Dog-Friendly Louisiana Travel Tips

Bring your four legged family members along on your next trip to Louisiana.

Shreveport-Bossier Krewe of Barkus Parade

A cute pup at the Krewe of Barkus Parade in Shreveport-Bossier.

bulldog at bulldog.jpg

A bulldog enjoying the afternoon at The Bulldog, Uptown New Orleans.

Adventures await families visiting Louisiana and they can be fun for your four-legged family members too. The Pelican State offers lodging, activities and even tasty treats for both man and his best friends.

Some bars and restaurants welcome pets in outdoor seating, perfect during spring and fall to enjoy mild weather and people watching. At The Bulldog Uptown in New Orleans sip one of 50 beers on tap (including plenty of Louisiana craft beers) on their patio on Magazine Street. Stroll a block down to Petcetera NOLA for a selection of canine bakery treats and accessories. It also offers hotel sitting and grooming. Or, take a walk in the French Quarter on a pet-friendly, guided tour of the famed neighborhood’s history with G L-f de Villiers New Orleans Historic Tours.

National pet-friendly hotel chains such as La Quinta, Super 8, Motel 6 and Holiday Inn are in most Louisiana cities. For local character, search for pet-friendly stays on The Bed and Breakfast Inns of New Orleans website.

Mardi Gras visitors should look up The Mystic Krewe de Barkus, a canine krewe. It parades a 15-block French Quarter route, with costumes and a canine royal court. Other pet parades include Baton Rouge’s Mystic Krewe of Mutts, Covington’s Mardi Paws Parade, Lafayette's Krewe des Chiens,  Monroe’s Krewe of Paws and Shreveport’s Mardi Paw Pet Parade.

In central Louisiana, the pet-friendly cottages at Cheneyville’s historic (and reportedly haunted) Loyd Hall Plantation are nestled on a working farm. Alexandria’s downtown is just 30 minutes away and perfect for a stroll. Picnic at Alexander Fulton Mini Park with a pizza from nearby Embers, then follow The Green Belt Trail  for an urban hike or drive up to Kisatchie National Forest and wander some of its 400 pine-shaded trails.

Stay in Shreveport or Bossier City for easy access to activities in north Louisiana. The American Rose Center in Shreveport features 20,000 rose bushes. Blooms peak in the end of April, early May and in mid-October and pets can share the outdoor picnic facilities. The Bossier City Farmers Market also welcomes shoppers’ pets every Saturday, April through November at the Pierre Bossier Mall. The area’s Boom or Bust Byway along La. Hwy. 2 leads to scenic walks, recreation areas and quaint Main Streets across four parishes.

Down south, Grand Isle is great for fishing and, as the public beach is pet-friendly, romping through sand and surf. Camping, kayaking and birding are also popular. Pets are welcome to camp at Grand Isle State Park, but are not allowed on the park’s beach, which are wild bird nesting habitats.

Louisiana-made Marsh Dog nutria dog treats are unique souvenirs that helps ethically curb the nutria population ruining coastal marshland. NOLA Couture sells collars and leashes patterned with red beans and rice, fleur de lis and even po’boys at its two New Orleans locations.

Many cities also have off-leash dog parks—BREC’s in Baton Rouge are some of the nicest—and remember that all Louisiana State Parks welcome leashed pets in outdoor facilities.

Whether on two legs or four, Louisiana has an exciting experience waiting.