Are you bringing your BFF (best fur friend) with you on your Gatlinburg vacation? Of course you are! Because you’ll find everything from cottages to churches that are pet-friendly in Gatlinburg.
There are loads of hotels, motels, rentals and campgrounds that will accommodate you and your pet. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the wide range of pet-friendly lodging in and around Gatlinburg. You can search for the perfect pet-friendly place here.
Fido’s probably just as excited as you are to be here, and he’ll want to accompany you when you explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Your pooch is welcome at developed areas such as campgrounds, picnic sites and paved roads, as long as he’s on a leash of 6 feet or less at all times. There are two dog-friendly trails in the park: the Gatlinburg Trail, which starts at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, and the Oconaluftee River Trail. The Gatlinburg Trail spans almost 2 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the outskirts of Gatlinburg. You’ll be walking along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River, and you’ll see the remains of several old homesteads along the way. Be prepared to meet hikers, joggers and bicyclists on this popular trail. A bit less traveled, the Oconaluftee trail starts at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and runs a mile and a half to the outskirts of Cherokee. N.C. You’ll hike through forest and see gorgeous views of the Oconaluftee River.
Both you and your doggie will enjoy shopping at Gatlinburg’s pet-friendly shops. Head for Paws N Claws Pet Fashion, where you can peruse apparel, collectibles and any supplies you might need for your fur baby. Feel free to bring Fido along when you visit the Village Shops, where you can stroll the lovely outside area with your leashed pet. Dogs are welcome inside Simply Animals, a shop that offers treats, leads, accessories and toys. Reward your special pet with a handmade treat from Bonediggity Barkery & Gifts in the Reagan Terrace Mall, which specializes in snacks, clothing, leashes and collars and grooming supplies.
Many of Gatlinburg’s restaurants that have outdoor seating allow you to dine with your well-behaved doggie. Two options are Howard’s Restaurant, which permits pets on the outdoor patio, and Fannie Farkle’s, where you can order outside until late in the evening.
You wouldn’t want your doggie to miss one of the biggest thrills in town, would you? The Gatlinburg Sky Lift allows your dog to ride with you to the top of Crockett Mountain.
If you want to spend some of your time on pooch-free adventures, you can take your pup to one of Gatlinburg’s doggie daycare places. Barks and Recreation will make sure your dog enjoys play, exercise and loving attention. Besides boarding, Just fer Paws has a dog park you can rent by the half hour so your pooch can get a good workout. Call in advance for an appointment at either place. Be aware that you will need to present documentation from a licensed vet that your dog is current on vaccinations. Check with the facility for specific requirements.
We know you know this already, but please make sure you and your dog observe proper petiquette. This means keeping your pooch on a leash at all times and cleaning up after your dog. That’s especially important in the park, since pet waste can transmit disease. And don’t forget that bears are very active in the park this time of year, so be on the lookout. You’re more likely to encounter a bear in the early morning and late evening, but you can run across one at any time. Whether you’re hiking alone or with your pooch, never approach a bear, and ask the rangers at the park’s visitor centers for instructions on what to do if you meet one.
For more pet-friendly tips from a pup’s perspective, read our Gatlinburg Pet Friendly Guide!