Tubing is one of the most relaxing and serene activities you can do on the water, which is why companies all over the country offer pet-friendly float trips down picturesque stretches of river. Check out these eight "pawsome" tubing adventures where Fido can join you.
Posted by Billy Francis
Cool River Tubing
Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee, it gets hotter than a poochie tubing. On the outskirts of the Bavarian-themed town of Helen in the northeastern corner of Georgia, you’ll find Cool River Tubing. A featured attraction in the latest edition of our Ruff Guide to the United States, the outfitter can equip you and your canine with everything you need for a fun float down the crisp and refreshing waters of the Chattahoochee River. Smaller pups are welcome to sit on your lap, and larger dogs can ride their own tube. Rentals start at $10, and dogs ride for free.
Bear Creek Lodge & Cabins features an assortment of pet-friendly accommodations, including a treehouse next to the river. Depending on where you choose to stay, you can be within walking distance to the action in downtown Helen, enjoy views across the river, or find a pet-friendly trail just beyond your door.
Lions Club Tube Rental
The San Marcos River sprouts to life in the historic Texas city of San Marcos. Maintaining an inviting 72 degrees year-round, the water provides relief from the sun’s beating heat. Lions Club Tube Rental operates tube rentals and a shuttle from pet-friendly Rio Vista Park. There’s some excitement to be had before you head off on your hour-long lazy river cruise with your pooch. At the park, the river flows into three chutes known as Rio Vista Falls. Shooting down the falls in a tube is one of the most popular activities during the summer months. After your river adventure, dry Fido off and stop by the Railyard Bar & Grill in San Marcos for a bite on the pet-friendly patio.
After a gentle float together, bring your dog to El Olivo to try living in a tiny house in the Texas countryside together. The beautiful interior is fitted with hardwood floors for easy cleanup and there’s a fully fenced backyard outside.
Smoky Mountain River Rat
Smoky Mountain River Rat is just a short drive from Pigeon Forge in the Great Smoky Mountains, offering two- and four-legged visitors the chance to spend a day on the Little River together. Their shuttle service will take you up the river so you can tube back down on the calm, shaded waters, with a stretch of mini rapids along the way to add a little excitement to the trip. Dogs are welcome to hop in their own tube or float on your lap. The calmer tours that are suitable for dogs depart from Outpost A, taking 1.5-2 hours to complete.
Towel off and take a break at Tremont Lodge & Resort, where treats are provided at check-in, and water bowls are available upon request. When it comes time for Fido’s walk, take a woodland stroll away from the hustle and bustle of nearby tourist attractions.
S & B Tubing
The Sugar River is as sweet as it sounds. Lined with shady trees and boasting pristine waters, this picturesque tributary has fast become a model tubing destination in rural Wisconsin. S & B Tubing in Albany provides an alternative tubing experience for adventurous canines. Your pup can travel by your side atop an upside-down cooler tube! The wooden base gives Fido a flat surface to stand on as you float along the calm waters. If he’s small enough, he can chill out on your lap instead. After exploring the water from the river, enjoy its beauty from the land on the Sugar River State Trail.
If you can’t stand to be away from the water, spend a few nights on Black River at this comfortable cottage. The yard is fenced from the river and has a grill where you can whip up Fido’s favorite fresh dinner.
Located on the Congaree River in Columbia, Palmetto Outdoors offers a deluxe pet-friendly tubing package. The wide river is the perfect destination for big groups, especially if you’re floating on the company’s self-proclaimed “Cadillacs of the River.” These top-shelf tubes are large enough to fit a big pup and are lined with mesh on the bottom, so your dog’s paws will stay firmly on board. Trips take 2.5-3 hours and cover two miles, depending on the water levels and weather. After cruising in your Cadillac, enjoy a bite to eat in beautiful wooded surroundings on the patio at Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro.
Top Fido’s Palmetto State adventure off with a stay at The Graduate Columbia on the grounds of The University of South Carolina. This pristine hotel is situated within walking distance of downtown’s pet-friendly amenities.
Looking for something to do in Texas Hill Country with your pooch? Thanks to the ever-changing flow from the Canyon dam turbines, the Guadalupe River is a hugely popular tubing destination. Shanty Tubes offers two tubing tours along the idyllic and refreshing waters of the Guadalupe. Hop in the shuttle with your pup and get dropped off next to the Horseshoe Loop section. This journey lasts between 1.5-2 hours and takes you down a section of the river lined with a variety of native trees and unusual cliffs formed by erosion. Tubers who aren’t satisfied when they come to the end can go around again for no extra charge. Alternatively, you can continue on to the 4th Crossing Bridge. This extended leg can take up to four hours to reach the pickup point. Refuel on the pet-friendly patio at nearby Gennaro’s Trattoria. They love pups and have a number of outdoor tables with views across the countryside.
Montana Whitewater Rafting Co.
Montana’s landscape is dominated by vast open prairies, mountain peaks, picturesque ranch towns and huge skies. The area surrounding Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner captures the essence of the state. Explore its natural beauty with your pooch on a tubing trip down Madison River with Montana Whitewater Rafting Co. Despite it being a mountain river, the waters of the Madison are surprisingly warm, often more than 70 degrees in the summer, and the hilly landscape makes it the ideal location for a relaxing 2-4 hour float. Dogs are welcome to sit in a tube with a mesh bottom and a PVC outer cover that allows renters to easily wipe off the dog hair before returning it. From here, head across the river to Cowboy Lodge and Grille, a little eatery with a pet-friendly patio and lovely views of the surrounding mountains.
With Yellowstone National Park at your doorstep, The Ridgeline Hotel at Yellowstone is a great base for your wild adventures together. Take your dog out for an evening sniff in the grassy relief area and enjoy epic views of snow-capped mountains in the distance.
Leavenworth Outdoor Center
Mellow mutts who love the water can float calmly through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest at Leavenworth Outdoor Center. Visitors are treated to a variety of current speeds and water depths as they float gently through the trees, around a golf course, and along downtown Leavenworth. “Paws” with your pooch at one of the islands or beaches along the way. Drift time is 1-3 hours. Dog tubes designed to withstand position changes are available to four-legged floaters. Tubing at Leavenworth Outdoor Center is a popular summer activity and fills up fast, so it’s best to reserve a spot for you and your pack early.