Cats | Dogs | August 19, 2014

Summer vacations can include the family pet!

Val Culpin
By: Val Culpin

Not so long ago family summer vacations were the time when the family pet went to the local boarding kennel while the family was away.

While there is an abundance of first class facilities to leave Rover or Fritz, complete with play yards and individual attention daily, the newest trend is to take your family pet with you on vacation. After all, they are family too, right?

More and more, the family pet is welcomed and even catered to, at many popular vacation spots. Of course the standard rule of cleaning up after your pet applies to all places and activities to ensure pets will continue to be welcomed.  Here are a few ideas (and cautions) to think about when you are considering your family vacation plans:

• Camping – there are thousands of campgrounds across the US and Canada and most of them welcome your well behaved leashed pet. Dogs love the adventure of investigating all the smells that abound in the natural world, but please be careful to respect the rules and don’t let your dog disturb sensitive areas like salmon spawning streams or delicate native vegetation.

• Off –Leash Dog parks – most modern communities provide areas for off leash fun for your dog. Seek these out while you are on the road so that Rover can have a good leg stretch. And more and more, dog beaches are springing up which allow your dog to take a refreshing swim on beaches which were previously taboo.

• Hotels and Resorts – more and more hotels and resorts are catering to pet owners. Some even offer extras like beds, blankets and treats. Be prepared to pay a nightly pet fee which will differ from place to place, and be careful to leave your room tidy and as hair-free as possible. If your pet is a bed dweller, bring along a clean old extra sheet or blanket and put it on top of the bed to protect it from excess hair and possible muddy or wet pawprints, (or drool!).

• Vacation Rentals – If camping isn’t for you, then a multitude of pet-friendly vacation rentals are at your disposal. From a yert on the Oregon Coast to cottages or condos, many vacation rental units will welcome your pet.

• Hiking Trails – If hiking with your dog is your cup of tea, there are thousands of hiking trails which welcome dogs. Some are off leash and some require dogs to be leashed. Make sure you check out the rules before you leave home. Again, be sure that Mother Nature is happy with you and your dog when you leave your chosen trails.

• Activities – The possibilities are endless. From kayaking, hiking and tubing down the river, to shopping and ‘Yappy Hours’ at a local pub. There is a scenic railroad tour in Pennsylvania where dogs are welcomed, and ‘Dog Paddling’ canoe opportunities in Ontario. Or how about taking Rover on the Fremont Sunday Ice Cream Cruise in Seattle?  One only has to do a little research on the Internet to find activities suited for family fun including your pet.

So, next time you are planning your summer vacation, be sure to include your four legged family members in your plans. They deserve a vacation, too!

A great resource to get you started: http://www.bringfido.com/