You will find a very pet friendly Asheville and many places to explore in the North Carolina mountains. Since so many travelers bring along their canine companions, here are some helpful tips and resources.
In addition to parks, there are many pet friendly businesses in downtown Asheville. During warmer months, many restaurants, breweries and coffee shops have outdoor dining that welcome dogs. Walk the Urban Trail with your dog. Stop by the Three Dog Bakery (21 Battery Park) for some fresh-baked treats or the Funky Mutt (30 North Lexington) for some hip accessories. Most festivals do not allow dogs since areas can be very crowded.
Pets at Biltmore Estate
The grounds of Biltmore Estate are perfect for walking your pets, but please make sure to keep them securely leashed at all times. Naturally, pets are not allowed inside Biltmore House or other estate buildings such as the winery, restaurants, and shops.
Pet Friendly Shopping Center
At Asheville Outlets, shop 75 national and local outlets in this beautiful outdoor shopping village. It's located on I-26, just six miles from Biltmore and seven miles from downtown Asheville. It's very dog friendly!
One of Asheville's most beautiful parks, the French Broad River Park meanders alongside the tranquil French Broad River, and features a vast area of open green space with old trees, a wildflower garden, a paved trail, a gazebo, picnic tables and grills, an observation deck, and a small playground. The Dog Park features a large fenced-in one acre area made for exercising and socializing your pooch! Water and poop bags provided. Located at Amboy Rd. and Riverview Dr. in west Asheville, not too far from Biltmore Estate. From the Biltmore Village area, take a left on Meadow Drive.
Pet Friendly Cabins & Hotels
Tip for Lodging: Call and ask plenty of questions about pet policies/fees, facilities and places to walk your pet. Ask about pet sitters (avoid leaving your dog alone in a strange room). Keep your pet leashed outdoors and in all public areas.
Outdoors with Your Dog
With the exception of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, dogs are allowed on a leash on almost all trails in the national forests and Blue Ridge Parkway. This includes most all of the hikes and waterfalls we feature! Here are more details:
Dogs on the Blue Ridge Parkway: In addition to being a great place for a dog to hang its head out the window and enjoy the fresh mountain air, dogs are allowed on the more than 100 varied trails throughout the Blue Ridge Parkway. Dogs and other pets must be on a leash or under physical restraint at all times while along the Parkway.
Dogs on Hiking Trails in the National Forests: You can take your dog on any of the hiking trails in the Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest, including to most waterfalls. Be extra careful of letting your dogs get into the water of a rushing stream or waterfall! Dogs may not be left unattended, and they must be leashed and cleaned up after. Dogs are not allowed in buildings. The camping and tent areas also allow dogs. Read more about camping.
Dogs in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Dogs are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and along roads, but must be kept on a leash at all times. The leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Dogs are only allowed on two short walking paths—the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. Pets are not allowed on any other park trails. Pet excrement must be immediately collected by the pet handler and disposed of in a trash receptacle. Pets should not be left unattended in vehicles or RVs. Large national parks that have extensive backcountry areas as a rule do not allow dogs on trails. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has prohibited dogs in the backcountry since the park was first established in the 1930s. The park prohibits dogs on hiking trails for several reasons:
- Dogs can carry disease into the park's wildlife populations.
- Dogs can chase and threaten wildlife, scaring birds and other animals away from nesting, feeding, and resting sites. The scent left behind by a dog can signal the presence of a predator, disrupting or altering the behavior of park wildlife. Small animals may hide in their burrow the entire day after smelling a dog and may not venture out to feed.
- Dogs bark and disturb the quiet of the wilderness. Unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells can disturb even the calmest, friendliest, and best-trained dog, causing them to behave unpredictably or bark excessively.
- Pets may become prey for larger predators such as coyotes and bears. In addition, if your dog disturbs and enrages a bear, it may lead the angry bear directly to you. Dogs can also encounter insects that bite and transmit disease and plants that are poisonous or full of painful thorns and burrs.
Shopping for Your Pet
Asheville doesn't simply have your basic pet supply stores, but also has an impressive array of unique specialty shops with great gifts for pet lovers and their beloved cats, dogs and other pets.
- Waggers Dog Depot is the "Fun" place for dogs in Asheville - complete with a self-service dog wash. They offer a delicious variety of homemade treats & chews, dog clothing, collars, leashes, holiday and birthday gifts, tags & pet photography. They also provide a Grooming Salon for dogs and cats. Near downtown at 1020 Merrimon Ave.
- Dog Door (1 Battle Square, Suite A) is located across from the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville. Their Dog Welcome Center is set up to be the first step for anyone visiting Asheville for the first time with their dog, with information about dog friendly Asheville, a poop bag, treat samples, and more. Their Asheville Behavior Center offers a unique assortment of hand-picked trade secret tools for dogs, natural chews and treats, practical outdoor gear for dogs and more. Open every day.
- Patton Avenue Pet Company is a pet destination. With a wide range of nutritious foods, American-made treats, environmentally conscious toys, and products from local artists and crafters, you are sure to find something great for your favorite cats and dogs. Their Patton Avenue Dog Park is a fenced-in off-leash play area for dogs to socialize and try out some new toys. 1388 Patton Avenue.
- Asheville Pet Supply, a local favorite, is a great stop for the health and environmentally-conscious pet owner seeking pet gifts, including organic pet foods and holistic pet treatments. It is located at 1451 Merrimon Avenue, a short drive north of downtown.
- Animal Haven Thrift and Gift Shop allows pet lovers to shop while supporting animals. The thrift shop supports Animal Haven's efforts to protect homeless and abused animals. They also supply pet food to the Meals on Wheels program. You can meet the animals that you help support while shopping for great bargains. 65 Lower Grassy Branch Road in East Asheville
- Woof Gang Bakery at Biltmore Park offers the very best in pet care and specializes in healthy dog and cat foods, treats and professional dog grooming. The store offers a variety of fun, fuzzy, floatable and tough toys, as well as fashionable accessories, collars, leads and more.
Asheville Veterinarians & Animal Hospitals
- Charlotte St. Animal Hospital, 180 Charlotte St, Asheville, 828-232-0440
- Animal Hospital of North Asheville, Beaverdam Rd, Asheville, 828-253-3393
- Haw Creek Animal Hospital, 1007 Tunnel Rd, Asheville, 828-298-1678
- All Pets Animal Hospital, 7 Reynolds Mountain Rd, Asheville, 828-645-5252
- Regional Emergency Animal Care Hospital (24 hr), 677 Brevard Road, Asheville, 828-665-4399
- Pet Vet on Patton, 2 Hansel Ave, Asheville, 828-232-9990
Pet Rescue and Adoption
Asheville Humane Society is dedicated to the respectful, humane treatment of animals and to providing helpful animal services to the people of our community.
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue: Visit their community adoption center and Second Chance thrift store, located at 31 Glendale Avenue in Asheville, seven days a week (Monday-Saturday from 8am-8pm, Sunday 8am-6pm) with many cats and dogs looking for homes.