Where to Take Your Dog on Vacation

Going on vacation can be a stressful time for pet owners and their pets.

Pet owners may feel guilty for leaving their pets with caretakers for an extended period and pets don’t like having their routine disrupted.

There is an alternative: Plan a trip with your pet in mind.

Although not all pets may be up for a vacation (dogs who get car sick, for instance), some may do just fine on a long car ride to a fun adventure. Here’s just a sampling of pet-friendly vacationing ideas:

Grand Canyon

This majestic, Arizona national park allows leashed dogs on trails “above the rim,” Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village, and throughout the developed areas of the South Rim, according to the National Park Service website. This includes 12 miles of trail, some of which is paved. Dogs are not allowed “below the rim”—aka, the inner canyon. The inner canyon is full of wildlife and is very hot, so it is an unsafe environment for pets. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the park rules before heading there, including obeying leash laws and picking up after your pet. The nearby Yavapai Lodge West is pet-friendly.

Beach Vacation

Many dogs love the beach as much as their human counterparts. A beach house vacation rental might be the perfect trip for the whole family. If you’re planning a beach vacation, there are kayaking services across the country that offer kayaking with dogs. Before signing up for kayaking, make sure your dog is comfortable with being out in the water on a kayak by taking a local class first.

Napa Valley

For dog lovers who also love wine, Napa Valley, California offers a long list of dog-friendly wineries. Don’t forget to call ahead and let the winery or wineries know you’re bringing your pet before you make the trip.


There are a variety of cruises offering your dog a chance to experience water from the safety of a vessel. Acadian Boat Tours offers a pet-friendly tour of coastal Maine on the Acadian. There’s Mercury’s Canine Cruise in Chicago, Illinois and also Potomac Riverboat Company’s Canine Cruises in Alexandria, Virginia.


Dogs love spending time outdoors. For those outdoorsy pet owners, a camping vacation may be the perfect package. You don’t even have to drive far to find a dog-friendly campsite or campsites in your area.

Theme Park

Have you ever wished you could take your dog with you when you visited a theme park? Knoebels in Pennsylvania grants this wish to pet owners. Pets must be leashed or in a carrier and aren’t allowed in covered dining areas or in the pool area.

With a little bit of research, vacation time doesn’t have to be sad or stressful for those with pets.

Meet the Author: Jessica Peralta

Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.

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