Pet-Friendly Flights, Hotels, Activities and More

Richmond, Virginia, steeped in American history and culture, is a welcoming city for dog owners. The city boasts numerous dog-friendly parks, such as the expansive Byrd Park and the scenic James River Park System, offering trails and open spaces ideal for dogs to explore. Richmond’s urban green spaces like Belle Isle provide a perfect mix of history and nature for dog walks. The city’s four-season climate ensures a variety of outdoor experiences, from colorful autumn walks to sunny summer strolls with your furry friends.

In Richmond, the pet-friendly atmosphere is evident across many cafes and restaurants, especially in bustling neighborhoods like Carytown and The Fan. These eateries often feature dog-friendly patios, allowing pets and their owners to enjoy Richmond’s diverse culinary scene together. The city also hosts dog-centric events, fostering a community spirit among pet lovers. With a selection of pet-friendly accommodations, Richmond ensures a comfortable stay for visitors traveling with their dogs, blending Southern charm with modern convenience.

Richmond 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 Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia, a city rich in history and culture, offers a variety of popular tourist attractions and events:

  1. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: An internationally renowned museum, it features a diverse collection of art from around the world, including impressive permanent exhibits and special temporary exhibitions.
  2. Maymont: A 100-acre Victorian estate offering beautifully landscaped gardens, a nature center, and a historic mansion open for tours.
  3. Richmond National Battlefield Park: A site commemorating Civil War battles that took place in and around Richmond, with multiple locations and visitor centers across the city.
  4. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: This stunning garden showcases year-round beauty with various themed gardens, a conservatory, and numerous educational programs.
  5. Hollywood Cemetery: A historic cemetery and the final resting place of several U.S. Presidents and Confederate leaders, known for its Gothic and Victorian-style monuments.
  6. The American Civil War Museum: Offering a comprehensive view of the Civil War from multiple perspectives, this museum combines history with interactive exhibits.
  7. Belle Isle: A unique island in the James River accessible via a pedestrian bridge, offering hiking trails, scenic views, and historical sites.
  8. Carytown: A vibrant shopping district with unique boutiques, restaurants, and the historic Byrd Theatre, a 1920s-era movie palace still in operation.
  9. Broad Street: Known as the arts and cultural heart of Richmond, featuring galleries, theaters, and murals, as well as hosting various festivals and events.
  10. Annual Events: Richmond hosts numerous events, including the Richmond Folk Festival, Dominion Energy Riverrock, and the Richmond Jazz Festival, attracting visitors from all over.

These attractions and events showcase Richmond’s unique blend of historical significance, cultural richness, and natural beauty, making it a diverse and appealing destination for tourists.

Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Richmond, 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.

Richmond, Virginia, is a great destination for visitors traveling with dogs, offering a variety of dog-friendly activities. Here are some highlights:

  1. Dog Parks: Richmond has several dog parks, including Barker Field at Byrd Park and Church Hill Dog Park, where dogs can play off-leash in a safe, enclosed environment.
  2. Walking and Hiking Trails: The James River Park System offers scenic trails that are perfect for dog walking, providing beautiful views and a chance to explore nature together.
  3. Outdoor Dining: Many restaurants and cafes in Richmond, especially in neighborhoods like Carytown and The Fan, have dog-friendly outdoor seating areas. This allows you and your pet to enjoy Richmond’s diverse culinary scene together.
  4. Parks and Recreational Areas: In addition to dog parks, many of Richmond’s parks, such as Belle Isle and Maymont, welcome leashed dogs, making them ideal for leisurely strolls or picnics.
  5. Community Events: Richmond hosts various dog-friendly events throughout the year, such as pet parades and adoption events, where dogs are welcome.
  6. Pet-Friendly Shopping: Some shopping districts and outdoor markets in Richmond are pet-friendly, allowing you to browse and shop with your dog.
  7. Dog-Friendly Accommodations: Richmond offers a selection of pet-friendly hotels, ensuring a comfortable stay for you and your dog.
  8. Pet Boutiques and Services: The city has a variety of pet boutiques and grooming services, where you can pamper your pet or pick up special treats and accessories.

Engaging in these activities can make your trip to Richmond enjoyable for both you and your dog, ensuring a memorable visit. 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 Richmond

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any dog-friendly hotels in Richmond?

Yes, Richmond offers several pet-friendly hotels like The Jefferson Hotel, Omni Richmond Hotel, and Graduate Richmond, which welcome dogs with various amenities.

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

Many restaurants in Richmond, especially in Carytown and The Fan, have dog-friendly outdoor patios where you can dine with your pet.

3. What are some good dog parks in Richmond?

Barker Field at Byrd Park and Church Hill Dog Park are popular choices, offering off-leash areas for dogs to play and socialize.

4. Are there any hiking or walking trails suitable for dogs?

The James River Park System provides scenic trails perfect for dog walking, offering beautiful views and nature exploration.

5. Is downtown Richmond dog-friendly?

Downtown Richmond is relatively dog-friendly, with many areas and outdoor spaces where pets are welcome. However, always check specific locations for their pet policies.

6. Does Richmond host any dog-centric events?

Richmond hosts various dog-friendly events throughout the year, including pet parades, adoption events, and community gatherings in parks.

7. Can I take my dog shopping in Richmond?

Some shopping districts and outdoor markets in Richmond, such as those in Carytown, are dog-friendly. Always check with individual stores to confirm their pet policies.

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 Richmond, except in designated off-leash areas like dog parks.

9. Where can I find emergency veterinary care in Richmond?

Richmond has several veterinary clinics and animal hospitals. Knowing the location of the nearest one to your accommodation is advisable for emergencies.

10. Are there any pet supply stores in Richmond?

Richmond offers various pet supply stores, including major chains like PetSmart and local boutiques, where you can find food, toys, and accessories for your dog.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with a dog to Richmond, Virginia, can be a highly rewarding experience with its array of dog-friendly amenities and activities. Here are some final thoughts to consider for your trip:

  1. Climate Considerations: Richmond experiences a varied climate, with hot, humid summers and cool winters. Ensure your dog is comfortable, particularly in the summer heat, by providing plenty of water, seeking shade, and avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day.
  2. Choose Pet-Friendly Accommodations: Richmond offers a variety of dog-friendly hotels. Research and book accommodations that best suit your needs and be sure to understand their specific pet policies, including any fees or restrictions.
  3. Explore Outdoor Spaces: Take advantage of Richmond’s parks and trails, like those in the James River Park System, for scenic walks with your dog. The city’s dog parks, such as Barker Field, are great for off-leash play.
  4. Dining with Your Dog: Enjoy the many dog-friendly dining options in neighborhoods like Carytown and The Fan, where restaurants often welcome pets on their outdoor patios.
  5. Follow Local Guidelines: Adhere to local leash laws and always clean up after your dog. This helps maintain a clean and welcoming environment for all visitors.
  6. Stay Hydrated and Safe: Keep your dog hydrated and watch for signs of overheating or discomfort, especially during warmer months.
  7. Emergency Preparedness: Knowing the location of the nearest veterinary clinic is important for any pet-related emergencies.
  8. Engage in Community Events: Participate in local dog-centric events if available. These can be enjoyable ways to meet fellow dog lovers and experience the community spirit of Richmond.

Traveling to Richmond with your dog allows you to explore the city’s rich history, natural beauty, and cultural offerings from a unique perspective, enhancing your overall experience. With its welcoming attitude towards pets, Richmond is an ideal destination for dog owners.


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