As a dog lover and owner of a vacation home, I have often come across the subject of traveling with a beloved pet. Just a few years ago, it was relatively rare to find a hotel that would welcome, or at least accept, my well-mannered and lovable boxer, Ouzo. Sometimes, while traveling on Interstate 5 in California, we would stop at the beautiful Harris Ranch. Firstly, because it is an excellent stopover with beautiful accommodation and excellent food, halfway for us on our route as well. But also, they treat Fido as WE treat Fido, with love and care! They even provide a small sign to put on your door so people know there is a dog in the room.
Personally, I know that one of the reasons I loved traveling with Ouzo (now deceased) is because it was so much fun to be with! Not at all complicated, and still very well behaved in a new place. So when I became the owner of a large vacation home on the beach, it was not a given to me to accept dogs. I know that most of the time, if people want to be with their pets, it’s because pets are pleasant to be around and behave well.
What should you expect as an animal owner traveling through California or wanting to rent a fun vacation rental? First of all, most hotels, motels, and vacation rentals in California will require a small pet deposit, which will be refundable upon departure until no damage has been caused. (We know your precious dog will NEVER damage anything, it’s like insurance is everything!) In addition to ten years of dog leasing, I have never had to keep the 50 , $ 00 per pet deposit I collected.
Dogs can mean different things to different people. Make sure you know what to expect before you book the hotel room or vacation home. Ask questions about things such as flooring, as this can be important for your dog’s comfort. Plan to take some familiar things with your pet to make them feel at home – toys or bedding, for example. Many pet-friendly places provide food and water bowls for your pet, but consider bringing something familiar here too, to add comfort and reduce the strangeness of a new environment.
Check in advance for a good place to walk the dog, the owner or the booking agent should be able to provide this information. Our vacation home offers accommodation on the beach. If you are visiting a beach vacation home, make sure you know in advance that the beach also accepts dogs. Many California beaches do not accept dogs. Our beach, Dillon Beach, in northern California, allows dogs to run freely by the water, which they love! Nothing like a day of hunting birds on the shore to make a tired and happy dog at the end of the day! Having fun together and relaxing in the evening is what I want for my guests and their “children”, even 4 feet!
by Anne Wellen