Pets like adventures, too, and you can bring them to many stores, parks, trails, lodging establishments and outdoor patios at restaurants around the New River Valley. Claytor Lake State Park allows dogs on land as long as they remain on leashes. For a small fee, pets can stay in campgrounds and cabins. While you’re at the lake, take your pooch for a boat ride. Claytor Lake Water Sports rents boats, and pets are welcome on board. They need to be leashed in the state park itself, but on the open water, that doesn’t matter.

If your pup prefers moving water, head to the New River. At New River Junction, dogs can tube down the river alongside their owners. Some aren’t brave enough to face the river alone, so they sit on an owner’s lap. Others hear the call of the wild and risk it all on their own tubes. “Dog tubes” are the same price as “cooler tubes,” and these inflatables have bottoms to keep the canine rider from falling out. After a trip down the river, pets can stretch their legs exploring Big Falls Park before heading upriver to ride the current again.

Prior to embarking on animal escapades, your pets may need some gear. In Blacksburg, Kibbles on Main opens its door to pets. Your cat or dog can assist you in picking out the perfect items for food, clothing, treats or toys. PetSmart in Christiansburg is another store where pets can shop ‘til they drop. One might assume that it’s mainly dogs that accompany owners inside, but cats and ferrets are also regular customers in the aisles. Tractor Supply is always pet friendly. Primarily selling agricultural supplies and tools, leashed pets can quickly sniff their way to the pet care section.

For visitors who need a place to stay, Blacksburg’s Clay Corner Inn welcomes pets into two guest rooms designated for people guests with furry friends. Hotel Floyd is another place where pets can spend the night in one of two suites for pets at no extra charge. The Comfort Inn, Days Inn, EconoLodge and Quality Inn are among the New River Valley pet-friendly hotels. For more room to roam, Bluecat on the New Camping enthusiastically invites pets to its grounds. When asked if the campground was pet-friendly, Donnie Turner responds with a resounding, “Doggum’ right it is!” There’s no extra charge for bringing pets, and he only asks that they are kept quiet at night and stay within their owner’s campsite area.

It’s a bow-wow world as dogs, in particular, have moved from the backyard dog house to the master suites and interior couches. They have gone from merely being pets to beloved family members, and as such, many folks love having them along on outings. Patronizing a business with a dog is a privilege, so be sure to have a sturdy leash, a few plastic bags and a water dish along with you. Tell the proprietor thank you and bow-wow!


It’s a treat to be able to sit outside while dining, and it’s a double treat to have your dog along, contentedly lying at your feet under a patio table. Dogs can do this at several places, outside only. We did not check everywhere, so call ahead and ask about outdoor seating and dog friendly policy. We’ll update you in the next issue if we hear from other dog-friendly places.

Bull & Bones
The Cellar
Starbucks, Christiansburg
BTO Self-Serve Yogurt, Radford
Blackstone Grille
Southland BBQ
MK’s Gourmet Pizza, Dublin
Buffalo and More, Riner
Blue Door Café at Draper Mercantile
Chateau Morrisette
Villa Appalaccia Winery
The Palisades, Eggleston


By Meg Selby

♦ End

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>