About Dog Friendly Destinations
Dogs used to be a lot more free to roam and go pretty much wherever they wanted.
If your dog wanted to go out, you just let him out the back door to wander the neighborhood and he would bark to be let back in when he was ready.
Over time, more and more municipalities (and even some states) passed leash laws requiring that dogs be restrained or controlled. Posted signs of “No Dogs Allowed” became more and more common.
For years it seemed the only business that allowed you to take your dog in was the vet’s office.
The Pendulum is Swinging Back
Although dogs are still not allowed to roam free, businesses do seem to realize that many of their customers own dogs, and that many of those dog owners like to travel with their dogs.
Banks may not welcome dogs into their lobbies, but if you use a drive-through with your dog in the car, many bank tellers will send a dog biscuit along with your receipt.
Most large pet store chains, and many of the smaller, independently-owned pet stores, will allow you to bring in your well-behaved dog on a leash. Some hardware and other store chains allow dogs as well.
Want to grab a bite to eat while you’re out? More and more restaurants are opening their patios or other outdoor eating areas to dogs. It’s unlikely that health department rules will allow dogs (except licensed service dogs) to enter restaurants, but it’s nice to know that you can sit outside and eat with your pooch.
What about vacations?
Taking a vacation with your dog used to be difficult unless you were staying with friends or family along the way. Most hotels and even many campsites and RV parks did not allow dogs. But that, too, is changing. There are more and more pet-friendly hotels, although you’ll probably need to pay extra to allow you dog to stay in the room with you.
If you’re the outdoorsy-type, more and more campgrounds are allowing dogs these days. Dog-friendly RV parks are also popping up more frequently.
Next time you go on vacation, you may want to consider taking your dog with you. There are a number of good sites on the Internet that will let you know if there are dog-friendly hotels along the way and at your destination. The number of dogs allowed by a hotel at any given time might be very limited, so you should call and make a reservation and find out about any restrictions.
Get Some Exercise In, Too
You can also check out hiking trails that allow dogs, dog parks, or other dog-friendly activities in the area. It may cost you a little more to take your dog with you, but not that much more than boarding your dog or hiring a dog-sitter.
There are a couple of things you should consider before taking your dog on a trip, however.
One is your dog. Does he enjoy riding in the car? Is he well-behaved in the car for long periods? Does he get car sick? Does he enjoy being in new surroundings? If your dog doesn’t travel well or is frightened in strange surroundings, taking him with you probably isn’t the best option.
Tips to Get You in the Door (and stay there)
Make sure your dog is well-behaved. If you take him to a dog-friendly restaurant, make sure he will sit or lay quietly by your table and not bother or beg food from other patrons. If he is aggressive around strangers, it’s better that you leave him at home.
Be a responsible dog owner. Use some common sense. If your dog relieves himself on a hiking path or trail or anywhere where people may be walking, clean up after him. Always be prepared to clean up after your dog in case he has an accident in a store. Don’t ruin the trend towards dog-friendly places by being an inconsiderate owner.
One of the hardest parts of any trip for many dog owners is leaving their dog behind. With a little research and planning, you may be able to take your furry best friend with you on your next trip. It just doesn’t get any better than that!