Category Archives: dog-friendly accommodation

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?

Virgin Australia’s pet program

It’s fairly common in the USA to have frequent flyer programs for pets.  But did you know that earlier this year Virgin Australia launched that country’s first pet frequent flyer program?

Photo courtesy of Virgin Australi

Photo courtesy of Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia’s pet program adds bonus points to the air miles that passengers receive when they are members of the Velocity Frequent Flyer program.

Red members (the entry level) earn an extra 300 points each time they fly with one pet carrier. Silver, Gold and Platinum members earn more points per flight.  Platinum members earn 600 points per flight per pet carrier, for example.

Well done to Virgin Australia for recognising travelers who need to travel with their dog!