Pet-Friendly Flights, Hotels, Activities and More


Raleigh, North Carolina, is a vibrant and dog-friendly destination that welcomes travelers and their four-legged companions with open arms. Known for its Southern charm and ample green spaces, Raleigh offers a plethora of dog-friendly parks and trails, including the William B. Umstead State Park and Pullen Park, where dogs can frolic and explore amidst the natural beauty.

Moreover, the city’s bustling downtown district features pet-friendly patios at various restaurants and cafes, making it easy to enjoy a meal or coffee with your dog by your side. Raleigh’s warm hospitality extends to its pet-friendly accommodations, ensuring a comfortable stay for visitors and their beloved dogs. With its mix of cultural attractions, outdoor adventures, and a pet-friendly mindset, Raleigh is an ideal destination for dog-loving tourists seeking a memorable experience in the heart of North Carolina.

Raleigh Dog Friendly

Should You Travel with Your Dog?

Whether or not you should travel with your dog depends on your dog’s personality and health. If your dog gets anxious easily, bringing them on a trip isn’t ideal. However, some dogs are great at adapting to new situations and love exploring different places, so those dogs would probably do well on the go.

Regardless of your dog’s temperament, there may be times when they need to travel with you, such as if you’re moving to a new location. If that’s the case, you may need to take extra precautions to ensure they’re as comfortable as possible. That could include stopping more frequently during a long drive or asking your vet about whether or not medications could help.

What to Pack When Traveling with Your Dog

Your dog may not need as much stuff as you do for a trip, but they still need the essentials. Plus, bringing items that look and smell familiar to your furry friend can help them feel more comfortable.

Here’s a list of supplies you should bring for your dog:

This list is just a general guide of things you may need. Your packing list may vary based on where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what activities you have planned. If you have space to spare, it can’t hurt to pack extra pet supplies out of caution.

Dog going for road trip

What to Include in a Dog First Aid Kit

A dog first aid kit should include essential items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, a thermometer, and a muzzle for safety. It’s also important to have saline solution for eye washing and a blanket for shock or cold. For a complete list of everything you need, see a comprehensive dog first aid guide here!

Finding a Dog-Friendly Hotel

While planning your trip, make sure you find a dog-friendly place to stay. Many lodging options, whether they’re a large hotel chain or a small local property, are willing to allow pets with some restrictions. The best way to know if your dog is welcome is to call the property before booking.

Looking for a pet-friendly Hotel so you can share your vacation with your four-legged friend? We’ve partnered with top travel sites to find you the best possible deals around. Just enter your travel plans below, and you’ll find pet-friendly hotels wherever you’re traveling. 

Dog sleeping at hotel

Other Lodging Options

Even though most popular hotel chains allow pets to some extent, they still might not be the right choice for you. Many prevent large dogs or more than two dogs at a time. Some may also prevent you from leaving your dog alone in the hotel, which can be difficult if you have some plans that aren’t pet-friendly. In this case, consider finding your pup a pet sitter who can take care of your dog while you’re enjoying a quiet dinner, seeing the sights or even taking in a show.

Book a Rover dog sitter and give your dog the best day ever!

So, if you’re struggling to find a good hotel, you may want to check other types of lodging, such as campgrounds or booking sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. Those options are often more flexible with pet restrictions because they don’t need to follow the policies of big chain hotels. Like with hotels, you should always contact the property to get the most detailed information on their pet restrictions.

Dog-Friendly Transportation Options

For most dogs, the scariest part of going on a trip is getting there. Dogs who aren’t used to riding in a car are likely to be anxious during a road trip and even more so on an airplane. So, here are some tips for how to keep your dog safe and comfortable when heading to your destination.

Driving with Your Dog

If possible, driving long distances with your dog will usually be easier and more comfortable than flying, especially if you have a large breed. However, you should make sure your dog is okay with riding in the car before you bring them on a road trip. If they don’t ride in the car much on a regular basis, start by taking them for short drives in preparation for the trip.

Here are some tips for taking a road trip with your dog:

  • Get your dog’s energy out before the long drive (take them for a walk, play fetch, etc.)
  • Make sure your dog is secure and comfortable (use a crate or dog seat belt, and make sure they have a cozy bed)
  • Stop more often than you need to so your dog can stretch their legs and do their business
  • Offer your dog fresh water every time you stop
  • Never leave your dog alone in the car on a warm/hot day

Buckling dog into car

Flying with Your Dog

Most dogs have ridden in the car at one point or another, but flying with your dog is a much different experience. If your dog is under 20 pounds, they can ride in the cabin on most airlines, but if your dog is larger than that, they may have to fly in the cargo hold. Not being able to see your dog during the flight can be stressful, which is why families with larger dogs typically prefer to drive when possible.

