Denver, Colorado, welcomes dog-loving tourists with open arms, offering a range of pet-friendly activities and amenities. Known for its picturesque outdoor landscapes, the city boasts numerous dog parks and hiking trails, including the popular Cherry Creek State Park and Red Rocks Park, where furry friends can roam off-leash.
Many dog-friendly restaurants, cafes, and breweries with outdoor seating cater to pet owners, while pet-friendly accommodations make it easy to find comfortable lodging for both humans and their four-legged companions. With its stunning Rocky Mountain backdrop and a multitude of dog-welcoming options, Denver is an ideal destination for travelers looking to explore the great outdoors with their beloved pups.
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.
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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 Denver, Colorado?
Denver, Colorado, offers a wide range of popular tourist attractions and events, catering to a diverse array of interests. Here are some of the top picks:
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre: Known for its natural beauty and iconic outdoor concert venue, Red Rocks offers hiking, live music, and breathtaking views.
- Denver Art Museum: Home to an extensive collection of American Indian, Western, and contemporary art, the museum is a cultural gem in the city.
- Denver Zoo: Explore diverse wildlife from around the world in a beautifully landscaped setting.
- Denver Botanic Gardens: A lush oasis in the heart of the city, featuring stunning gardens, plant collections, and seasonal events.
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science: Discover exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to outer space, making it perfect for families and science enthusiasts.
- 16th Street Mall: A pedestrian-friendly shopping and dining hub in downtown Denver with street performers and free shuttle rides.
- Denver Union Station: This historic transportation hub has been revitalized into a trendy spot with restaurants, shops, and a luxurious hotel.
- Coors Field: Baseball fans can catch a Colorado Rockies game at this downtown stadium.
- Denver Broncos Games: Attend a Denver Broncos NFL football game at Empower Field at Mile High for an exciting sports experience.
- Cherry Creek Shopping Center: A high-end shopping destination with designer boutiques and dining options.
As for events, Denver hosts numerous annual festivals and activities, including:
- Denver Film Festival: A celebration of independent cinema, attracting filmmakers and movie enthusiasts.
- National Western Stock Show: A showcase of Western heritage with rodeo events, livestock shows, and a western trade show.
- Denver PrideFest: Celebrate LGBTQ+ pride with a parade, music, and a festival in Civic Center Park.
- Denver Chalk Art Festival: Watch talented artists create intricate chalk masterpieces on the streets of Larimer Square.
- Denver International Wine Festival: A wine lover’s paradise featuring tastings, seminars, and gourmet food pairings.
- Colorado Dragon Boat Festival: Experience Asian culture through dragon boat races, performances, and authentic cuisine.
- Denver Restaurant Week: Enjoy special prix-fixe menus at top restaurants throughout the city.
These attractions and events capture the essence of Denver’s culture, natural beauty, and vibrant atmosphere, making it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Denver, Colorado?
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.
Denver, Colorado, is a dog-friendly city with plenty of activities to enjoy with your canine companion. Here are some dog-friendly options for exploring the Mile High City:
- Cherry Creek State Park: This park offers off-leash areas where dogs can run and play freely. There’s also a reservoir for water-loving pups to splash around in.
- Red Rocks Park: Leash up your dog and explore the stunning trails and unique rock formations at Red Rocks. Just be sure to clean up after them.
- Sloan’s Lake Park: A scenic park with walking paths and a large lake where you can take your dog for a leisurely stroll.
- Chatfield State Park: Known for its expansive off-leash dog park, Chatfield State Park provides plenty of room for dogs to socialize and enjoy the outdoors.
- Railyard Dog Park: Located in downtown Denver, this urban dog park features separate areas for small and large dogs, making it a great spot for city pups to play.
- Hiking: Explore the dog-friendly hiking trails in the nearby Rocky Mountains, such as the Beaver Brook Trail or Elk Meadow Park.
- Brewery Tours: Many craft breweries in Denver allow dogs in their outdoor seating areas. Enjoy a local brew with your furry friend by your side.
- Dog-Friendly Patio Dining: Numerous restaurants in Denver have pet-friendly outdoor seating where you can dine with your dog. Check out places like Avanti Food & Beverage or The Watering Bowl.
