Great Pet Friendly Boat Cruises

Dog on Pet Friendly Cruise

When the weather gets hot, what better place to be than on the water with your dog, catching a nice breeze while enjoying the offshore sights, whether it be a whale watch, or a nature cruise, or just breaking free of “the hard,” as sailors call terra firma, and seeing the world from a different perspective. That’s the joy of pet friendly boat cruises. And while only one major transatlantic cruise line allows pets (Cunard’s Queen Mary 2), there are plenty of other less grand (and certainly less expensive) options that offer you, your family, and your dog a wonderful few hours together while taking in the fresh air and enjoying the beautiful vistas that only boat cruises can provide.

Here are some great pet friendly boat cruises around the country:

Acadian Nature Cruises, Bar Harbor, ME

This is a great way to experience the amazing natural beauty of the Maine coast, Acadia National Park, and Frenchman’s Bay. The Acadian leaves Bar Harbor daily for a two-hour nature cruise to find seals, porpoises, and eagles, as well as offering stunning views of lighthouses and coastal mansions.

Moon on Pet Friendly Boat Cruise

BayWatch Dolphin Tours, Galveston, TX

Located on Pier 21 near the historic Strand District in downtown Galveston, Dolphin Baywatch Tours is open seven days a week every day of the year (depending on the weather), offering 45-minute tours of Galveston Harbor to view dolphins in their natural habitat. The Baywatch departs every hour from 10 am to 5 pm and charges only $10 for adults and $5 for children. Best of all, pets ride for free.

Bow Wow Brunch Cruise, San Diego, CA

A Sunday Champagne Brunch Cruise with your favorite buddy. How much fun is that?! Even your dog gets a buffet to choose from. Cruise the San Diego Bay for two hours with unlimited Champagne, mimosas, coffee and tea. There’s even a Doggie Costume Contest with prizes. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds goes toward helping the Helen Woodward Animal Center. Cruise date is Sunday, October 21, 2018. $94 per person.

Cape May Whale Watcher, Cape May, NJ

Cape May Watcher has a cruise for everyone. They include a Dolphin Watch Cruise, a Sunset Dolphin Watch, a Whale & Dolphin Watch Cruise, a Sunset Lighthouse Cruise, and a Prime Rib Dinner Cruise, among many others. Prices range from $25 to $35 for children and $35 to $95 for adults, depending on the cruise. Dogs must be leashed and are allowed on the vessel outside the cabin.

dog going on pet friendly cruise

Cruises on the Bay, Annapolis, MD

Cruise the Baltimore Inner Harbor on the Annapolitan II or hop on the Harbor Queen to check out the Annapolis Harbor with your favorite animal in tow. Both cruises offer 45- and 90-minute sails. Prices range from $19 to $26 for adults and $7 to $12 for children. Dogs sail for free and are welcome on a leash. Some cruises even host animal charity fundraisers. Now that’s what we call pet friendly!

Dog cruise banner

Dog Gone Sailing Charters, Provincetown, MA

See Provincetown from the proper perspective: from the water with your pooch by your side. Sail to Long Point, which is the site of the original Provincetown settlement. Go ashore and picnic on the beach or take a swim off the boat while it’s moored. Trips vary from sunrise and sunset sails to half-day and full-day sails with whale watching included.

pet friendly windjammer

Downeast Windjammer Cruises, Cherryfield, ME

Another way to see the beautiful Maine coast, Acadia and Frenchman’s Bay is on a Windjammer cruise. Cruises range from 1 1/2 to 2 hours and are available from mid-May through October. Prices range from $42 for adults, $32 for children, $7 for toddlers, and $39 for seniors. Dogs are free and must be on a leash. This is a spectacular cruise and highly recommended.

Lake George Pet Friendly Cruise

Lake George Shoreline Cruises, Lake George, NY

The Adirondacks in New York State is one of our favorite vacation destinations. Its beautiful mountains and sparkling lakes offer fantastic opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating, camping and other recreation. We highly recommend the pet friendly Lake George Shoreline Cruises. Options include a pet friendly Evening Sunset Cruise, a Historic Sightseeing Cruise and a Family Fireworks Cruise. Prices range from $18 to $30 for adults and $9 to $14 for children. Dogs are free and must be leashed.

