Dog Friendly Ruidoso | Lodging, Dining, Activities and More |
Dog in a backpack

Whether you are traveling with Fido or Fifi, Ruidoso welcomes your four-legged companion. From lodging to brewpubs to specialty stores, fur buddies are encouraged.

Pet-friendly Lodging

Many types of lodging put out the welcome mat for your dog. Shadow Mountain Lodge in the Upper Canyon is near shopping and restaurants but still feels tucked away in the forest surrounded by trees. Idle Hour Lodge’s cabins are not far from Midtown and also welcome your four-legged companion for a reasonable additional fee. 

Watch birds and deer from the chairs on the rustic porch. You can spend an hour on the porch sipping tea or wine while watching the noisy and bold acorn woodpeckers in the pines. These are just two of many lodges that welcome your dog and offer a great porch to linger and enjoy the fresh mountain air and admire the mountains.

Pet-friendly Dining

From breakfast to happy hour, your canine companion can lounge on the patio of restaurants, coffee shops, brewpubs, and wine bars.  

While a large breakfast may make you want to head back to bed, don’t forgo a light breakfast that lets you charge onward until lunch. Plan to have breakfast or lunch at The Village Buttery or Pena’s Place. Both welcome fur companions and are excellent choices for a generous plate of eggs and bacon — pups, surely your human will share! — or a pastry or other light fare.

For breakfast or lunch, the Village Buttery has a shaded patio that welcomes dogs. Due to their popularity, they may have a line out the door for their menu of soup, sandwiches, and salads. Do not skip dessert here! A favorite is the buttermilk pie, which is not a common offering on menus these days.

Pet-friendly Activities

Trails beckon with adventure for hikers and dogs to explore and ramble. Leashed dogs are welcome at Ruidoso parks and trails. They can even go for a refreshing dip in Grindstone Lake. 

If the trails and gondola at Ski Apache are open, ride a bike, hike, or take the gondola to the top of Sierra Blanca Peak, where leashed dogs are allowed. Please be a responsible visitor and clean up after your dog.

If you both need a bit of play with other creatures, human and animal, drive over to the Ruidoso Dog Park at White Mountain Recreation Complex (685 Hull Road). The park’s acre site, surrounded by a five-foot fence, has plenty of shade, room to run, and chairs and benches for human companions.

This park is designed for the dog’s safe entry and exit with an area for small dogs separate from the area for large dogs. The dog park has a view of the majestic mountains and overlooks an expanse of green grass fields and sports activities, though dogs are not allowed on sports fields. The dog park even provides water and poop bags.

Pet-friendly Shops and Restaurants

Man with small white dog in Ruidoso, New Mexico.After stretching legs, shaking out wet fur, and exploring until breathless — both you and your dog — it is time to find food, drink, and the treasures of local boutiques.

As the humans explore the engaging shops and elegant galleries, dogs will find a bowl of water at The Happy Hiker. This store has a corner set aside with delights for the outdoor dog. Commemorate your trip with a lock engraved with the names of your special travel companion.

No Bones About It Gourmet Dog Bakery and Pet Boutique also has a water dish outside plus a wide selection of dog treats, toys, and other useful products. Treats include small peanut butter cups, crunchy mini pumpkin and cranberry treats, and bacon and cheddar treats, along with many other options. Take home specially shaped and colorfully decorated cookies for your fur friends, such as a happy birthday bone, Starbucks cup, beer mug, or pizza slice. They even have souvenirs a dog can take to a cat friend. 

At lunchtime, locals recommend the small and popular Pena’s Place, which specializes in New Mexican food for breakfast, lunch, and weekend evening meals. The hours vary, so call ahead. Pena’s is known for eggs benedict (served on weekends) or treat yourself to a cinnamon roll. Take your meal out on their shaded patio so you can eat with your canine friend. 

Zocca Coffee is in a strip mall on Mechem Drive but has a small covered outdoor area with a few tables. Get there early for the best pastry selection, as they may be sold out by mid-afternoon. Dogs are welcome on the patio.

So many places to have lunch or happy hour and so little time!

Happy Hiker products
Happy Hiker has plenty for your four-legged friend.

Donnie’s Pitstop Grill scores big with humans and dogs alike, serving smoked meats, hamburgers, and homemade sides. Watch for the daily and seasonal specials, such as mahi-mahi fish cake over a bed of power greens. If you’re lucky, there might be a special wine pour, Bloody Mary bar, or seasonal beers. Check out the owner’s posts on Facebook for musical guests and daily specials.

Wind down the day on any of the patios and green spaces of the many wineries and brewpubs. Enchanted Vine, a Noisy Water Winery location, on Alto Road has lots of green space and outdoor games. If that is too far away, the Noisy Water Winery and Noisy Water Mercantile are located on Sudderth. Both offer wine tastings, wines, artisan cheeses, a wide range of New Mexico chile products, gourmet foods, and gift items.

Tall Pines Beer and Wine Garden makes no bones about it: Dogs welcome is on the sign posted at the gate. New Mexico beers and wines go well with their generous cheese platter.

Lost Hiker Brewing Co. Taproom also is located on Sudderth. This small and bright mid-century-styled taproom serves their own locally made brew. Relax outdoors with a beer and your dog.

“Bone” appetit!


Story by Jackye Meinecke • Photos by Jackye Meinecke and Cheryl Fallstead

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