Charlotte, North Carolina, is a thriving city that extends a warm welcome to travelers with dogs. You and your furry companion can explore the city’s numerous dog-friendly parks, such as Freedom Park and Reedy Creek Park, where scenic trails and open spaces await. Charlotte boasts a variety of pet-friendly accommodations, including hotels and vacation rentals, to ensure a comfortable stay for both you and your dog.

Dining with your canine friend is a breeze, as many restaurants in Charlotte offer pet-friendly outdoor seating areas. The city’s diverse cultural attractions, like the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Levine Museum of the New South, are perfect for exploring with your dog in tow. Charlotte’s friendly atmosphere and dog-loving community make it an excellent destination for travelers eager to experience this vibrant city with their four-legged companions.

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:

Up-to-date identification tags
Collar, harness, and leash
Plenty of healthy dog food
Medications (if they have any)
Pet first aid kit
Food and water dishes (collapsible bowls are the most convenient)
Poop bags
Vet records (some airlines, hotels, and events may require them)
Crate (if you need to confine your dog in the hotel)
Dog seat belt for car (unless you’re keeping them in a crate)
Airline carrier (if you’re flying)
Treats, toys, dog bed, and anything else that could help your dog feel more comfortable

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.

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

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 Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina, offers a mix of cultural attractions and events that draw visitors year-round. Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions and events in the Queen City:

Tourist Attractions:

NASCAR Hall of Fame: Explore the history of stock car racing and its legendary drivers through interactive exhibits and memorabilia.
U.S. National Whitewater Center: Enjoy outdoor adventures like whitewater rafting, zip-lining, and hiking in this outdoor recreational paradise.
Carowinds: A popular amusement park with thrilling rides, water attractions, and family entertainment.
Discovery Place Science: A hands-on science museum with interactive exhibits, an IMAX theater, and educational programs.
Mint Museum Uptown: Explore an extensive collection of American, contemporary, and European art in a modern and architecturally stunning museum.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden: Discover beautiful gardens, fountains, and seasonal exhibits in this serene botanical paradise.
Freedom Park: A spacious urban park with walking trails, a lake, and scenic views of the city skyline.
NoDa Arts District: Charlotte’s historic arts district known for its galleries, live music venues, and vibrant street art.
Billy Graham Library: Visit this tribute to the famous evangelist, which includes a library, beautiful gardens, and multimedia exhibits.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport Overlook: Watch planes take off and land from the overlook near the airport, a unique and free attraction.

Annual Events:

Speed Street Festival: A NASCAR-themed festival with live music, food, and racing events held in Uptown Charlotte.
Carolina Renaissance Festival: A medieval-themed fair featuring jousting tournaments, costumed characters, and artisan shops.
Charlotte Pride Festival: An LGBTQ+ pride festival and parade celebrating diversity and inclusion.
Taste of Charlotte: A food festival in Uptown Charlotte featuring a wide variety of local and international cuisines.
Queen’s Cup Steeplechase: A prestigious horse racing event held in the countryside with tailgating and elegant attire.
Charlotte Film Festival: A showcase of independent and international films, attracting filmmakers and cinephiles.
Yiasou Greek Festival: Experience Greek culture, cuisine, and entertainment at this annual festival.
Festival in the Park: A family-friendly arts and music festival held in Freedom Park each fall.
Holiday Events: Charlotte hosts various holiday events, including tree lighting ceremonies, parades, and festive markets during the winter season.

Charlotte’s diverse array of attractions and events caters to a wide range of interests, ensuring a memorable visit to this dynamic city. Whether you’re into sports, culture, or outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the Queen City.

Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Charlotte, 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.

Charlotte, North Carolina offers a variety of dog-friendly activities for you and your furry friend to enjoy. Here are some options:

Dog Parks: Charlotte has several dog parks where your pup can socialize and play off-leash. Some popular options include Reedy Creek Park, Frazier Park, and Barkingham Park at Rea Farms.
U.S. National Whitewater Center: This outdoor recreation facility often hosts special dog-friendly days, allowing your dog to join you on hiking trails and in the water activities like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
Freedom Park: This centrally located park offers scenic walking trails and plenty of space for your dog to roam on a leash. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll.
NoDa District: The NoDa (North Davidson) neighborhood is known for its artsy vibe and is very dog-friendly. Many of the restaurants and shops have outdoor seating areas where you can bring your pup along.
Latta Plantation Nature Preserve: Explore the beautiful trails and natural surroundings of this nature preserve with your dog. Just remember to keep your dog on a leash.
Catawba Brewing Company: This brewery often hosts Yappy Hours, allowing you to enjoy a craft beer with your dog by your side in their outdoor seating area.
Charlotte Rail Trail: This urban trail is a great place for a walk or jog with your dog. It stretches for several miles, passing through various neighborhoods and offering plenty of dog-friendly spots to rest.
Lake Norman: If you have access to a boat or kayak, Lake Norman is a fantastic place to spend the day with your dog. Many public parks around the lake offer picnic areas and water access.
Carowinds Pet Kennel: If you’re visiting the Carowinds amusement park, they have a pet kennel where you can leave your dog while you enjoy the park.
Dog-Friendly Breweries: Charlotte has a thriving craft beer scene, and many breweries are dog-friendly. Check out places like Triple C Brewing, Birdsong Brewing Co., and Resident Culture Brewing Company.

