What To Do in Dog-Friendly Madison

Crystal Jackson


Sometimes, leaving our fur babies at home isn't preferred, convenient, or affordable. For those who want to travel with their pet, there can be many barriers--from accommodations and shopping to dining and activities. But travelers with dogs will find themselves very welcome in Madison, Georgia.

#1 The Welcome Center

In fact, start at the Welcome Center where a bowl of water sits outside beside a rocking chair. Rest awhile, and let your pup refresh themselves with a cool drink on a hot day. Step inside the Welcome Center for a friendly greeting and plenty of recommendations for the area.

#2 Pet-Friendly Accommodations

There are many pet-friendly accommodations in Madison. Here are just a few:

  • Southern Cross Ranch (Note: While the ranch does not allow pets to stay in the rooms, owners can rent a stall in the stable for a low nightly rate if your pet is happy with ruff-ing it--pun intended.)
  • Quality Inn
  • Red Roof Inn
  • Days Inn
  • Comfort Inn and Suites

In addition to the hotels in the area, Main Street Vet and Madison Veterinary Clinic both offer pet boarding. Contact them for reservations and eligibility requirements.

#3 Book a Spa Day--For Your Pet

You may find yourself booking a spa treatment at Pure Bliss Spa for yourself, but while you're in town, you may want to consider booking a spa treatment in advance for your dog at The Fetch House. Instead of massages and manicures, your dog can enjoy a full or mini grooming session, bath, and/or nail trim while you relax with a facial, massage, or other body treatment. You'll both be in Bliss--well, your pup will technically be in Fetch, which will be blissful (especially because they have baked doggy treats available for purchase).

#4 Visit the Bark Park

Drive over to Bill Wood Park to visit the Bark Park. Located beside a one-mile cross-country hiking trail, the Bark Park is a fenced-in dog park with an area for both small and large dogs. There's a bench and picnic tables for owners to cool their heels and plenty of space for dogs to run off some energy. Take your dog for a hike and start or end at the Bark Park.

#5 Shop Downtown

Many of the shops downtown allow leashed pets to enter. Look for signs on the door--or just ask. Madison Grace Home has a water bowl outside and a small section to shop for your pup inside. In High Cotton is also a pet-friendly shopping location. Posted signs make it easy to see which shops are happy to welcome your furry friend. Pick up treats, toys, or accessories for your pet at The Fetch House, and visit Pet Wants for fresh, local pet food.

#6 Dine Outside

Many restaurants in town offer outdoor seating that is also pet-friendly. Dolce Caffe, Madison Produce Company, and Amici are just a few of the locations offering outdoor, dog-friendly seating. Madison Square Nutrition also welcomes pups inside when you go inside to pick up a loaded tea or protein shake.

#7 Visit Hard Labor Creek State Park

A short drive away in Rutledge, Georgia, Hard Labor Creek State Park offers hiking trails, lake activities, and camping for the adventurous pup. Bring a kayak (and your dog's life vest), and spend the day on the water, or take a hiking trail and explore the beauty of this state park. Parking is $5, and frequent park visitors may find better value in purchasing an annual Georgia state park pass.

Madison has plenty to attract the Georgia explorer. From beautiful antebellum homes and lush gardens to museums and cultural destinations, travelers of all kinds can find something to keep them busy--including the furry visitors to the town. If you don't have a pet but think this sounds like the perfect lifestyle for you, we even have a local Humane Society that will be happy to show you the dogs and cats available for adoption, should you like to take home a furry friend after visiting.

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Crystal Jackson is a former therapist turned writer. She is the author of the Heart of Madison series and a volume of poetry entitled My Words Are Whiskey. Her work has been featured on Medium, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, The Good Men Project, and Elephant Journal. When she's not writing, you can find her traveling, paddle boarding, cycling, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, or curled up with her nose in a book in Madison, Georgia, where she lives with one puppy and two wild and wonderful children. Crystal writes about relationships, mental health, parenting, social justice, and more. Never miss an update. Subscribe to emails: https://crystaljacksonwriter.substack.com/

Madison, GA

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