Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a vibrant and pet-friendly destination for travelers with canine companions. The city’s sprawling parks, such as the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Lake Hefner Dog Park, provide ample space for your dog to run and play. Many pet-friendly hotels, including the Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown-Bricktown and Hyatt Place OKC-Bricktown, welcome furry guests, ensuring a comfortable stay for both you and your pet.
Exploring the city with your dog is a breeze, as numerous restaurants and cafes offer dog-friendly patios where you can enjoy a meal together. Oklahoma City’s warm hospitality extends to its pet-loving community, making it an ideal destination for travelers who want to share their adventures with their beloved four-legged companions. Whether you’re wandering through historic districts or enjoying the city’s modern attractions, Oklahoma City is a welcoming place for all, including your canine friend.
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 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, boasts a mix of cultural attractions, historic landmarks, and exciting events that draw tourists from around the country. Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions and events in the city:
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum: Pay homage to the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing at this poignant memorial, which includes the Reflecting Pool, Field of Empty Chairs, and the museum.
Bricktown: This lively entertainment district features restaurants, bars, shops, and the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home to the Oklahoma City Dodgers minor league baseball team.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art: Explore a diverse collection of art, including European, American, and contemporary works, as well as the stunning Chihuly glass collection.
Myriad Botanical Gardens: Relax in this urban oasis featuring beautiful gardens, a Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, and regular outdoor events and concerts.
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum: Discover the rich history and culture of the American West through exhibits, artwork, and artifacts.
OKC Riversport Adventures: Get active with kayaking, zip-lining, and other outdoor adventures along the Oklahoma River.
Stockyards City: Experience the spirit of the Old West with Western shops, cowboy cuisine, and the Oklahoma National Stockyards, where cattle auctions still take place.
Wheeler District: A trendy area featuring the Wheeler Ferris Wheel, parks, and pop-up shops, along with scenic river views.
Oklahoma State Fair: Join the festivities at this annual fair, featuring carnival rides, live entertainment, agricultural exhibits, and delicious fair food.
Red Earth Festival: Celebrate Native American culture with art, dance, and music during this annual event showcasing the diversity of Indigenous traditions.
DeadCenter Film Festival: A major film festival featuring independent films, documentaries, and emerging filmmakers from around the world.
Scissortail Park: Oklahoma City’s newest park offers green spaces, a lake, an outdoor stage, and regular events, providing a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
These attractions and events capture the essence of Oklahoma City’s history, culture, and outdoor activities, making it an engaging destination for tourists of all interests.
Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, offers a variety of dog-friendly activities and places for you and your furry friend to enjoy together:
Martin Park Nature Center: Explore the trails and wildlife at this serene park, where leashed dogs are welcome. The nature center also hosts events and educational programs.
Paw Park: Located in Yukon, a suburb of Oklahoma City, this off-leash dog park provides separate areas for small and large dogs to play and socialize.
Lake Hefner: Take a leisurely walk with your dog along the scenic shores of Lake Hefner. Some areas have designated paths for pets.
Wheeler Park: Visit this urban park in the Wheeler District, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll with your leashed dog and admire the iconic Wheeler Ferris Wheel.
Route 66 Park: This park along the historic Route 66 features walking trails, picnic areas, and beautiful lake views where your dog can join you on a leash.
Edgemere Park: A charming neighborhood park with green spaces and walking paths, perfect for a casual walk with your dog.
Bark Park at Earlywine Park: Earlywine Park offers an off-leash dog park with separate areas for small and large dogs, agility equipment, and shaded seating.
Pet-Friendly Dining: Many restaurants in Oklahoma City offer pet-friendly outdoor seating. Check out places like Fassler Hall or The Red Cup.
Oklahoma River: Enjoy a riverside stroll along the Oklahoma River’s scenic trails with your leashed dog.
Dog-Friendly Events: Keep an eye out for dog-friendly events and festivals in the city, such as the Doggy Dip ‘n Dash or Barktoberfest.
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. Oklahoma City’s dog-friendly options make it a fantastic 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 Oklahoma City?
Some restaurants in Oklahoma City 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 bring my dog to popular tourist attractions like the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum?
Most indoor tourist attractions, including museums, do not allow dogs. However, some outdoor attractions and parks, like Martin Park Nature Center, are dog-friendly.
3. Are there any off-leash dog parks in Oklahoma City?
Yes, Oklahoma City has several off-leash dog parks, including Paw Park and the Bark Park at Earlywine Park, where your dog can socialize and play freely.
4. What are Oklahoma City’s leash laws?
In most areas of Oklahoma City, dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet when in public spaces. Always follow local leash laws to ensure safety.
5. Can I take my dog on public transportation in Oklahoma City?
Dogs are generally allowed on Oklahoma City’s public buses, but they must be in a carrier or on a leash. Check with EMBARK for specific rules and regulations.
6. Are dogs allowed in hotels and accommodations in Oklahoma City?
Many hotels and accommodations in Oklahoma City are pet-friendly. Be sure to call ahead and confirm their pet policies, as well as any additional fees.
7. Where can I find pet supplies and grooming services in Oklahoma City?
Major pet store chains like PetSmart and Petco have locations in Oklahoma City. For grooming services, you can try places like PetSmart Grooming or Dogtopia.
8. Is there a 24-hour emergency veterinarian in Oklahoma City?
Yes, Oklahoma City has several 24-hour emergency vet clinics, including the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Hospital and BluePearl Pet Hospital.
9. Can I bring my dog to outdoor events and festivals in Oklahoma City?
Some outdoor events, like Bark in the Park, are specifically pet-friendly. However, it’s essential to check event guidelines for each occasion.
10. What are some scenic walking trails in Oklahoma City where I can take my dog?
You can enjoy walks with your dog at places like Lake Hefner, Wheeler Park, and Route 66 Park, where dogs are welcome on leashes.
Traveling to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 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: Oklahoma City’s weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for varying conditions. Bring appropriate gear for your dog, such as a raincoat, boots for extreme heat or cold, and plenty of water.
Respect Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Oklahoma City’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 Oklahoma City’s dog-friendly culture and explore the city together.
Stay Informed: Stay updated on any changes in pet policies and regulations in Oklahoma City, especially if you plan to visit specific attractions or parks.
Oklahoma City’s blend 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 Sooner State’s capital.
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