Sometimes when planning a vacation the toughest decisions aren’t about what to pack….but what to leave behind. Namely – your dog.
Typically you have only a couple of choices: beg a friend to watch him for a week or spend more on a pet boarding service than you’re spending to “board” your family during the trip.
But if you can find room in the mini-van, Rover is more than welcome in Central Oregon. Considering how much we love our pups (nearly half the people in the region own dogs and Dog Fancy Magazine has named Bend “Dog Town USA”) it’s no wonder many of the region’s hotels and businesses are so dog-friendly.
From simple gestures like water bowls placed on the sidewalks outside local businesses to one hotel marquis after another reading “Pets Welcome,” Central Oregon gets that your family’s adventure includes your pup.
Dog-Friendly Lodging and Welcome Treats
If you’re planning to visit Sunriver, your first choice should be uber dog-friendly Bennington Properties. They offer everyone (even those not staying at a Bennington property) access to their complimentary Self-Service Dog Wash and Off-Leash Recreation Area. They provide the towels, shampoo, warm water, brushes, fully fenced recreation area and tub. You provide the dog! (Dirty dog, that is.) Here’s a list of their dog-friendly homes.
According to BringFido.com, a website devoted to finding the highest-rated pet-friendly places to stay, Riverhouse on the Deschutes in Bend earned a coveted “Fido’s Favorite” award a couple of years ago. That means it scored at least “4-bones” in a 1 to 5 bone scale, which fewer than 5 percent of all pet-friendly accommodations earn. With Sawyer Park and entrance to the Deschutes River Trail just a block away, this location is great for active dogs. The pet fee at Riverhouse on the Deschutes is $25 per day per animal.
Stay at The Oxford Hotel, where your best furry friend is always welcome. For $55 plus tax, per visit, per pet, you can purchase the Pet Package that includes a personal pet bed proportional to the size of your pet, two travel dog bowls for your use—one is a gift to keep (score!)—Joshua Tree Pet Salve sample, organic dog treats, a map of dog walking trails and parks, and loaner leashes and collars. For additional fees you can take advantage of dog walking services, grooming services and pet massages. A real treat and spa-like experience for any pup.
For $15 per pet per night, you can share a room with your doggie at the much-loved McMenamins Old St. Francis School. McMenamins also has outdoor courtyard areas that welcome dogs. Go from your room straight to dinner together!
More pet-friendly lodging options in Sunriver can be found through Village Properties, which offers a wide variety of rentals including cabins, condos and houses.
Following the very latest in pet-friendly trends, Sunriver Resort will even welcome your furry friends to take part in your wedding!
Forget something? No problem.
Bend Pet Express is your one-stop shop for anything and everything for your pets. This locally-owned pet store has been a fixture here for 25 years. The two locations – East and West side – are bound to be close to where you’re staying or exploring. They’ll even deliver food right to your hotel or vacation home.
Enjoy Outdoor Dining and Brews With Your Pup
Do you enjoy a great pint of microbrew outside on a warm summer evening? In Bend, there are many pubs that welcome dogs with their owners (leashed, of course) to join in on the fun!
On most days, you’ll find a happy dog, or two, or three, or more hanging out on the patio at 10 Barrel Brewing Company. It’s a great place to spot a beautiful Malamute! The large open area around the fire pit is a friendly spot for social pups ready to join in on the great conversation and atmosphere—free petting by new friends guaranteed! Dogs are welcome on the lawn outside Crux Fermentation Project and Bend Brewing Co. as well.
McKay Cottage is one of our favorite places to brunch and lunch in town. Their beautiful, grassy outdoor patio is full of sunshine and gorgeous flowers in the spring and summer—a perfect place to park your pooch while you enjoy mimosas, gourmet omelets, and homemade scones and jam. Just remember to bring a leash.
Central Oregon is full of trails, rivers and lakes—an outdoor dog’s dream. Go for a hike, take a canoe trip on one of the Cascade Lakes, fetch a ball from the Deschutes River, the opportunities are endless! With access to so many beautiful areas, you’re guaranteed to have a tired-out pup by the end of the day.
If you’re here on the Fourth of July, you must attend the annual Pet Parade, Bend’s most historical and dare we say unique event. Children of all ages bring their special pet—dogs, cats, rabbits, lizards, and even stuffed animals—to parade through downtown. It’s a hoot and a very special way to recognize our animal friends.
Before your visit, get up-to-speed on the leash laws in the area. Do you like to run your pup off-leash? The Deschutes National Forest, 95 percent of the 1,200 miles of trails in the summer is off leash so you’ll find plenty of Central Oregon hikes for the whole family.