Home Adventure Is Great Wolf Lodge Pet-Friendly?

Is Great Wolf Lodge Pet-Friendly?

dog playing at water park

Great Wolf Lodge can make a splashtastic getaway for those looking to cool down in the summer heat. With multiple resorts all across the United States, there are plenty of destinations to choose from and plenty of water rides to slip, splash, and slide down.

While Great Wolf Lodge undeniably makes for a perfect day out, one question remains: Is it perfect for your pet? We’ll cover Great Wolf Lodge’s policies on animals below, so you’ll know for certain whether your pet, ESA, or service animal can join you at the park.

What Is Great Wolf Lodge?

Great Wolf Lodge is a chain of indoor water park resorts with more than 20 locations throughout North America, including Colorado Springs, Grand Mound, and Kansas City.

Each resort offers a plethora of water-themed rides and pools for both kids and adults to enjoy, and other family-oriented attractions are also provided on-site, including arcades, rope courses, and bowling.

Guests are also welcome to stay overnight in the resorts’ hotels — something your kids will no doubt need to get through all the entertainment on offer!

Can I Take My Pet to Great Wolf Lodge?

Unfortunately for pup parents, all Great Wolf Lodge locations do not allow pets on the premises. Great Wolf Lodge adheres to strict health and safety standards, and pets, who bring with them a whole lot of fluff, dander, saliva, and dirt, can make it hard (if not impossible) to keep the resorts clean.

A no-pet policy is also in place to protect the welfare of guests. Poorly trained, aggressive pets can endanger others and cause significant property damage.

Can I Take a Service Animal to Great Wolf Lodge?

While it’s not possible to take a pet to Great Wolf Lodge, service dogs are protected under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and are allowed in most areas of the resort, with the exception of being inside or near the pools. Great Wolf Lodge also provides on-site, ADA-compliant accommodation for guests with service animals.

Can I Take an Emotional Support Animal to Great Wolf Lodge?

The ADA does not recognize emotional support animals (ESAs) as working animals, meaning they aren’t entitled to the same rights as service dogs. It is up to an organization’s discretion whether to allow ESAs on the premises and, unfortunately, all Great Wolf Lodge locations have opted to prohibit them. Only service animals are allowed entry.

That said, your ESA may be able to become a service animal if you qualify and would benefit from at least one disability-related task.

Can My ESA Become a Service Animal?

Those with an officially diagnosed disability can qualify for a service animal, as long as they can show a health care provider that they would benefit from the trained tasks a service animal performs. Their disability must also significantly affect at least one major life activity.

If you fulfill this criteria, your ESA can be trained to become a service animal. However, there are a few things to be mindful of:

  • Only dogs can be legally recognized as service animals under the ADA.
  • Service animals must be well-behaved and have impeccable public manners.
  • Service animals must be trained to perform at least one disability-related task to qualify for ADA protections. They should also perform tasks reliably and consistently, no matter the setting or situation.
  • Service animals require a calm, even demeanor and must be able to stay alert without being reactive. You need to consider whether your ESA’s temperament makes them a suitable candidate.

If you feel you would benefit from a service animal, and you believe your ESA has the right qualities for service work, then

Does My Service Animal Need Documentation to Enter Great Wolf Lodge?

The ADA states that service animals aren’t required to be certified, nor do handlers need to show documentation to staff relating to the animal’s training or service dog responsibilities. 

They also emphasize that service animals do not need to wear vests or other forms of identification.

Under the ADA, an entity can only ask two questions to handlers with service dogs:

  1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

While service animals aren’t required to be certified — and it doesn’t bring any additional legal benefits with it — it can help to avoid conflict in situations where misinformed staff or guests try and deny your service dog. Getting a service dog certificate is a quick process, and it can give you some peace of mind when traveling to public spaces that have no-pet policies in place.

However, remember that certification isn’t necessary, and those who deny your rights are going against ADA laws. Advocate for yourself where possible and request to speak to higher-ups at the resort if you experience any issues.