5 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in the USA

Grab your sunscreen, pack a towel, and get ready for summer! Going to the beach can be awesome for a day of relaxing in the sun, playing in the water, and heading home a little sandy and tan. Your favorite friend may also enjoy playing and romping around in the sand and surf. If so, make sure the beach is dog-friendly and observe the rules ane regulations that apply.

Here’s our pick of the 5 best beaches to visit

  1. Dog Beach – Key West, Florida – There are a few beaches in Key West, this one is for the dogs… after running around and playing, head over to one of the many dog-friendly cafes to get a drink and sit in the shade. The beach is great for off-leash fun but it is a little rocky. This is a public beach and free. It’s not huge but it’s definitely perfect for a pack of dogs to make friends, run in the sand, and splash in the water.
  2. Montrose Dog Beach – Chicago, Illinois – This is the first legal off-leash dog beach in Chicago and is located off Montrose Beach. The beach is free but all dogs must have a DFA tag which is $5. Also, there are rules for dogs such as no food, no prong or pinch collars, and you must clean up after your dog.
  3. Cannon Beach – Cannon Beach, Oregon – Cannon Beach is recognized by its landmark, Haystack Rock, located to the southwest of downtown Cannon Beach, near Tolovana Park. Dogs are allowed on the beach either one leash or under voice control, meaning, your dog is well-trained and will come when called even with all the awesomeness and fun surrounding you both. Bring bags to clean up after your pet and get ready for a fun day of playing. It does get chilly on the coast so keep an eye on your dog and make sure s/he’s not too cold after playing in the water.
  4. Huntington Beach – Huntington Beach, California – this beach is about 3 miles long and far enough away from the roads that you can let your dog roam without worry. It’s got some rocky parts but mostly it’s a great space for your pup to run and splash. If your dog is not great with recall, this is a great spot to work on that with a long lead. It’s spacious enough that you won’t be crowded in. Parking can be a pain so get there early!
  5. Del Mar Dog Beach – San Diego, California – This beach has been dog friendly since 1959 and 9 months of the year dogs are allowed to run, stomp, and play on the sand. The beach is about 2 miles long and near two parks. The most popular spot is North Beach area for dogs and their humans. Don’t forget to bring bags to clean up after your pup and a frisbee!

Did we miss a few? Let us know!

Image from Dogs Of Orange County

6 Great Places To Travel With Your Dog

There are some great travel deals popping up where you can getaway for cheap and have a fun weekend. Some may be a few hours away from a major city and others might be a plane ride. Whatever you decide to do, if your dog is going to go with you, it’s important to plan a trip that will be fun for both of you. Sure, you could board your dog or ask a friend to watch her/him but your dog could probably use a break too.

Here are 6 Great Places to Getaway With When Bringing Your Dog

  1. Mutt Lynch Winery – Located in Sonoma County in California, this winery’s name is whimsical and also a great place to taste some exquisite wines. The winery supports and donates money to various dog rescue groups, and their motto is, “Bark less, wag more!” You could start the day off with a long walk, some play time, and then head to winery while your pup snoozes. Then both of you can play dead together in the evening.
    Hotels in Healdsburg, Ca
  2. The beach in Key West – Key West, Fl is known for its nightlife, sunshine, and great food. It’s also dog-friendly. There is a great beach that allows dogs to run around off-leash on Vernon St. and Waddell Ave. After you’re done splashing around, head over to Louie’s Backyard and catch a drink. There is even a kayak rental place that allows dogs to paddle with you. Sun, fun, drinks, and lots of tail wags. Sounds perfect.
    Hotels in Key West, Fl
  3. Colorado Springs – one coolest places to visit with its mountain scenery, trails, and dog parks, this is a pet paradise. Buckskin Joe Frontier Town and Railway allows pets go where you go, on a horse-drawn trolley into town or on the train ride. Cripple Creek District Museum, Garden of the Gods Trading Post, Historic Manitou Springs and Manitou Cliff Dwelling all allows pets as long as they are well-behaved and leashed.
    Hotels in Colorado Springs
  4. Cannon Beach, Or – With over 14 pet-friendly hotels in the area, lots of awesome places to eat, as at least 10 restaurants that allow dogs to dine with their owners at outdoor tables, this is the best place for a weekend getaway if you live near Portland, Or. The highlight, though, will definitely be walking the miles of beaches, which allow dogs to go leash-less as long as they’re under voice control.
    Hotels in Cannon Beach, Or
  5. Acadia National Park – Acadia National Park has over 120 miles of hiking trails that range from easy to strenuous. Imagine the smell of the deep woods, beautiful shorelines, and peacefulness you’ll feel there. Your dog will love exploring the trails and sniffing everything! Please remember, dogs must be leashed on trails and bring bags to clean up after your dog.
    Hotels in Acadia
  6. Montrose Beach, Chicago – When I say Chicago in my head, I imagine cityscapes and buildings. I don’t think about a beach being so close but there is an amazing beach where you and your pup can roam and swim off-leash. After playing and shaking the sand out of your ears, catch a drink and some good food at one of the many outdoor restaurants that allow pets to hang out with you.
    Hotels in Chicago

