Welcome waggin's: Dog-friendly vacation options grow
Helen and Norm Bouchard of Shawangunk, N.Y., brought all three of their dogs along when they went camping during Bike Week at Beaver Hollow Campground. The Ossipee campground just built a new dog park for its canine visitors. (COURTESY)
Before you goBefore you hit the road with your canine pals this summer, consider these AAA tips to make the trip go smoothly:
• Ask your vet for a health certificate showing proof of vaccinations, particularly rabies, distemper and kennel cough.
• Pack your pet's prescription medications, including an extra few days' supply.
• Reconfirm all travel plans a few days before departure to make sure pet policies haven't changed since your reservations were made.
• For safety, confine pets to the back seat of your vehicle, either in a carrier or harness attached to a seatbelt.
• To prevent car sickness, feed your pet a light meal 4 to 6 hours before departing and don't give him food or water in a moving vehicle.
• Don't let your dog stick his head out the car window; road debris and other flying objects can cause eye injury, and sudden braking can cause serious injury.
• Plan to visit a rest stop every four hours to let your dog relieve himself and get a drink of water.
• Make sure your pet is leashed before opening the car door. Even the most obedient pet can become disoriented during travel or in strange places and take off for home.
• Never leave an animal in a parked car, even if the windows are partially open. Even on pleasant days, the temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees within 10 minutes. And animals left unattended can be stolen.
-- Source: "The AAA PetBook"
Want to go canoeing with your corgi? Hiking with your hound? You can do that here.
And when you're done, you can relax at a variety of accommodations that cater to canine visitors, from luxurious country inns to rustic campgrounds.
In the past 12 months, about 11,000 people searched for "pet-friendly lodging" on the chamber's web site (mtwashingtonvalley.org), its most popular search term, Mayne said.
Mayne said some area attractions allow dogs, including the gondola at Wildcat Mountain. And those that don't often make accommodations for visitors traveling with dogs; Story Land in Glen and Santa's Village in Jefferson offer free kennels.
Dot Seybold is general manager at Settlers Green Outlet Village in North Conway, where dogs are welcome in more than half of the 65 shops.
"Many of the stores have a dog bowl that they keep outside, and a lot of stores have a bag of cookies behind the counter," she said.
"We don't like to leave our children behind when we go places, so we don't like to leave our dogs behind," she said.
Seybold's other corgi, Nora, goes to work with her husband, Russ Seybold, at the Conway Scenic Railroad, which the couple owns and operates. Of course the train is dog-friendly, too.
"Well-behaved dogs can ride anytime in coach, and service dogs are allowed anywhere on the train," said Susan Logan, manager of marketing and events.
The Bouchards had stayed at the campground last year. When they returned this year, they were delighted to discover that owner Sandy Allen had put in a fenced dog park, complete with shade trees and picnic tables.
Lapping up luxury
In New Hampshire, you don't have to give up luxury to travel with your dog. At Glynn House Inn in Ashland, dogs are welcome in any of five pet-friendly rooms and suites, with features such as fireplaces, double whirlpool baths and luxury linens.
He said many guests tell them that "this is the first pet-friendly property we've ever been to where the standards for the pet-friendly rooms are the same as the regular rooms."
Now the innkeepers trust owners to know whether their dogs can stay alone in rooms or need to be crated.
Heidenreich said folks traveling with their dogs today are looking for activities they can do with their canine companions.
"They go kayaking; they go canoeing; they go hiking; they rent powerboats and take them out," he said. He even had one guest who took his dog along in a backpack when he went rock climbing.
Jennifer Tower, innkeeper and director of sales at the Common Man Inn & Spa in Plymouth, said the inn has doubled the number of dog-friendly rooms since it opened 12 years ago.
Canine guests will find beds, bowls and personalized dog biscuits waiting when they check in, Tower said. The inn also hosts weddings, and she finds more couples are including their pets in those special moments, as well.
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