Boston, Massachusetts, is a charming and dog-friendly city that welcomes travelers with furry companions. With its historic neighborhoods, picturesque parks, and coastal beauty, Boston offers a range of activities for both humans and their four-legged friends. Leashed dogs can explore iconic spots like the Freedom Trail and Boston Common, making it a delightful destination for history-loving pet owners.

The city also boasts numerous dog-friendly restaurants, cafes, and outdoor seating options where you can dine with your pup. Additionally, Boston provides a variety of pet-friendly accommodations, ensuring a comfortable stay for visitors exploring Beantown alongside their beloved dogs.

Boston Dog Friendly

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.

Dog going for road trip

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. 

Dog sleeping at hotel

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

Buckling dog into car

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.

Dog in airplane carrier

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 Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts, is a city steeped in history and culture, offering a wealth of popular tourist attractions and events. Here are some of the top picks:

Freedom Trail: Follow the red brick trail through the city to explore 16 historical sites, including the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s House, and the Old North Church.

Fenway Park: Home to the Boston Red Sox, this iconic baseball stadium offers tours and the chance to catch a game during the baseball season.

Boston Common and Public Garden: These historic parks provide a tranquil escape in the heart of the city, with beautiful green spaces and the famous Swan Boats in the Public Garden.

Harvard University: Explore the prestigious Harvard campus in nearby Cambridge, home to historic architecture, world-class museums, and the renowned Harvard Yard.

New England Aquarium: Discover marine life from around the world, including penguins, sea turtles, and a giant ocean tank.

Museum of Fine Arts: View an extensive collection of art from various cultures and time periods, featuring works by renowned artists like Monet, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Visit this unique museum housed in a Venetian-style palace, showcasing a remarkable collection of art, sculptures, and gardens.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum: Relive the events leading up to the American Revolution through interactive exhibits and a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party.

Boston Harbor Islands: Take a ferry to the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, where you can hike, swim, and explore historic forts.

Boston Marathon: If you visit in April, don’t miss the famous Boston Marathon, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathons.

Fourth of July Celebrations: Experience the iconic Independence Day celebrations in Boston, including the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular along the Charles River.

Boston Calling Music Festival: Enjoy live music from top artists at this annual music festival held in the city.

These attractions and events capture the rich history, culture, and vibrancy of Boston, making it a captivating destination for tourists from around the world.

Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Boston, Massachusetts

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.

Boston, Massachusetts, is a dog-friendly city with plenty of activities to enjoy with your furry companion. Here are some dog-friendly options for exploring the historic and charming city:

  1. Freedom Trail: Leashed dogs are welcome to join you on a stroll along Boston’s iconic Freedom Trail, visiting historic sites like the Massachusetts State House and Paul Revere’s House.
  2. Boston Common: Boston’s oldest public park is perfect for a leisurely walk with your dog. It features open green spaces and walking paths.
  3. Public Garden: Adjacent to Boston Common, the Public Garden is known for its picturesque swan boats and beautiful floral displays, making it a scenic spot for a dog-friendly walk.
  4. Castle Island: Located in South Boston, Castle Island is a popular destination for dog owners. It offers waterfront trails and scenic views of Boston Harbor.
  5. Arnold Arboretum: Part of Harvard University, this beautiful arboretum allows leashed dogs to explore its extensive collection of plants, trees, and trails.
  6. Dog-Friendly Beaches: Head to nearby beaches like Carson Beach and Nahant Dog Beach for some off-leash fun by the water.
  7. Brewery Tours: Several breweries in Boston, such as Harpoon Brewery, welcome dogs in their outdoor seating areas. Enjoy a craft beer with your pup.
  8. Dine Out: Many restaurants and cafes in Boston offer pet-friendly outdoor seating areas. Try spots like Trident Booksellers & Cafe or Stephanie’s on Newbury.
  9. Dog Parks: Boston has several off-leash dog parks, including Peter’s Park in the South End and DeFilippo Playground in the North End.
  10. Harbor Cruises: Some harbor cruises, like the Boston Harbor Islands Ferry, allow leashed dogs, providing a unique perspective of the city from the water.

Before heading out to any of these locations, make sure to check specific rules and regulations for dogs, including leash requirements and any fees. Boston’s dog-friendly culture ensures that you and your furry friend can have a fantastic time exploring 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!

Dog Friendly Boston

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are dogs allowed on public transportation in Boston?

Yes, dogs are generally allowed on the MBTA (public transportation), but they must be on a leash and well-behaved. Check specific rules for buses, trains, and ferries.

2. Where can I find dog-friendly accommodations in Boston?

Many hotels, motels, and vacation rentals in Boston are pet-friendly. Popular options include The Liberty Hotel, Kimpton Hotels, and Airbnb listings that allow pets.

3. Are there off-leash dog parks in Boston?

Boston offers several off-leash dog parks, including Peter’s Park in the South End and Zero New Washington Street Dog Park.

4. What are Boston’s leash laws?

Dogs in Boston must be on a leash no longer than 10 feet unless in designated off-leash areas. Always follow local leash laws to ensure safety.

5. Can I bring my dog to historic sites like the Freedom Trail?

Dogs are allowed on the Freedom Trail but must be on a leash. Inside historic buildings and museums, dogs are typically not allowed.

6. Are there dog-friendly restaurants in Boston?

Many restaurants in Boston have pet-friendly outdoor seating areas. Some popular options include The Capital Grille and Stephanie’s on Newbury.

7. Where can I find pet supplies and grooming services in Boston?

Pet stores like PetSmart and Petco offer supplies. For grooming services, you can try places like The Urban Hound or Polka Dog Bakery.

8. Can I take my dog on a harbor cruise in Boston?

Some harbor cruises, like the Boston Harbor Islands Ferry, allow leashed dogs. Be sure to check with the tour company beforehand.

9. Are there any dog-friendly events or festivals in Boston?

Boston hosts various pet-friendly events throughout the year, such as Dogtoberfest and the Canine Promenade. Check local event listings for up-to-date information.

10. Is there a 24-hour emergency veterinarian in Boston?

Yes, Boston has several 24-hour emergency vet clinics, including the Angell Animal Medical Center and the MSPCA-Angell West.

Final Thoughts

Traveling to Boston, Massachusetts, with your dog can be a delightful experience, but it requires thoughtful planning and consideration. Here are some final thoughts and tips to ensure a successful trip:

  1. Plan Ahead: Research dog-friendly accommodations, activities, and restaurants in advance. Make reservations when necessary, and check for any pet policies or fees.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Weather Preparedness: Boston’s weather can vary, so be prepared for changing conditions. Bring appropriate gear for your dog, such as a raincoat or boots for wet weather and sunscreen for sunny days.
  5. Respect Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with Boston’s leash laws, pet ordinances, and specific rules for parks and trails. Be a responsible pet owner and follow all guidelines.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Enjoy the Adventure: Traveling with a dog can add an extra layer of joy and companionship to your trip. Take advantage of Boston’s dog-friendly culture and explore the city together.
  9. Stay Informed: Stay updated on any changes in pet policies and regulations in Boston, especially if you plan to visit specific attractions or parks.

Boston offers a mix of history, culture, and outdoor experiences, and with proper preparation, you and your furry friend can enjoy a memorable and enjoyable adventure together in the historic city.

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