No matter where you go, make sure your pet has updated identification tags and don’t forget to make a list of the emergency vets in the area you’re staying just in case. Have fun and send us pictures!

Image from The Ocean Lodge

9 Things To Look For At Pet-Friendly Hotels

Ok, so you’ve done it. The dates of your trip are picked out, you’ve told your boss to take this job and shove it, you’ve searched Google Maps and PetsWelcome to find the best places to vacation with your dog, and you’ve told your mom to stop leaving comments on your Facebook wall about all this. Now what?

Well, now you take the trip with your best friend, your dog. But first, you have to find hotels, motels, bed and breakfast places that accept pets and see if their policies will allow your Great Dane to stay or your pack of ten daschunds. Hey, I don’t know how you ended up with ten little daschunds but they are awfully cute. That’s not the point. The point is to find a place to stay that seems responsible, clean, and does care about you and your pet.

Here are 9 things to look for when choosing a pet-friendly hotel

  1. Do they require health certificates or copies of vaccines? As much as that can sound like a pain to get before a trip. It’s a safety measure that has all the guests in mind. What if you are nipped by a stranger’s dog who is staying there? Don’t you want to know that the dog is healthy, had a rabies shot recently, and is ok? I do.
  2. What are the rules for leaving a pet alone in the room? Some hotels will say you can’t leave the dog alone and others will require that you bring your own crate. Some hotels may even have a boarding and daycare facility associated with them so you can bring your pup there while you check out the sights.
  3. On the hotel grounds, where are you allowed to walk your pet? Late night potty breaks mean that it would be good to know where on the hotel property your pet can go and if there are bags to clean up afterwards available. No one, trust me, no one likes stepping in that mess.
  4. Are there pet supplies available such as dog bowls? Some hotels have little pet packages of treats, a bed, and bowls. Others are more barebones and only offer a few treats. If you forget or lose a dog bowl, it’s good to know if they can provide one or if you need to find a pet store.
  5. Do they have a list or resource guide to the nearest dog parks, vets, pet-friendly restaurants in the area? Although this isn’t a requirement and many of us can find these with a few google searches, it’s so nice when hotels have the “hook up” and can hand you a print out or pamphlet of things to do, how to get there, and numbers to call.
  6. Are there off-leash and on-leash areas in the hotel? Some dogs are not as happy to meet other dogs as yours might be and may show aggression when being approached. Ask the hotel what their rule is about entrances, exits, and public areas like the lobby. At least you’ll know that if there is a fearful or slightly unfriendly pup, your furry buddy will be safe.
  7. Are there any restrictions based on size and breed? While your dog might be ok and allowed, your best friend’s dalmation pit-bull mix might not be and that could toss a monkey wrench into your BFF vacation.
  8. What’s the maximum number of pets per room (or guests allowed) and what are the fees? The last thing you want to experience is being unable to check-in to the hotel that you booked becuase you have two dogs or get hit with an extra fee that was not made clear on the website. Ask before you go.
  9. Do they offer any extra services? Some hotels offer dog-walking, dog-sitting, and other amenities for pets who are guests. Others do not but as stated earlier, may have a list of daycares nearby. It’s always good to check and gives you some flexibility in planning what you can do and how long you can go out without worrying that your buddy will get bored or lonely.

It’s always better to go as prepared as possible. Your pet and your peace of mind will thank you.

When you travel with your buddy, what other questions and things do you look for in a pet-friendly hotel?

Image from TheRichTraveler

Glen Highland Farms: Pet-Friendly NY Getaway

Hey New Yorkers! It’s hot, really hot. Last weekend it was 97 degrees and humid. The subway stations feel like ovens, the sidewalks can fry an egg, and you and your dog are panting after walking one block to the local coffee shop to get an iced coffee.

A weekend away may be just the thing you need. There’s a great pet-friendly getaway located 4 hours outside of NYC near Utica, NY that promises fun, sunshine, and outdoor adventures called Glen Highland Farms.

>> Check out all your options for pet-friendly hotels in New York.

