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Indoor Fun for Dogs When You Travel

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You’ve planned your dog getaway down to the last pet-friendly patio and terrific trail – but you didn’t plan on bad weather. While there’s no shortage of great activities for you and your dog to enjoy on the road, many of them are strictly outdoors.

Don’t let your dog vacation be a washout because of a little rain; with a few calls and some ingenuity, you can find destinations that will welcome both the two-and four-legged members of your travel party!

indoor fun with your dog

Visit a Dog-friendly Museum

Many museums are open only to service dogs—but don’t assume that they’re all closed to your four-legged family member.

You and Fido can have an out of this world good time at the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico.

At Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, featured in Ruff Guide to the United States, small dogs are allowed indoors as long as they can be carried or confined to a dog stroller.

It pays to call ahead and ask if your dog might be welcome at museums along your route.

Check out a Pet expo

dog expo

Indoor pet expos feature a day of shopping, entertainment ranging from Animal Planet star appearances to agility demos, and pet adoption—and they welcome your pets.

Generally pet expos require fixed leashes as well as proof of immunizations.

Search for a Dog-Friendly Aquarium

dog-friendly aquarium

You may not be enjoying beach weather but a trip to a public aquarium can be a virtual underwater getaway.

Some aquariums like Florida’s Key West Aquarium and Texas’s The Aquarium at Rockport Harbor (sadly closed since Hurricane Harvey) welcome dogs with open paws.

Even the simplest aquarium can be a fascinating display to your dog, who (like ours) may want to just sit in front of an aquarium and watch the fish swim by.

If you don’t have a pet-friendly aquarium at your destination, look for local Bass Pro stores as well. These stores feature large aquariums often highlighting local fish, and many of the stores are dog-friendly.

As with all crowded venues, keep your dog on a short, fixed leash.

Take your dog shopping

dog-friendly shopping

Along with dog-friendly pet supply stores, you may also find other shops at your destination that welcome your well-behaved, leashed dog.

In many cities, dog-friendly stores include Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Tractor Supply, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and more allow canines.

Policies vary from store to store so be sure to call before heading out to the store and check on local policies.

Check out a sporting event with your dog

Ready to take your dog out to the ball game? Many hockey (and baseball) teams host special dog-friendly games, often benefiting local rescues.

Check with your local major and minor league teams for dog days and “bark in the park” events.

Rules will vary depending on the venue but, in general, you’ll need proof of vaccinations, sometimes provided before the event.

Dog days are only for dogs who don’t mind all the noise and excitement of a stadium game (not to mention the presence of all the other dogs) but, if your dog is of the right temperament, you’ll really score in terms of special memories.

Visit a Dog-friendly Tasting Room

Tasting rooms at wineries, breweries and distilleries often welcome dogs. While they’re generally off-limits if food is served, establishments that are solely serving liquor are permitted to welcome dogs at many locations.

As with most dog-friendly establishments, make a quick call to see if your dog will be welcome!

Try Doga

Whether you’re joining in a local class or enjoying some doga on your own, doga—yoga with dogs—can be a great way to exercise and bond with your furry travel companion.

“Happily, yoga is extremely portable. I keep a yoga mat in my RV and there’s plenty of room there for a nice workout any time the weather is inclement or I just prefer to practice without the whole campground watching,” explains Carrie Boyko, publisher of which includes an extensive section of short, instructional doga videos and useful modification tips for beginners.

“It’s also terrific that I can let the dogs off-leash inside the RV or a hotel room, allowing them to follow me through the practice and participate as they like. I keep a container of treats nearby, and they KNOW they will get one when they join in, whether it’s to hop onboard or allow me to use them as a prop in my workout.”

Paris Permenter
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