Remember to always check the specific rules and regulations of each location regarding dogs, such as leash requirements and cleaning up after your pet. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring water, waste bags, and any necessary supplies for your dog when you go out to ensure their comfort and safety. 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 Charlotte?

Yes, there are several dog-friendly hotels in Charlotte. Some options include Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, and Aloft Charlotte Uptown.

2. Are there any restrictions on bringing dogs to outdoor attractions or parks?

Most outdoor attractions and parks in Charlotte are dog-friendly, but there may be leash requirements. Always check the specific rules for each location before visiting.

3. Can I bring my dog to restaurants and cafes in Charlotte?

Many restaurants and cafes in Charlotte have outdoor seating areas where dogs are welcome. It’s best to check with each establishment’s policy and call ahead to confirm.

4. Are there any dog-friendly transportation options in Charlotte?

Charlotte’s light rail system (LYNX) allows dogs on board as long as they are leashed and well-behaved. Some taxis and rideshares also allow dogs, but it’s a good idea to check with the driver first.

5. Where can I find a dog groomer or veterinarian in Charlotte?

There are numerous dog groomers and veterinarians throughout Charlotte. Ask your hotel staff or use a search engine or pet-related apps to find one near your location.

6. What are the rules for dogs on public transportation in Charlotte?

Dogs are generally allowed on Charlotte’s public transportation, but they must be on a leash and well-behaved. Larger dogs may need to wear a muzzle. Check the official transportation website for specific guidelines.

7. Can I bring my dog to Charlotte’s museums or cultural attractions?

Some museums and cultural attractions in Charlotte may have restrictions on dogs, while others may allow them in outdoor areas or on patios. Always inquire beforehand.

8. Where can I find pet supply stores in Charlotte?

There are numerous pet supply stores in Charlotte, including national chains and locally-owned shops. Check a map or search online for the nearest one to your location.

9. Are there any dog-friendly events or festivals in Charlotte during my visit?

Charlotte often hosts dog-friendly events and festivals. Check local event listings or websites for information on upcoming dog-related events during your stay.

10. What should I do if my dog has a medical emergency while in Charlotte?

In case of a medical emergency, you can contact the nearest veterinary hospital or emergency clinic. Know the location and contact details of the closest emergency vet clinic before your trip for peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with a dog to Charlotte, North Carolina can be a rewarding experience, but it requires some planning and consideration. Here are some final thoughts and tips for a smooth trip with your furry companion:

Plan Ahead: Research dog-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and activities in advance. Knowing where you can take your dog and what the rules are will help you avoid surprises.
Check Health Requirements: Ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and is healthy for travel. If you’re coming from out of state, check North Carolina’s specific pet entry requirements.
Pack Essentials: Bring your dog’s essentials, including food, water, bowls, leash, collar with ID tags, waste bags, medications, and any comfort items (blankets, toys).
Safety First: Use a secure and comfortable pet carrier or restraint system when traveling by car. Ensure your dog is safe and comfortable during the journey.
Be Mindful of Weather: Charlotte’s weather can vary, so pack accordingly. In summer, be cautious of hot pavement, and in winter, protect your dog from the cold.
Respect Local Regulations: Always follow local leash laws and clean up after your dog. Being a responsible dog owner ensures a positive experience for everyone.
Consider Your Dog’s Comfort: Be aware of your dog’s comfort level in new environments. Some dogs may be anxious or overwhelmed by travel, so provide them with a safe space and plenty of reassurance.
Stay Flexible: Plans can change, so be prepared to adjust your itinerary if needed. Some places may not be as dog-friendly as you expect, so always have a backup plan.
Visit Dog Parks: Charlotte has great dog parks where your pup can exercise and socialize. It’s an excellent way for both you and your dog to make new friends.
Enjoy the Journey: Traveling with a dog can be a lot of fun and create wonderful memories. Embrace the experience and take lots of photos to remember your adventures together.

Remember that traveling with a dog requires patience and understanding. Your dog’s needs should always be a priority, and with proper preparation and a positive attitude, you can have a fantastic time exploring Charlotte and creating lasting memories with your four-legged friend.

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