This dog friendly vacation spot is located in Morris, NY and was created especially for those of us who love to vacation with our pets. It’s located on 175 acres of land where you can camp, rent a tent, cabin, cottage, or RV spot. The land was once home to the Iroquois Indians. Now it’s a farm with a beautiful creek, lush wooded trails, lots of wildlife, and a 2 acre pond.

Canine Outdoor Adventure has two options for your stay at Glen Highland: Canine Country Camp or Canine Country Getaway.

The first one is called “Canine Country Camp.” You need to register early if you want to participate in the week long campout, the next dates are Sept 8-13, 2012. There are 35 spots open for each camping trip and the spots fill up quickly. The camping trip is not just fun, it’s also educational. During the week-long stay, instructors will be on hand offering tips and tricks on how to engage your dog in different types of play and lecture on topics such as canine health, nutrition, resolving behavior problems, and understanding your dog better.

Each day at the camp includes 3 meals, a morning and afternoon lecture, a group walk through one of the many trails, and opportunities to sign up and participate in sporting sessions. If your dog seems to have a knack for climbing, likes herding, or is a natural born jumper, these classes will give you and your dog the opportunity to run agility courses, herd, or rally and work with an instructor one on one to learn how to do it properly. Is your dog a water dog? Yeah, they have classes for that too.

The camp fee is $1300 per adult. It includes all meals and instructions with teachers. The cost of the lodging will vary depending what you choose: tent, cabin, or RV. All dogs who visit Glen Highland Farm must be up to date with vaccines and proof is required for each dog that visits.

The second option is called, “Canine Country Getaway.” This option is for shorter stays. You and your dog can sign up for training sessions and/or lectures at an additional cost and use the agility equipment anytime of the day. The trails that run throughout the farm were created from the owners’ dogs who ran around when they first bought the land.

Hike, run, explore, and swim in the ponds, check out the 60 acre meadow or fish. The pond is stocked with trout and bass for catch and release fishing. Bring your bike if you want to ride one of the many mapped bike trails outside of the farm. Being located at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, there are amazing beautiful, breathtaking views that you’ll want to photograph.

Remember to bring your own food which can be purchased the local grocery store in Morris or on your way up, enough food and treats for your furry buddy, and other items for your stay such as bedding, toiletries, and good sneakers. The season for staying at Glen Highland started on June 1 and runs through October 8, 2012. There is a 2 night minimum stay.

The prices start at $135 a night for a tent, $175 a night for a cabin, and $225 a night for a cottage. RV prices vary by the size and if you bring your own.

The vacation spot is owned by Lillie Goodrich and John Andersen. They were inspired by their first Border Collie, Luke, where dogs could enjoy off-leash fun, run far and wide, and love life. Glen Highland Farm is not just a vacation spot, Sweet Border Collie Rescue is also here. It has been in operation since 2001. The dogs rest and live in a 200 year old barn and run through the grassy fields, play with each other, and wait for their new forever homes. Lillie and John have placed over 900 dogs in new homes since they have started their rescue work. You may see some of these pups running around and your dog could make a lot of new friends.

To book your stay and more information, head over to their website.

Photo from Glen Highland Farms, Canine Outdoor Adventures

Pet Friendly Getaways in California

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway to either get out of the cold or are itching to bust out that snowboard, there are plenty of great pet-friendly places in California to stay. When traveling with your pet, make sure to bring a pet emergency kit, updated ID tags, food, a few toys, and a copy of your pet’s vaccines. Many guest houses and hotels have policies that ask that your dog be fully vaccinated, friendly, and well-behaved. Also, don’t forget to clean up after your dog when taking her for a walk or hike.

Tahoma Bed and Breakfast is in Tahoma California and is a great place for summer or winter. It is located at 6821 West Lake Blvd. You can go snow shoeing and skiing during the winter and relax in a hot tub afterwards. In the summer, enjoy kayaking, hiking, fishing, and biking the mountain trails. When making a reservation, mention that you have a pet. There is a pet fee of $20 a night and they ask that your pet not be left alone in the cottages unless they are crated. All pets receive a welcome basket that has some treats and poop bags. There are plenty of fun trails to hike on with your pup and after 6pm your dog is allowed to run around on the beachfront. For more information visit their website http://www.tahomameadows.com/ or call 530-525-1553.

Pine Haven Cabin is a great place to stay and let your dog run around in Julian, Ca. at 2802 Three Peaks Lane. It’s a cabin that is surrounded and fenced in on 1.25 acres of land. Your dog can run around off leash, enjoy the mountain getaway, and then nap in front of a fireplace when the day is over. The owners are dog crazy and welcome guests with their furry friends with open arms. They ask that your dog be full vaccinated, well-behaved, and there is a $40 pet fee. Your dog will love the open space and may find some of the hidden toys that are around the area. It can be a great, safe, trip for everyone. For more information visit their website at http://www.pinehavencabin.com/index.htm or call 760-726-9888.

