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Traveling With Your Dog to Los Angeles, California: Pet-Friendly Flights, Hotels, Activities and More

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on November 29, 2023

Reviewed by: Dr. Theresa Fossum

Reviewed by:

Dr. Theresa Fossum

Meet Dr. Theresa (Terry) W. Fossum, DVM, MS. Ph.D., Diplomate ACVS – a remarkable animal lover whose passion for animal care and innovative solutions has left an indelible mark on the veterinary world. As the CEO of both Phoenix Animal Wellness and Epic Veterinary Specialists, she's ensuring dogs and cats receive the highest level of care and compassion.Read more

Los Angeles, California, is a vibrant city known for its sunny weather, diverse culture, and iconic Hollywood landmarks. It’s a haven for dog lovers, featuring numerous dog-friendly beaches, parks, and hiking trails. The city’s laid-back atmosphere extends to its pet-friendly cafes and restaurants, making it perfect for exploring with your furry friend.

For those traveling with dogs, Los Angeles offers a range of accommodations catering to pet owners. The city is known for its outdoor lifestyle, and many areas, such as the famous Griffith Park, provide ample space for dogs to play and explore. Additionally, LA’s various dog-friendly events and festivals throughout the year add to its appeal for dog owners.

Los Angeles 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:

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 Los Angeles, California

Southern California is a region known for its beautiful landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage. Here are 10 notable tourist attractions in the area, each offering a unique experience:

  1. Disneyland Resort, Anaheim: The iconic theme park is famous for its magical atmosphere, thrilling rides, and beloved Disney characters. It’s a family-friendly destination that offers a mix of classic attractions and new adventures.
  2. Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles: This famous sidewalk celebrates the stars of the entertainment industry, with over 2,600 brass stars embedded in the pavement. It’s a must-visit for movie buffs and pop culture enthusiasts.
  3. Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica: A classic beachfront pier offering amusement park rides, including a solar-powered Ferris wheel, arcade games, and eateries. The pier also provides stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
  4. San Diego Zoo, San Diego: Renowned for its conservation efforts and diverse species, this zoo is home to over 3,500 animals across 650 species. It’s an educational and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.
  5. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles: Located in Griffith Park, the observatory offers breathtaking views of the Los Angeles basin and the Hollywood Sign. It’s a gateway to observing the cosmos, with exhibits and a planetarium.
  6. The Getty Center, Los Angeles: This art museum is known for its impressive architecture, beautiful gardens, and impressive art collections, including European paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
  7. Joshua Tree National Park: Famous for its otherworldly landscapes, this park is a haven for hikers, rock climbers, and nature lovers. The park gets its name from the distinctive Joshua Trees found throughout the area.
  8. Balboa Park, San Diego: This cultural park is home to museums, gardens, and the San Diego Zoo. It’s a place where history, art, and nature converge, offering a diverse range of attractions.
  9. Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles: A combination of a film studio and theme park, it offers behind-the-scenes tours of movie sets and thrilling rides based on popular movies and TV shows.
  10. The USS Midway Museum, San Diego: An aircraft carrier turned museum, it offers a glimpse into naval history with self-guided tours, aircraft exhibits, and flight simulators.

Each of these attractions provides a unique insight into the culture, history, and natural beauty of Southern California.

Picking Activities Your Dog Can Join in Los Angeles, California

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.

Los Angeles is a great city for dog owners, offering a variety of dog-friendly activities that cater to both you and your furry friend. Here are some popular options:

  1. Dog-Friendly Beaches: Visit Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach, the only off-leash dog beach in LA County. Your dog can enjoy playing in the surf and sand.
  2. Hiking Trails: Many trails in LA are dog-friendly. Griffith Park offers numerous trails where dogs are welcome on-leash. Runyon Canyon is another popular spot, offering both on-leash and off-leash areas with stunning city views.
  3. Dog Parks: LA has several dog parks, like Silver Lake Dog Park and Laurel Canyon Dog Park, where dogs can run off-leash in a safe, enclosed environment.
  4. Outdoor Dining: Many restaurants and cafes in LA are dog-friendly, offering outdoor seating where dogs are welcome. Places like The Waffle in Hollywood and The Morrison in Atwater Village are known for their dog-friendly patios.
  5. Shopping with Your Dog: The Grove and Americana at Brand are outdoor shopping centers that welcome dogs. Stroll around these trendy spots with your pet and enjoy the shops and atmosphere.
  6. Dog-Friendly Events: LA often hosts dog-related events, including meet-ups, dog-centric festivals, and charity events supporting animal welfare organizations.
  7. Canine Cruises: Companies like Hornblower Cruises & Events sometimes offer dog-friendly harbor cruises, where you can enjoy the sea breeze with your four-legged companion.
  8. Visit Dog-Friendly Wineries: Some wineries near LA, such as Malibu Wines, welcome dogs, allowing you to enjoy wine tasting with your pet by your side.
  9. Stay at a Pet-Friendly Hotel: Many hotels in Los Angeles cater to pet owners, offering special amenities for dogs, such as dog beds, bowls, and welcome treats.
  10. Explore Dog-Friendly Neighborhoods: Walk through dog-friendly neighborhoods like Venice Beach, where you can stroll along the boardwalk, visit the Venice Canals, and enjoy the relaxed, pet-friendly atmosphere.

