Pet Friendly Pagosa

Traveling with your pet to Pagosa Springs.

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People like to travel with their pets too!  Pagosa Springs is a pet friendly place to visit with your furry friends especially throughout the Spring and Summer breaks.  With hiking and biking trails to eating out, there’s something for you and your pet to enjoy doing together.

Parks, Hiking and Backpacking

Young dog on grass

Dogs are welcome in Pagosa Springs parks. The Town of Pagosa Springs has a leash law, Ordinance 4.1.4, in which dog owners are required to have control of their dog with a leash or lead. Dog owners are also required to immediately clean up any dog waste that their animal deposits in the park. The Parks Department has Mutt Mitt stations in all of the parks and along the river walk to aid dog owners in this task.

For more about Pagosa Springs Parks Guide visit this link: Pagosa Springs Parks Guide.

Depending on the season of your visit, find out the local hunting season dates.  Both you and your pet are advised to wear orange vests during your outings in the forest during this time.  Bears, skunks, mountain lions, and raccoons frequent Pagosa Springs area all Spring through Fall. Be cautious when out with your pet when hiking or travelling in the woods.

Pet Friendly Lodging

There are several pet friendly lodging accommodations available in Pagosa Springs.

Remember, when scheduling your visit to be sure and ask first before bringing your pet since most lodging have limited pet friendly rooms available.  These are on a first come first serve basis.

Bringing your pet to a non pet room can cause you to be charged extra, requested to leave, or cause someone who has allergies to pet to become very ill.  Please respect the lodging requirements for pets.

First Inn Pagosa is a pet friendly (and 420 friendly) hotel located downtown Pagosa Spring, with San Juan River access and walking trails right outside.  A great choice for lodging when travelling with your four-legged companions. They have 2 pet friendly rooms so be sure to let them know that’s what you’re looking for when making your reservation.

First Inn of Pagosa

First Inn PagosaFirst Inn has been in operation since 1993.

Owner, Lew Woodard has been the owner for over 20 years and is still very much involved with the Inn to this day.  It is one of the only 420 Friendly Inns in Pagosa Springs and has immediate access to the river and walking trails. They have had wonderful guests from around the world make their selves at home there.  Be sure to tell them Pagosa Now sent you!

Additional accommodations for pet friendly lodging in Pagosa Springs can be found here: Pet Friendly Lodging

Eating Out With Pets

Pagosa Springs Malt ShoppeOn a nice day you will be able to bring your four legged friend with you to several dining facilities in the area.  Pets are NOT allowed inside restaurants due to state statutes and regulations unless your pet is an official service dog (and even then they may not be allowed inside).  There are outdoor seating areas in many restaurants around town, but check first before brining your pet.  Just because they have outdoor seating, does not mean they are pet friendly and allow pets.


Pet Friendly diningThe Malt Shoppe has an outdoor seating area and a view of the San Juan River, so you can enjoy your meal with your furry friend.

The Malt Shoppe has been locally owned and operated since 1981.

They offer breakfast and lunch as well as soft serve ice-cream, shakes, and malts.  Your puppy will love sitting with you outside on the deck while you enjoy your meal and then go for a walk by the river after!

Here you can find other locations offering pet friendly dining in Pagosa Springs.


Food For Your Pet

Pets will sometimes react to the altitude change like humans do and you may have to adjust their food, especially if they are not eating.

Nancy Haines of Pagosa Feed and NurseryNancy Haines of Pagosa Feed and Nursery suggests a limited ingredient diet for those occasions.  “It’s easier on their digestive system.  High protein can upset their stomach.”  Nancy also suggests to remember to keep your pet hydrated, especially on hikes.

Here are some other suggestions Nancy had to offer:

Be sure to check the area’s hunting seasons.  Make sure you and your pet have orange vests.

Pack snacks for you and your pet while hiking or during other outdoor activities.

Pagosa has a lot of wildlife (skunks, bears, raccoons, mountain lions, etc.).  Make sure to bring feeders in at night, securely lock up your trash cans, and remember you’re in their territory so just be cautious.

If your in need of food, or wanting a toy for your pet while in Pagosa, their are several locations to purchase pet products.  Find them here:  Pet Services and Supplies

Remove skunk odor from your pets.If your pet happens to get “skunked” during your stay here, there are many remedies online and in stores that can help alleviate the smell.  Pagosa Feed and Nursery has a natural shampoo with neutralizing enzymes that break down the odor causing agents.  Leaving your pet smelling great again.


Animals, especially skunks, love dog food.  Remember to bring in your pets food to prevent additional visits during the night.

