Category Archives: dog-friendly accommodation

America’s pet friendly rental markets

Finding rental housing when you own a dog (or two, or more) is a big issue here in Christchurch.  Our housing market has done some very weird things since the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 with sky-rocketing property prices and escalated rental costs (people getting their homes repaired move to temporary accommodation – paid by their homeowners insurance, adding to the competition for rental properties).

Those people who did not own their homes pre-quakes and were dog owners have been some of the most severely affected by the increases.

And so this article from Forbes Magazine caught my eye.  It’s about renting housing in the USA when you are a dog owner; the largest 25 property rental markets are compared.

Pet friendly rental markets

Three factors were used to rank the rental markets:

a) the percentage of landlords willing to allow pets (counted by reading the ads for rental properties)

b) the least expensive pet fees.  That’s a fee that you pay on top of any deposit because you own a pet.  Most fees are refunded when you leave the property in good condition.  Others are simply higher rents for pet owners that are non-refundable.  In Christchurch, pet fees, particularly in terms of higher deposits, suddenly appeared on many properties where there were none before.

c) and my favorite criteria:  a high concentration of pet stores and services.

The western cities of San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Oakland and Portland topped the list.

Sadly for dog lovers, the survey revealed that landlords are much more tolerant of cats than they are of dogs.  And the larger the dog, the harder time you have when renting.  Only 4% of landlords were prepared to allow large breed dogs like a St Bernard.

What this information reinforces is that dog ownership costs money.  If you are considering adding a dog to your pack, spend some time considering your income and life situation before making the commitment.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pampered Pooches at the Opus Vancouver

The Opus Vancouver, a boutique hotel named one of the “Top 5 Trendiest Hotels in the World” by Trip Advisor, offers a Pampered Pooch add-on for guests traveling with their dogs.

The package includes:

  • A locally-designed designer dog bandana
  • A photo shoot with a pet photographer (with one 5×7 print and 6 high resolution images on disc or provided online via dropbox)
  • And a 1-hour in-room massage for your dog (I particularly liked this part)
"I'm ready for my close up" Photo by Tanya King, pet photographer to the Opus Vancouver

“I’m ready for my close up” Photo by Tanya King, pet photographer to the Opus Vancouver

Pet-friendly travel is a niche market that is growing; dog owners are looking for ways that they can treat their pets as well as themselves when on vacation.

What’s your favorite place to stay when traveling with your dog?

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

 

 

Amtrak required to accept small pets

 Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., gives some attention to Lily, his 15-pound French bulldog, Feb. 15 in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lily once was rejected by Amtrak, but the House passed a measure Wednesday that would let her ride with her owner.  Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., gives some attention to Lily, his 15-pound French bulldog, Feb. 15 in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lily once was rejected by Amtrak, but the House passed a measure Wednesday that would let her ride with her owner. Photo by
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act passed last week by a vote of 316-101 (132 Republicans joined 184 Democrats in voting for the bill; 101 Republicans voted against).  The Act holds funding for Amtrak, the USA’s national rail network, at current levels.

But, the big news for dog lovers is that the rail line  will designate at least one car per train, where feasible, for pets, so that passengers “may transport a domesticated cat or dog in the same manner as carry-on baggage.”

Representative Jeff Denham, a Republican from California, supported the bill because he likes to travel with Lily, his French Bulldog.  Lily can ride on airplanes with Denham but has been unable to do so on train trips.

In 2014, Amtrak initiated a trial project into pet-friendly travel.  That trial was only in the Chicago area – now Amtrak must accept pets on a much wider basis.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

 

The Wagington

The Wagington is a new, high-end dog hotel (kennel?) in Singapore catering to the wealthiest residents of the area.

All dogs must be temperament tested before being allowed to stay in one of the 27 suites of the hotel.  Amenities include memory foam mattresses, a bone-shaped swimming pool with supervised swimming, a gym including a treadmill (also supervised), and spa services ranging from ‘pawdicures’ to mud wraps.

A suite at the Wagington (photo courtesy of The Wagington)

A suite at the Wagington (photo courtesy of The Wagington)

Over the top?  Probably – for many of us.  But the opening of this facility, reportedly costing the owner $700,000, shows that the pet market continues its expansion with owners who can afford luxuries for their animals.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Amtrak’s pet-friendly travel trial

Amtrak pets on boardFrom 5 May through 2 November 2014, Amtrak is conducting a trial program for owners traveling with their pets.  The Carry-on Pet Pilot Program will allow passengers to bring cats and small dogs, up to 20 pounds including the carrier, on selected train services in the Chicago region.

Amtrak petsThe carriers are considered a piece of carry-on baggage and the fee per pet is $25.00.  No more than four pets will be allowed  per train.

To qualify for the Amtrak scheme, your  dog will need to be harmless, odorless and at least eight weeks old.

In an Amtrak press release, Joe Boardman, president and CEO of Amtrak said, “Amtrak is supportive of accommodating pets on trains, and through direct collaboration with the Illinois Department of Transportation and a working group led by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham of California we are optimistic a plan can be reached to address the needs and concerns of all our passengers.”

It’s a start…let’s hope the trial goes well.  All aboard!

 

 

Trends in US travel for dog owners

DogVacay, the online site the connects dog parents who need home dog boarding, pet sitting and day care with qualified caregivers, has released its second annual State of U.S. Pet Travel survey.

dogs and travelIt shows that dog parents still face obstacles when needing or wanting to travel.

For example:

  • 60% of dog owners say arranging accommodation for their dog adds complexity to travel planning
  • 34% of owners say they often struggle to find a pet sitter when they need to travel at short notice
  • 22% of owners have delayed or skipped a planned vacation because of challenges in arranging care for their dog(s)
  • 50% say finding a good kennel or pet sitter has affected planning for their vacation
  • Another three in ten (27%) say financial challenges such as kennel fees or paying a pet deposit at a hotel have impacted their vacation plans

Also, 46% of dog owners agree that worrying about their dog(s) while they’re away makes it harder to enjoy their trip (I admit that I worry about Daisy when I have to travel for work or vacation, even when I have made arrangements for her care with reputable caregivers).

What’s your travel story?

 

K9 Flight School

Air Hollywood

Assistance dogs and small dogs that are allowed to fly in aircraft cabins are now supported with a training program specifically for them!

The training is provided by Air Hollywood, a studio where the television show Lost was filmed.  The K9 Flight School prepares people and pets to travel confidently by simulating a real aviation environment.  During the training, dogs are exposed to:

  • airport checkin
  • security screening
  • boarding
  • turbulence
  • landing
  • disembarking (no pun intended)

The one-day course costs $349.   Will your dog become a frequent flyer?