Drift Away on a Pet-Friendly Houseboat

Posted by Billy Francis

Waking up to water outside your window is great … unless you have a leak. Houseboats have kept people and pups afloat for more than 5,000 years and today provide the perfect accommodations for a vacation on the water. From a private conch cottage on the backcountry waters around Key West to a historic houseboat in Gig Harbor, you’ll find a boat vacay to suit your salty sea dog on this list.

Secluded Boathouse

Robbinsville, NC
Fido, your floating palace awaits. Photo by VRBO

The only way to reach this secluded boathouse is by kayak. Fortunately, one is provided by your host if you don’t have your own. Paddle half an hour from shore to your temporary home on the water and enjoy lake life away from the crowds. Grill out on the deck and dine on the picnic bench in the sun, then head back out in the kayak to explore the water with your pooch.

The secluded boathouse accommodates four guests and welcomes dogs up to 50 lbs.

Boston Harbor Yacht

Boston, MA
Lil yacht-see. Photo by Airbnb

Europeans first dropped anchor at Boston Harbor in 1614. The area has seen a lot over time, including the Boston Tea Party, and you can get a firsthand feel for its maritime history with a stay on a Boston Harbor Yacht. If you can drag yourself away from the skyline views, Fido can stretch his legs at Castle Island Beach and navigate the water with a Boston Water Taxi.

Boston Harbor Yacht sleeps six. Well-behaved pets are considered for an additional fee of $50 per pet.

I’m feeling blue. Photo by Airbnb

How do sunsets over the San Sebastian River sound? Blue Oasis is located in downtown St. Augustine and offers a sublime stay for two- and four-legged visitors to the oldest city in America. Guests are invited to indulge in drinks on the deck under the shade of the canopy, take part in day trips to local hotspots like the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park and the St. Augustine Lighthouse, and grab a bite to eat at Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille.

Blue Oasis sleeps three guests. Two dogs are welcome with prior approval for an additional fee of $50 per pet, per stay.

Rondavous Land Yacht

Terlingua, TX
"Captain Brownbeard reporting for duty.” Photo by Facebook.com/tinvalleyretrorentals

Land ahoy, Fido! Rondavous Land Yacht in the Texas Badlands is one of Tin Valley Retro Rentals' unique pet-friendly stays, offering dogs who don’t have their sea legs the chance to climb aboard a yacht in desert surroundings. Located in a quirky clothing-optional camping resort, you and your pooch will share 90 acres with other campers enjoying rentals like Pancho Villa or sleeping soundly in the pet-friendly RV park area. Cook dinner on the smoker, hang out around the fire pit and enjoy stargazing together on Rondavous’ deck.

Rondavous Land Yacht sleeps two. Dogs are welcome for a $25 pet fee.

Houseboat in Peaceful Marina

Richmond, VA
Ruffin’ it on the river. Photo by VRBO

Watch your troubles float away with a stay on this houseboat in a peaceful marina. Described as a spacious and cozy riverboat only 10 miles from Richmond, it’s located on a quiet meandering section of water known for oxbow lakes, calm tides and peaceful vibes. When the sun starts to set, sit out on the deck and watch ancient sturgeons leap out of the water.

This houseboat in a peaceful marina accommodates four guests and pets stay for free.


Oakley, CA
“Hi, tide!” Photo by Airbnb

DeltaJaz! is a pet-friendly houseboat that inspires relaxation from the moment your pup stirs to the moment she is rocked to sleep by the swaying waters of the Dutch Slough at night. This unique home on the water features a sauna with room for three people, a huge space upstairs with 360-degree views of the beautiful surroundings, and a full sound system for your ocean playlist. During the day, use the home’s kayak or paddleboard to adventure with your vacation partner and pooch on the water.

DeltaJaz! sleeps two guests and welcomes dogs to stay for free.

“Don’t cats hate water?” Photo by Airbnb

Fido can feel the gentle waters rock and roll underneath his paws during his stay on board Shamrockin. This historic boat is moored up in the heart of the charming city of Gig Harbor on Puget Sound. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by hardwood floors, two staterooms, a cozy bedroom and a delightful fireplace. Enjoy coffee at sunrise while admire views of vessels all around and Mount Rainier in the distance, then have cocktails at sunset and grill out whenever your pack gets hungry. Then, hop in one of the kayaks provided and paddle with your pup to nearby attractions like Cutts Island State Park. If you’d rather somebody else cook for you, head to nearby Gourmet Burger Shop for dinner on the pet-friendly patio.

Shamrockin sleeps four guests and welcomes dogs for free.

Key West Outpost

Key West, FL
Cruise around the Keys! Photo by Airbnb

Cruise with your canine around the pet-friendly Florida Keys on The Outpost, a private conch cottage on the backcountry waters around Key West. Your helpful hosts will deliver you to the boat upon arrival and pick you up when it’s time to head back to dry land. In the meantime, your private cruise ship on the crystal blue water awaits. Go for a self-guided eco-tour and see the area’s wildlife, launch a paddleboard or kayak, and do some light tackle fishing right from the back deck. Inside, the art on the walls is inspired by the ocean and there are plenty of windows to look out of while you relax with your pack.

The Outpost sleeps four guests and dogs are welcome to stay for free.

Houseboat on a Serene Lake

Colfax, LA
A secluded setting for your floating vacation. Photo by Airbnb

While not technically located in the pet-friendly Louisiana Bayou, this houseboat on a serene lake will make you feel like you are thanks to the trees that poke their way beyond the surface and the wildlife that hangs out nearby. The boat has all you need for an off-grid glamping experience with a refrigerator, hot plate and microwave for cooking simple meals. Explore the water in a kayak, paddle boat or pirogue rental from your host, which includes life jackets and paddles. Back on dry land, you and your leashed dog can walk around the lake, fish off the pier, gather around the fire ring, eat dinner in the communal screened-in area and use the private bathroom and shower shared with two other tiny homes.

This houseboat on a serene lake sleeps two guests and allows dogs to stay for a $50 pet fee.

Which of these houseboats floats Fido’s boat? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by Pixabay.