Mercury’s Canine Cruise, Chicago IL

Learn about Chicago while cruising on Chicago’s waterways with your dog on your lap.If you like the sound of that, then Mercury’s Canine Cruise has got you covered. They even include dog-friendly highlights in their narrations about Chicago’s rich past and architectural gems. Cruises depart on Saturdays and Sundays from July 7 through October 7 at 10:15 am. Adults $35. Kids $14. Dogs $8.

Potomac Riverboat Canine Cruise, Alexandria, VA

Beat the Washington heat and take a 45-minute cruise with your favorite four-legged friend on Potomac River Boat Company’s Canine Cruise. Explore Alexandria’s Seaport on the Potomac and we think you’ll come to the conclusion that it was time well spent. Adults $20. Children $15. Seniors $19. Dogs ride free.

Shell Key Pet Friendly Cruise

Shell Key Shuttle, St. Pete Beach, FL

Want to go on a pet friendly Eco-tour down in the Florida Keys? If so, check out Shell Key Shuttle, which operates out of St. Pete Beach. They offer a pet-friendly “Howl at the Moon” Sunset Cruise on which you can spend an hour and a half slipping through local waterways, including the beautiful barrier islands south of Pass-A-Grille. $25 for “well-behaved” adults. $12.50 for “muzzled” children. Dogs, naturally, can do what they want and ride for free.

Of course, you can’t be on the water all the time, so if you also need a pet-friendly hotel during your travels, Petswelcome is here to help.

In the meantime, all of us at Petswelcome wish you fun on the water! Anchors aweigh, hut-to-peen and smooth sailing! Not sure what all that means but Captain Jack McCarthy said it and so it sounds suitably salty to us.

 

15 Best Rated Pet Beds for Dogs & Cats

Many of us let our pet dogs or cats sleep on our bed but there are times when it’s just not good, like hot summer nights, or if your pup has spent the day romping through the woods and is a little dirty. Dogs also like to lounge in the same rooms as us and a dog bed is more comfortable than a carpet or wood floor. I’ve bought several types of pet beds for my cats and having worked with dogs in boarding facilities and shelters, the beds make a huge difference when it comes to easing anxiety, helping older dogs rest comfortably, and making their days better and nights serene.


What pet beds do dogs and their owners love the most? Paws down it was the ones that were easy to clean, did not lose their shape, and offered the best comfort for their pets.

Here are 15 top-rated pet beds

Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Duplex Pet Bunk Bed

Rated as a great bunk bed by customers, it’s durable, excellent quality, and allows your two dogs to share the same space. The lower bunk zips up on three sides creating a den-like experience for your pet and becomes a soft crate. It’s sturdy and easy to clean. Available in gray or cocoa. A strong metal frame and great dual-use bed, your pets will love it and no longer fight for a bed. They may, however, fight for who gets the top bunk!
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Large Orthopedic Memory Foam Joint Relief Bolster Bed

Made of thick polyurethane foam and memory foam, this bed is perfect for your older dog especially if s/he has bone, hip, or joint problems. The outer layer is removable and washable. The wrap around bolster is great for your pup to rest their head on. Customers who bought this bed love that it doesn’t go flat after a few months of use and their dogs love it!
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Beasly’s Couch Bed

The Beasley’s Couch Dog Bed is a couch design dog bed that comes with a cotton-poly blend cover that is removable for easy washing. The overstuffed bolster sits up around the bed providing firm support. Overstuffed couch-style dog bed that does not lose its shape, good quality, and can be placed next to your couch. Your pup can stretch out and watch tv just like you!
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Caddis Corner Dog Bed

The Caddis Corner Dog Bed is great for a corner of the room, made of a poly-cotton blend and has a removable, washable outer shell. Big dogs will love the bolstered edges to rest their heads on and won’t lose its shape. Free up some space in your living room or bedroom with this great design that your dog will love.
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Pet Goods Petcare Coil Spring Mattress with Fleece Top

This great bed comes in three sizes and has a removable outer shell. The coils offer support for your older dog who may be having joint problems. The layers of foam and fleece offer comfort that may even make you want to lay on it. Coils help the bed keep its shape and the fleece cover will keep your pet warm on those chilly nights.
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Kakadu Pet Island Bolster Dog Bed

