Tag Archives: pet friendly accommodation

Housing affordability is a dog issue

I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time.  There’s been trouble brewing for a while now when it comes to housing availability and affordability in New Zealand.  But if you’re a dog owner, the problem is usually magnified.

Take this case from the Waikato; a gainfully employed immigrant to New Zealand struggles to find a rental home that will allow both his children and his beloved dog, Blue, to live there.

Welcome dog

In the months and years following the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, the rate of surrenders of dogs increased as people were displaced from their damaged homes.  Most rentals prohibited dogs. (Only now – in 2017 – is the housing market adjusting again with something of a rental surplus.  Creative rental owners are starting to open their minds about dogs.)

Last week, I shared this article on my Facebook page about Millennials, a generation of men and women who are buying homes to secure their futures as dog owners.  It created the highest readership of the page in almost two years, with many of my clients and other readers agreeing that they bought a home because they wanted a secure place to live with their dog(s).

I moved from Auckland to Christchurch in large part because of better housing affordability and the goal of having my own dog.  (In Auckland, the best I could achieve was a regular dose of ‘dog therapy’ by volunteering at the SPCA as part of a regular roster.)

But housing affordability is a barrier to many owning their first home.  Loan-to-value ratios require a minimum of 20% deposit.  If you are already paying a high rent, savings to reach that 20% can be very difficult.  In the Auckland region, I’ve read that many employed people are paying up to one-half of their income in rent.  So much for saving a 20% deposit!

If people can’t find homes that allow pets, what happens to all the dogs needing loving homes?  They face a bleak future.

So in this – an election year in New Zealand – think about housing affordability as a key issue particularly if you are a dog lover or prospective dog owner. If you’ve made it into your own home with a dog, think of those who are still trying.

And if you are an owner of one or more rental properties, you can be part of the solution.  Do you allow your tenants to have dogs?

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Wordless Wednesday, part 36

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


North America’s most pet-friendly airlines

As most of you know, I’m a big supporter of traveling with your dog when on holiday/vacation and I encourage you to support pet-friendly shops and accommodation providers in your area.

Petfinder.com recently released its findings for 2011’s most pet-friendly airlines.  This year, the site extended its coverage to Canada so it is now ranking airlines that service North America.

Petfinder reviewed airlines in the following categories:

  • what airline is most pet-friendly overall

Winner:  Pet Airways – a dedicated airline for transporting pets

  • offers the best amenities for pets and their parents

Winner:  JetBlue – for the 2nd year in a row.  JetBlue provides travelers with a pet carrier baggage tag, a travel “petiquette” guide, 300 TrueBlue points each way, and a comprehensive e-booklet with pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks and animal hospitals in some of JetBlue’s major cities.

  • best in offering transport to a variety of pets

Winner:   Frontier Airlines because they allow dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and small birds in the cabin

  • best for flying multiple pets in the cabin

Winner:  Frontier Airlines, which allows up to 10 pet containers on each flight. Only one pet container is allowed per person, but the limit per flight means that multiple friends/relatives can travel with animals so the entire family arrives at its destination together

  • best service for large sized pets

Winner:  Pet Airways, the maximum height for a pet carried by the airline is 34 inches.  This allows for large sized breeds like Newfoundlands and Great Danes to fly.

All pet-friendly airlines which made the ranking were required to have zero pet deaths in the past reported year according to official government reports.

The Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Among a growing number of dog-friendly accommodation options in the US, the Inn by the Sea sets itself apart by offering dog-friendly accommodation combined with support of locally made dog products.

When you book their Inncredible Pets package you and your dog receive:

  • a minimum of 2 nights in a single bedroom suite
  • a dog toy that is made in Maine
  • a personalised LL Bean dog bed (these beds are known for their quality and durability and LL Bean is a flagship retailer in Maine)
  • a 30-minute in-room dog massage to help your dog work out the kinks of the trip
  • a nightly entree from the Inn’s pet menu
  • a nightly pet turndown service that rewards you dog with a locally made dog treat

This package currently starts at US$472.21 per night for a garden suite (higher rates for a spa suite or at peak times).

The Inn is located on popular Crescent Beach which does not allow dogs in the summer months of April – October.  Inn staff can advise you on beaches that allow dogs during these times.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Woof cottages on Nantucket

The Cottages at the Boat Basin on Nantucket offer special pet-friendly cottages:  Woof Cottages!

These cottages are specially designated cottages containing 1 or 2 bedrooms.  Cats and dogs are welcome with pre-approval.  There is a non-refundable pet fee of $60 for 1-3 nights or $75 for 4 nights or more per stay.  10% of the pet fee is donated to the Nantucket MSPCA Adoption Centre.

When your dog stays at Woof Cottages, they receive:

  • A welcome basket of treats and toys
  • A Draper Canine Therapy Dog Bed
  • Food and water bowls
  • Personalised pet tags
  • A dog walking service
  • A directory of vet clinics and pet supply stores on the island
  • Doggy suncreen, 15 SPF protection

An interior view of a Woof Cottage

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pet friendly holiday homes in New Zealand

Keeping with the theme of dog-friendly accommodation…  If you are in New Zealand then you should check out the  Pets Can Come Too website.

This website lists holiday homes where pets are allowed.  The search function on the site is easy to use.  You will need to read the fine print, however.  For example, some properties only accept cats and others may require that your dog is crated when indoors.

If you own a holiday home and accept pets, then please do your part to grow this community-of-interest in New Zealand by registering your property.  Heather at Pets Can Come Too says:

We offer all new advertisers six months free advertising after which it costs $95.00 p.a. however there is no obligation to continue advertising with us if you do not wish to do so.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand