Dog Friendly: What it Means
Being dog friendly has many interpretations. Each type of facility, business, park, beach, attraction and other places of interest you may travel to has it’s own set of regulations. However, as a travel website for pet owners, you should know the standard rules of thumb that apply to the term “dog friendly.”
Dog Friendly Hotels & Motels
Pet friendly hotels and motels range from simply accepting pets (some free of charge) to the higher end hotels where your pet might receive a welcome basket and beef tenderloin for dinner. One- and two-star hotels that are dog friendly usually don’t come with too many pet perks. Three stars tend to give dogs water and food bowls and the four-and five-star hotels tend to go all out. The best part is, if you can be flexible with your travel dates, you can find a five-star hotel for the same price as a four-, and sometimes, a three-star establishment. Read this article that will tell what to look for in a pet friendly hotel.
Dog Friendly Parks
This is where it gets tricky. Most public parks are pet friendly. However, this does not mean that Rover is free to run around off leash. It simply means your dog is allowed entrance to the park. These types of parks often have regulations, often requiring the leash not be longer than 6 feet. You must pick up after your pet and will many times find the park provides a container where you may find waste bags.
The other kind of park is the true dog park. This is typically a fenced off area or at the very least, an area where it is tough for the dog to escape. A dog park allows pets to run off leash and often has areas for large dogs and small dogs. Most require you keep your dog leashed until you actually enter the fenced-in area. They also request your dog be under voice command, well mannered and get along with other dogs. The nicer dog parks have water fountains specifically within your dog’s reach and shaded areas with benches for humans.
Dog Friendly Beaches
Pet friendly beaches are basically the same as parks, but there are fewer of them and they have tighter restrictions. We are finding that an increasing number of cities sectioning off parts of the beach on a trial basis to see if its residents are pro or con for making it an official dog beach. At this point though, you should know that public beaches don’t always allow dogs and if they do, can restrict them to the boardwalk. Dog beaches are different though and are designed as a place where you can take your dog and let him off leash. These are known as “dog beaches.” Pet Hotels of America has listings of nearly every dog beach in America. Since we are city-based, simply type in the city name and search for the off-leash beaches. If there is one, we will most likely have it listed.
Dog Friendly Restaurants
When a restaurant accepts dogs, it typically means your animal is allowed on the outdoor patio eating area. This is because state law throughout the U.S. don’t not allow pets inside of eating establishments. Many have outdoor patios and sidewalk areas where they allow dogs. There are many that love animals and will make sure your pet stays hydrated with a bowl a water. Here is an example of our Travel Guide where you will discover the many pet friendly restaurants in Austin, TX. Take advantage of our Travel Guides, as we have them for every city in the U.S.
Dog Friendly Shopping
We have yet to learn of a store that allows dogs off leash. If you have a small dog, it’s best to put her in a sling carrier to ensure she doesn’t get stepped on, especially during the holidays when people are not paying attention. Outdoor malls are great for pet friendly shopping. In most areas, dogs are allowed in the stores and if not, at least in a mall, you can leave and move on to the next store.
Dog Friendly Hiking
Dogs are allowed on many trials throughout the U.S. While it’s best to leave them on a leash for safety purposes, many people let their dogs run free. These dogs are typically well trained and under voice command. There are devises such as GPS tracking systems that are good to equip your dog with if you are doing some serious hiking and plan to take your pet off leash. No matter, we advise obeying the rules of the territory, as they are there for a reason. Vacation Pet Friendly has listings for many hiking trials that can be found in our Travel Guides.
Here is a good article to read if you plan to travel with your dog: Travel Tips. Enjoy!