Comfortable dog bed with a reversible inner cushion that is super comfortable and easy to wash. Water resistant fabric for easy cleaning, simply wipe it, hose it down or throw it in the washing machine. The inner cushion can be washed separately from the outer bolstered shell and fits in any washing machine. Comes in a bright color that can match your home decor. It’s durable enough that your dog can scratch and paw at the cushions without tearing them up.
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Sock Monkey Dog Bed

Remember sock monkeys? Now your dog can have a sock monkey too! But this one is a bed. It’s simply adorable and made for small dogs. The sides are low and it’s soft and plush. Your pet will look super cute in it. I bought one for my cat and she rests her head on the monkey’s head. It’s incredibly cute. The bed stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Your small dog will be happy with the plush soft bedding and fall asleep immediately. A friend of mine has this bed for his chihuahua and his dog loves it. When he picks it up to move it or wash it, he told me his dog chases him and grabs the bed as if to say, “NO! Don’t take my sock monkey away!” Your dog will love it too!
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Slumber Sherpa Dog Crate Bed

Great sherpa bed that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Fits in a crate and great for traveling. Bumper styling cushioning pads the sides when it’s in a crate and acts as a little pillow for your dog to rest his/her head after a long day at the park. Available in natural beige. X-small size bed measures 17-3/4-inch length by 11-3/4-inch width and fits 18-inch length by 12-inch width crate.
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K&H Cuddle Cube Pet Bed

With a non-slip bottom and removable cover, this bed won’t slide or shift around and is easy to clean. Plus, the filling is made from recycled bottles helping your pet reduce his/her carbon footprint. It’s thick and soft allowing your dog to snuffle and drift off to slumber land in complete comfort.
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Petmate Nap of Luxury Bed

Camel bedding and a champagne frame is the perfect bed for your little princess or prince. It reflects the royalty that your dog deserves. Elegant look and a sturdy frame. Careful though, your cat may claim the bed and leave your dog on the floor. You know how cats can be…
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West Paw Design Nature Nap Dog Mat

Soft, cozy dog mat great for sleeping at home or on the road. Toss this bed in the back of the car so your pet can travel in comfort. Makes a great crate bed too. The napmat is made from recycled materials and easy to clean. As one reviewer wrote, “I pulled it out of the box, tossed it on the floor, and she immediately hopped on, circled a few times, and dropped off to sleep.” Bed comes in 5 different sizes and various colors. Find the one that fits your pup’s personality.
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K&H Couch Pet Bed

Made from recycled bottles and easy to clean, this pet bed is comfy, environmentally sound, and perfect for your dog to cuddle up and snooze. It’s available in two different sizes and colors so you can make sure it matches your decor. Your dog can rest his/her head on the bolster and it won’t lose its shape and get lumpy.
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Bagel Dog Bed

A great bed made from poly-cotton blends and a waterproof outer shell that is easy to clean will become your pet’s favorite resting place. It’s comfortable, has bolsters for your pet’s head to rest on, and durable. Available in 6 different sizes and various colors. Machine washable: wash warm, tumble dry low. As one customer wrote, “The outer edge and inside are quite fluffy, and she loves resting her head on the side.”
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Midwest Quiet Time Pet Bed

Ideal bed for using in crates, in the back of the car, and anywhere in the house. Keeps your dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter with its synthetic sheepskin covering. It’s stain resistant and can be tossed in your washing machine. Available in several sizes and 3 colors. Your dog will be happy with this pet bed.
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Cozy Cave Pet Bed

Sherpa lined bed with a cover that acts as a blanket or hood for your dog who loves to borrow. The internal wire keeps the hood up just enough so your pup can peek outside to see what you’re doing. It’s like a sleeping bag for your dog!
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What pet beds have you found to be the best for your dog? Let us know!

Image from gjacobs228

Pet Friendly Hospitality Companies You Should Know

When people travel with pets, they often rely on a specific hotel brand that has proven to be extremely pet friendly, such as La Quinta Inns and Suites, for example. And that makes perfect sense because they know what to expect and can be confident that their family and pets will be treated well during their stay. However, there are other players in the hotel industry that you should also know about because many of them are pet friendly, though their properties don’t necessarily have a single brand name to identify them. These entities are known as hospitality management companies and are often made up of a mix of different hotel brands as well some properties that they might own directly, and which are unique to their company.

