Detroit, Michigan, offers a unique blend of urban exploration and dog-friendly attractions for travelers with furry companions. The city features numerous dog-friendly parks, including the beautiful Belle Isle Park, where your pup can romp and play while you soak in the scenic views of the Detroit River. Several pet-friendly accommodations, such as the Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney and The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, ensure a comfortable stay for both you and your dog.
Detroit’s revitalized downtown area boasts dog-friendly cafes, breweries, and restaurants with outdoor seating, making it easy to enjoy local flavors with your canine friend by your side. The city’s rich cultural heritage, including the Detroit Institute of Arts and Motown Historical Museum, provides opportunities for pet owners to explore while their dogs relax at pet-friendly accommodations. Detroit’s welcoming attitude toward pets and its diverse array of attractions make it an exciting destination for travelers eager to explore with their beloved dogs in tow.
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)
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.
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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.
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 Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan, boasts a mix of cultural attractions, historic landmarks, and exciting events that draw tourists from near and far. Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions and events in the Motor City:
Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation: Explore a vast collection of artifacts, including historic automobiles, technological innovations, and Americana exhibits.
Motown Museum: Visit the legendary Hitsville U.S.A., where Motown Records produced some of the greatest hits in music history.
Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA): Discover a world-class art collection featuring works by renowned artists like Diego Rivera, Vincent van Gogh, and Rembrandt.
Eastern Market: Experience one of the largest and oldest public markets in the U.S., known for its fresh produce, art vendors, and food stalls.
Belle Isle Park: A beautiful island park in the Detroit River, offering lush gardens, an aquarium, and outdoor recreational activities.
Detroit RiverWalk: Stroll along the scenic riverfront, featuring parks, trails, and public art installations, or take a bike ride along the Dequindre Cut Greenway.
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant: Explore the birthplace of the Model T and learn about the early days of automotive manufacturing.
Fox Theatre: Catch a Broadway show, concert, or performance in this historic theater, known for its opulent design.
Detroit Jazz Festival: Held annually on Labor Day weekend, it’s one of the world’s largest free jazz festivals, featuring top jazz artists.
North American International Auto Show (NAIAS): A major automotive event showcasing the latest car models, concept cars, and technology innovations.
Movement Electronic Music Festival: An iconic electronic music festival featuring top DJs and artists over Memorial Day weekend.
Thanksgiving Day Parade: One of America’s oldest and most celebrated Thanksgiving Day parades, featuring floats, marching bands, and giant balloons.
These attractions and events highlight Detroit’s rich history, cultural diversity, and contributions to music and innovation, making it an engaging destination for tourists of all interests.
Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Detroit, Michigan
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.
Detroit, Michigan, offers a range of dog-friendly activities and places for you and your furry friend to enjoy together:
Belle Isle Park: Explore this beautiful island park with your leashed dog. It features scenic trails, a conservatory, an aquarium, and even a dog beach for a refreshing swim.
Rouge Park: Discover this expansive urban park with hiking trails and picnic areas. Dogs are welcome, but they must be on a leash.
Palmer Park: This historic park has walking trails and green spaces where you can take a leisurely stroll with your dog.
Ecorse Road Dog Park: A dedicated off-leash dog park where your pup can socialize and play with other dogs.
Dequindre Cut Greenway: Take your dog for a walk or bike ride along this converted rail line featuring urban art installations.
Metroparks: Visit nearby Huron-Clinton Metroparks, including Stony Creek Metropark and Kensington Metropark, where dogs on leashes are welcome on designated trails.
Pet-Friendly Dining: Some Detroit restaurants offer pet-friendly outdoor seating. Check out places like Atwater Brewery, Batch Brewing Company, and Parks & Rec Diner.
Detroit RiverWalk: Stroll along the scenic riverfront with your leashed dog and enjoy views of the Detroit River and the city skyline.
Michigan Humane Society Dog Park: Located in Westland, this dog park offers a large off-leash area for play and socialization.
Canine to Five: Visit this popular dog daycare and grooming facility in Detroit, which also offers doggy daycare and social events.
Always ensure your dog is well-behaved, on a leash where required, and that you clean up after them to be a responsible pet owner. Detroit’s dog-friendly options make it an excellent destination for pet owners looking to explore 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 in restaurants and cafes in Detroit?
Some restaurants in Detroit offer pet-friendly outdoor seating, but policies can vary. Always check with the establishment beforehand and ensure your dog is well-behaved.
2. Can I take my dog to popular tourist attractions like the Henry Ford Museum?
Most indoor tourist attractions, including museums, do not allow dogs. However, some outdoor attractions, like Belle Isle Park, are dog-friendly.
3. Are there any dog-friendly parks in Detroit?
Yes, Detroit offers several dog-friendly parks, including Rouge Park and Palmer Park, where you can walk your dog on a leash.
4. Can I bring my dog on public transportation in Detroit?
Dogs are typically allowed on Detroit’s public buses and People Mover, but they must be in a carrier or on a leash. Check the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) website for details.
5. Are there any off-leash dog parks in Detroit?
Yes, Detroit has some off-leash dog parks, including the Detroit Dog Park and Ecorse Road Dog Park, where your dog can socialize and play freely.
6. What are Detroit’s leash laws?
In most areas of Detroit, dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet when in public spaces. Always follow local leash laws to ensure safety.
7. Where can I find pet supplies and grooming services in Detroit?
Major pet store chains like PetSmart and Petco have locations in Detroit. For grooming services, you can try places like Canine to Five or Detroit Grooming Co.
8. Is there a 24-hour emergency veterinarian in Detroit?
Yes, Detroit has several 24-hour emergency vet clinics, including the Emergency Veterinary Hospital and the Animal Emergency Center.
9. Can I take my dog to events like the Detroit Jazz Festival or Eastern Market?
Dogs are generally welcome at outdoor events like the Detroit Jazz Festival and Eastern Market, but it’s essential to check specific event rules and guidelines.
10. What are some dog-friendly hiking trails near Detroit?
There are hiking options near Detroit, such as the trails at Stony Creek Metropark or Kensington Metropark, which allow dogs on a leash.
Traveling to Detroit, Michigan, 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 dining options 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: Detroit experiences varying weather conditions throughout the year. Be prepared for changing weather, whether it’s rain, snow, or hot summer days, and bring appropriate gear for your dog.
Respect Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Detroit’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 Detroit’s dog-friendly culture and explore the city together.
Stay Informed: Stay updated on any changes in pet policies and regulations in Detroit, especially if you plan to visit specific attractions or parks.
Detroit’s mix of history, culture, and outdoor activities makes it an exciting destination for pet owners. With proper preparation and respect for local rules, you and your furry friend can have a memorable and enjoyable experience in the Motor City.
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