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What can I do with my dog?

Are dogs allowed in the house?

Absolutely. We know they are part of your family.  However they are not allowed on the sofas, chairs or beds. Claws can scratch leather and wood and snag blankets, comforters and fabrics.  Plus your dog isn’t as clean or sweet-smelling as you think and not all of our guests are doggie people.  If your dog is allowed on these surfaces at home, please bring blankets or sheets with you to lay over the furniture.

Are the beaches dog-friendly?

They’re not.  That means that dogs are not permitted past the dunes, to the water line or in the water. You may occasionally see someone breaking the rules, but there is a fine if you are caught.  Three wonderful exceptions to this are the dog park at Fort De Soto, Honeymoon Island and North Shore Park in downtown St Petersburg. (See next page.)

  • Fort DeSoto – Called Paw Playground, this 1,136-acre county park was named one of Petside’s Top 10 Dog-Friendly beaches and one of the South’s Best Dog Parks by Southern Living magazine. Dogs are allowed on the beach at the fenced in Paw Playground that’s divided into separate sections for small and large dogs. Some of the amenities include cooling stations with showers and dog-level water fountains to keep your pet comfortable.
  • Honeymoon Island – 4 miles of sandy beaches blanket this natural barrier island. There are also miles of nature trails, wildlife, a nature center, concessions and plenty of parking. Your dog is welcome on the beach and in the water as long as he or she is on a six-foot handheld leash. The dog beach is located at the southernmost tip of Honeymoon Island. Human amenities include showers, concessions and restrooms. Update 2018: Please exercise caution in this area as rattlesnakes are common!!!
  • North Shore Park – in downtown St Petersburg – also welcomes water-loving dogs!

Is there a dog park nearby?

  • Yes!  In Gulfport there are two great places to exercise your dog. Gulfport’s main dog park is “Chase Park”, located at 27th Ave S and 54th St S.  This neighborhood park is one complete city block bounded by 28th & 27th Avenues and 53rd & 54th Streets South. This area includes the meeting site for local Boy & Girl Scouts, tennis courts, the Gulfport Historical Museum and two dog parks – one for large dogs and one for small dogs.
  • The second location is Clam Bayou Nature Park, located at the end of Miriam St S. The area is a nature preserve and includes several observation decks and docks, a canoe/kayak launch, several short trails and views of Clam Bayou and Boca Ciega Bay

Should I bring my own dog beds, bowls, etc?

Yes please! Bringing your pet’s own bedding and bowls can really be comforting to them in an unfamiliar environment.

We do have some dog bowls and “messy cleanup rags” available in most homes in case you don’t bring your pets items.

Please do not use our regular guest towels, beach towels or our human bowls for your dog.

Are there any local dog friendly cafes?

Yes! You may be amazed at the local restaurants that are pet-friendly. Most will have outdoor seating and water bowls. Here are a few:

  • The Dog Bar– aptly named, this place is mainly for dogs but serves alcohol so you can enjoy yourself while your four-legged little one runs wild.  There are some serious play zones here – ramps, a swimming pool for starters.  You’ll need a copy of your dog’s vaccination records & pay a membership – $40 per year for the first dog; $20 each for the rest.  And the adult beverages for the humans aren’t an afterthought either.  24 beers on tap & mixed drinks.
  • Salty’s Gulfport Bar – the patio is completely dog-friendly as long as on a leash and well-behaved with others.  Food is not served (this is a bar) but nearby restaurants deliver. They have Yappy Hour.
  • Nikko Mussolini Dog Barrrrrr – Coffee, mixed drinks, ice cream, dog treats, dog wear.
  • O’Maddy’s – sidewalk seating for dogs
  • Neptune Grill – outdoor seating for dogs

Where is the local vet?

Very close to Gulfport is the Gulfport Animal Hospital/Gulfport Veterinarian.  5621 Gulfport Blvd., 727-489-4897.

Gulf Animal Hospital – 808 Pasadena Ave S, 727-381-5005

Veterinary Healing Arts, 727-360-5700, 431 Corey Ave, St Pete Beach, myzenvet@gmail.com

The Cat Hospital on Park Street – 22 Park St S, 727-381-2287,

Where are the local groomers?

Reef Dog Gifts and Grooming – Keep that relationship between you and your pet clean and healthy – treat your loved one to a spa day at Reef Dog.  Located on Beach Blvd in Gulfport, so you may not even need to drive!

How can I find a pet sitter?

If you need a sitter during your stay, try  Just type in your zip code (33707 will work), then indicate your start and end dates and whether you’re looking for boarding, daycare, house sitting or dog walking.

Tip:  Shannon T with “Your Critter Carer” in Gulfport has many great reviews and repeat guests!

What else can I do with my dog?

How about a festival? Check for more!

Does your friend need a Spa Day?

Well, who doesn’t now and then. Reef Dog Gifts and Grooming – Keep that relationship between you and your pet clean and healthy – treat your loved one to a spa day at Reef Dog. Located on Beach Blvd in Gulfport, so you may not even need to drive!

Dog Safety Tips

Dogs are such social creatures and their favorite place is to be by your side.  However, that doesn’t mean that travel and staying in a new place won’t be stressful for them.  Being prepared can make a lot of difference if you find your dog lost, stressed or ill while on your trip.

  • Before you leave for your trip, make sure your contact info on your pet’s ID tag is current and is a phone number that YOU can be reached at while on your trip.  (Such as a cell phone number.)  If it isn’t, consider buying a temporary tag to attach to his or her collar and write your cell phone number on it with a Sharpie.
  • Identify a nearby vet and emergency hospital for your pet before you travel.
  • If your dog needs a special diet, be sure to bring plenty with you.
  • Bring your pets medication.  (I left one of our cat’s asthma inhaler home one time.  Neither the medication nor the device used to administer it can be obtained quickly.  Lesson learned!)
  • Bring a bottle of water and bowl for your trip if traveling by car and also for when you’re out and about exploring the area. Many shops and restaurants will have dog water bowls sitting out, but by bringing your own you may limit your pet’s contact with other doggie germs.
  • Collars and leashes – important anytime your dog is out of the car or house.  Many restaurants and parks require you to “leash or leave”.
  • Boots – if you plan on taking your dog on the beach or on trails, consider protection from hot sand and sharp objects for their tootsies!
  • Planning on boating? Then bring or buy a pet life vest.  You need to wear one and your dog does too.

What else do I need to know?

  • We don’t allow puppies under 1 year old.
  • Normally there is a 2-dog maximum. Please inquire if your situation is otherwise.
  • We do charge a pet cleaning fee
  • All dogs must be housebroken.  Dogs that are “pee-pad trained” are not housebroken.  And they miss the pad.
  • Dogs should be kept on a leash when outside the home or backyard.
  • Please be realistic about your pets behavior when he or she is away from home.  Just because they don’t bark when you are home doesn’t mean they don’t bark.
  • You are responsible for picking up your dog’s waste, in a bag, and placing it in a covered trashcan in a bag.
  • If you’re staying for an extended period, please encourage your dog to urinate in different spots in the yard, to avoid urine burn on the grass