dogs in the appalachian mountains

Have you ever wanted to take a vacation, but felt guilty leaving your furry family behind? Well, pack the chew toys and the leashes because the best part of vacationing in the Smoky Mountains is you don’t have to leave your pets at home! There are so many great pet-friendly hotels and activities that will keep all of your family members busy and happy.

Pet-Friendly Lodging

pet-friendly cabins gatlinburg
Aunt Bug’s Pet-Friendly Cabins

To start the perfect pet-friendly Smoky Mountain vacation, you should begin by getting your lodging squared away. Aunt Bug’s pet-friendly cabin rentals have everything you need to pamper you and your pooch. Aunt Bug knows your pet is part of your family, and they make sure that everyone in the family has the most comfortable, care-free stay in the Smokies. Its pristine, pet-friendly cabins are equipped with full kitchens and wrap-around decks perfect for squirrel watching and soaking up the mountain views. Your pet will feel right at home with you, snuggled up in your little log paradise.

If you’re looking to go a little less rustic, the Sidney James Mountain Lodge is the perfect, pet-friendly hotel in Gatlinburg to suit your needs. Pet-friendly rooms are located in the courtside lodging building and are top-notch options for you and Fido. Rooms are equipped with private balconies, an outdoor pool, and a convenient pool-side cafe. There’s also a beautiful picnic area right beside the hotel for getting out and enjoying the outdoors with your favorite pets.

home2suites by hilton pet-friendly hotel
Home2 Suites by Hilton

How about a modern getaway, where pets are also treated like royalty? Work, relax, or play fetch at Home2 Suites by Hilton. Home2 Suites offers modern amenities and cat and dog-friendly rooms. That’s right, kitties are feeling the love from Hilton, too. Me-wow! We certainly wouldn’t want to deny any friendly felines the opportunity of seeing the Great Smoky Mountains!

There are plenty of pet-friendly accommodations available in the Smokies. For more of our favorites, visit our pet-friendly information page for more great options.

Pet-Friendly Entertainment

pet friendly doggywood
Doggywood at Dollywood

Now that your home base has been established, it’s time for the furry entertainment to commence! Enhance your pet-friendly Smoky Mountain vacation by booking a trip to Doggywood. Doggywood is an entire area dedicated to your fluffy family at the famous theme park, Dollywood. Relax and enjoy Dollywood with your family while your pet is safe and cared for at the Doggywood kennel and pet cottages. Doggywood is one of the most pet-friendly areas in Pigeon Forge. Thus, space at Doggywood is limited, so make sure you make reservations for your pet ahead of time. Please make sure to bring your vaccination records and an adequate food supply for your pup.

Float with Your Dog at Smoky Mountain River Rat

Does your dog love the water? The mountains are brimming with rivers, waterfalls and lakes, all ready for you to explore. An awesome way to experience the water with your canine friend is to book a float with Smoky Mountain River Rat. Dogs are welcome to float on their own tube with you from Outpost A. The best part? Fido floats for free! The tube is free, but tethers are highly recommended and available to rent for a low price.

pigeon forge pet-friendly activities - dog park
Sevierville’s PetSafe Unleashed Dog Park

There’s no letting your dog roam free on the river, but you can definitely let them roam free at Sevierville’s PetSafe Unleashed Dog Park. Your dog will have a blast socializing with other pets, soaking up the sun, or practicing his moves on the agility equipment. Big dogs hang with big dogs to keep the company friendly, while smaller dogs have their very own space to run and play.

Pet-Friendly Trails

cades cove pet-friendly
Horses in Cades Cove

What better way to get your daily dose of exercise than a brisk hike in the Smokies with your best friend? There are two dog-friendly walking paths, the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. Dogs are welcome on these trails, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Imagine reaching picturesque views and taking beautiful photos of you and your pet among the rolling mountains.

Another great area to take your pooch is Cades Cove. Pets are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and along roads (leashed of course). Enjoy the Cades Cove 11-mile loop, where you and your pet can cruise around with the wind in your fur. Although the historic sites around Cades Cove are not pet-friendly, you and your buddy can zoom around the mountains to your heart’s content. You may catch a glimpse of the local wildlife on your adventure, we hope your pet is good at making new friends!

Pet-Friendly Restaurants

You may be getting a little hungry for some well-deserved treats after all of your adventures, and dogs have to eat, too! There’s no better place to grab a quick snack than Mad Dog’s Creamery in Gatlinburg. Satisfy both you and your pet’s sweet tooth with 24 paw-some flavors of ice cream, confections, funnel cakes, and more. They even have special gourmet doggie treats for your special pet. The grounds have picnic tables and water bowls for your convenience. It’s truly the best place to hang out and enjoy some quality time with the whole family.

Pet-Friendly Shopping

pet-friendly gatlinburg shopping
The Village Shops in Gatlinburg

If you’d like to show your pup around town, a wonderful place to pick up a souvenir from your trip is the Village Shops in downtown Gatlinburg. Don’t forget to take your pet into the Simply Animals store to pick out a new toy he or she can enjoy on your way home. If you and your pet are looking for a bargain, check out one of the most visited flea markets in the East Tennessee, Great Smokies Flea Market. You and your pet can browse over 1,000 indoor and outdoor vendors. There are a couple of rules for your pets while visiting the flea market: All dogs must be on a leash outside and inside the building. No free roaming pups, please.


We hope you and your fur-family have an amazing trip to the Great Smoky Mountains! Tag us in your photos @mobilebrochure. We would love to see your furbaby selfies in the Smokies.

Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller is a native Tennessean who currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina. She loves spending time in the great outdoors, such as camping, hiking, and mountain biking. She also enjoys exploring all that the Smoky Mountains have to offer.

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