10 Unforgettable Experiences to Put on Your Dog’s Bucket List

Posted by Billy Francis

This post was updated in August 2020.

Whether she’s a laid back Labrador or a thrill-seeking terrier, your dog should experience certain things at least once in her lifetime. Pack your pup’s bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure, where you’ll encounter unique sights, try new activities and share magnificent memories. Which one of these experiences will your dog check off from her bucket list?

1. Flightsee with Fido on a Seaplane

“On second thought, I think I’ll walk.” Photo by Melissa Halliburton

Take to the skies with your pooch by your side on a pet-friendly tour of the Pacific Northwest. Kenmore Air offers a bird’s-eye view of Seattle, Elliot Bay and Lake Union’s famous houseboat community on a 20-minute flightseeing adventure. You also can charter the entire airplane and land on a remote island for a gourmet meal catered by Northwest Floatplane Picnics.

Tours start at $99 per person. Lap dogs are welcome for no additional fee, but a seat must be purchased for dogs over 25 lbs. After stepping safely back on dry land, spend the night at McMenamins Anderson School. Dog treats and bowls are provided to canine guests at this unique converted school.

2. Go Glamping

“No, I can’t sign for the room. I haven’t got any thumbs.” Photo by Melissa Halliburton

Glamping takes camping to the next level. It’s the five-star version, with tents big enough for the whole pack and creature comforts you won’t find at a regular campsite. Under Canvas combines a luxury boutique hotel with the great outdoors. With locations near many of the country’s most celebrated national parks and attractions, it allows you and your pooch to “ruff” it in style. Check out some of BringFido’s other pet-friendly glamping destinations around the world.

3. Visit the Grand Canyon

Enjoy the majesty of the Grand Canyon with your dog. Photo by BringFido

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world, and one of the pet-friendliest options among the country's most visited national parks. The 277-mile-long, 6,000-foot-deep geological wonder is impossible to capture in photos or words, which is why it should be on every canine’s bucket list. There are restrictions on bringing dogs below the rim, but Fido can admire the jaw-dropping views from the Rim Trail. Here's everything you need to plan your trip.

4. Embark on an Epic Road Trip

Cruisin' down the PCH. Photo by Cypress Inn

Wherever you start or end up, the journey and who you share it with are the most important things. You and your pooch can meet the cast of "Cars," stay in a pet-friendly wigwam and discover countless roadside oddities on "The Mother Road," Route 66. But the most famous road in America isn't the only place to fulfill Fido's easy ridin' fantasies.

Run shoulder-to-shoulder with America’s second-longest river, The Mississippi, on the Great River Road; discover dog-friendly beaches and quaint towns along America’s third coast; explore vast prairies, thriving wildlife habitats, epic badlands and world-famous monuments in South Dakota; drive along California’s stunning coastline on the Pacific Coast Highway; or tour the A1A along Florida's Atlantic coast. It doesn't matter which road trip you embark upon, as long as your furry friend can ride along. Just don't trust him with the map!

5. Walk the Wave

“Quick, wave!” Photo by @kaila516

Some things in life have to be seen to be believed. The Wave at Coyote Buttes North is one of them. Over millions of years, these incredible rock formations have formed and reformed thanks to winds changing and blowing sand from all directions, giving the appearance of colorful waves on land. It might well be the most breathtaking walk you’ll ever take with your best friend. However, be prepared to earn this bucket-list item. Only 20 people per day receive permits to visit the marked trails and they operate on a lottery system, so don’t be too upset if you don’t succeed the first time.

Coyote Buttes North fees are $7 per person per day and an additional $7 per dog. Fido may not win the lottery on his first attempt, but he can try again the next morning by extending his stay at the nearby and pet-friendly La Quinta Inn & Suites Page at Lake Powell.

6. Take a Scenic Train Ride

“I’m not lying. I definitely just saw a flying car!” Photo by @woodbyway

Enjoy a tour of some of the world’s most stunning destinations from the comfort of a train in Fido class. Ride the route immortalized in the “Harry Potter” movies on The Jacobite; hop aboard The Bergen Line from Norway’s capital of Oslo to the picturesque coastal city of Bergen; or enjoy the mountains of New Hampshire and Maine with Conway Scenic Railroad. All of our eight epic pet-friendly train rides should be on your pup’s bucket list.

7. Book a Unique Stay

“Man, that looks cozy. Can we come in?” Photo by Facebook.com/dustydesertdogs

Treat Fido to a dream vacation and enjoy a stay like no other. You and your pup can wake up inside the world’s largest Beagle, curl up in front of a log fire in a traditional yurt, doggy paddle in a property with a pet-friendly pool, or choose a rental with a unique theme. For outdoor fun, check into a pet-friendly cabin in the woods or disconnect at an off-grid stay. And if you both like to be among other furry friends, invite your pup to step back in time at an actual dude ranch, or a working farm. Choose the stay that fits your canine's travel personality and give your good boy a trip he'll never forget.

8. Try Mountain Biking Together

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Super Ruby! Photo by @rubythetraildog

Mountain biking originated in California in the 1970s and has become one of the most popular outdoor sports in the world. The best part is that dogs can be trained to join in the fun. Getting your feet on the pedals and braving the bumps can lead you and your mutt on an unbelievable adventure. Many of the pioneers of mountain biking started carving in California. Experience the descent down Mills Peak with Fido, one of the first and most popular mountain biking trails in America. The trail drops 3,000 feet over 8.5 miles through lush pine forest. If you want to learn more about mountain biking with your dog, check out our interview with trailblazer Tom Wragg and Ruby the Trail Dog.

9. Enjoy an Off-road Adventure

"This is how I roll." Photo by BringFido

There’s a vast world out there beyond the paved streets of America, and it’s calling Fido’s name. He’ll need to leave the comfort of his family car behind to explore it. A Day in the West Jeep Tours will scoop you up and take you on a wild ride on the Mogollon Rim Tour. The off-road vehicle scrambles to an elevation of 7,500 feet, and shows off the craggy red rocks of Sedona.

Jeep tours start at $95 for adults. Furry friends are welcome, but dogs over 20 lbs are charged the child’s fee of $75. After "ruffing" it, treat your pooch to a stay at the pet-friendly Amara Resort & Spa. Four-legged guests receive dog treats, bowls and a pet bed at check-in.

10. Sail on a Pet-Friendly Cruise

“So that’s why they call it the poop deck!” Photo by @cunardline

The Queen Mary II is one of the most iconic cruise ships ever launched. The historic transatlantic journey takes passengers from Southampton, England, to New York (and back). It’s the only ship that offers pet-friendly transit between England and the United States. The Queen Mary II employs specialists to make your pooch’s travel as comfortable as possible. Five-star treatment for your dog starts with the Kennel Master greeting Fido with a welcome gift, including name tags, food dishes and toys.

Cruises are available for 2021 and 2022. Eastbound transatlantic crossings start at $999, and pet fees range from $800 to $1,000.

Carpe diem, dog owners. Are you ready to seize the leash and embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with your best friend? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by @kaila516.