Pet friendly Hotel Los Gatos
Hotel Los Gatos

Hospitality management companies set the tone with regard to the services and amenities each property offers, including pet-friendliness. That’s why it’s good to know who they are. If you like the way you and your pet are treated in one of their hotels, you should know what other properties they manage so you can take advantage of them as well. And, since they are a mix of different brands, it will not be apparent that a TownePlace Suite in one city is managed by the same company that manages a Fairfield Inn & Suites in another city. To solve that problem, Petswelcome will now be adding certain pet friendly hospitality companies to our list of Hotel Chains so that you’ll have the inside scoop on who’s managing what pet-friendly hotel and will have even more options on your next trip.

woman and dog resting at the Bristol Hotel
Getting some rest at the Bristol Hotel.

One of these pet friendly hospitality companies is Greystone Hotels. They are a leading hospitality group on the West Coast, managing properties in California and Oregon. They have 9 independent luxury boutique hotels in California, as well two that are affiliated with the Marriott brand. One of their pet friendly properties is the upscale Bristol Hotel in San Diego, CA. They allow two pets per room with no size restrictions and have a pet free of $25 per day. They also offer a pet friendly package that provides a “welcome pet” amenity on arrival, pet bowls and pet beds for use throughout your stay, as well as a nightly turn down service for you and your pet. Their other pet-friendly properties include the King George Hotel, San Francisco, CA; Hotel Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA; Empress Hotel, La Jolla, CA; and TownePlace Suites, Bend, OR.

pet friendly Fairbanks Inn
Fairbanks Inn

Another one of these pet friendly hospitality companies is the Linchris Hotel Corporation. With over 100 years of combined experience in the industry, they treat every property as if it were their own. And they manage some very cool and unique properties such as Surfside Hotel & Suites in Provincetown, MA. There’s a $40 pet fee, no size limit, and pets can be left unattended in rooms if needed. There are also dog treats at check-in and pets are allowed on their private beach. Best of all, they have a dog shower available after your best buddy has hit the waves. Other properties include two beautiful hotels in Vermont: Golden Eagle Resort in Stowe and Fairbanks Inn in St. Johnsbury. Some of the other lodgings that round out their pet-friendly offerings are Anchorage at the Lake, Tilton, NH; Hyatt Place Austin Arboretum, Austin, TX; and Hampton Inn Boston/Logan Airport in Revere, MA.

boy and dog at Golden Eagle Resort
Hanging with his buddy at the Golden Eagle Resort.

So, if you’re not sure where to book your next trip with your pet, check out our new pet-friendly Hospitality Management Company listings. They might offer some suggestions you would not have otherwise thought of. They are diverse, reliable, extremely well run and always happy to welcome your whole family with open arms.

Pet Friendly Music Festivals for You and Your Pup

The season is well underway, and we went searching for pet friendly music festivals that you and your pooch can enjoy together. We wish we could tell you that some of the major festivals are pet friendly, but unfortunately they are not (one website made a point of saying “even tiny, tiny dogs” were not allowed), though we can understand why. These festivals are often a mass of humanity and, coupled with the really loud music, probably not a safe or enjoyable experience for your dog.

pet-friendly Ashe County Bluegrass & Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Jefferson, North Carolina
You and your pup can enjoy music and dancing at the pet-friendly Ashe County Bluegrass & Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Jefferson, North Carolina

We were delighted to find, however, that many bluegrass and fiddler conventions are pet friendly. These are wonderful local multi-day get togethers that offer campsites and often include dancing, as well as tons of music (and the opportunity to sit in, if you’re a player). Coming up in July is the 49th Annual Ashe County Bluegrass & Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Jefferson, North Carolina, which this year will also showcase the work of local luthiers. In August don’t miss the 29th Annual Appalachian String Band Music Festival, a five-day gathering in Clifftop, West Virginia. There will be banjo and fiddle contests, storytelling, flatfoot dancing and square dancing, yoga, and nonstop music. September brings the Rockbridge Mountain Music & Dance Festival in Buena Vista, Virginia, and Old Time Weekend in Brunswick, Maryland.