Pagosa Feed and Nursery

Long hair cat
One of Pagosa Feed’s friendly felines.

Nancy and Darren Haines are the owners of Pagosa Feed and Nursery, located at 166 Bastille Drive.  They have been open for 11 years in Pagosa Springs and offer a wide variety of pet food, including feed for your flock, as well as gardening items in the spring.  With many pets of their own, many of whom you can visit with at the store, Nancy and Darren are knowledgeable about their products and can answer many questions you may have about the right food for you beloved pets.

Additional locations to buy pet food in Pagosa Springs can be found here:  Pet Food in Pagosa Springs.


Your pet WILL get dirty if you’re outdoors.  It just comes with the territory. Our pets love to play just as hard as we do and deserve a spa day too! If your needing a place to clean your dog (and even cat!) Waggin’ Tails can help.

Dogs need their hair cut too

Brenda Decker of Waggin’ Tales has 22 years experience with pets of all sizes.  “They love to get into weeds and thistles, especially this time of year.”  Brenda recommends brushing your pet often to prevent deep matting that can lead to other problems. “Start young so they can get used to it.”

Depending on the dog, length of hair, and size, it can take several hours for your pet to be groomed.  “They leave here completely dry so there is no chance of left over musty smell.”  Leaving a dog damp can also lead to other issues and sometimes that “smell” will never go away if not dried properly.

Maria Gurule, who has been with Waggin’ Tails for 8 years, says their “Batman and Robin” team works well in keeping their schedules accurate for the times they tell you.  “We’ve done this for a long time. Many of our dogs are locals but we do get tourists bringing their pets to us too. Dogs are like kids,  they behave better for other people when their parents aren’t around.”  So don’t worry about bringing Fluffy in and leaving her there.  Waggin’ Tales will take great care of your pet and you will be glad to have a clean pup!

Waggin’ Tails

Brenda Decker has been grooming pets in Pagosa since 1996 and has been at her current location,  97 Hopi Dr. Unit 3,  for 15 years. She uses all natural products with NO chemicals.  With her expertise and superstar sidekick Maria, 8 years with Waggin Tails, your pup (or cat!) will be well looked after and super clean when you come to pick him or her up! Contact them for an appointment at: (970) 731-3647.

Other pet groomers in Pagosa Springs: Pet Grooming

Day Care/Pet Sitting

Unfortunately pets aren’t allowed everywhere in Pagosa Springs.  On those occasions where you need to venture out on your own, there are several places you can bring your pet for a play date.

Dogs at day careDoggy Day Care is one of the most popular places in Pagosa Springs to pet sit your pooch while you have some time alone.

Maria DePalma, dog specialist and trainer, and Jeff Eadons, chief dog executive, have a special relationship with dogs.  The amount of expertise is evident when you walk in.  Canines of any size are welcome to the day care and Maria believes socializing your pet is very important.  “70% of the dogs that come in have never been boarded before.  We incorporate socializing, positive reinforcement and basic training (general manners) while they are here.  It’s great for puppies and dogs of all ages.  They must be up to date on their shots first before brining them in.”  Doggy Day Care averages 8 dogs a day and have the facilities to sit more.


Doggy Day Care has been opened for 7 years, taking great care of people’s pets since day one.  They offer day care and boarding for all size and temperamant of dogs.  Even the shy ones!

They socialize all day long while reinforcing proper social manners. Visit them with your pooch for a first hand tour.  Taking a break is good for you and your pet!

Other dog sitting services in Pagosa Springs can be found here: Pet Sitting Services.

Veterinary Services

High Peaks Mobile Veterinary Clinic We asked Polly Thibault, a local veterinarian from High Peak Mobile Veterinarian Clinic, her recommendations and suggestions for people bringing their pets to Pagosa Springs.


Suggested shots? Would there be any different shots pets would need for being here or would it be general up to date shots?

It is recommended like every where else that when traveling with your dogs they be vaccinated with the DA2PP vaccination which protects your dog against the distemper virus, canine adenovirus (infectious hepatitis), parainfluenza and parvovirus.

By law, rabies vaccination is the other one that all dogs should have.

Remember to always travel with a copy of vaccination records.

We did have a flu outbreak here in town earlier this year. If you are planning to be in high traffic dog parks then it might be a good idea to vaccinate against the canine influenza H3N2 / H3N8 strains and bordetella (kennel cough).

If anyone is coming into the general four corners area to do a bit of hiking with the dog, there is also a vaccination against the rattlesnake toxin that is available.

This vaccine helps lessen the effect of the toxin from the rattlesnake bite. It is still recommended that if your dog is vaccinated with this vaccine and gets bit by a rattlesnake, to still seek the immediate attention of a veterinarian.

