Category Archives: dog-friendly accommodation

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.

Pets-in-residence at Eckerd College

Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Florida has one of the oldest pets-in-residence programs in the United States.  This is another institution of higher learning where your dog can come too!

The College is open about the value it places on pets.  The College website states:

We believe that most, if not all, pets serve an important emotional support function.  Pets provide unconditional love, and help us understand the importance of caring for another living creature.  One of the reasons Eckerd’s pet policy was created was to provide students attending classes and living on campus with the opportunity to live with emotional support animals and family pets in their residence halls, recognizing the positive emotional support pets provide.

There’s an extensive pet policy at the campus which designates some dormitories as pet-friendly.   Dogs may not exceed 40 pounds in weight and – you guessed it – there are breed specific exclusions:

Pit bulls, rottweilers, wolf breeds, any aggressive breed, or any mix containing these, are not allowed on campus at any time.

Still, it’s an improvement over having to leave your dog at home if you pursue higher education.  Freshmen are required to live at the campus for a semester before being allowed to live with a pet on campus.

This College is very well prepared.  Its pet policy even contains provisions for evacuation in case of a hurricane or other emergency.  Since the facilities on campus will be shut down, all pets are required to be evacuated with their owners!

A university where your dog can come too

It’s autumn in the northern hemisphere and the time of year when students are going to colleges and universities for the first time.   If they are enrolled at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – there’s a high chance that their dog can come too!

Searcy Hall at the college is better known as Pet Central and houses 40 students and their pets.  Pets have been accepted at the college since 2004.  The college also has a pet fostering program.  They’ve partnered with a local no-kill shelter and students can foster a dog during their time at college and train and socialise them in preparation for adoption.

A scholarship, room discount, paid food and medications, and pet deposit waiver are just a few of the benefits available to freshmen and transfer students who apply to participate in the pet fostering program.

Sadly,  the college’s insurance policy excludes these breeds from staying at Pet Central:  Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Chow, Akita and German Shepherd.  I’m not a supporter of breed-specific legislation and so it’s hard to accept these types of restrictions but that’s the influence of the underwriters, unfortunately.

Finding dog friendly accommodation

Many sites operated by the major hotel and motel chains in the US are pet friendly – but many are not.    When planning a trip with your dog this (northern hemisphere) summer, there’s a site that can help you.  It’s called Pets Welcome.  This site has a search engine for finding dog friendly accommodation that fits with your trip’s itinerary.

Best of all, the site is not limited to the major chains.  Independent operators are also listed.  For example, during my recent trip to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, I stayed at the Treasure Trail Motel and they are included in the Pets Welcome directory.

There are lots of properties that are seeing the value in offering dog friendly accommodation.  Here’s a brief synopsis of the number of properties amongst the major chains:

Hotel/Motel Chain

Number of sites

 Candlewood Suites


 Clarion Inn and Suites


 Comfort Inn and Suites


 Comfort Inn




 Extended Stay America


 Holiday Inn


 Holiday Inn Express


 La Quinta Inn and Suites


 Motel 6


 Quality Inn


 Red Roof Inn