Almost every airline allows dogs, but some have stricter rules than others. Always check an airline’s pet policy before planning to fly on it with your pup.

Dog in airplane carrier

How to Travel with an Anxious Dog

If you have an anxious dog, driving and flying might both seem tricky. Luckily, there are things you can do to help a stressed-out dog feel more at ease while on the go.

  • Get your dog familiar with travel – take them to places they enjoy, such as the park, instead of only the vet.
  • Bring familiar items, such as their favorite beds and toys.
  • Keep their feeding times and bathroom breaks as close to their normal routine as possible.
  • Give them lots of exercise before getting in the car or entering the airport.
  • Stay calm – your dog may pick up on if you’re stressed and become more worried as a result.
  • Try anti-anxiety products, such as ThunderShirts and heartbeat toys.

While the above tips may reduce your dog’s anxiety, extremely anxious dogs will likely still show some fear in unfamiliar situations. Pet CBD Products, such as those made by Cannanine, can help calm down nervous pups during travel. Cannanine offers CBD oil and soft chews, both of which effectively calm dogs while being THC-free. Plus, every Cannanine product purchased donates meals to shelter dogs.

Top Tourist Attractions in Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina, is a dynamic city with a range of popular tourist attractions and events to suit various interests. Here are some of the most renowned ones:

  1. North Carolina Museum of Art: This museum boasts an impressive collection of art, including European, American, and contemporary works, as well as beautifully landscaped outdoor grounds.
  2. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences: Explore fascinating exhibits on natural history, science, and live animal displays, including a stunning prehistoric exhibit.
  3. Pullen Park: Known as one of the oldest amusement parks in the United States, it features a historic carousel, pedal boats, playgrounds, and scenic green spaces.
  4. Downtown Raleigh: Stroll through the vibrant downtown area, offering a variety of restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions, including the historic City Market.
  5. William B. Umstead State Park: Just outside the city, this park offers hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities amid serene lakes and woodlands.
  6. JC Raulston Arboretum: A beautiful botanical garden with diverse plant collections, walking trails, and seasonal events.
  7. PNC Arena: Catch a live sporting event or concert at this popular arena, home to the Carolina Hurricanes NHL team and a wide range of entertainment acts.
  8. Raleigh City Market: Explore this historic market area featuring shops, galleries, and dining options housed in charming brick buildings.
  9. Raleigh Beer Garden: Visit the Guinness World Record-holding beer garden with an extensive beer selection, including local craft brews.
  10. Annual Events: Raleigh hosts numerous annual events, such as the North Carolina State Fair, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass, and Artsplosure, a lively arts festival.
  11. First Fridays: On the first Friday of each month, downtown Raleigh comes alive with art gallery openings, live music, and food trucks during this community-focused event.

These attractions and events offer a taste of Raleigh’s cultural, recreational, and entertainment offerings, making it a vibrant and engaging destination for tourists. Whether you’re interested in arts and culture, outdoor adventures, or culinary delights, Raleigh has something to offer throughout the year.

Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Raleigh, North Carolina

If you’re traveling with your dog for vacation, you should make sure they can join you for most, if not all, of your activities. Since dogs aren’t allowed indoors in many places, you should travel when the weather is nice to ensure you can spend time outside with your furry friend.

Raleigh, North Carolina, is a pet-friendly city with plenty of activities to enjoy with your dog. Here are some dog-friendly activities to explore in the Raleigh area:

  1. William B. Umstead State Park: This expansive park offers miles of dog-friendly hiking trails, as well as three man-made lakes where your pup can take a refreshing dip.
  2. Lake Johnson Park: Enjoy a walk or jog with your dog along the scenic trails that surround Lake Johnson. There’s also a dog park within the park for off-leash play.
  3. Historic Oak View County Park: Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds of this historic park, which welcomes leashed dogs and offers a glimpse into Raleigh’s agricultural past.
  4. Raleigh Greenway Trails: The city has an extensive network of greenway trails that are perfect for dog walking and offer a mix of urban and natural scenery.
  5. Dog-Friendly Breweries: Many local breweries in Raleigh, such as Bond Brothers Beer Company and Trophy Brewing, have pet-friendly outdoor seating areas where you can enjoy a craft beer with your dog.
  6. Pullen Park: While dogs are not allowed on rides, they can still enjoy a leisurely walk around this historic park and its picturesque lake.
  7. Historic Yates Mill County Park: This park offers walking trails around a picturesque mill pond and welcomes leashed dogs.
  8. Dog-Friendly Restaurants: Explore Raleigh’s pet-friendly dining scene, with numerous restaurants and cafes offering outdoor seating where dogs are welcome.
  9. Raleigh City Market: This historic area is a great place for a stroll with your pup while enjoying the architecture and shopping.
  10. Special Dog Events: Keep an eye out for local dog-related events, such as pet adoption fairs, dog-friendly charity walks, and doggy playdates in Raleigh’s parks.