These pet-friendly music festivals ask that you keep your pup on a 6-foot leash, not leave them unattended, and pick up after them. These are all open-air festivals, so consider bringing a canopy to keep you and your pet cool when the sun is beating down. Also, make sure you both stay hydrated: Don’t forget to bring a water bowl and several gallons of water.

dog in hippie costume at pet-friendly music festival
Second place winner of the Hippie Dog Costume Contest at pet-friendly Woofstock in 2017

An alternative to these pet-friendly music festivals are the multitude of dog-centric festivals around the country, many of which benefit local rescue groups or SPCAs. In August there is Woofstock on The Branford Green in Branford, Connecticut, which along with live music includes a Woofwalk and Hippie Dog Costume Contest. In September there is DoggieStock in North Bend, Washington and Woofstock Dog Festival in Hudson, Massachusetts. And in October don’t miss Barktoberfest in Kansas City, Kansas. That includes live music, puppet theater for the kids, a Dog & Jog 5K, free micro-chipping, doggy yoga, a Weiner Dog Race, and Doggy Fashion Show. And wherever you travel, make sure you rely on Petswelcome.com to find pet-friendly hotels and other lodgings that will welcome you all with open arms.

Some Thoughts on the Fourth of July

dog with flag

As the Fourth of July approaches, I was thinking about what I have in common with the people who live in my town, especially those who have differing political views, and I wondered how we could even communicate. We all know that we’re a politically divided country right now. Many of us on both sides are angry and/or disappointed in the other, not understanding anymore what joins us, wondering and afraid that the other side is going to get its way, whatever way we think that might be.

Then it occurred to me that every day I wave to people I don’t know. Complete strangers who wave back. Why? Because I own a Jeep. And they own a Jeep. It’s a ritual between Wrangler owners and, silly as it might sound, it’s enough for us to cross over any differences that might exist between us and to engage in that most simple and respectful gesture: a hand wave.

If a Jeep can do that, surely there are other things. And, to me, the most obvious is our mutual love of pets—our dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, snakes, whatever they may be. Walk your dog and see how many people smile and comment and engage in conversation with you. Do you care what their political affiliation is? Do they care what yours is? The answer is no. And that’s how it should be. Civility winning over divisiveness. Kindness over party loyalty.

The Fourth of July seems like a good time for all of us to take a deep breath. To think about what we share as human beings and use that as a starting point for figuring out what our bonds are and exercising them. Take your dog for a walk through your town or to a dog park and start a conversation with another pet owner. Play with your cat on a stoop and see if someone stops to talk. Think about how our dogs look at us and cover our backs and let’s see if we can seize that spirit and turn that dedication and commitment toward each other. It’s an ancient and enduring bond that we have with our animals, one that we should emulate between ourselves as Americans.

Maybe this Independence Day we should take some time to turn away from the fireworks for a while and look seriously at each other. What could happen? Maybe we’ll see some smiles and hear laughter. Maybe we’ll start laughing, too. Maybe we’ll find less to argue about and more to discuss and share. It’s worth a try. It’s definitely worth a try.

From all of us at Petswelcome, we wish you, your family and, of course, your pets, a very happy Fourth of July!

 

Discover Pet Friendly Rail Trails in the US

woman and dog on rail trail

It seems that everywhere we go these days, we are finding more and more pet friendly rail trails to explore with our dogs. Rail trails (which are public paths made from former railroad corridors) are great because you get to exercise with your pet while walking or riding a bike through beautiful natural scenery and/or historic towns. And because railroads once crisscrossed all areas of the country in the 19th and early 20th centuries, they are ubiquitous, and more and more of them are being transitioned to pet friendly rail trails, used by millions of Americans each year. There are currently more than 2,000 trails in the U.S., with at least one in every state.

