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It’s a dog’s life…

pet travel

Shelters are empty, the SPCA has a three year waitlist for volunteer dog walkers, every flight from Sao Paulo to Toronto is at maximum capacity for pets in the cabin until mid October. This is the pandemic pet craze. As the world unfolds to reveal a new way of living it is nice to think of how best to include our furry friends in any travel plans. Let’s face it, some dogs are more suited to travel than others. 

Ricki, my first basset hound was born in Mexico. As a puppy she visited the archaeological sites of Palenque and Tonina in Chiapas. She (reluctantly) swam for the first time in the pools of Agua Azul. I brought her back to Vancouver with me by air and returned to Mexico with her a year later. We camped in the cactus gardens outside of Puebla and had daily walks in the field with a view of the Popocatepetl volcano. 

Friday, my current dog, is an adventurer of a different sort. He was part of the Basset Hound Rescue of Southern California’s first “hound haul”, meaning a volunteer drove him and another basset from LA to Washington state to find their forever homes. Two days before I left to meet him I got a call that he had escaped from the yard at his foster home. Once he was found he had a GPS collar on him until we met, just in case.

Here are the top 5 picks to put some bow-WOW into your next trip:

1. Keep it local. The Fairmont hotels across Canada are not only pet friendly, some are home to canine ambassadors who come to work with their human counterparts. If you do need to leave your furry friend at home you can book a time to take their dog for a walk. Raven’s Perch, close to Nelson, BC, is dedicated to exploring sustainable living and has one pet-friendly tiny vacation home for rent in a beautiful wilderness setting.

2. La Quinta Resort & Spa, California offers PAWS their Canine Experience for you and your pooch with over 45 acres of open grounds, private fenced patios and yards, plush doggy beds and stainless steel bowls for the gourmet treats. A perfect getaway if you are both looking for a little luxury.

3. Fear of flying? No worries, hop on board the Queen Mary II with Cunard Cruises trans-Atlantic sailing from New York to Southampton, UK and their Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), meaning that you and Fido can sail the open seas together. 

4. When you are ready to hit the open road the good ol’ US of A is a great bet. Bar K in Kansas City has an open dog park attached to the dining area, human and dog food options on the menu and a supervised off leash dog park. Denver, St. Louis, Dallas, Oklahoma or Atlanta offer similar dog park establishments.

5. Although it is exclusively for pets and no humans allowed, D-Pet Hotels based in LA (of course!) is too fun not to include in this list. With thoughtfully decorated rooms, choices of sleeping arrangements and the extra perk of chauffeur service with the option of upgrading your dog’s ride to a luxury car, Lamborghini or Rolls Royce, anyone? Woof!

Intrigued by any of these options, want to know more?  Comment below or contact me and we’ll find your dream doggie destination. Happy travels! cynthia@personaltravel.ca 

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