Chesapeake, Virginia, nestled in the heart of the coastal Virginia region, is a paradise for dog owners. The city offers numerous pet-friendly parks, such as Chesapeake City Park and Oak Grove Lake Park, ideal for leisurely walks or energetic playtimes with your canine companions. Chesapeake’s extensive network of trails, including the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, provides picturesque natural settings for dog walking, ensuring a delightful outdoor experience in any season.
In Chesapeake, visitors with dogs will find a warm welcome in various establishments. Many restaurants and cafes in the area feature dog-friendly outdoor seating, allowing you and your pet to enjoy the local cuisine together. The city also hosts several dog-centric events throughout the year, such as pet parades and festivals, highlighting its pet-friendly community spirit. With a range of accommodations that cater to pet owners, Chesapeake is an ideal destination for those traveling with their four-legged friends.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 Chesapeake, Virginia
Chesapeake, Virginia, known for its natural beauty and rich history, offers a variety of attractions and events that appeal to a wide range of interests:
- Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: This expansive natural reserve is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, offering hiking trails, bird watching, and a unique ecosystem to explore.
- Chesapeake City Park: A popular destination for families and outdoor lovers, this park features playgrounds, walking trails, and hosts numerous community events and concerts.
- Northwest River Park & Campground: Ideal for camping, fishing, boating, and hiking, this park offers a serene getaway with beautiful natural scenery.
- Oak Grove Lake Park: Known for its picturesque walking trail around a 65-acre lake, this park is perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, and enjoying the outdoors.
- Chesapeake Arboretum: This “Nature’s Classroom” showcases themed gardens, walking trails, and a variety of plant species, making it a peaceful retreat for nature lovers.
- Historic Village of Great Bridge: The site of the Battle of Great Bridge, this historic area offers insights into the city’s role in the American Revolution.
- Chesapeake Jubilee: An annual festival that includes carnival rides, live music, a BBQ cook-off, and a stunning fireworks display.
- Dismal Swamp Canal Trail: A multi-use trail offering a scenic route for biking, walking, and horseback riding, alongside the historic Dismal Swamp Canal.
- Battlefield Historic Park: Commemorating the Battle of Great Bridge, this park has a visitor center with exhibits and a walking trail with interpretive signs.
- Waterways and Boating: Chesapeake’s location in the coastal Virginia region provides ample opportunities for boating, kayaking, and enjoying the scenic waterways.
These attractions and events showcase Chesapeake’s commitment to preserving its natural and historical heritage while providing a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.
Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Chesapeake, Virginia
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.
Chesapeake, Virginia, offers a variety of dog-friendly activities, making it a welcoming destination for visitors with their canine companions. Here are some highlights:
- Dog Parks: Chesapeake has several dog parks, such as Chesapeake City Park and Deep Creek Park, which feature fenced-in areas where dogs can play off-leash in a safe environment.
- Walking and Hiking Trails: Enjoy the natural beauty of Chesapeake with your dog on trails like the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail and the trails at Northwest River Park. These scenic routes are perfect for leisurely walks or more vigorous hikes with your furry friend.
- Outdoor Dining: Many restaurants in Chesapeake offer dog-friendly outdoor patios. Places like Ynot Italian and The Butcher’s Son are great options to enjoy a meal with your dog.
- Parks and Nature Areas: Explore the city’s parks and nature areas, such as Oak Grove Lake Park and the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, where leashed dogs are welcome to join in the outdoor fun.
- Community Events: Keep an eye out for dog-centric events in Chesapeake, including pet parades, adoption events, and festivals in parks where dogs are welcome.
- Pet-Friendly Shopping Centers: Some shopping centers and outdoor markets in Chesapeake are dog-friendly, allowing you to browse and shop with your pet.
- Dog-Friendly Accommodations: Chesapeake offers a selection of pet-friendly hotels, ensuring a comfortable stay for you and your dog.
- Pet Boutiques and Services: Visit local pet boutiques for unique treats and toys, or take advantage of grooming services to pamper your pet while on vacation.
These activities ensure that both you and your dog can enjoy what Chesapeake has to offer, making your trip a memorable one. 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are there any dog-friendly hotels in Chesapeake?
Yes, Chesapeake offers several pet-friendly hotels, such as the Hyatt Place Chesapeake/Greenbrier and Aloft Chesapeake, which provide amenities for dogs.
2. Can I bring my dog to restaurants in Chesapeake?
Many restaurants in Chesapeake, like Ynot Italian and The Butcher’s Son, have dog-friendly outdoor patios where you can dine with your pet.
3. What are some good dog parks in Chesapeake?
Chesapeake has great dog parks including Chesapeake City Park and Deep Creek Park, offering off-leash areas for dogs to play.
4. Are there any hiking or walking trails suitable for dogs?
The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail and the trails at Northwest River Park are perfect for walking your dog, offering scenic views and a nature-filled experience.
5. Is downtown Chesapeake dog-friendly?
While downtown Chesapeake has areas where pets are welcome, it’s best to check with individual establishments about their pet policies.
6. Does Chesapeake host any dog-centric events?
Chesapeake often hosts dog-friendly events, including pet parades, adoption events, and festivals in parks where dogs are welcome.
7. Can I take my dog shopping in Chesapeake?
Some shopping areas and outdoor markets in Chesapeake are dog-friendly, but it’s advisable to check with individual stores.
8. Do I need to keep my dog on a leash in public areas?
Yes, dogs should be kept on a leash in public areas in Chesapeake, except in designated off-leash areas like dog parks.
9. Where can I find emergency veterinary care in Chesapeake?
Chesapeake has several veterinary clinics and animal hospitals. Knowing the location of the nearest one is recommended for emergencies.
10. Are there any pet supply stores in Chesapeake?
There are various pet supply stores in Chesapeake, including major chains like PetSmart, where you can find food, toys, and accessories for your dog.
Traveling with a dog to Chesapeake, Virginia, can be a fulfilling experience, thanks to the city’s range of dog-friendly amenities and activities. Here are some final thoughts for a smooth trip:
- Climate Considerations: Chesapeake experiences a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Be mindful of the weather, especially during summer, to ensure your dog stays comfortable. Avoid hot pavements and provide plenty of water.
- Choose Pet-Friendly Accommodations: There are numerous dog-friendly hotels in Chesapeake. Select one that fits your needs and understand its specific pet policies, including any fees or size restrictions, for a comfortable stay.
- Explore Outdoor Spaces: Take advantage of Chesapeake’s parks and trails, such as the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail and Northwest River Park, which are great for dog walking and enjoying the outdoors.
- Dining with Your Dog: Many restaurants in Chesapeake offer dog-friendly outdoor seating. This allows you to enjoy the local cuisine with your furry companion at your side.
- Respect Local Rules: Adhere to leash laws and always clean up after your dog to maintain a welcoming environment for everyone.
- Stay Hydrated and Safe: Keep your dog hydrated, particularly in warm weather, and be cautious of their exposure to the sun and heat.
- Emergency Preparedness: Know the location of the nearest veterinary clinic for peace of mind in case of an emergency.
- Engage in Community Events: Participate in dog-centric events if available, as these can be fun ways to meet locals and enjoy the community spirit.
Traveling to Chesapeake with your dog allows you to explore the city from a different perspective, making your experience more enjoyable. With its blend of natural beauty, historical sites, and pet-friendly amenities, Chesapeake is an inviting destination for dog owners.