One of our favorite supporters of rail trails is Rails to Trails Conservancy. A nonprofit organization started in 1986, they do the hard work of supporting and promoting thousands of miles of rail trails from coast to coast. Their efforts involve advocacy on the federal, state and local levels, research expertise, and on-the-ground development of trails. They also fund groups that develop and/or maintain and improve the trails. Since 2015, through their Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund Grant Program, the RTC has awarded close to a half-million dollars in grants. This year’s grantees included Marin County Bicycle Coalition in California, the Friends of Clare County Parks & Recreation in Michigan, and the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, among many others.

couple and dog on rail trail

Just as the railroads once connected towns and cities, rail trails have relinked these communities, crossing open fields, winding through mountainous terrain, and hugging riverbanks, allowing people and their pets to rediscover these quaint and beautiful vistas. One of our favorites is the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, which passes very close to the Petswelcome offices and crosses over the Hudson River to continue in Ulster County, New York. Most likely you won’t have to go very far to find one either. Just check out the Conservancy’s Trail Finder by putting in your zip code and you’ll be ready to hit the trail with your pooch in no time. And, of course, we highly recommend you take advantage of the pet-friendly rail trails when you’re on a trip. Some great ones are the Napa Valley Vine Trail, which intersects with many dog parks and is close to, of course, Napa Valley pet-friendly wineries. Another great trail is the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which also takes you near many Cape Cod pet-friendly parks and beaches, including the Pilgrim Bark Park  and the Cape Cod National Seashore. And for a more sylvan experience, you can walk or pedal through the green forests of Oregon on the Banks-Veronia State Trail. Halfway through this 22-mile trail, you cross pet-friendly L.L. Stub Stewart State Park  whose 1,800 acres offers camping, hiking and horse riding. And, of course, if you need to find a pet friendly hotel, Petswelcome is here to help you.

When taking your dog on a rail trail, there are a few simple rules you need to follow. First, make sure she is comfortable around strangers, other animals, and bike riders because you will encounter many on these trails. Also, always use a short leash so you can better keep them under control and have plenty of water to keep you both hydrated. Finally, of course, make sure you have a scooper for clean-up, if necessary.

Whether you think you need to or not, we highly recommend that you get your life back on track (get it?). You’ll be glad you did. From forests to beaches, urban centers to rural settings, pet friendly rail trails are a wonderful way to explore the roads less traveled with your favorite animal in tow.

 

 

 

World’s Ugliest Dog Contest: The Poetry of Imperfection

2018 World's Ugliest Dog winner, Zsa Zsa
Zsa Zsa the bulldog, 2018 winner of The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

Yes, it’s that time of year again, the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, held at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair in Petaluma, California, on June 23. The winner was Zsa Zsa, a 9-year-old English bulldog, who had spent five years in a puppy mill before being rescued and adopted by Megan Brainard. She wowed the judges with her massive overbite and lolling tongue, as well as her pink pedicure.

It seems that every year, after a winner is announced, a number of folks get incensed that these dogs are being called “ugly.” But, at Petswelcome, we think most all dog owners know that is meant absolutely in love. No dog is really ugly–they are sweet goofballs whose personalities, peccadilloes, mannerisms, and physical characteristics, whether defined by the breed or unique to the dog, are what make them our love buckets.

We’ve had the pleasure of owning two Bracco Italianos; the first, Smudge, died way too young of a kidney ailment that plagues this breed (one of the heartbreaks of owning purebreds). He had the extremely unhygienic superpower of being able to hold a whole lot of spit in his mouth, which he would periodically clear out by shaking his head, slowly at first, then faster and faster, with spit flying in every direction. Friends and family knew to duck to avoid its trajectory but if you did get hit, we would say you had gotten “Smooged.” After his passing, his presence lingered, not just from our memories of him, but from the spit stains we would stumble across, including some where he had managed to hit the ceiling. Super gross but still endearing.

And now we have Hobbes, who we pray will live to double digits. It turns out storing spit in your jowls is not a Bracco trait; it was a Smudge trait. But Hobbes does share something with Smudge–absolutely enormous paws. They’re like badger paws, with long nails, hard-working paws that look like they could dig the Chunnel, if he knew there was a squirrel on the other side. Truly, they’re almost like paddles or flippers, and one of our nicknames for him is The Manatee. And because of his big feet, he is the truly the world’s noisiest walker, hence our other nickname, Mr. McStompy.

So let’s celebrate the crowning of Zsa Zsa, and wish her and her owner happy days. And let’s also take loving inventory of all the wonderful imperfections that make our pets our very own, and might be worthy of an extra treat or two today in appreciation.