These activities ensure that you and your dog can enjoy the best of Los Angeles together, making the most of its sunny weather and outdoor lifestyle. 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!

PLEASE NOTE: We make every effort to provide accurate information, but locations change their policies regarding dogs from time to time. Always check location websites or reach out to them directly to ensure that dogs are still allowed.

dog-friendly California

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any dog-friendly beaches in Los Angeles?

Yes, Los Angeles has dog-friendly beaches, including Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach, where dogs can play off-leash.

2. Can I bring my dog to restaurants and cafes in LA?

Many restaurants and cafes in LA offer dog-friendly outdoor seating. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to confirm their pet policy.

3. Are there any dog-friendly hiking trails in Los Angeles?

Absolutely! Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon are popular spots for dog-friendly hiking trails. Dogs should be kept on a leash unless in designated off-leash areas.

4. Is public transportation in Los Angeles dog-friendly?

Small dogs that can fit in a carrier are allowed on public transportation like buses and subways. Larger dogs are typically not permitted unless they are service animals.

5. What are some dog-friendly activities in Los Angeles?

LA offers dog parks, beach outings, hiking, pet-friendly shopping areas like The Grove, and occasional dog-centric events and festivals.

6. Can I take my dog to the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

Yes, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is an outdoor attraction and dogs are welcome, but they should be kept on a leash.

7. Are there any dog-friendly hotels in Los Angeles?

Many hotels in LA are dog-friendly, offering amenities like dog beds and treats. It’s advisable to check the hotel’s pet policy and any additional fees in advance.

8. Where can I find pet supplies in Los Angeles?

LA has numerous pet stores, including chains like Petco and PetSmart, as well as boutique pet shops offering a range of supplies.

9. Are there dog-friendly parks in Los Angeles?

Yes, there are several, including the Silver Lake Dog Park and Laurel Canyon Dog Park, where dogs can play off-leash in a safe environment.

10. Do I need to keep my dog on a leash in public spaces in LA?

Generally, dogs must be on a leash in public spaces unless in a designated off-leash area like certain dog parks or beaches.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with a dog to Los Angeles, California, can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both you and your pet. Here are some final thoughts to consider:

  1. Research and Planning: Before your trip, research dog-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and attractions. Knowing the pet policies of places you plan to visit will make your trip smoother.
  2. Weather Considerations: Los Angeles is known for its sunny and warm weather. Always ensure your dog stays hydrated, and avoid outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day to prevent overheating.
  3. Local Dog Etiquette: Be mindful of local regulations and etiquette, such as leash laws and picking up after your dog. Keeping your dog on a leash in public places, unless in designated off-leash areas, is generally required.
  4. Health and Safety: Ensure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date, and consider bringing along your dog’s medical records. Also, have a plan for any potential health emergencies, including knowing the location of nearby veterinary clinics.
  5. Pack Essentials: Bring essential items like food, water, bowls, a leash, a dog bed, waste bags, and any medications your dog needs. Familiar items from home can help your dog feel more comfortable in a new environment.
  6. Socialization and Exercise: Utilize dog parks and beaches for your dog to socialize and exercise. It’s a great way for your dog to expend energy and enjoy the trip.
  7. Be Flexible: Traveling with a dog might require a slower pace and more breaks. Be prepared to adjust your plans based on your dog’s needs and comfort.
  8. Respect Non-Pet Owners: Be considerate of others by keeping your dog under control and minimizing disruptions in public spaces.
  9. Enjoy the Experience: Los Angeles offers a unique opportunity to create memorable experiences with your dog. From beach outings to hiking trails, there’s much to explore and enjoy together.
  10. Safety in the City: Keep your dog safe in the city environment. Watch out for traffic, avoid overly crowded areas if your dog is anxious, and be cautious of any potentially harmful objects or substances on the streets.

By considering these points, you and your furry friend can have a fantastic time exploring all that Los Angeles has to offer, making memories that will last a lifetime.

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