Category Archives: dog-friendly accommodation

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!

Happy birthday, Your Holiness

I like Pope Francis’ style.  Earlier this week, he invited four homeless men to join him for Mass and breakfast at the Vatican in celebration of his 77th birthday (that’s roughly 13 in dog years).

One of the men owned a dog, who was welcomed as part of the celebrations:

Pope's birthday photo

If the Vatican can embrace dog-friendly accommodation, why can’t we see more dog-friendly establishments elsewhere?

The Paw Seasons luxury accommodation for dogs

It’s been a while since I blogged about some pet-friendly accommodation.  But this one really got my attention because it offers luxury breaks for dogs.  The venues do not accept human visitors so I guess technically this operation is about boutique kenneling for dogs, but who cares?

The Paw Seasons offers three luxury accommodation options for UK-based dogs.

At Long Ashton in Bristol the dogs can relax on a dog sofa in the conservatory or on the variety of soft beds in the kitchen.  Dogs are also welcome in the office (study).

At Long Ashton in Bristol the dogs can relax on a dog sofa in the conservatory or on the variety of soft beds in the kitchen. Dogs are also welcome in the office (study)

The Alderton in Wiltshire features a resident Golden Retriever, 2 retired horses and ducks and chickens who are carefully fenced off for safety

The Alderton in Wiltshire features a resident Golden Retriever, 2 retired horses and ducks and chickens who are carefully fenced off for safety

Hawkesbury Common, near Badminton in Wiltshire has restricted vehicle access, making it the perfect country retreat for your dog

Hawkesbury Common, near Badminton in Wiltshire has restricted vehicle access, making it the perfect country retreat for your dog

The Paw Seasons offers a shuttle service from London and points along the M4; free shuttle service is available for Bristol International Airport and the operators will also look after your car while you are away.

Rates per dog range from £30 – £50 depending on the season.

Paw Seasons Logo

Three Ferraris for man’s best friend

Well done to Museo Ferrari Maranello; the Ferrari Museum has recognised that car lovers may also be dog lovers who are traveling with their pooch.

The solution?  Guarded kennels in the shaded part of the museum garden which is located next to the cafeteria.

Photo courtesy of Museo Ferrari Maranello

Photo courtesy of Museo Ferrari, Maranello

In three different sizes (to cater for dogs of all sizes), these kennels replicate in detail the classic Ferrari motor car which is built in Maranello.

Your dog will experience a Ferrari cockpit like no other.  Photo courtesy of Museo Ferrari, Maranello

Your dog will experience a Ferrari cockpit like no other!  Photo courtesy of Museo Ferrari, Maranello

Now that’s dog-friendly business!  Does the museum near you cater for your dog?

Dog-friendly Las Vegas

The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is pet-friendly.  Through discount site Coupaw, it is currently offering a 3-day/2-night stay for 2 adults at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for $30.  The voucher for this deal includes a Las Vegas BITE card which provides the cardholder with other excellent deals on a wide array of food and entertainment throughout Las Vegas.

Riviera Hotel

As with many pet-friendly hotels, there are restrictions including breed specific ones :(

The fine print says:

2 Dog maximum – $25 additional fee – per dog/per night. Pet fees are paid directly to the Riviera Hotel. All pet arrangements must be made directly with the Riviera Hotel. Pet friendly rooms are located in classic room types – San Remo tower. Dogs cannot exceed 50 lbs. Dog Owner must provide proof of current vaccinations including exhibiting current rabies tag on check in. Dogs that are excluded to stay in pet friendly rooms include but are not limited to: Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Chows, Doberman Pinschers, English Bull, Terriers, German Shepherds, Mastiffs, Pit Bulls, Presa, Canaries, Rottweiler, or any dog with a bite history. Coupaw is not responsible for the Riviera hotel refusing to accommodate specific dogs for any reason.

Dog-friendly design guidelines

  • First home and all you can afford is a townhouse?
  • Moving to a high-density subdivision?
  • Relocating to a city environment?
  • Down-sizing from the family home to a smaller section?

Don’t worry – none of these changes mean that you can’t own a dog!  It’s about having good design and thinking ahead.

If you make pets a priority in your decision-making, you will be amazed at what good design can achieve in reducing the risk of unwanted behaviours that annoy neighbours and keep your dog safe.

For example, choosing a property with some outdoor space like a secure courtyard is important.  Windows that allow the warmth of sunshine to power your new home but also allow your pet to observe its surroundings are also important.

The Petcare Information and Advisory Service in Australia has collaborated with an urban policy and design firm to come up with the Four Legs Four Walls design guidelines.   An interesting read even if you are not building or relocating!

The Lamb and Lion Inn

Located in Barnstable, on Cape Cod, is the Lamb and Lion Inn.  Build in 1740 as a farmhouse, the old barn in the back is now accommodation with further additions to the property dating from the 1800s through to the 1960s.  Some say it is a cross between a bed and breakfast and a small luxury hotel.

Speaking of cross-breeds, the best part is that the Inn is dog-friendly.

Guests are offered a package with dog sheets to cover the furniture and a towel for when their dog goes to the beach.  They also receive a flashlight for  taking their dog for a walk during the night.

The Inn sports a yoga and massage studio on the property; the massage therapist also offers dog massage to relax and treat your dog during your vacation.

Of course, like all dog-friendly establishments, there are some rules.

The house rules are:

1. We accept dogs year-round, however in the summer months there is a 25-pound pet weight restriction.

2. Aggressive dogs need not apply! If you’re remotely concerned with your dog around other, sometimes smaller pets, or children, please leave him or her behind.

3. Dogs cannot be left in the room unattended. We ask that you take Fido with you when you leave the property. An in-room pet sitter may be arranged with advanced notice. There is also a wonderful doggie day care with a “doggie cam” 5 minutes away (they require papers)

4. All dogs must be leashed while on the property.

5. There is a $25/night per pet fee (with a $100 maximum per pet).

6. Our Inn will only accept 3 pets at a time. Please inquire before booking yours.

7. We ask that all dogs (and guests) be well groomed prior to arrival. A $30 cleaning fee will be applied for excessive fur left behind.

8. Bring bedding or a portable carrier for your pet to sleep in if you have any.

9. Pet sheets, towels, and water bowls are available free of charge at the Inn.

10. Please don’t leave any Cape Cod souvenirs! We have 4 acres for your pooch to walk on and ask that you please pick up after them.