Be Sure to Visit Pet friendly My Place Hotels

 

My Place Hotel

One of the great things about working at Petswelcome is “discovering” an up-and-coming pet-friendly hotel chain that understands not only the needs of travelers and their pets but, more importantly, delivers on that understanding in spades. Not that pet friendly My Place Hotels needs to be discovered—they opened their first property in 2012—but their phenomenal growth (they now have 41 hotels in 20 states with 40 more on the way) attests to the fact that they’re doing something right and are on track to becoming one of the leading pet friendly chains in very short order.

My Place Hotel Interior

Their philosophy is simple: to offer modern amenities at an affordable price. And while that may sound like a standard approach, My Place is actually doing innovative things that live up to that philosophy, and separate their brand from the rest of the pack. They understand that travelers now have different requirements and needs than they did in the past, and they’ve set out to address those needs in unique ways. First, My Place is both a short-term and extended-stay hotel, meaning you can stay just one night or for a month or more, and your needs will be equally met. The standard approach used by other chains was to separate short-term and extended stays into different brands, but My Stay knows that by providing the modern traveler with the right amenities and choices, they can meet all your needs no matter how long you stay.

My Store
My Store is always well stocked to meet your every need.

And provide the right amenities, they do. First, their pet policy is awesome. You can have two pets (dogs or cats) per room up to 80 lbs. each with a pet fee of just $10 per night, not to exceed $50 per week or $100 monthly. We like that. They also have a My Store at each property, which provides plenty of food, beverages and snacks, as well as dinnerware, pots and pans to use in the kitchens that are in every room, including a refrigerator/freezer, microwave, 2-burner cooktop and sink. How convenient is that? Whether it’s delicious leftovers, take out, or ingredients for your favorite homecooked meal, My Place can help you make it happen. There is also a 37-inch flat screen TV with premium cable in each room, as well as free WiFi and wired internet. And, if that’s not enough, check out My Lounge, a great place to relax, hang with other guests if you’d like, have a cup of coffee and/or use their 24-hour business center. We really love the way My Place mixes public and private spaces to meet all your travel needs.

My Lounge
My Lounge is a great place to relax and mix with other guests.

Further amenities include guest laundry, options for daily housekeeping  and—in select locations—grill pavilions for cookouts and a Breakfast In Bed plan that allows you to select a custom pre-packaged breakfast at check-in that will be delivered to your refrigerator each day at a minimal cost.

From pet-friendliness to myriad services, conveniences and facilities that allow you to live like a local while exploring a brand new destination, My Place is definitely The Place to visit on your next trip with your pet.

 

 

 

Awesome Pet Friendly Food Trucks

Treats Unleashed

At Petswelcome, we’ve known for a long time that finding a pet friendly hotel as well as places to eat with your pet are the recipe for a successful trip with your favorite animal. When it comes to places to eat, food trucks are a great option that you should definitely explore. That’s because food trucks are, by their very nature, pet friendly. Since you obviously don’t eat in the truck, you can bring your pet, get in line for some food, and then sit at a table that’s usually set up nearby. And, even if they do prohibit dogs in the food park area, or you can’t get a seat, you can always find a nearby park bench or stoop (pet travelers need to be both wily and creative!). It solves the eating-out-with-your-pet dilemma when you’re traveling and is a great way to sample wonderful ethnic and/or regional food. Not very long ago, cafés were pretty much the only real option to dine out with your pet, but now there’s a whole other world out there, thanks to Pet Friendly Food Trucks.

A great way to sample the fare without running all over town searching out locations and/or flagging down individual trucks is to find a Food Truck Park/Market, a site that has numerous food trucks in one place so that there are plenty of culinary options to choose from. Many of these truck parks are located near green spaces and also provide music and other events on weekends so the atmosphere is always great.  Here are just a few of our favorites:

Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market, Atlanta, GA

Trucks are booked at the AFTP based on expected crowds. Usually there is a selection of 6-8 trucks during the week, with 10-14 on weekends. Check out Dogs on Wheels, Sweet Auburn BBQ , the Blaxican (Mexican soul food) and Chayj’s “Sugar Mama” Dessert Food Truck. Leashed dogs are welcome outside the dining area. We recommend you spread a blanket and picnic over at the nearby green space.

