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We want to welcome our newest Pet Friendly cabin, Alpine Retreat, located just minutes from all attractions, restaurants and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This spacious three bedroom chalet sits on over an acre, but is just five minutes from the excitement of downtown Gatlinburg. With three king rooms Alpine Retreat is perfect for a couples retreat, or that long awaited family vacation. The home features a wood-burning fireplace, hot tub, hanging swing, and pool table to keep you entertained after a long day enjoying the Smokies.




This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.


For those of us who just adore our precious pets, and feel as if they are just as much our family as if they were human children, it is important to know where it is ok to take them with us. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (along with most other National Parks) has very specific guidelines about where in the park it is ok to bring your pets, and about how to manage that privilege properly.

Keep your dog on a leash!“Dogs are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and along roads, but must be kept on a leash at all times. The leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Dogs are only allowed on two short walking paths—the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. Pets are not allowed on any other park trails. Pet excrement must be immediately collected by the pet handler and disposed of in a trash receptacle. Pets should not be left unattended in vehicles or RVs.”

This may seem very restrictive, and you wish you could bring your dog up to Clingman’s Dome with you. Please believe us when we say that these regulations are in place for very specific and important reasons:

• Dogs can carry disease into the park’s wildlife populations.

• Dogs can chase and threaten wildlife, scaring birds and other animals away from nesting, feeding, and resting sites. The scent left behind by a dog can signal the presence of a predator, disrupting or altering the behavior of park wildlife. Small animals may hide in their burrow the entire day after smelling a dog and may not venture out to feed.

• Dogs bark and disturb the quiet of the wilderness. Unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells can disturb even the calmest, friendliest, and best-trained dog, causing them to behave unpredictably or bark excessively.

Don't provoke the bears!• Pets may become prey for larger predators such as coyotes and bears. In addition, if your dog disturbs and enrages a bear, it may lead the angry bear directly to you. Dogs can also encounter insects that bite and transmit disease and plants that are poisonous or full of painful thorns and burrs.

• Many people, especially children, are frightened by dogs, even small ones. Uncontrolled dogs can present a danger to other visitors.

Winter Walk at GreenbrierWalking your dog on the roads may not be a very good idea, to be honest, during the summer, and when it’s busy. If, however, you make it here during a particularly slow season, or when many of the roads are closed to vehicles during the winter, you can take full advantage of those roads when there are not so many cars on them. And just because certain roads are closed to vehicles during the winter, doesn’t mean you can’t still walk your dog there! It’s like they are reserving them for you and your pooch!

You can bring your service animal!Those who have need of service animals, are however, allowed to bring them on other trails in the Park. Unfortunately many people try to take advantage of this who do not really need a service animal. Currently park officials can only ask if the animal is preforming a service. Of course any sly person looking to sneak through a loophole could say “yes”, and be thinking, “They are providing me the service of their company.” New policies, however, will allow park officials to ask specifically what service is being provided, and the policies will define very specifically what a service animal is, and what possible services they may be providing, to allow officials to make a fair judgements on which animals will be allowed to proceed.

So let’s just say, for your own convenience, and the benefit of the Park and others trying to enjoy it, don’t try to sneak your beloved pet onto one of the trails where he is not allowed. It may ruin your plans when a park official has to ask you to remove your pet from the area. Even if you somehow get away with it, you could be harming the wonder of our National Park, or disturbing other people there to enjoy it. There are plenty of lovely places you can take your pets in the Park!

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Puppy Aerobic BlogWinter is often the season we all prefer to stay indoors to keep warm, including keeping our pets indoors. As a result we have to find other alternatives to keep our pet’s mind and body active. This can be a little difficult and it will take a little adjusting but it is not impossible. Below are some fun ways to keep active with your furry friend indoors!

1. LASER POINTER: Many believe that these little gadgets are only for cats. We’ve proven that dogs can in fact go just as crazy for them! You can actually just sit and relax while moving this light around to random places and watch your pet chase it wildly.

2. FINDERS KEEPERS: This game is similar to hide and seek and the search can definitely jump start your pet’s thinking skills. You simply choose a toy or yummy treat to hide around the house and then instruct your dog to find them. Sit back and watch as your dog uses their senses to search and then ENJOY!

3. POP: Bubbles aren’t just for children. They can be highly entertaining for your pets as well considering that most pets enjoy the chase! Pick up some pet friendly bubbles at your local pet store and set up at home for some bubble chasing fun. Not only will this be fun for your dog but it can be rather amusing for you also. Setting up a fan in your play area will spread the bubbles even more and your pet will get tons of exercise chasing them for hours!

4. FETCH: Often fetch is a game that most pet owners limit to outdoors only but if you clear all breakables from one space you can enjoy this inside as well! Get their legs moving!

