It is hard leaving a four-legged friend behind when going on vacation. As they are a much-
loved member of your family, it makes sense you will want them to come with you to
experience all the fun.
If you can’t bear the thought of leaving your pet pooch with a loved one or dog sitter, you’ll
be happy to learn many destinations are pet-friendly, such as Orlando, Florida.
The fun-filled city provides various pet-friendly hotels, attractions, and restaurants to enjoy
together as a family. Read this handy guide to a dog-friendly Orlando vacation.
Source: Instagram, posted on February 23rd, 2022, Westgate Resorts’ official profile.
Choose a Dog-Friendly Hotel
Some hotels and resorts welcome dogs with open arms for a small fee, which will allow your
pooch to join in with the family fun.
Finding dog-friendly accommodation should be at the top of your list when planning an
Orlando vacation. The last thing you will want is to be turned away at check-in because a
hotel doesn’t welcome animals.
The good news is that many hotels understand you wouldn’t want to leave your dog behind,
and they are happy to welcome them as guests. For example, westgateresorts.com has
many dog-friendly Orlando hotels that allow you to stay, play, and make memories with up to
two dogs per unit on vacation, such as Westgate Town Center Resort or Westgate Lakes
Resort & Spa.
Source: Instagram, posted on July 6th, 2020, Happy Paws Pet Resort’s official profile.
Organize Doggy Daycare in Advance
Doggy daycare will provide your canine with a fun place to relax while you enjoy various popular theme parks, such as Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort.
While the city offers many dog-friendly activities, some Orlando attractions you might want to visit may not accept pets. For instance, dogs cannot enter Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, restaurants, water parks, pools, and other recreational areas.
As you likely will not want to miss out on the fun attractions, you may need to place your canine into doggy daycare from time to time.
Popular doggy daycare options include:
- Happy Paws Pet Resort (15 minutes from downtown Orlando)
- Orchid Springs Animal Hospital (near LEGOLAND, Florida)
- Best Friends Pet Care at Walt Disney World Resort
- Universal Orlando Resort’s kennel services (first-come, first-served basis)
Rather than waiting until you arrive to organize a reservation, book doggy daycare in advance to avoid disappointment. Spots can fill quickly, and it will ensure your pooch has a safe, fun place to stay while you visit various theme parks and attractions.
Source: Instagram, posted on March 9th, 2022, Roverdotcom’s official profile.
Bring Your Dog’s Shot Records
You must bring proof that your dog has received various core shots when visiting Orlando. The records will prove they cannot pass on or contract rabies, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, canine influenza, and more.
Some dog-friendly hotels and doggy daycare centers will require pet owners to show proof that their pooch is vaccinated upon arrival. If you do not bring their shot records with you, your pet could be denied entry into the property. For this reason, you must visit your vet before a trip to ensure they receive the correct shots for an Orlando vacation.
Source: Instagram, posted on February 4th, 2022, Roverdotcom’s official profile.
Don’t Forget About Pet ID
Up-to-date pet identification could quickly reunite your family with your dog should they become lost during an Orlando vacation.
Pet owners should strive to keep their dogs as safe as possible, especially on vacation. As your canine is in an unknown setting, they are less likely to know their way back to a hotel should you become separated.
Keep your pooch as safe as possible by adding up-to-date contact details to a secure collar, which will allow a member of the public to call you should they find your dog. Also, invest in a durable leash to maintain tight control of your pet when exploring a hotel’s grounds, the city streets, or various nature trails.
Source: Instagram, posted on June 21st, 2019, Enterprise’s official profile.
Rent a Car
A car rental will allow all the family to explore the best of Orlando without hassle or fuss, as some shuttles, cabs, and resort transports may not welcome animals.
Most shuttles and resort transports welcome service dogs to help disabled people explore Orlando. However, they may not welcome other pets, such as family dogs. If in doubt, give a hotel or a transport service a call to learn if dogs are welcome in their vehicles.
If not, it might be easier to rent a car to travel across all corners of Orlando. It will provide peace of mind that you can travel with your dog without worrying about being turned away from a shuttle service or cab.
