By Candi Amundson, CVT
Veterinary Information Specialist
With many states experiencing snowfall from 0-1” of snow up to 40” or more in some areas, I think it’s pretty clear that it is the dead of winter. Some areas have not gotten snow as usual and now is a great time to think about a vacation. Having pets and traveling can put some restraints on your plans, just more of a reason to make your dog his/her own bucket list! Here are a few pet-friendly vacation options.
Hotels/Motels: Including Bed & Breakfasts
Yes, these do exist! While planning a pet friendly vacation for my newest family member Linus, I found in a quick search that there are over 20,000 Hotels, Motels, and Bed & Breakfasts in the US. I was even surprised to find that many places do not have a pet fee and have comparable rates. Your pet can indulge in the comfort of the Hotel and maybe even have a complimentary breakfast.
Campgrounds are notorious for allowing pets to be part of the vacation. Pitch a tent, bring your RV, or even some areas have cabins available. Camping is a great way to spend time outdoors and possibly go fishing or hiking with your dog. Some places do have leash requirements and noise restrictions to keep barking at a minimum.
Off-Leash Dog Parks
There are thousands of dog parks all over the US and you may be familiar with some even in your own backyard. There are many websites dedicated to providing a database compiled of all the known dog parks and other attractions around the US and worldwide. Some are located on beaches, or even in the forests or woods. The parks generally have some interactive equipment or stimulus to create fun play. This is very important sometimes to take a break and watch the dogs play!
Dog friendly trails tend to be within 5 miles and are typically safe for the average healthy dog. Some places in the mountains, canyons, forests, and beaches have many trails to choose from. Most trails require that your dog is on a leash and some people even have special harnesses or packs their dog can wear to bring a first-aid kit or fresh water. Always remember plenty of fresh and and don’t forget to pick up after your dog!
Dog Friendly Tours
While searching for some attractions where I could bring my dog Linus, I found: Dog Paddling, Dog Walk Tours, Trolley Tours, Kayak for dogs, Dolphin watching tours, Train rides, Garden walks, Cruises, Carriage tours, Shuttles, 18-holes of golf, and even Ghost Tours! Some places offer complimentary tours for pets as long as they are well behaved.
Dog friendly café’s and restaurants are popping up all over the US and many places are designed and created specifically for dogs and their people. Some restaurants often will have pet friendly seating and even special homemade treats and goodies. Others even have the dogs bartending with them or their own dog menu. When it’s chow time don’t leave your pup in the hotel, most coffee shops, brew pubs, or other eateries will welcome them with open arms! If you need to stop in and grab a souvenir, check around because some shops or stores will let that dog come right on in.
Whether you are planning a trip to spend time outdoors hiking or camping, looking for a nice cruise or relaxing time at the beach, or a quick 9-holes of golf; it’s never too late to start a bucket list for you AND your dog. Always practice safety wherever your paws may lead you!