If a visitor is needing to place there dog in the Doggie Day Care facility here in town so they can do other activities that aren’t conducive to having their canine companions with them, the facility does require current vaccination for DA2PP, Rabies, and bordetella (kennel cough).

Is baby sunscreen safe or recommended for pets with short hair on their snout to prevent sunburn?

Just like people, dogs can get burned from sun exposure. I do see it with fair frequency and just like people, dogs that are fair skinned (white fur with pink skin) are more at risk for sunburn and consequently certain types of skin cancer due to over exposure to the sun. Areas that are prone to sunburn are on the bridge of the nose where the fur is more sparse and is in direct exposure to the sun and for dogs that like to lay in the sun, the belly is another area prone to sun damage.

They do make sunscreen specifically for dogs which is the safest to use, but it you cannot find that product, then a children’s sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater can be used.

It is extremely important that when buying sunscreen that it does NOT contain any zinc or PABA. Both of these are toxic to dogs.
Unfortunately dogs will try to lick off what you put on. It takes about 10 minutes for the sunscreen to soak in and be effective. So when the sunscreen is placed on the dog, try to occupy the dog with a toy, stuffed kong etc for 10 minutes to let the sunscreen soak in.

Symptoms to watch for due to elevation change while travelling.  If any.

If you are traveling from low altitude area up to our high altitude environment, you want to remember that your pets are prone to the same affects as we are.

They may tire more easily, pant excessively and may show some loss of appetite and even experience some vomiting. If your pet is healthy, generally they will handle altitudes up to 8000 feet above sea level fairly well. Above 8000 feet you should be more vigilant in watching for signs of altitude sickness such as vomiting, fluid build up in lungs and brain. You should limit your pets exercise when first coming to altitude. See how they are handling it and gradually increase the length of the walk/hike.

Again, if your dog is healthy generally they do fine just like we do. However, if your pet has a heart condition, going up in altitude can certainly exacerbate the condition. You should have a conversation with your veterinarian about traveling at altitude if your pet is on medication for any heart or respiratory condition or is an older dog.

We are also a very dry environment and so dehydration can be a problem as well. Be sure your pet is drinking adequately. They do not always drink more in response to dehydration, so it may be a good idea to add water to their food to help prevent dehydration.

Motion sickness suggestions (to prevent vomiting).

If your pet is prone to getting sick while traveling in the car, you can plan ahead with your veterinarian and get a prescription for a medication called Cerenia which works well for motion sickness and nausea. Another medication you can use is meclizine. You can get this medication over the counter and they make a non – drowsy formula.

It is best not to feed your pet immediately prior to travel and while traveling, be vigilant in keeping your pets diet the same.

If you give different foods or treats while traveling, your pet may be more prone to developing vomiting and diarrhea which definitely dampens the mood of the trip.

Remember to always be safe when traveling and exploring the outdoors with your pet.  Know the local leash laws and hunting seasons.  Check with your vet before traveling to be sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations.  Everyone stay hydrated and have a good time!

High Peak Mobile

Veterinary at workPolly Thibault, owner of High Peak Mobile Veterinarian Clinic, has been opened since 2007 providing quality care for all types of pets.  Through her mobile clinic, she is able to come to your door, assisting with your animal needs.  Visit her at

See Veterinarians in our directory for vets in the area.

Hot Springs and Your Pets

Don't bring pets to hot springs

Do not bring animals soaking.  It is prohibited by soaking establishments and it could be harmful to your pets!  Animals do not sweat like we do and can easily overheat in the temperatures the hot springs get to, even the lower temperature ones.  That includes the ‘Hippy Dip’. They do however love the river!  Just keep a close eye on them because they can get caught up in the current which can dangerous for you and them.


The 3/50 Project

The 3/50 projectPagosa Now supports local businesses and hopes to spread awareness of the The 3/50 Project.  Shopping and supporting local is important to keeping Pagosa Springs a quality town for you to visit and for us to live.  Wherever you go, be sure to visit local shops and participate in the growth of that community. Visit the The 3/50 Project for more information on how you can help!  If you are a locally owned and operated business in Pagosa Springs, we would love to do a business highlight on you!  Contact us today at [email protected] so  we can schedule your interview.

If you know more pet friendly places in Pagosa Springs, let us know and we’ll add them to our list!

A Pagosa puppy
One of Pagosa Now’s pups

Send us pictures of you and your furry friend in Pagosa Springs and we’ll post it to our site’s gallery.  Be entered to win a $25 gift card from Pagosa Feed and Nursery at the end of the month!

Only one (1) photo per participant.
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