It’s a lot of fun to entertain our pet’s but remember it is a necessity for them! Also remember that our indoor exercise tips does not replace your pet’s daily walk outside. Bundle them up to keep them warm and still take them out for a little socialization! For tips on keeping your pet warm please see our previous post ” They keep us company, we keep them warm ”

This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

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During the winter season canine attire can help to keep your furry loved ones cozy. Keeping our loyal friends warm is very important especially for smaller breed dogs, dogs with little fur, and older dogs. Just like humans, dogs will shiver when they’re cold. Newer to the market are all kinds of convenient apparel options like snuggies, booties and doggie jackets/ sweaters. Booties will protect your doggy’s paws from injury when walking in snow or salt which can prevents salt irritation. Winter attire is a great thing to use from when they’re puppies throughout there lives. Starting them out as puppies will help them get use to the feel of having those extra layers which will make your job a lot easier in their adult years. In the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area’s there are several places to purchase in style puppy threads. Below we will attach some links for you.

* Bonediggity Bakery and Gifts*
      * Smokey Mountain Cat House*
* Just Fur Pets *


Everyone knows how bad a skunk’s spray smells, but even worse is smelling it on your dog! Even if you have never experienced this problem, or don’t even have a pet, knowing how to get rid of the nasty smell is a must! Most products or other skunk odor solutions just cover up the smell, however all you need is a few household products to remove the odor. Chemist Paul Krebaum came up with the solution in 1993 that causes a chemical reaction that breaks up the oils and neutralizes the odor. paul krebaum

What you will need:

  • Rubber or latex glovessolution
  • 1 quart hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Dawn soap
  • Lukewarm water (if needed for larger dogs)
  • Sponge or washcloth (if needed)
  • Towel
  • Treat!

How to get rid of the skunk smell:

  1. As soon as you realize you or your friend’s dog has been sprayed, put on some rubber or latex gloves and look for any bites or scratches. If any injuries are found, contact your veterinarian first before proceeding.
  2. Time is very important when dealing with this problem. The longer you wait to begin the process, the harder it will be to remove the stench. Set up an area to bathe your pet in and if indoors. be sure to open a window so the smell is easier to handle!
  3. Do NOT soak your dog with water prior to bathing. Promptly begin cleansing the affected areas thoroughly, massaging the solution deep into your dogs coat. You may wish to use a sponge or washcloth. Avoid getting the solution in the eyes, ears or mouth.
  4. In a plastic container, combine 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cups baking soda and 1-2 teaspoons of liquid Dawn soap. Add lukewarm water if needed (for larger dogs). Mix well. The solution will fizz as the chemical reaction is occurring. Use immediately-do not store.
  5. Allow the solution to remain on your dog for at least five minutes (longer if strong odor persists).
  6. Rinse your dog well with lukewarm water. Repeat steps 3-5 as necessary until odor is gone.
  7. Dry your dog and give her a treat!


  • Never place the solution in a closed container or spray bottle, as the pressure will build up and the container could burst. This could cause serious injury.
  • Do NOT use higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or substitute “similar” products. The altered chemical reaction could cause severe injury to you and your dog.
  • Be certain you use fresh hydrogen peroxide, as it becomes less concentrated over time.
  • The solution may be used on clothing or other fabric, however it can have a mild bleaching effect on some materials.
  • To avoid future meetings between your dog and skunks, avoid leaving food outside and make sure garbage cans are well-secured.


       Traveling with your beloved pet to the Smokies can be a lot of fun, however, there are a few rules and restrictions to bring your pet to the park. You and your pet can enjoy ample time together in any of the campgrounds, picnic areas or along roads in the park as long as your pet is kept on a leash at all times. Your pet’s leash must be at least 6 feet in length. Dogs are only allowed on two hiking trails in the park. Dogs are welcome on the Gatlinburg Trail that runs 1.9 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the outskirts of Gatlinburg and on the Oconaluftee River Trail that runs 1.5 miles from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to the outskirts of Cherokee, NC. The Gatlinburg Trail runs through the forest along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River and is fairly flat. Foundations of old homes and chimneys can be seen along this trail for a look back into history. The Oconaluftee River Trail is also relatively flat but does have a few small hills along the way and runs along the Oconaluftee River offering beautiful river views. Any pet excrement must be immediately picked up by the pet handler and disposed of in a trash bin. The Great Smoky Mountains Park service has prohibited dogs in the back-country areas of the park since the park was established in the 1930s.

dog on leash

Reasons for prohibiting dog and other non-native animals in the park are:

  1. Dogs can carry disease into the park’s wildlife population
  2. Dogs can threaten wildlife, scaring birds and other animals away from nesting, feeding and resting sites
  3. The scent left from dogs can signal the presence of a predator, disrupting or altering the behavior of park wildlife (example:small animals may hide in their burrow the entire day after smelling a dog and not venture out to feed)
  4. Pets may become prey for larger animals such as coyotes and bears. In addition, if a dog disturbs and enrages a bear, it may lead the angry bear directly to the handler.
  5. Uncontrolled dogs may present a danger to other visitors


Don't forget your pets!

