Orlando is a pet-friendly paradise with dozens of dog parks, dog-friendly dining options and pet shops galore. During your next visit to the center of the Sunshine State, pack your pooch and explore the seemingly endless opportunities for pet-parents to have fun in the sun with their pups.
With year-round sunshine and warm weather, Orlando is perfect for pets, so it makes sense there’s a number of great dog parks and pet-friendly pedestrian areas throughout the region. Perhaps Orlando’s most popular dog park is Lake Baldwin Dog Park, perched on the shores of scenic Lake Baldwin not too far from downtown. Here, dogs can roam leash-free, play with other pups along the shoreline or even go for a swim in one of Orlando’s few gator-free lakes.
Dr. Phillips Dog Park, off of South Apopka-Vineland Road, south of Sand Lake Road, is another off-leash retreat for people and pets who like to get out and play. KUA Canine Cumbie Court in Kissimmee features separate fenced areas for large and small dogs along with picnic tables, drinking fountains with attached pet fountains and an agility course for dogs with activities like an adjustable jump-bar challenge, elevated dog walk, hoop jump, weave posts and a crawl tunnel.
For dogs in Downtown Orlando, do a lap around dog-friendly Lake Eola Park or take a drive west to Barnett Dog Park located off West Colonial Drive. South of Orlando is the pet-friendly city of Celebration, the town that Disney built, where plenty of walking paths and spacious parks pair with pet-friendly dining and shops. A new dog park has just opened next to the library in town. For hiking, camping and exploration with your pup check out Florida State Parks like Wekiwa Springs and Blue Spring State Park.
No need for a doggie bag when dining with your dog in Orlando. Chow down on Park Avenue in the quaint community of Winter Park, where dozens of restaurants offer street-side dining complete with water bowls and treats for your furry friend. Dogs are particularly welcome at Dexter's, Luma on Park and Wine Room. Nearby Eola Wine Company, Stardust Video and Coffee, White Wolf Café and Teak Neighborhood Grill also welcome well-behaved pups on their outdoor patios. Relax Grill at Lake Eola is a great place to stop and snack after a dog walk around the lake. On International Drive, find dog-friendly seating at Taverna Opa and, farther south near Disney, at Town Tavern in Celebration.
Aside from the obvious establishments such as PetSmart and Petco, Orlando has wag-worthy boutique pet shops packed with tasty treats and tantalizing toys for playful pooches. Winter Park’s pet places are almost barking distance from each other. On Park Avenue, there’s The Doggie Door where you can treat your pup to a snack, toy or even a new wardrobe. Won’t Rover look fetching in his own Orlando City Soccer Club jersey? For gourmet treats, check out Pookie’s Pet Nutrition and Bow Wow Bakery or Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming, which has locations in Dr. Phillips, downtown Celebration and a brand-new location at The Florida Mall.
Unfortunately, Fido’s not tall enough to ride Space Mountain and, apart from therapy-dogs, the only dogs allowed in the Magic Kingdom are Pluto and Goofy. But that doesn’t mean dogs at Disney can’t have fun. For a day at the theme parks, you can park you pooch at on-site doggie daycares.
The Best Friends Pet Care Resort at Walt Disney World treats your furry family member to a Disney vacation all their own. The 27,000-square-foot pet-care center right on the Disney property offers boarding, daycare, play activities and grooming for dogs, cats and other pets in comfortable, safe and healthy accommodations. Dozens of highly trained pet care providers are on staff to ensure every pet has a magical experience. After park hopping, take your pup for a playful romp around the private dog park.
The Studio Kennel at Universal offers boarding for cats and dogs with limited services. Dogs weighing more than 39 pounds relax in covered outside kennels complete with fans and pets weighing less are treated to the air-conditioned inside kennel. Bring your own food, blankets and toys to help make your pet more at home, and plan to come back at least once during the day to take your pup for a walk. No overnight boarding permitted.
SeaWorld Orlando kennels are located just outside the main entrance and board pets for the day. Be sure to bring your own pet food and remember to plan at least one trip back for a walk during the day. All kennels are air-conditioned and remain open half an hour after the park closes. No overnight boarding, and no cats allowed.