Cambria Shores Inn can be found at 6276 Moonstone Beach Drive in Cambria, Ca. and is one of the most pet friendly getaways around. They have a VIP program for your pup that includes a welcome basket of treats and a cover that you can put on the bed so your furry buddy can sleep on there without shedding on the covers. It’s close to the beach and they have a list of pet friendly restaurants for you so you don’t have to leave Max at home. The rooms are kept clean, the staff is friendly, and they love dogs. When you make your reservations make sure to let them know you’re bring your buddy. There is an additional pet fee and you may want to see if they have any seasonal package deals depending on the time of your vacation. For more information visit their website http://cambriashores.com/.

Logo courtesy of http://cambriashores.com/

Pet Friendly Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago is the largest city in Illinois and is named from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, meaning “wild onion.” The city has many upscale dining options, ethnic restaurants that receive rave reviews, and is the hometown for deep-dish pizza and hot dogs with pickles, relish, peppers, tomatoes, and mustard known as the Chicago-style hot dog.

It’s also a pet-friendly city with many bars, cafes, and restaurants that allow dogs who have good manners to sit, hang out, and spend time with you as you catch a meal, catch up with friends over coffee, or go out to dinner after a nice afternoon in the park.

Tommy’s Guitars and Cafe
is located at 2548 W Chicago and is open Mon from 7:30am to 5pm, Tues thru Fri till 7pm, and Sat from 8am to 5pm. It’s the only cafe where you can buy a burger, fries, soda, and a guitar at the same time! Dogs are allowed at the outdoor seating area and will be offered water while you enjoy one of their sub sandwiches, salads, or check out some of their guitars and accessories.

Sunrise Cafe is a great place to get breakfast or lunch. It is open everyday from 7am to 3pm and is a good family place. They are located at 2012 W Chicago Ave and dogs are allowed at the outdoor patio area. It’s a diner that will always refill your cup of coffee, has a mom and pop feel, and receives rave reviews on their hash browns.

Eleven City Diner is located at 1112 S Wabash Ave and allowed dogs to sit with their owners at the outdoor tables. Eleven is open Mon thru Thurs from 8am to 9:30pm, Fri 8am to 10:30pm, Sat 8:30am to 10:30pm, and Sun 8:30am to 9pm. It’s a diner that boasts an old-time feel and has great deli sandwiches, brisket that you might die for, burgers, and knishes. They even have old-fashioned sodas such as the Brooklyn Egg Cream and milkshakes.

America’s Dog is the place to go to for hot dogs! There are 4 locations and they all allow dogs to hang out at their outdoor seating areas. Have a hot dog with the works that reflects the city it is from such as the Chicago dog that has mustard, relish, onions, peppers, tomato, pickle wedge, and celery salt or a Houston dog that has chili on it. Maybe you’ll want a Baltimore dog that is deep fried with melted cheddar and grilled onions on it. They also have burgers, wraps, and soup.

“Pet Friendly” has a Whole New Meaning at Airports

There was a time when a “Pet Friendly” airline meant you could check Fido in at the airport and let him ride cargo.  However, more and more people are traveling with their pets and in response, many airlines have taken the term “Pet Friendly” to a whole new level.  These days, the goal of many “Pet Friendly” airlines is to provide the same amount of comfort to the pet that is provided to the passenger.

How is this done? First of all, for staff handling pets that come on board, “must love animals” is part of the standard job description. Some airlines provide goody bags containing various travel–sized pet toiletries and even carob cookies similar to the chocolate chip cookies served to passengers on board.

phlpetportarea1Pets are kept in climate controlled areas on the plane as well as during transport and in their own area with only pet crates and no luggage. Like their human counter parts, pets have three options for travel. These are Cabin Class, Baggage Class and Cargo Class. Some airlines offer a 24 hour pet travel desk, where customers not flying with their pet can call to track their pet travel. Midwest Airlines and Continental have even gone so far as to offer pet frequent flier programs where points can be earned each time the pet flies.

Some airports have also followed suit. In May 2008, the Transportation Department gave airlines a year to comply with new rules requiring accessible relief areas for pets. Now New — and newly improved — pet-relief areas have been popping up at airports all over the country. Miami International recently spent $40,000 to build two pet parks, each with a bench for people and a fire hydrant for pets.

For information about the best pet friendly airlines, click here. For pet travel tips click here.