Traveling To Miami With Your Pet

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By: Shayne Benowitz

If you’re traveling to Miami with your pet, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of amenities and activities to make your experience a cinch. Start by ensuring that your hotel is pet-friendly and familiarize yourself with local pet daycare and boarding options, as well as veterinarians. Beyond that, there are lots of pet-friendly parks, outdoor shopping streets, beaches and more for you and your four-legged friend to explore.

Planning Ahead

Traveling with a pet requires a certain level of advanced planning. Not only do you need to make sure you have everything you need for your trip, but you also have to pack for your pet and make appropriate arrangements. You’ll want to make sure your pet is up-to-date on her or his vaccinations. This paperwork may be required at the airport, at hotels and at dog parks and beaches throughout Miami. Make a packing checklist for your pet: food, toys, bed, medication, wee-wee pads, waste bags, treats, etc. In some cases, hotels and parks provide these amenities, so double check ahead of time to streamline your packing.

fontainebleau pets
Kick back with your pooch at Fontainebleau

Pet-Friendly Hotels

The good news is, more hotels than ever are pet-friendly, especially when it comes to dogs. Many hotels also welcome cats and other domestic animals, but it’s important to check with your hotel to find out exactly what their pet policy is. It varies from property to property and can also change without notice. It’s important to note that housekeeping typically won’t service your room with an unattended animal inside, so make arrangements to travel with a kennel or take your pup out for a walk while your room is being cleaned.

Kimpton hotels are among the most pet-friendly, and Miami is home to three: the Kimpton Surfcomber Miami, South Beach and Kimpton Angler’s South Beach in Miami Beach and the Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Downtown Miami. Your animals are welcome free of charge and they’re spoiled with a handful of VIP (Very Important Pet) amenities, including plush doggie beds on loan, toys, food, water bowls and mats. They’ll also get a special treat on their bed during turn down service. Check with the concierge for a list of pet-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers and boutiques nearby.

standard hotel pet
Your dog stays free at the Standard

Other pet-friendly hotels in Miami include 1 Hotel South Beach and The Standard Spa, Miami Beach, where pets stay free. There are many other hotels in Miami, including the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Fontainebleau Miami Beach and W South Beach, which accept pets with fees that range from $50 to $175. Again, it’s always smart to confirm the details of your hotel’s pet policy at your time of booking.

Click on our guide to Pet Friendly Hotels for more options.

Daycare, Boarding & Veterinarians

If you know you’ll be busy during your trip, consider boarding your pet overnight or having them spend time at doggie daycare. There are several fun, safe places available where your pet will have company and expert care. Many facilities will walk your pet multiple times a day, offer pick-up and delivery services and provide cage-less playtime. Try Rio Pet Grooming or Alton Road Animal Hospital. Trusted veterinarians include the Silver Bluff Animal Clinic, Sunset Animal Clinic and Brickell Bay Animal Hospital.

Enjoy the outdoors with your pup at South pointe Park

Bark Parks & Bark Beaches

Miami is home to a wide variety of dog parks and dog-friendly beaches. On Miami Beach, you’ll find shaded dog parks with enclosed areas designated for both small and large dogs, along with amenities like water fountains, benches, waste bags and receptacles. These dog parks include the Flamingo Bark Park, Pinetree Bark Park, Washington Avenue Bark Park, Belle Isle Bark Park, North Beach Oceanside Park, Stillwater Park and South Pointe Park.

In Miami, head to Coconut Grove and the sprawling David T. Kennedy Park where you’ll find running paths, beach volleyball, wooden docks and two dog runs with scenic views of Biscayne Bay. Tropical Park in Westchester is a large suburban park that offers everything from boxing to an equestrian center. Its bark park, divided between large and small dogs, is located near a small lake and offers a water spray station and tire jumps.

There are also a handful of dog-friendly beaches across Miami, including Haulover Beach Park and Bark Beach at North Beach Oceanside Park. If your pup has never experienced surf, sand and sun, it’s a joyful time that you’ll both enjoy. Just be sure to pack plenty of water, waste bags and monitor your pet to make sure it doesn’t get overheated in Greater Miami’s subtropical weather. Hours and fees vary at bark beaches, so be sure to check ahead of your visit.

Lincoln Road is perfect for shopping & dining with your dog

Shopping Adventures

What’s a trip to Miami without a little shopping? Dog Bar is a fun pet boutique on Lincoln Road that specializes in cutesy toys, treats and grooming products for your pampered pooch, like champagne and berry-scented shampoo, Sniffany + Co. or Alexander Mutt Queen chew toys and dog beds that look like fancy shrunken couches. You’ll also find Petco and PetSmart locations throughout Miami.

Lincoln Road itself is arguably Miami’s de facto doggie mecca. On a sunny, breezy afternoon, you might find yourself outnumbered by the pooches seated beneath café tables or prancing along the open-air pedestrian mall on leashes. That’s the beauty of many of Miami’s most desirable shopping centers—they’re outdoor and dog-friendly. You can also take your pup shopping at al fresco Bal Harbour Shops, The Shops at Merrick Park and the Design District.

Sit at Greenstreet Café with your pup

Doggie Dining

When it comes to taking your pet out to eat, a good rule of thumb is that any restaurant with outdoor café seating is probably dog-friendly, but it’s always a good idea to call ahead and be certain. Some of the best spots on Lincoln Road include The Café at Books and Books, Spris Pizza and Shake Shack, which even boasts a menu item for your pooch: the poochini, a frozen treat made of peanut butter, or the “Bag O’ Bones” – dog biscuits specially made for your Pooch! 

Coconut Grove is another paradise for dining out with your pup, with its many outdoor cafés, including the Peacock Garden Café, Greenstreet Café and Lulu in the Grove, among many other spots.

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