Source: Instagram, posted on May 31st, 2022, Visit Orlando’s official profile.
Understand Leash Laws
Unless you’re visiting a dog-friendly park that allows leash-free roaming, you must keep your canine on a leash in any public place.
Most cities in Florida have leash laws that locals and tourists must adhere to, and Orlando is no exception. Before leaving a hotel or vacation home, put your canine on a leash, especially when exploring streets and public parks. Fortunately, many dog-friendly parks in the city permit leash-free roaming.
Source: Instagram, posted on May 18th, 2022, Visit Orlando’s official profile.
Visit Pet-Friendly Nature Trails & Parks
Allow your dog to enjoy some fun and freedom by exploring various parks and walking trails across Orlando, such as the popular Lake Eola Park.
Orlando is crammed with many beautiful pet-friendly parks and nature trails. Some even boast features your canine will love, including dog baths, off-leash spots, and natural bodies of water.
The iconic Lake Eola Park is a must-visit with your pooch, as the tranquil downtown park allows leashed dogs and their owners to explore the grounds at their leisure. You could even time your trip for one of the dog-related events held at Lake Eola Park annually. Also, you can visit one of the many dog-friendly restaurants near the picturesque lake.
If you and your canine love to hike, visit Bear Creek Nature Trail, which is 30 minutes north of downtown Orlando. The scenic mile-long trail features ancient oak, cypress, and palm trees, providing your family with a gorgeous view.
Other fantastic dog-friendly spots include:
- Wekiwa Springs State Park
- Shingle Creek Regional Park (features a drinking fountain and bathing area)
- Lake Baldwin Park (a sandy beach that welcomes off-leash dogs from 8 am until sunset)
- Meadow Woods Dog Park (19-acres of leash-free grounds)
Source: Instagram, posted on August 26th, 2021, Visit Orlando’s official profile.
Carry Food and Water
Offer food and water to your pet throughout the day to prevent dehydration, refuel their body, and support good behavior.
Your dog will burn off considerable energy when exploring various parks and nature trails, and they can easily become tired and hot under the Florida sunshine. Keep your pooch safe, healthy, and happy by providing them with water, snacks, and meals throughout the day.
Food and water will help your dog cool down, increase their energy levels, and ensure they remain on their best behavior. Don’t forget to take a backup meal for your pet with you, as a short walk might turn into a full day out in a scenic spot.
Source: Instagram, posted on April 24th, 2022, Rock and Brews’ official profile.
Find Dog-Friendly Restaurants & Bars
Many dog-friendly restaurants and bars are peppered across Orlando, providing a relaxing place to dine, drink, and have fun with your loved ones.
If you run out of food and water throughout the day, you’ll be happy to learn that Orlando provides many dog-friendly restaurants and bars.
For example, Teak Neighborhood Grill is a family-friendly restaurant that features an outdoor patio for pets. It will allow you and your loved ones to enjoy one of the 37 burgers on the menu, and the friendly staff will serve water to your pooch to keep them hydrated.
Orlando Brewing allows locals and tourists to visit with their dogs, too. You can sample their fresh brews while your canine relaxes in the shade with some water. Plus, they host a Dog’s Day Out event every Sunday, providing owners with a superb discount.
Other dog-friendly restaurants in Orlando include:
- Relax Grille at Lake Eola
- Rock & Brews
- The Stubborn Mule
- Kyoto Sushi & Grill
- Vanbarry’s Public House
- The Hammered Lamb
- Café Murano
Source: Instagram, posted on August 30th, 2021, Visit Orlando’s official profile.
Protect Your Pooch from the Sun
As the average temperature in July, Orlando’s hottest month, reaches 28°C (82°F), you must shield your dog from the sun when vacationing in the city.
Florida basks in sunshine throughout the seasons, offering hot summers and mild winters. For this reason, you must protect your dog from the sun’s harmful UV rays, as it can affect them the same way as humans, especially if they have a short-haired coat.
Shield your dog from the sunshine by providing regular breaks in the shade, which will protect their eyes and skin from the intense rays. Also, apply sunscreen formulated specifically for dogs during summer to shield their sensitive skin.