- Shopping: Some local pet boutiques, like Mouthfuls Pet Boutique and The Whole Cat & Dogs Too, offer a range of pet products and treats for your pup.
- Outdoor Markets: Dogs are often welcome at farmers’ markets and street fairs in Denver, making it easy to enjoy local produce and artisanal goods while your dog tags along.
Before heading out to any of these locations, make sure to check specific rules and regulations for dogs, including leash requirements and any fees. Denver’s dog-friendly culture ensures that you and your furry friend can have a fantastic time exploring the city together. 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 dogs allowed on public transportation in Denver?
Yes, dogs are generally allowed on Denver’s buses and light rail, but they must be on a leash and well-behaved. Service animals are always allowed.
2. Where can I find dog-friendly accommodations in Denver?
Many hotels, motels, and vacation rentals in Denver are pet-friendly. Popular options include The Curtis Denver, Hotel Teatro, and Airbnb listings that allow pets.
3. Are there any off-leash dog parks in Denver?
Denver offers numerous off-leash dog parks, including the popular Cherry Creek State Park Off-Leash Area and Railyard Dog Park.
4. What are Denver’s leash laws?
Denver has specific leash laws, and dogs must be on a leash when not in designated off-leash areas. Always adhere to local leash regulations.
5. Can I bring my dog to popular tourist attractions in Denver, such as Red Rocks Park?
While some outdoor attractions like Red Rocks Park allow dogs on a leash, indoor attractions may have restrictions. Always check specific attraction policies before visiting.
6. Where can I find pet supplies and grooming services in Denver?
Denver has numerous pet stores, including PetSmart and Petco, for supplies. For grooming services, you can try places like U Lucky Dog or Urban Dogg.
7. Are there any restrictions for hiking with dogs in the Denver area?
While many hiking trails near Denver are dog-friendly, some may have restrictions or seasonal closures. Check trail-specific regulations before heading out.
8. Is there a 24-hour emergency veterinarian in Denver?
Yes, Denver has several 24-hour emergency vet clinics, such as VRCC Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Hospital and Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital.
9. Can I take my dog to restaurants in Denver?
Many restaurants in Denver offer pet-friendly outdoor seating areas, especially during the warmer months. Always call ahead to confirm the restaurant’s policy.
10. What are some dog-friendly events in Denver?
Denver hosts various dog-friendly events throughout the year, including charity walks, pet expos, and adoption events. Check local event listings for up-to-date information.
Traveling to Denver, Colorado, with your dog can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some final thoughts and tips to ensure a successful trip:
- Plan Ahead: Research dog-friendly accommodations, activities, and restaurants in advance. Make reservations when necessary, and check for any pet policies or fees.
- Pack Essentials: Don’t forget to bring your dog’s food, water, leash, collar with identification tags, poop bags, and any medications they may need. Consider packing their favorite toys and a familiar blanket for comfort.
- Leash and Clean Up: Always have a leash on hand and clean up after your dog. Respect local leash laws and ensure your dog is well-behaved in public spaces.
- Weather Preparedness: Denver’s weather can change rapidly, so be prepared for varying conditions. Bring appropriate gear for your dog, such as a raincoat or boots for wet weather and sunscreen for sunny days.
- Respect Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Denver’s leash laws, pet ordinances, and specific rules for parks and trails. Be a responsible pet owner and follow all guidelines.
- Emergency Information: Know the location of the nearest 24-hour vet clinic in case of emergencies. Carry a copy of your dog’s medical records and contact information for local vets.
- Pet Etiquette: Be considerate of other travelers and residents. Not everyone may be comfortable around dogs, so practice good pet etiquette and control your dog’s behavior in public spaces.
- Enjoy the Adventure: Traveling with a dog can add an extra layer of joy and companionship to your trip. Take advantage of Denver’s dog-friendly culture and explore the city together.
- Stay Informed: Stay updated on any changes in pet policies and regulations in Denver, especially if you plan to visit specific attractions or parks.
Denver’s welcoming attitude towards dogs makes it a fantastic destination for both you and your furry friend. With proper preparation and respect for local rules, you can have a memorable and enjoyable adventure together in the Mile High City.