can swim in the pool before it closes for the season.
Austin is home to plenty of dog-friendly food and drink spots, including Bow-Wow Bones, a local food truck serving natural treats for dogs. The temperate climate is perfect for a vacation with your dogs with plenty of outdoor activities you can bring your dog to, such as Red Bud Isle, a dogs-only swimming spot. Or relax with your four-legged friend at the pet-friendly yoga spot, Austin Doga.
If you and your pup love outdoor adventures, Bozeman is the perfect vacation spot for you. Endless amounts of outdoor space surround the city, and most of the trails are dog-friendly. Many even allow off-leash dogs. In the summer, you can dine with your dog at one of the small city’s many restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops that have pet-friendly outdoor space. Because this spot is a little more off-the-map than the other cities on this list, you’re also less likely to run into a bunch of other four-legged tourists, which may make your dog feel more comfortable.
Denver has plenty of dog-friendly parks, and some even allow your dog to run around off their leash. Plus, you’re within easy driving distance to beautiful, mountainous trails that you and your dog can enjoy. There are many restaurants, coffee shops, and bars that allow dogs to hang out in outdoor spaces, and there are even a few breweries that allow your pup to come indoors. Keep in mind that depending on the time of year you visit, some shorter-hair dog breeds may not be available to take full advantage of all outdoor activities.
Portland has the most dog parks per capita of any U.S. city, with 33 for you and your furry friend to choose from. There are also a variety of hiking trails, nature walks, and other outdoor activities you can do with your pup. Take your dog with you for a drink at the Labrador Brewing Company, or dine at one of the many restaurants and coffee shops with pet-friendly outdoor spaces. One restaurant, the Tin Shed, has special promotions that allow your dog to eat with you for free.
Three Dog-Friendly Resorts
Blackberry Farm (Knoxville, Tennessee)
This scenic 4,200-acre estate is home to a James Beard Award-winning restaurant, heirloom garden, and brewery, all of which you can bring your dog. Furry guests are given dog biscuits, ceramic food and water bowls, balls, and special towels. They also have crates and dog beds available. Your dog can join you for a wide variety of activities, from self-guided hikes, geocaching, garden tours, and paddle sports. There’s an onsite dog trainer if you want to teach your pup some fancy new tricks.
The Resort at Paws Up (Greenough, MT)
This luxurious all-inclusive resort in Montana allows you to unplug while overlooking picturesque creeks, mountains, and meadows and provides terrific dog-friendly accommodations, from impressive cabins to sprawling lodges. Pets are given a plush dog bed, food bowls, treats, and a tennis ball upon arrival. You and your dog can explore Big Sky country on the resort’s miles of dog-friendly trails with guided or self-guided hikes. Time your trip around the annual Canine Classic marathon, 5K, or two-mile walk. The race is for both two-legged and four-legged participants and benefits the Humane Society of Western Montana. It ends with a pup-friendly barbecue meal and live music.
Mandarin Oriental (Atlanta, Georgia)
Perfect for the high-class pup, this Buckhead hotel offers your pup a variety of impressive amenities. Your dog is given organic bone-shaped cookies upon arrival prepared by the hotel’s pastry team. In-room pet features include a dog bed (with turndown service), a water bowl, doggie dental kit, and a handful of toys. Your furry friend can get room service with a variety of pet-friendly dishes, such as grilled steelhead salmon, dry-aged beef tenderloin, and peanut butter biscuits. In the outdoor garden, sip on a cocktail while your dog enjoys a peach-flavored puppy mocktail or a coconut water-infused “Melon Puptail.” You can also get some cool gear for your pup, such as a hoodie featuring the slogan “Keep Calm and Carry Treats” on the back.
If you’re considering bringing your dog with you on your next trip, the above destinations are great spots for pet-friendly vacations. Be sure to plan ahead, and you and your pup will have a great time!