Shiba inu dog enjoying a car ride with head and tongue hanging out of window

Traveling to Gatlinburg with Pets – 7 Things to Keep in Mind

Do you hate leaving your pet at home every time you go on a vacation? If so, pack your bags and head to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where pets are welcome!

With its stunning natural beauty and pet-friendly attractions, Gatlinburg will offer an unforgettable vacation experience for both you and your beloved pet.

However, traveling with your pet could be a bit tricky. You need to plan ahead to ensure you and your furry companion have an awesome time.

Shiba inu dog enjoying a car ride with head and tongue hanging out of window

Gatlinburg with Pets

To help you plan a stress-free trip, we have rounded up some top tips for a dog-friendly vacation in Gatlinburg. So let’s dive in without any further ado. 

  1. Choose Pet-Friendly Accommodation

Do not assume that every lodging allows pets. Do your research beforehand and check for any specific rules or restrictions for each accommodation. After all, you do not want to be caught off guard when you arrive.

While considering the accommodation type, keep your pet’s size and personality in mind. If your pup is a big ball of energy, a cozy hotel room might not be the best fit.

Instead, opt for a cabin with a yard for your furry friend to run and play in the sun. With a host of pet friendly cabins in Gatlinburg at your disposal, you will not have difficulty finding the right accommodation for your vacation.

Amenities are also an essential factor to consider. Does the accommodation offer pet-friendly perks like beds, bowls, or treats? Is there a nearby pet store where you can stock up on supplies?

And do not forget to check if there are any extra fees or deposits for bringing your pet along. 

  1. Visit Your Veterinarian

Before embarking on the trip, take your pet to the vet to ensure it is road-ready. Your veterinarian is the ultimate expert on your pet’s health and can help ensure it is up-to-date on vaccinations and flea/tick prevention. 

Some of the critical shots that your pet should have include Rabies, DHLPP, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia), FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, DA2PPV, and Bordetella (Kennel Cough).

Additionally, microchipping is also recommended for identification purposes. Moreover, your veterinarian may also suggest taking your pet to the groomer.

  1. Plan for Potty Breaks and Cleanup

Let’s talk about the not-so-glamorous side of pet travel: potty breaks and cleanup. It is something you must prepare beforehand. 

To be on the safe side, pack some poop bags for your furry friend. Trust us; you do not want to be caught without one when nature calls. And if you are out in the wilderness exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, follow Leave No Trace principles and pack out your pet’s waste. 

  1. Bring Your Pet’s Favorite Toys and Bedding

Bringing your pet’s favorite toys and bedding is important. It gives it a sense of familiarity and comfort in an unfamiliar environment and alleviates its stress or anxiety. 

Additionally, bringing your pet’s belongings will minimize the risk of it getting into something it should not. Dogs, in particular, are notorious for causing trouble when left unsupervised. Having its toys and bedding can keep it occupied and prevent it from chewing on shoes or other household items. 

  1. Keep Your Pet Comfortable on the Way

It is essential to keep your dog comfy during the commute. While some pups may love car rides, others may need help getting used to them. If your pup falls into the latter category, do not worry. With a little training and preparation, your dog can become a happy traveler. 

Start by taking your pet on short excursions around town. It will help it get used to being in a moving vehicle. As it becomes more comfortable, gradually increase the length of the trips until it is ready for a long journey. 

Investing in a crate could be a great decision if you want your dog to feel safe and secure during the trip. It serves two purposes; it keeps your pet from wandering around the car and provides a cozy place to sleep. Pick a crate that is just the right size and shape for your dog. 

  1. Decide on Activities

Instead of leaving your pup alone in the cabin while you go gallivanting around all the hot tourist spots, why not find some exciting activities you can enjoy together? Gatlinburg is teeming with opportunities for fun excursions that are suitable for both you and your pet. 

You may take a hike along the breathtaking Gatlinburg Trail. It is one of the few trails in the national park that welcomes four-legged friends. With stunning views of the Little Pigeon River and a long stretch that leads straight to Gatlinburg’s outskirts, you and your pup will have a blast exploring the great outdoors together. 

If you are heading to Dollywood for a day of thrills and spills, there is no need to worry about leaving your furry pal behind. Drop your pooch off at Doggywood. Here, your pet will be treated like royalty and given comfy kennels and cottages to relax in while you hit the rides.  

  1. Pack Plenty of Food

Some pets are easy-going eaters and will happily chow down on whatever food is available. However, some pups and cats are picky eaters or have specific dietary needs that require a special brand or formula of food. If your pet goes with the latter description, make it a point to pack plenty of food. 

You never know if the store at your destination will carry your pet’s preferred food, so it is better to be safe than sorry. Plus, bringing extra food means you will not have to worry about rationing meals or running out of food, which might put a damper on your trip. 


We all know the struggle of wanting to bring our furry friends along for the fun of a vacation but not knowing if the city or town will accommodate them. Well, fear not because Gatlinburg is a pet-loving town that welcomes all its four-legged guests. So pack your bags, grab your furry friends, and get ready for a paw-some time in Gatlinburg!