Finding the perfect dog boarding can be a stressful task. I know it’s difficult to leave your dogs alone. Especially if you’re leaving for more than just a couple of days. I’m so protective of my dogs and just can’t trust a random stranger to take care of them.
I have two large dogs. One is a 3 year old German Shepherd that isn’t as social as many other dogs, so for him I had to find a “private” room. My other dog is a year old Shepherd mix rescue and has severe separation anxiety. Definitely not an easy pair to take care of for a stranger.
I came across two amazing ranches in the area and as soon as I reached out to them, I knew they would be perfect for the job.
Dairy Dell Ranch is a fun place for your dogs to live at while you’re away. They have a great selection of “room” options. For example, we chose the “Miss Kitty’s” Private Suites. This type of stay features at-will access to a private room or spacious outdoor run. A comfortable bed, heating and air-conditioning. How great is that?!
Another thing I loved about Dairy Dell is that they offer complimentary day to see how the dogs are acting at the ranch to make sure they get the best care possible.
Moreover, Dairy Dell also offers a variety of trainings, swimming in pool, farm walks, brain games and agility training. Located on a farm in Petaluma, it’s easily accessible.
Another great dog boarding place in Sonoma is the Four Paws Pet Ranch in Santa Rosa. They offer a variety of pet boarding options including private room for less social pups.
Four Paws also supports great causes. For instance, a portion of all proceeds support Countryside Rescue, a non-profit rescue and adoption center based at the ranch.
Similar to Dairy Dell, you can opt for a private suite for your dog. Family dogs can stay together to avoid anxiety and stress.
Both places allow you to bring the food your dogs love or you can use the food provided by the ranch. My dogs are on strict raw diet (Stella and Chewy) and they are able to keep it refrigerated and fresh for them.
PAIR YOUR FAVORITE THINGS – VINO AND PUPPIES.
Love to travel and enjoy wine, but not sure if you dog can come with? Below is a list of the top 5 wineries in Sonoma where you and your pup will have a fabulous time.
CLINE CELLARS. This family owned winery has a special place in my heart. This is there Shawn and I got engaged and then married a year later. This is where our first child, our German Shepherd, Dago, came for his first Sonoma adventure.
Located on Arnold, Cline is a small, casual winery that is family and dog friendly. They offer multiple tasting rooms and multiple large picnic areas where you can enjoy the wine and a snack. You can do a tasting in one of the designated areas or purchase a bottle to enjoy outside. While they don’t have a deli or food service, there is a fridge with cheese, meat and sandwiches for purchase. You’re welcome to bring your own food in as well.
If you’re into walking tours and history, Cline offers multiple tours during the day, some of which include the Mission museum and adobe chapel. There’s a lot to do for any kind of wine drinker – relaxing on the grass, winery tours, and even donkeys! Yes, they have two donkeys that live on site. Pudding and Fancy!
There’s a lot of room for your dogs to walk around (on leash, of course). Our pups love to explore the orchard and look at the donkeys. You can find water bowls around the property to make sure your pets don’t get thirsty. The property is so large that you don’t have to worry if other dogs are too close to you or if there’s a problem with sitting. It’s one of the best places to come if you want more room for your dog(s) without having to deal with other dog owners.
They recently installed outdoor cabanas on the big lawn. I can’t wait to come for a visit when they’re ready! It’s a perfect way to spend the day enjoying wine and good company.
VIANSA. Located just minutes south of Cline, Viansa is another spectacular winery you should visit with your pooch. Sitting on a hilltop, you will take in 270° views of Sonoma from the private “outlooks” and picnic areas.
Just off of Arnold Drive, this upscale property is visible as you drive by so you won’t miss it. They offer multiple tasting options, cabanas and of course dog friendly outdoor picnic and sitting areas. Unlike Cline, they do have their own market place with lots of great options, though outdoor food is not permitted. They also serve wine by glass in case you’re there for just a quick stop and don’t won’t to get a full bottle. (That would be a waste though).
You won’t be able to take a tour of this winery or property, however they offer a variety of interesting wine tastings including a fireside tasting and outlook tastings.
From my experience, the picnic tables can get pretty crowded so if you have a pup that’s not so good in a busy space, I recommend coming here on an off day (earlier in the day and weekdays). That way you get the private experience and your dog will be happy to be their own.
I highly recommend Viansa for an upscale wine experience that is still dog-friendly, affordable and memorable.
ROCHE. This winery is so different from the other 4! Located right in Sonoma square, it’s a small tasting room with large outdoor space. It’s a must visit on a day out in town. Roche is family owned and operated since 1982 and you can feel the amount of care they put in when you visit.
I love visiting Roche, after some walking and shopping in the square. It’s so convenient to pop in for a glass or bottle, chat with the staff, and have your dog hang out and people watch. The outdoor area fits about 60 people so you don’t need to worry about seating or making your dog claustrophobic.
They offer multiple tasting options and my favorite is the Family Tasting which includes 6 wines which you can pair with hand-selected cheeses and meats from the deli. Yum! You can also purchase bottles to go to enjoy on your own.
I recommend Roche for casual vibes, get togethers, outdoor lounge, good wine and nice people.
GUNDLACH BUNDSCHU is one of the oldest family owned wineries in Sonoma. It’s located on the Napa/Sonoma border making it a very convenient spot to go to. The Rhinefarm is a huge property with multiple picnic area, pond, walking paths and many more.
Gun Bun offers amazing tours for any personality from estate tour to an offloading experience on Pinzgauer – an Austrian made military vehicle. How fun is that?! Very unique and exciting adventure. They also offer a cave tasting, a vista courtyard tasting if you’re looking for a romantic experience or a club lounge tasting.
Well behaved dogs are welcome and must be on lease. Again, there’s plenty of outdoor space for the pups and humans to feel comfortable and relaxed.
This winery is laid back and relaxing with a classic California vibe. With open picnic table seating by the pond or vineyard side lawn space, Gun Bun is the perfect spot for a spontaneous visit with fur friends to chill and take in the views and wines at your own pace.
LANDMARK. Last but not least, Landmark Winery has two locations – one in Sonoma and one in Russian River. Both location have gorgeous lawns and picnic areas perfect for a day with the family and dogs.
Landmark winery has a wide variety of local cheeses, charcuterie and accoutrements available for purchase in their tasting rooms. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnics, however no outside alcohol is allowed on the premises. There is no cost for admission, just a minimum wine purchase of $25 for each adult.
Some of the really cool tours you can do at the Landmark include a horse-drawn carriage tour which takes 3 hours and estate viticulture practices, winemaking techniques, and Sonoma wine history.
I hope you look into these amazing Sonoma wineries and take your favorite pup on an adventure. Sonoma County is such a warn and cozy area and everyone should spend at least a day there to see some of the dog friendly wineries.
Marin county in general is very pet friendly. You can bring your dog to a bank, have him/het sit with you on a patio in a nice restaurant, and walk it through a shopping mall. However, when it comes to apartment hunting in Marin things get a little tricky. You need to make sure to speak with the apartment community manager directly to discuss your options.
Overall, I love how pet friendly North Bay is. Anywhere you go, you will see cute pups hanging out on patios or lounging by storefronts. Most of them are better behaved than crazy spoiled kids, too.