Always adhere to leash laws and be considerate of other visitors when exploring these dog-friendly activities in Raleigh. With its welcoming attitude towards dogs and numerous green spaces, Raleigh provides an enjoyable experience for both residents and tourists traveling with their furry companions. This is just a list to get you started because the dog-friendly activities will vary based on where you’re visiting. While most outdoor events welcome pets as long as they’re well-behaved and you clean up after them, it’s always a good idea to check the event’s details to be sure. With enough planning and good weather, you can hang out with your dog the entire vacation!

Dog Friendly Raleigh

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are dogs allowed on public transportation in Raleigh?

Yes, dogs are generally allowed on Raleigh’s public buses and the R-Line, but they should be on a leash or in a carrier, and policies may vary, so it’s best to confirm with the transportation provider.

2. Can I bring my dog to restaurants in Raleigh?

Many restaurants in Raleigh have pet-friendly outdoor seating areas. It’s advisable to check with the specific restaurant regarding their pet policy and outdoor seating availability.

3. Are there off-leash dog parks in Raleigh?

Yes, Raleigh offers several off-leash dog parks, including Millbrook Exchange Dog Park and Oakwood Dog Park, where your pup can enjoy off-leash play.

4. Where can I find pet-friendly accommodations in Raleigh?

Raleigh has a range of pet-friendly hotels, motels, and vacation rentals. Be sure to make reservations in advance and inquire about any pet fees or policies.

5. Is there a dog beach in Raleigh?

Raleigh is not on the coast, so there are no dog-friendly beaches within the city limits. However, nearby coastal towns may offer dog-friendly beaches.

6. Are dogs allowed on hiking trails in Raleigh’s parks?

Many of Raleigh’s parks allow dogs on hiking trails, but they should be on a leash. Be sure to check each park’s specific rules and trail guidelines.

7. Can I take my dog to local attractions like museums or historical sites?

Some attractions in Raleigh, like outdoor parks and gardens, may allow leashed dogs in certain areas, but indoor attractions typically do not allow pets. It’s best to check each attraction’s pet policy in advance.

8. Are there any dog-friendly events or festivals in Raleigh?

Raleigh hosts various dog-related events, such as pet expos, charity walks, and dog-friendly festivals. Check local event listings for upcoming activities.

9. What should I do if my dog encounters wildlife while hiking in Raleigh’s parks?

If your dog encounters wildlife, it’s best to keep them on a leash and maintain a safe distance. Do not let your dog chase or approach wildlife, as it can be dangerous for both.

10. Are there pet stores in Raleigh where I can purchase supplies for my dog?

Yes, Raleigh has several pet stores, including big chains and local shops, where you can find pet supplies, food, toys, and more for your furry friend.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with a dog to Raleigh, North Carolina can be a fantastic experience, but it’s important to be prepared and considerate to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip for both you and your furry companion. Here are some final thoughts and tips:

  1. Plan Ahead: Research pet-friendly accommodations, dining options, and activities in advance to ensure a seamless trip. Make reservations when necessary and check for pet policies and fees.
  2. Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Raleigh’s local pet regulations, including leash laws and waste disposal rules. Comply with these to be a responsible pet owner.
  3. Health and Safety: Ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and has proper identification. Bring necessary medications, a first-aid kit, and any comfort items to keep your pet safe and comfortable.
  4. Weather Considerations: Raleigh experiences varying weather conditions throughout the year, so pack accordingly. Bring water, sunscreen, and protection against the elements, depending on the season.
  5. Pet Etiquette: Be considerate of other visitors and businesses. Keep your dog well-behaved in public spaces, clean up after them, and respect any pet-related rules or requests.
  6. Dog-Friendly Activities: Raleigh offers numerous dog-friendly parks, trails, and attractions. Plan activities that cater to your dog’s needs and energy level to ensure they have a great time.
  7. Hydration: Keep your dog well-hydrated, especially during outdoor activities. Bring a portable water bowl and fresh water to keep your pet comfortable.
  8. Emergency Preparedness: Know the location of the nearest veterinarian and animal emergency clinic in case of unexpected health issues or emergencies.
  9. Enjoy the Moment: Embrace the opportunity to explore Raleigh with your dog and create lasting memories together. Capture photos and relish the experience of traveling with your furry friend.
  10. Respect Local Pet Policies: Always follow pet policies and guidelines set by businesses, parks, and attractions. These rules are in place to ensure a positive experience for all visitors.

Traveling with a dog in Raleigh can provide a unique and rewarding adventure, allowing you to discover the city’s charms while enjoying the companionship of your pet. With careful planning and responsible pet ownership, you can make the most of your trip to Raleigh, creating cherished memories along the way.


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