Chayj's
Chayj’s

The Austin Street Truck Stop, Denton, TX

This park offers delectable treats from vendors like The Waffle Wagon, The Dumpling Brothers and The Pickled Carrot. You can pick up some vittles and make a beeline with your best buddy to the downtown square, which is nearby.

The Pittsburgh Food Truck Park, Millvale, PA

Located along the Allegheny River in Millvale’s Riverfront Park, which is on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, the Pittsburgh Food Truck Park opened in April 2018 and features food trucks from all around Pittsburgh. The founders, Matt, Tony and Shawn Lang, envision it as representing the taste of Pittsburgh and want it to be totally family friendly, which, of course, means allowing dogs. Some of the food trucks include Curly’s Tin Rizzi, McFeely’s Arctic Ice , Revival Chili and  Cousin’s Maine Lobster. Yum!

Majestic Mushroom Food Truck
The Majestic Mushroom Food Truck

Memphis Food Truck Park, Memphis, TN

Totally dog friendly, the Memphis Food Truck Park only asks that you keep your best buddy on a leash at all times. Do that and you’ll be ready to check out Taste of Tennessee, Grill Master Chew and the Majestic Mushroom Food Truck, among many others. Go to the park’s Facebook page for menus, reviews and upcoming events.

Seattle Barkery
A happy customer at the Seattle Barkery.

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention some food trucks totally dedicated to man’s best friend. These include Treats Unleashed in St. Louis, MO, featuring ice cream, tennis balls, chews and toys; Fetch, in Birmingham, AL, offering bacon ice cream, chicken pupsicles, and pupcakes (Slurp!); and the Seattle Barkery, which serves up delicious cakes using grain-free flours and a choice of peanut butter glaze or whipped cream cheese frostings, both with bacon sprinkles.

To our mind there is no better way to get the feel of a place than to sample its best foods with your dog in tow. And food trucks are a great way to do it. With names like Daddy’s Girl Gourmet Dogs, Bollywood Zing, Fork in the Road and Jamaican Mi Crazy,  who can resist the call? So get out there and start truckin’ now, and, please, let us know what you find.

6 Great Raincoats for Dogs

It’s raining in the Pacific Northwest (as usual), and that means there are a lot of wet doggies walking around town. If your dog isn’t a fan of the rain then it’s time to invest in rain gear or maybe it’s time to upgrade the old raincoat you have for him/her.

6 Raincoats to Keep Your Dog Dry & Warm

Guardian Gear Pet Rain Pet Jacket

The Guardian Gear Rain Jacket comes in bright orange for those night walks and is waterproof. It has elastic straps that close around the belly with enough room for your little boy to lift his leg on all those trees and fire hydrants on your walk. There is also a reflective strip so cars can see you and your pup crossing the street.

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Boneheads Waterproof Raincoat

The Boneheads Waterproof Raincoat is made of nylon, but it feels like cotton so you don’t have that tough, shiny, and stickiness that other coats tend to have. The velcro straps around your dog’s neck and belly are soft and allow for comfort while also keeping the coat in place. The inner lining is soft cotton so your dog will feel like s/he’s wearing a light blanket and not a coat!

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Reflecta Sport Dog Rainbreaker with Removable Hood

The Reflecta Sport Dog Rainbreaker by Petlife has a removable hood and reflective strips. It has little sleeves for the front legs to keep rain water off them as your dog trots down the street. There are also adjustable parts on the waist and sleeves to keep the rain out and the jacket on.

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Dogit Style Reversible Argyle Dog Raincoat

This coat by Dogit is silver and blue so your dog can be seen at night and has a little zipper where you stow some doggie bags to clean up. It’s light so it’s great for those days where it’s rainy but not too cold. Like today, where it keeps raining but the sun pops out too.

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Petego Dogrich Rainforest Dog Raincoat

Does your dog need full coverage during a downpour? Then the coat by Petego may be the one you need. It comes with a detachable fleece lining, has reflective strips, and adjustable straps. The best part, it has sleeves for all 4 legs.

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Fou Fou Ski Parka Dog Coat

The Fou Fou Ski Parka Coat is reversible and made to keep your pup warm. It’s quilted for those chilly evening walks and stylish. Great coat as the days get cooler!

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What Do You Think?

If you’ve had good luck with one of these or another dog raincoat that isn’t listed here, please let us know.