By Candyce H. Stapen
Dogs are part of the family too, and no one, especially kids, wants to leave a pooch behind when going on vacation. Bringing Fido along enhances vacation fun. You, your children and your pup can hike along forest trails or swim in the lake together. Plus, cuddling with a pet calms a child who might be uncomfortable with new surroundings. Traveling with your dog might also cut costs and eliminate worries. You forgo kennel fees and won’t wonder if your dog is being cared for properly.
With the right pet-friendly rental property, you can have your trip and your trusty, four-legged companion along too. Here are ways that vacation rentals are pet-friendly:
More indoor space. It’s difficult to squeeze two adults, one or two children and one dog (or two) into a hotel room. Factor in luggage and you end up with not even enough floor space to sit next to your Labrador and give her a belly rub. Since a vacation rental can provide a living/dining area in addition to multiple bedrooms, you have plenty of indoor room to roll a ball and play with your pooch.
Kitchen for meals. Kitchens aren’t just a convenience when traveling with children. Many dogs have special diets or finicky food behaviors. Is Fido on a raw meat diet? Then store his food packets in the refrigerator or freezer. If your fussy Westie won’t eat unless her meals are warm, then use the microwave to deliver dishes just the way she likes them. Having pots, pans, utensils and a stove makes it possible for you to prepare the home-cooked food required for your older dog or one recovering from an illness. Dogs also are creatures of habit. If, like most pet owners, you place Fido’s water and food bowls in the kitchen, then doing this on vacation helps maintain the status quo for your dog.
Sunning on the deck or balcony. Even the most active of dogs (not to mention their owners) like to snooze in the sun. A vacation rental’s balcony or deck can provide your four-legged friend a place to enjoy the outdoors that’s contained to help prevent accidental escapes.
Romping in the backyard or swimming in the pool. When it’s time to chase a ball or run after a Frisbee, dog-friendly vacation rentals with backyards are the best, especially if gated. Some properties feature outdoor pools, perfect for Fido to perfect his doggie paddle and for you to swim along.
Laundry for keeping clean. A happy dog can be a dirty one. Wiping muddy paws after woodland hikes and beach strolls, not to mention rainy day walks, can take a mound of towels. With a rental condo or house, it’s easy to toss the towels in the washer and dryer so you’re ready for the next tail-wagging adventure cleanup.
Long-time family travel guru Candyce H. Stapen writes for many publications and outlets. She has written 30 travel guidebooks, including two for National Geographic. See gfvac.com for more information.