It’s heartbreaking to pack for a vacation and leave your favorite furry friend behind. You miss them so much, and their sad eyes and mournful whine don’t exactly put you in a vacationing mood.
You have a Niagara Falls trip planned, and you’re curious if this is the vacation where your pet can tag along.
This guide will answer your most burning questions about visiting Niagara Falls with dogs, including if you can do it and what kinds of activities to add to your itinerary.
Are You Allowed to Bring Your Dog to Niagara Falls State Park in New York?
Niagara Falls sits on the US-Canada border, so parts of the three waterfalls are in New York, and the other is in Canada. The New York side of Niagara Falls is in Niagara Falls State Park.
Can Rover join you for your jaunt to see Bridal Veil Falls or American Falls? Indeed, he can!
Niagara Falls State Park prides itself on being pet-friendly. According to its website, you can bring your dog or “other household pet,” although the site doesn’t specify which pets it means. Perhaps cats, but I wouldn’t try taking a boa constrictor.
The kids will love having their fuzzy companion available to share the experience while watching the waterfalls, but you must be aware of Niagara Falls State Park’s rules. Here’s an overview.
Clean Up After Your Pets
This is a given. No one’s asking your dog to hold it in for the entire afternoon while you check out Niagara Falls, but you must clean up any messes they make, so bring doggy bags.
Supervise Your Pet
You love animals, but remember, not all Niagara Park visitors will necessarily feel the same. Don’t put their safety and enjoyment at risk by letting your dog roam free at any point during your visit.
Don’t Bring Your Dog on Improved Boardwalks and Walkways
Pets are confined to Niagara Falls State Park’s footpaths and green space, of which there is a lot. You and your pup can get within view of the two waterfalls in these areas, so if you were hoping for that perfect photo op, you don’t have to give it up.
That makes it a lot easier to keep your dog away from the improved boardwalks and walkways, which are strictly for pedestrian traffic.
Do Not Take Your Dog into Any Buildings
Niagara Falls State Park has several buildings scattered across its 400 acres, including restrooms, a gift shop, and the World Changed Here Pavilion at the Cave of the Winds.
Your dog is expressly forbidden from entering any building within the park. The only exception is for service animals.
Do Not Take Your Dog on Any Attraction
Niagara Falls is as known for its attractions as its stunningly beautiful waterfalls. Unfortunately, you’ll have to leave your dog at home if you want to explore these activities.
Dog Must Be Current on Its Rabies Vaccines
Has your pup had all his shots recently? If not, schedule a vet appointment before you make a beeline to Niagara Falls State Park with the family. The park only allows canines that have rabies vaccines.
This reduces the liability if a guest gets bitten by your dog.
Dog Must Be Leashed
Most importantly, you cannot travel anywhere on the park grounds unless your dog is on a six-foot leash. The leash can be longer if needed. You must cage any animals that require it if traveling with a menagerie.
Are You Allowed to Bring Your Dog to Niagara Falls in Canada?
It’s great to know you can travel with your dog to the American side of Niagara Falls, but what if you cross the border to the Canadian side? What’s the policy there?
Canada’s Niagara Falls permits dogs just the same, so you’re free to explore the waterfall views with your pet in tow.
You can take your dog through the Niagara Parkway, on all sidewalks, and in any public area. However, you must keep your pup on its best behavior, and of course, be ready to clean up those inevitable messes.
Your dog doesn’t need a passport to enter Canada from the US but must have a proof of rabies vaccine, so keep Fido’s records current before your next vacay.
What Are the Most Pet-Friendly Spots in Niagara Falls?
Knowing you’re limited on where to take Fido makes planning a Niagara Falls itinerary tough. While you’ll have to miss some sights on your road trip, you can still plan a fulfilling vacation the entire family will love with these great activities on your to-do list.
The Great Gorge Scenic Overlook in New York is a 1.2-mile rail trail with a crushed stone path. It takes a little over an hour to complete the round-trip hike.
Start at the Trailhead Building, conclude your hike at the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge and Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, then turn around and walk back.
Your dog must be leashed, and the trail has no age limit, so the little ones will love crossing it as much as your dog does.
Address: 332 Prospect Street, Niagara Falls, New York
Ontario’s Niagara Falls Dog Park in Firemen’s Park is the chance you’ve been waiting for to unleash your dog and let them roam free. This park is for dogs of all breeds and sizes and is wide open enough for your pup to explore and make new fuzzy friends.
You don’t have to unleash your dog if you’re more comfortable keeping them tethered, but be aware that most canines will run free.
You can make an afternoon out of your visit to Firemen’s Park, enjoying amenities like a creative playground, baseball diamond, half basketball court, pavilion, disk golf, groomed walkways, and restrooms.
Address: 2275 Dorchester Road at Mountain Road, Niagara Falls, Ontario
DeVeaux Woods State Park Dog Park
The DeVeaux Woods State Park in New York is a 10-acre outdoor paradise with picnic tables, nature trails, and a playground. Pet owners shouldn’t miss its dog park, a recreation area that’s roughly an acre.
Do you have a smaller dog and don’t want them mingling with bigger canines? The DeVeaux Woods State Park Dog Park has separate sections for large and small dogs.
The private run that borders the park’s perimeter has three enclosed sections so you and your pup can get away if they’re overstimulated.
The dog park also has benches, leash holders, disposal stations, and doggy water fountains.
Address: 3100 Lewiston Road, Niagara Falls, New York
Niagara Falls Bark Park
Ontario’s Niagara Falls Humane Society is the home of the Niagara Falls Bark Park, another off-leash option for your doggies to have a ball.
The park is open daily between dawn and dusk. Your dog must be vaccinated against rabies, and you cannot bring toys, food, or glass containers into the dog park.
Your dog is still your responsibility when unleashing them. You must be capable of verbally controlling your pet and mustn’t let them out of your sight.
The Niagara Falls Bark Park also features separate areas for bigger and smaller dogs.
Address: 6025 Chippawa Parkway, Ontario, Canada
The Niagara Falls Dairy Queen in New York is pet-friendly, with an outdoor seating area perfect for sharing a cone with your favorite four-legged friend.
However, you should call the DQ before visiting to ensure outdoor accommodations are available.
Address: 2301 Military Road, Niagara Falls, New York
Spend a day shopping in Ontario at The Outlet Collection at Niagara. The stores within this shopping center are mostly outdoors. Those allowing dogs in or around the premises will have a dog-friendly sticker.
Address: 300 Taylor Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada