Dog-friendly Winter Travel TipsWinter vacations often include playing in the snow, hiking and staying cozy by the fireplace after a cathartic day of adventuring. Why wouldn’t your pet want to join in the fun? It’s getting easier to accommodate a furry friend thanks to pet-friendly rentals everywhere, so brush up on your caretaking knowledge and get ready to enjoy a winter family vacation that actually includes the whole family.
- Make sure your pet is updated on all shots and carry documentation with you
- Keep any medications on hand that might be needed
- *Secure her tags properly in place and carry vet/emergency phone numbers
- *Aim to create a home like environment by bringing a crate, a familiar pillow or blanket and try to stick to a regular feeding and sleeping schedule
- *Remember to bring along a flashlight, extra leash, portable water dish, first aid kit and cleaning supplies (just in case)
- *In preparation for snow and ice, trim your dog’s nails and the hair around her feet to prevent chunks of frozen muck from accumulating in her fur
- *If backwoods adventuring is part of the plan, consider investing in all-weather booties to protect your pet’s paws from injuries caused by rough terrain
- *De-icing materials like salt can be rough on sensitive foot pads as well, so if your dog doesn’t like the idea of wearing booties then use a paw wax or cream made especially for this purpose
- *In general, exercise caution, examine your dog’s feet frequently and, this being a vacation and all, don’t push your pup too hard out there
- *Depending on your pet and how thick her coat is, you may want to consider bundling her up in another layer; smaller breeds prone to shivering spells will certainly appreciate a sweater
- *Even in the cold, be respectful of the surroundings and bring baggies to clean up the you-know-what your dog will leave behind
Top Cities for Pet-TravelSan Diego, California
The entire state is known for its borderline obsession with dogs of all kind – from athletic surfer sidekicks to spoiled heiress accessories. You’ll probably feel welcome wherever you go, but San Diego is known for its leash-free beaches and the Dog Park at Otay Ranch Town Center, just south of the city.
They cherish their pets here, too. The Hike and Bike Trail is conveniently located downtown and nearby Hill Country is perfect for enthusiastic exploration. Pleasant weather all year round and plenty of restaurant patios ensure that you won’t miss out on a single vacation pleasure. Margaritas anyone?
People without dogs practically feel out of place here; coffee shops, breweries, the Rose Garden and the Saturday Market are all places to see and be seen with your dog in tow, and when you’re finished there you can head out of town for some mountain hiking in the Colombia River Gorge.
Your puppy pals may not be able to experience the joys of Splash Mountain alongside you, but there’s plenty to do outside the confines of Disney. Socialize at Winter Park and then head to Sam Snead’s, where you can order off the designated doggy menu.
It’s all about freedom here; dogs can ride the subway during non-rush hour, they can take boat tours, travel on the ferry and are welcome in the parks and at the beach as well. No wonder dogfriendly.com named this the number one dog-friendly city of 2007.