Pet-Friendly Guide to Maui: How to Navigate the Island With Your Four-Legged Friend

If you love dogs, you may have discovered that an already delightful vacation can take an immediate step up when your canine friend joins the fun. Maui, in particular, seems like a pet-friendly dream come true. What could be better than frolicking on the beach, hiking together, or simply hanging out at a dog-friendly restaurant?

While there’s no shortage of places to keep busy, bringing a dog will definitely require some planning. Restrictions abound and you face numerous chances to get in trouble or even have your dog quarantined.  A little planning will limit such disappointments, so be sure to do your homework. Thankfully, you don’t have to deal with all this research on your own — we’re here to help.

Keep these essentials in mind as you plan a pet-friendly Maui vacation:

First Things First: Pet Inspections

pet-friendly maui
Photo Credit by @mauidogwalking on Instagram

Some US vacation spots make it incredibly easy to bring dogs, but you’ll find a far more restrictive pet-friendly atmosphere when you visit Maui. Don’t expect to simply show up with a dog and go about your business. You’ll need to navigate the inspection process first. 

If you fly directly to Kaui, expect an inspection at the Kahului International Airport, where the Maui Humane Society steps in to ensure that all visiting dogs are healthy. 

Most dogs are deemed safe and therefore, eligible for direct release. This means that you and your four-legged friend can continue on with your vacation. If, however, your dog fails to meet local thresholds, a five-day quarantine may prove necessary. You’ll need to weigh this risk carefully, for, while it’s unlikely you’ll deal with this quarantine, it certainly could put a damper on your vacation in the worst-case scenario. 

To improve your odds of qualifying for direct release, follow these key steps:

  • Keep up to date with rabies vaccinations.
  • Get your dog microchipped prior to your vacation.
  • Request that your home veterinarian submit a blood sample.

Best Pet-Friendly Maui Activities

pet-friendly maui

Once you’ve navigated all the complications of getting your dog safely to the island, you’ll be ready to let loose and have fun. Unfortunately, the complications don’t end once you’ve passed all the tests with flying colors; there are still lots of restrictions to keep in mind.

If you’re respectful, however, you can still have a great time as you enjoy these pet-friendly Maui activities:

Visit the Beach

Maui beaches can be a true canine paradise, but goofing off in the sun and the sand won’t be as simple as letting your dog roam free. If you visit any pet-friendly beaches in Maui County, you’ll need to have your dog on a leash — and this cannot extend beyond ten feet. Still, the local beaches can be a lot of fun for well-behaved pups. 

Hit Up Local Dog Parks

As with regional beaches, most Maui parks require your dog to be on a leash. Thankfully, there are a few exceptions where you’ll find off-leash dog areas. This is where you’ll head to give your dog a chance to run and play. Favorites worth exploring include:

Keopuolani Park
This regional park would be worth visiting even if you’re not accompanied by a dog. There’s a lot to do with or without a canine friend, but you’ll definitely want to hang out at the off-leash area if you have a rambunctious pet. Your dog can use up some excess energy within this accommodating space before rejoining you on a leash to explore the rest of the park. 

Kilohana Park
If you want to see some happy dogs, head to this park. Both the dogs and humans have clearly established strong bonds. You and your pup will quickly feel at home here. Relax at a picnic table and let your dog make the most of the water area. 

Upcountry Dog Park
This cute little park in the town of Makawao is a favorite among local dog lovers. Separate sections accommodate small and large dogs. There are plenty of waste bags available, plus some shade from the tree in the small dog area. 

Enjoy the Local Brewery Scene

Pet-friendly dining can be tricky in Maui, where there are a lot of restrictions for canines and their humans to navigate. Hence, the reliance of many dog-human duos on food trucks and takeout. 

Thankfully, there are a few pet-friendly breweries that encourage dog lovers to hang out on the patio with their four-legged travel companions. When in doubt, hit up these favorites.

Waikiki Brewing Company, Lahaina
Breweries are typically a safe bet for dog owners, so you’ll be pleased to see that your pet is welcomed with open arms at this laid-back location. It’s open seven days a week, so you can always feel confident that there will be a dog-friendly place to hang out. Treat yourself to the smoked prime rib or brisket as you catch the game on TV and visit with other dog lovers.

What Ales You
Friendly vibes abound at this charming tavern, where dogs love to relax on the shady deck. As you enjoy your beer, your four-legged buddy will have the chance to slurp fresh water and scarf down some doggie treats. Visit in the evening and you may be treated to live music. 

Maui Brewing Company
Hit the patio with your dog at this popular pet-friendly Maui brewery. Here you can sample dozens of craft beers alongside pizza, fish tacos, or even a chocolate chip cookie with ice cream. In addition to relaxing with your pooch, you’ll have the chance to treat Fido to the most stylish accessories, as the onsite store sells leashes, collars, and more. 

Visiting Maui with a dog isn’t always easy, but it can absolutely prove worthwhile. A little planning will make a world of difference. Get started early if you dream of a delightful expedition with man’s best friend. If you’re fully prepared, you will have a blast exploring the island with your canine pal.