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adventures with dogs

How To Plan A Dog-Friendly Honeymoon

After the “I Dos” are done and the guests go home, it’s typically time to head off on a honeymoon. If you’re anything like us here at Ruffwear who include our dogs in just about everything we do, why not include them in a honeymoon, too?

My name is Dani and I am the Marketing & PR Manager at Ruffwear. I just got married to my partner of 12+ years this September and we knew we wanted to include our adopted dog of seven years, Vilas, in our honeymoon plans. Here’s how we did it.

Dani, Vilas and Brian show off their wedding rings.

1) Driving Distance

The first step is determining how far you are willing to drive to get to your destination. Since we do not have a Service Dog and she is bigger than carry-on size for flying, our only option was to choose something within driving distance. Who doesn’t love a good road trip anyway? Initially we thought our threshold was 4-5 hours given how tired we thought we would be from the wedding festivities. But, once we found an outdoor-inspired, dog-friendly resort near the town of Moab, we ended up driving 9 hours (each direction) which was totally worth it.

Vilas peeps her head out of Dani and Brian's car window as they drive through Moab.

2) Finding Dog-Friendly Accommodation

Once we determined how far we were willing to drive to get to our destination we started researching accommodations and activities. It’s easy enough these days to apply the pet friendly filter when searching for an Aibnb, but because it was our honeymoon, we were hoping for something a little nicer for at least part of the time. Enter ULUM Moab: An outdoor resort that is perfect for adventure travelers (and their furry companions) looking to bridge comfort with nature. I stumbled upon them on TikTok while doomscrolling one night in bed, and when I checked their Instagram the first photo I saw was of a dog sitting outside one of their beautiful tents. I was hooked! This was just the kind of elevated honeymoon experience we were hoping for, while also being able to include our spotted best friend. This option was our top choice, rather than a dog-friendly hotel, because of the seclusion and easy access to the outdoors.

We decided to book two nights at ULUM and spend the rest of the time at an Airbnb in Moab. This provided the best of both worlds by being able to relax and feel pampered at ULUM for our honeymoon, and then stay in a dog-friendly Airbnb within walking distance of downtown Moab, all without breaking the bank. With our accommodations booked, it was time to start planning our activities for the week.

Dani and Vilas sit on the porch of their ULUM glamping tent at dusk.

3) Finding Dog-Friendly Activities

There was no point in including our pup if we had to leave her in our room the whole time (which, by the way, isn’t allowed at ULUM.) Instead, dogs are allowed both inside and outside the resort (so incredible!). For breakfast and dinner we opted for their amazing outdoor dining area that overlooks the desert landscape. There was plenty of room to put Vilas’ dog bed next to our table without her getting in the way or bothering other patrons. Another major bonus about staying at ULUM was being able to hike directly from our tent. On our second day we had breakfast outside, went back to the room to change, grabbed hiking gear for ourselves and Vilas, then walked through the resort and down the road to get to the trailhead. The hike features an amazing arch called Looking Glass Rock. It is not a long hike at all but you can do some fun scrambling around the rocks and often see people climbing and rappelling from the top.

In the left image, Dani and Vilas stand by a flat lay of Ruffwear gear. In the right image they walk together on a Moab trail.

We mostly kept Vilas on a leash because the desert is full of spikey (cacti) and poisonous (snakes) things, but we did take her off leash during this hike to safely scramble up the rocks together. Once we made it to the arch we had a quick water and snack break. Luckily Vilas carried all of her own water and snacks in her Switchback Harness, which is also great for storing full poop bags. Following Leave No Trace guidelines is especially important in delicate desert landscapes.

Dani and Vilas cuddle in a red rock Arch in Moab.

The rest of the week was spent in the town of Moab where we were walking distance to downtown and only a short drive to a number of different dog-friendly hikes. To say the town of Moab is dog-friendly would be an understatement. We were able to find plenty of places to eat that offered dog-friendly outdoor seating like Moab Food Truck Park and the Moab Garage. It is important to note that while most people who visit Moab seek out hiking destinations like Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, dogs are not allowed in either of these National Parks. We avoided these areas which seemed to work in our favor as the hikes we chose had less crowds and were just as beautiful.

Brian and Vilas stand by the Moab mural, then have lunch in a cafe together.

We chose a sunrise hike at Fisher Towers and an afternoon hike at Mill Creek both of which were beautiful and unique in their own way. Mill Creek had an abundance of water throughout the hike, perfect for a hot afternoon of splashing around. Fisher Towers had no water and included a bit of scrambling/ladder climbing. We put Vilas in her Flagline Harness for this hike because it has a handle for lifting and assisting.

Dani and Vilas pose, Vilas is wearing her Flagline Harness

Between all of the dog-friendly hikes and places to eat we almost missed stopping at the Moab Barkery, a local pet food and supply shop. It was the best place to pick up last minute treats and a toy while in town.

Vilas frolicks in the water at Mill Creek.

4) A Doggone Good Time

After a week of hiking, eating, and relaxing in and around the town of Moab for our honeymoon, it was time to make the 9 hour drive back home. We reminisced about our wedding, our honeymoon, and made plans to return to Moab again in the future. Having our dog Vilas join us for our “I dos” and our epic honeymoon was the right choice for us. She’s part of our family and always brings so much joy, love and laughter to anything we do. While it was extra work in the planning and packing department, I think she helped us experience a new place in a way we wouldn’t have otherwise. Including a dog in your honeymoon might not be the right choice for everyone, but I hope this inspires you to at least plan your next dog-friendly vacation!

The trio smile at the camera while enjoying some water on a hike.