The Dog Days of Spokane

Pet-friendly travel in the eastern Washington hub is a Breeze

By: By Marty Wentzel

Girl and dog in the lobby of the pet-friendly Davenport Hotel, Spokane, WA // (c) Davenport Hotel

Girl and dog in the lobby of the pet-friendly Davenport Hotel, Spokane, WA
// (c) Davenport Hotel

At Spokane, Washington's, Holiday Inn Express Spokane Valley, a golden retriever named Kip serves as a “stress manager.” Two miles north of downtown, at Julie Button’s Antiques & Collectibles, Gus — a corgi/Australian shepherd mix — greets customers coming and going. Last summer, Spokane hosted a special “dog swim day” at several public pools that were about to close. Clearly, this is a city that loves animals, and it rolls out the red carpet when Fido and Fifi come to call.

Pam Scott, Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau communications manager, credited her city’s pet-friendliness, in part, to its relationship with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

“Spokane is one of 10 cities that has an ASPCA partnership,” Scott said. “ASPCA has given the city a grant to create and maintain a humane community. We are very proud of the fact that our animal rescue agencies work together so closely.”

Parks and Promenades for Pooches
While it may be the largest city in eastern Washington, Spokane makes sure it has plenty of green space for visitors on four legs as well as those just walking on two. All of its parks allow pets as long as they are kept on a leash and the owners are responsible for cleaning up after them. Clients and canines can parade along Spokane’s Centennial Trail, a non-motorized, 37-mile paved pathway to the Idaho border and beyond.

Riverfront Park, in the heart of the city, is an exceptional spot for masters and mutts, as is Manito Park on South Hill, which is located three miles south of downtown. Off-leash opportunities include Spokane County Dog Park, open year-round, and a soon-to-open doggie mecca at High Bridge Park, west of downtown. When it’s time for a swim, clients can take their furry friends to Liberty Lake, just a few miles away.

Dog-Friendly Digs
The city’s canine hospitality extends indoors as well. Consider downtown’s Red Lion Hotel at the Park, one of many Spokane accommodations that welcome dogs for a nominal charge. It is also the recent host of the Bulldog Club of America’s National Specialty Show. Red Lion in the Park spokesperson Maggie Babb said her hotel chain offers free enrollment and rewards points to its furry guests as well as their human owners. 

“We know that the number of clients traveling with pets is on the rise, and no other brand — while some accept dogs — really embraces four-legged guests the way we do,” said Babb. “This has been a great opportunity to build our client base.”

Likewise, Fairbridge Inn Express decided to become a pet-friendly hotel in response to demand.

“Guests really appreciate being able to bring their pets with them without worrying about putting them in a kennel,” said Fairbridge spokesperson Sarah Mattingly.

Then there’s the Travelodge at the convention center. At check-in, clients receive a welcome package with dog cookies and plastic clean-up bags.

“We have found that most pets are better behaved than some of our human guests,” joked Spokane Travelodge’s Meredith Rainville. “People who travel with their pets tend to care about them a lot and therefore are responsible pet owners. And, our other guests like seeing the pets. It makes them feel right at home.”

Dog owners can also count on Oxford Suites Spokane, located steps away from Riverfront Park. Its 20 pet rooms, all on the ground floor, provide easy access to the grass outside.

Even the city’s most luxurious properties, such as the Davenport Hotel and Tower, are following the city’s lead by opening their doors to dogs.

“A person who chooses to travel with a pet typically thinks of that animal as a member of the family,” said Matt Jensen, the Davenport Hotel and Tower marketing director. “We want to make all members of a family feel welcome and at home. The additional benefits to a traveling guest who has the company of a valued companion are immeasurable.”

More Information:

Holiday Inn Express Downtown Spokane

Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau