The unconditional love our pets provide is truly unmatched, and pet care can be exorbitant. So, it makes sense that many decide that traveling with dogs is the best option. In addition to being beloved companions, dogs can be trained as service animals; assisting the blind, those with mental or sensory challenges, or those with compromised mobility.
Over time, more has been done to accommodate service animals (and pets in general) on flights and in establishments like restaurants and museums. But however much you love your dog, bear in mind that not everybody will.
In the spirit of fairness and courtesy, please abide by local laws so as not to annoy others. That said, here are seven destinations ready to welcome those traveling with dogs.
1. New York
All you have to do is spend one hour in New York to get a sense of just how much the locals love their dogs.
In addition to the dog parks and spas, you and your pooch might wish to enroll in a yoga class together. Referred to as Doga, do a downward dog while your fur baby either follows suit or stares at you in confusion.
There’s also, if you can believe it, Goat Yoga, which encourages yogis to focus on their flow while adorable baby goats nudge and climb all over them. Both seem bizarre, but they absolutely exist.
Unless they live in the suburbs or upstate, most dogs are cooped up in apartments. So don’t be surprised if you see plenty of them in some of the city’s most famous green areas like Central Park and Prospect Park. It’s the best way for them to get exercise, and their owners, too.
Be sure to clean up after your dog no matter where you are, but especially in residential areas. You risk the ire of others at best and a fine at worst according to the NYC Department of Sanitation.
Like New York, California loves its dogs.
Los Angeles is home to South Park Doggie Playland, a Six Flags of sorts for Rover and company. It’s the first dog theme park in the world, and the largest dog playcare center in Los Angeles.
If you need some time for yourself during your trip, drop Fido off here to make new friends, sharpen his agility, and cool off in the pool. There are also boarding facilities if you need to leave him for a longer period.
Due to county rules, beach options for dogs in Los Angeles are limited, even if they’re leashed and well-behaved.
San Francisco on the other hand has many beaches open to dogs such as Baker Beach, Crissy Field Beach, and Fort Funston Beach. Others are listed on The Dog People website.
San Diego is enthusiastic about dogs as well, with sections of Ocean Beach, Fiesta Island Park and Del Mar Beach that are great for them to play.
3. London, England
According to The Dog People, “47 percent of greater London is comprised of green space,” so your dog will be quite happy.
Moreover, the Royal Parks and some estates have historically been popular with members of the nobility and their dogs. That tradition continues with the public.
Hyde Park is conveniently in the heart of the capital, offering lush grounds for humans and canines. Areas such as The Rose Garden, and along the banks of the Serpentine Lake require dogs to be leashed, while the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain has a strict no-dogs policy.
Your dog will love Kensington Gardens, with its wide avenues, flowerbeds, and fountains (sorry, he can’t swim in them!)
The Hackney Marshes along the banks of the Lea River are an option, as is Regent’s Park with its various water features, but there’s no swimming allowed in any of them.
Looking for a place for both you and your best friend to grab some refreshments? Smith & Whistle in the Mayfair district has a cocktail menu modified for dogs, including the Bubbly Bow Wow and the Poochie Colada.
There’s the Bluebird Café in Chelsea, which offers dogs tap or still water (yes, for real), and an array of treats to keep them content while their owners enjoy a meal.
For more dog-friendly eateries and bars, check out this impressive list compiled by Country & Townhouse.
Hawaii offers beaches and other spaces where you can bond with your dog.
If you’re an Airbnb or VRBO kind of traveler, adjust the filters to find homes that are pet friendly.
Some private villas might allow a dog or two, especially if the owners are dog lovers themselves. You’ll likely be expected to pay a pet cleaning fee.
In Oahu, check out the Kahala Hotel and Resort, Hyatt Waikiki Beach, and The White Sand Hotel. All permit doggie guests.
Kauai is home to Kalapaki Beach, the Wai Koa Loop and The Sleeping Giant Trail (popular with hikers). Parts of The Sleeping Giant can be physically demanding, so make sure both you and Fido are up for it.
If you’re on The Big Island, Lava Dogs Hawaii suggests The Dog Beach at Honokohau Harbor.
5. Portland, Oregon
According to Bring Fido, Portland “has more dog parks per capita than any other city in The United States.” And the locals are proud of that distinction.
Treat your dog to an exciting afternoon in Forest Park, Sellwood Riverfront Park and the Wildwood Trail.
Check out dog-friendly eateries like the Tin Shed Garden Café, with outdoor seating and a dog menu that might be more extensive than the one for you!
6. Mexico City, Mexico
There lovely spots for your dog to have his fun, especially in Mexico City.
Check out Parque México in the upscale district of Condesa. Expect couples strolling hand in hand, dog walkers with more leashes than they can possibly handle, and carefree dogs darting through the fountains and around the Art Deco buildings.
Further south in the city is the town of Xochimilco, the Mexican answer to Amsterdam and Venice with its many canals. Here, you’ll find brightly colored boats, and the operators are known to welcome passengers with well-behaved pooches on board.
Australia is known for its raw, natural beauty and its many critters, some cute, some not so much.
In Sydney, take your dog to Rowland Reserve which is, according to Australian Dog Lover, “one of the best dog friendly reserves with lots of grassy areas for dogs to run about before they cool off with a swim.”
In Byron Bay, there’s Tallow Beach, known for its soft, white sand and clear, gentle waters. It’s an idyllic spot for you to throw a ball or Frisbee for Fido to catch. Or, you can relax with a good book and wiggle your toes in the sand while he runs around. Just be sure to keep an eye on him.