  1. Using a carrier? Leave it out and open for a week before you depart
  2. Calm light car sickness with toys, treats and fresh air
  3. Use a car hammock to protect your car on long road trips
  4. Secure small pets in a travel booster seat to keep them safe
  5. Pack pet snacks for linger trips
  6. Going near water? Outfit your dog with a life jacket
  7. Don’t forget bowls for food and water for Fido’s out of town meals
  8. Clearly ID your most precious cargo- your pet’s crate-for air travel
  9. Stow away essentials like a leash and waste bags
  10. Treat your pet to a few adorable accessories before the trip

Packing List for a Road Trip with your dog buddy:

Don’t know what to bring for your pet while on vacation? No worries, we’ve got you covered!

  1. Portable water dispenser
  2. Vaccination papers
  3. TowelsBring your whole family on vacation to Gatlinburg!
  4. Waste bags
  5. Crate
  6. Crate bowl
  7. Crate bed
  8. Treat bag with dry treats
  9. One versatile toy (quiet, fetch able)
  10. Kibble in travel bag
  11. Dehydrated or canned pumpkin (for digestion)
  12. Portable food and water bowl station
  13. Travel containers of dog shampoo and accident cleaner
  14. Dog medical kit (see below)

Include in Dog Medical Kit:

  1. Saline solution, for flushing debris from eyes
  2. Antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin or Neosporin, to apply to healing wounds
  3. Iodine such as Betadine solution, for applying to and washing fresh cuts and wounds
  4. Sterile gloves
  5. Digital thermometer and lubricant
  6. Flat slanting tweezers, magnifying glass
  7. Q-tips
  8. Clotting agent or styptic gel or powder ti induce clotting
  9. Benadryl, for allergic reactions, dosage is usually around 1 mg per pound
  10. Tick remover
  11. Antiseptic wash, to keep abrasions and other minor surface wounds clean as they heal
  12. Alcohol wipes, to take on-the-go in case of scratches and scrapes
  13. Sterile gauze rolls in case of emergency and always to to wrap loosely
  14. Medical scissors, for cutting bandages
  15. Sterile gauze pads
  16. Cotton balls
  17. Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, dosage is usually 1 teaspoon per ten pounds of dog
  18. Foldable comfortable recovery collar to prevent dog from scratching and chewing wounds and irritations
  19. A soft muzzle in case of emergencies and to prevent from bitting people
  20. Instant cold pack



cleaning suppliesWe can’t imagine life with out our dogs! They are such an important part of our everyday lives! Having dogs in our homes has definitely made cleaning more of a challenge, but a house without dogs is just not an option for some of us!

Here are some tips, strategies, and products we have found to help keep your pet-friendly home clean!


In our experience, shedding fur has been the number one challenge in trying to maintain a clean home with dogs. Long-haired dogs especially have a lot of excess fur! Here are some ways to “de-fur” your home:

Fur Fighter

  • Frequent Bathing – give your dog a bath once a month. This will get rid of some of the excess hair.
  • Frequent Brushing – We try to brush our dogs at least once a week, although more often would be best!
  • Vacuum – We wish there was a way around this, but the more you vacuum, the cleaner your house will be. suggests a good rule of thumb for vacuuming: Vacuum once per week per person and dog. So if your house has two dogs and two humans, you should vacuum 4 times per week.
  • Furniture – Another good tip from is to use a squeegee to remove fur from furniture! We have found that the Scotch Fur Fighter works pretty well on furniture and car upholstery, – much better than lint rollers!


My name is MUD!A dirty dog, means a dirty house!

  • Frequent Bathing – As we mentioned above, bathe your dog monthly and you will have a nice clean, cuddly pup to snuggle with! Less dirt on your dog, means less dirt in your house!
  • Do the Laundry – If your dog has a favorite seat on the couch or likes to sleep on your bed, you might cover these spots with a towel, sheet, or something that can be easily washed. (This helps prevent furry furniture too!) also recommends keeping an old towel by the door to wipe off muddy paws before they enter the house! It is also a good idea to wash your dog’s bed a couple of times each month. It is best if you have a dog bed with an outer cover than can be removed and thrown into the laundry.


Is your dog confused as to where the appropriate “potty-spot” is located? Under the dining room table? Behind the couch? The two most important things you can do to prevent accidents are potty training and cleaning up.

a designated "potty spot"

  • Potty Training – the more effort you put into potty training, the fewer accidents you will have. When you start potty training, take your puppy out to the “potty spot” constantly! First thing in the morning, after every meal, every time you think he might need to go. Be patient and stay outside until he goes. When he finally goes potty in the correct place, get excited and praise him!

Use a Crate – If you need to leave your puppy alone, leave him in a crate. Dogs are unlikely to “go” in their bed – unless they aren’t feeling well. When one of our staff first got her dog, she put his crate on her back porch and slept on the couch next to him. This way she was close to the door so she could let him out first thing in the morning. It was also helpful being on a hard surface that was easy to clean if needed.

  • Cleaning-Up It is important to completely clean up after your dog if he has an accident. If you don’t completely remove the smell, your dog will understand that “this is the potty spot” and will continue to go in this area. So take the time to be thorough and you will have fewer accidents to clean up in the future!

Hope these ideas and tips help you keep your home clean for both you and your dog! Let us know if you have any other pet-friendly cleaning tips. We would love to hear them!

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