Traveling is just the best! The explorations, the adventure, the planning, the revival of spirit, the making of memories. While for some it comes around multiple times a year, and others once. No matter what, it is something to look forward to. Vacations allow for any number of people to join you -- from a "plus one" and up -- and even your pets! (They are, after all, family too!) Taking a vacation with your pet takes a bit more planning than without.
Recently I took a vacation and initially had dog lodging for our dog and fun Airbnb lodging for us pre-planned along with fun roadside stops, museums, etc.-- all planned, but fortunately not reserved/booked yet. I reached out to the dog lodging facility to reserve our Love's spot and was disappointed to learn they would not be able to accommodate our vacation dates. Take initial plan, ball up and toss in the trash. Love is vacationing with us.
When you have a pet traveling with you (most commonly, a dog), you need to do a little research ahead of time to find lodging. While it is becoming more common, it still is a relatively new concept.
BringFido.com-- This site was my first stop (and there is an app available too), as I already knew the area and roadways. What I love about this site is that it already has the "Pets Allowed" feature included and will only search for lodging which is pet friendly. Not only this, but you can search for restaurants, activities (hiking, dog parks), events and services, in addition to lodging. The app is pretty simple - you select the icon matching what you are wanting to take your pet to (lodging, restaurants, activities, events or services), then either select "Current Location" or input the destination (can be city, state or just state). The app returned different listings, with a 5 "bone" rating versus a "star" rating, the location city, and also how many miles away from my current location.
For example, I selected "activities" and "Current location" and the following came up:
Harbison State Forest (rated 5 bones) Columbia. 2.8 mi
Mast General Store (rated 5 bones) Columbia 5.4 mi
Soda City Market (rated 4 bones) Columbia 5.5 mi
You can click any of the items, and it will give you the details of the reviews, location address, website, and even directions. (Pretty awesome, right?) Definitely helpful when traveling with pets! I love the review aspect, as a concerned pet owner, I want to know what the experience will be before I put my pup in the situation! With pet friendly hotels, in addition to the rating noted above, it also gives you the price per night, if there is a pet fee, if big dogs or small dogs are allowed, how many pets are allowed, and it will include local real estate vacation rentals, Airbnb, VRBO, and hotels. It also includes the map feature that you can get a preview of approximately where the place is located, and book it through the app! We found two places using BringFido--and it was really easy!
Our Love is a large dog (90lbs), and although she has undergone extensive obedience training, is house-trained, and is an older dog, we learned the hard way, she still can revert to her former bad habit: separation anxiety. Unfortunately, we found this out the very first night of our vacation. We walked her around the complex, let her get her smells in, and generally thought she was tired and would relax while we went to dinner. During the one hour we were away, Love went into panic mode. She chewed along the door frame and proceeded to scratch the weathered door -- and was still scratching on it when we returned to our room. To say we were disappointed, was an understatement.
This is the supporting reason why you may need to put forth a pet deposit, which can be refundable or non-refundable (it is up to the property owner). When booking a vacation rental, if you do not utilize BringFido.com, you can add the pet allowed filter in your online search or simply inquire via email or telephone call.
There is no "set" amount you will pay, and the cost can range from free to $300 per pet, per night. If the pet fee is not specifically stated, prior to booking, contact the property owner.
Clean Up After Your Pet
With the ease of being able to purchase puppy poop bags from a local dollar shop (or some places even provide disposable bags), there is no reason you should leave your pet's fecal matter on the ground when you are on vacation. When you are at home, you can be slack in this department. But while you are away, be courteous of others and their pets and clean up. I get it, it's gross. It stinks. It just doesn't seem natural to do that. But there are many reasons why that you would want to pick up the poop!
- Keep the landscape clean for the next guest.
- Dogs can transport diseases, like parvovirus, in their poop. If an infected dog's poop is not cleaned up, it can transport this illness to other dogs.
- Parasites like hookworms or whipworms can be present in your dog's poop.
- It may be illegal to leave your pup's poop! (You may get fined if you don't pick it up!)
- When practicing best practices, it provides a good feeling that you are a responsible pet owner and it may encourage other places to open up their doors for future pet-friendly lodging!
Bring On The Fun
Traveling with your pet can be fun for all involved. Many places open their doors for well-behaved, house-broken pets to encourage travelers to visit their destination. With these tips, pet parents have options available to them and their pet -- no matter the size.
Our Love enjoyed her time with us and meeting new people, homes, environments, parks, and other dogs on our recent vacation. We look forward to the next trip and will be restocking poop bags!