Bringing Your Pets to the Tennessee Smoky Mountains

Bringing Your Pets to the Tennessee Smoky Mountains

Your Guide to Bringing Your Pet on Vacation to the Tennessee Smoky Mountains

Don't leave your beloved pet behind! Plan your Tennessee Smoky Mountain vacation with your four-legged friend in mind. There is so much to consider when planning your vacation to the Tennessee Smoky Mountains! What amazing city will you stay in? Pigeon Forge? Gatlinburg? There’s also tons to do! Will you do some outdoor activities? But everything gets rearranged when you decide to bring your beloved pet along for the ride. There’s lots of reasons to bring your pets on vacation!

  • Your pet is a beloved part of the family, and it isn’t a family vacation without him.
  • You can’t find a pet-sitter.
  • You want your pet to experience the great outdoors.

Whatever the reason, there’s lots of things to consider before bringing your pet on your Smoky Mountain getaway.  

Planning Ahead

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you leave on vacation with a pet.

  • Plan your route carefully, especially if you have a dog. There will have to be places you can stop for walks and bathroom breaks. And be sure to stop every few hours.
  • If flying, research the airline’s policies for transporting your pet. Smaller pets may be allow in carriers under your seat, but larger animals may have to fly in the cargo hold.
  • Make sure that your type of pet is allowed to stay in your vacation rental or hotel. Some hotels and resorts have strict pet policies, so check these before booking. Our suggestion, always call!
  • Find the closest veterinarian, just in case of emergencies.
  • Don’t just leave your animal behind in the hotel or rental. They may get stir crazy and do things that are out of character, like marking the floor or chewing.

Pet-Friendly Activities in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains


You can’t just bring your pet on vacation and leave it in the room all week. Here are some pet-friendly activities (for dogs in particular).


If you hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park remember that dogs are not allowed on every trail. Certain trails are fine such as the 1.9 mile Gatlinburg Trail. However, your pet must always be on a short leash, and you have to clean up any messes.


Pets are allowed in most camping areas. Just be sure your pet is well-behaved and don’t let them loose.

Gatlinburg Sky Lift

Dogs are allowed to ride the lift to the mountain top when accompanied by their owner.

Doggie Daycare

If you need a day sans pet, check out a doggie daycare, like the Barker Lounge in Sevierville.

Of course, there are indoor activities for a rainy day with a pet too. Downtown Gatlinburg is home to a number of pet gift shops like Paws & Claws Pet Fashion, Simply Animals, and Holly and Willows Pet Barn. You can even rent a pet stroller for walking around downtown.