Tips for road-tripping with your dog part 2: tips from commenters

I recently published a piece here on Gadling titled 10 tips for road-tripping with your dog. Somewhat chronicling my experience with hitting the road for 38 consecutive days with my 6 month old puppy, I thought through what made the trip work for me and compiled those thoughts into 10 tips for those of you enjoy the open road alongside your pooch. Luckily for me and all of our other readers, many of you chimed in, as requested, with your own tips through the comments. I was excited to read so much useful advice from those of you who are road warriors and dog lovers. So excited, in fact, that I felt a part 2 to my first piece was in call for… and so, here you have it, a list of additional tips for road-tripping with your dog, courtesy of the typing hands of Gadling readers who comment.1. Don’t assume hiking trails and other recreational areas are dog-friendly.
As one reader pointed out, you sometimes have to learn the hard way with this one. I was recently in Laredo, Texas and found that the only park in the city (that I could find) for dogs was Lake Casa Blanca. Once I paid the fee and got into the park, I found out that dogs aren’t actually allowed off-leash inside the park. So my dog, Fiona, and the puppy I rescued off of the street while in Laredo, Donnie, got to exercise a bit, but not as much as I was hoping for. If a campground is dog-friendly, don’t automatically assume the surrounding park is. Do your research.

2. Get a Kennel Cough vaccine.
If at any point in time on your journey you’ll be boarding your dog or leaving your dog where other dogs are or have been, consider getting a kennel cough vaccine for your dog. Kennel Cough is a highly contagious illness that affects canines. It causes inflammation of the upper respiratory system. Not only do you want your dog to be healthy and free of nasty bugs like this one, but a sick dog can demand altering your travel schedule and/or itinerary.

3. Research before crossing borders with dog food.
One commenter says that you cannot enter the USA with an open bag of dog food nor can you enter the USA with dog food from another country. Before crossing any country line, make sure you know the rules about what kind of food you can bring into the country for your dog.

4. Have a doggy bag.
Consider putting together a bag that is just for your dog. This bag can include everything from your dog’s paperwork to medication. This way, while you’re cramped up in the car, you’ll know exactly how and where to find everything your dog may need.

5. La Quinta.
La Quinta hotels, according to one commenter, are pet-friendly and don’t charge a pet fee. Keep that in mind.

6. Safe water.
Not all water is created equal. Make sure you have a healthy supply of water for your dog. Don’t assume the water in any particular region of the world is safe for your pup to drink before knowing the facts. In some cases, your dog will need to drink bottled water.

7. Safety check every space.
Before letting your dog off-leash at a pet-friendly hotel or even the house of a friend or relative, make sure you sweep through the area and check for pet-unfriendly items. I was recently at the home of a relative and found chocolate candies on the floor that her daughter had dropped. Not the fault of the relatives, of course, they don’t have a dog and probably don’t know or think of doggy no-nos, but checking the floors and areas can prevent your dog from illness or even death.

8. Dog tags.
Make sure your dog has all of the proper tags on his or her leash. Vaccination tags, name and contact information tag, microchip tag, etc. This will be a dog-lifesaver if your dog wanders off without you.

9. Have photos of your dog.
Make sure you have good and clear photos of your dog before embarking on any trip. In case your dog does get lost, this will enable you to more easily and effectively have people in the respective community on the lookout for your dog.

10. Bathroom on command.
I have Fiona trained to use the ‘bathroom’ on command (and I’m working on the new guy). This is particularly helpful if you are road-tripping. If your dog knows the bathroom command, you won’t have to worry about having accidents in the car.

11. Doggy daycare is everywhere.
Rather than leave your dog in the car if you’ll be away from the car for any extended period of time, consider looking into local doggy daycare centers. When I say they’re everywhere, I’m only kind of exaggerating. They are available in many locations, many of which you will likely be traveling through.

12. Know local law.
If you do sometimes leave your dog in the car for short and safe periods of time, beware the laws of the land as you travel. One commenter told a story of having a dog removed from a car in Burbank, where, apparently, people frequently remove dogs from their owners’ cars without consulting with the owner (who, for all they know, might have been picking up takeout food from the restaurant just beyond the restaurant parking lot, for instance). If a place you’re traveling through has regulations in place regarding dogs left in cars–know them. Know them well.

Love dogs? Check out Bau Haus dog cafe in Seoul, South Korea

When I say Bau Haus is a dog cafe, I don’t mean that there are cute dog photos on the walls or that it’s a meeting place for dog owners (although both of these are part of it) . The eatery is, literally, a cafe for dogs and dog-lovers to eat and hangout at. It is located in Hongdae in Seoul, South Korea, and canines roam around the eatery as visitors feed and play with them. You can purchase dog treats and pet presents, and there are small toys like frisbees lying around to use. Most of the pooches belong to the cafe’s owner and are very well behaved, although anyone is allowed to bring their dog to Bau Haus. And don’t worry about the animals making a mess as the employees at Bau Haus tend to the pooches, caring for them and cleaning up after them.

Traveling with dogs: Portland tops the list for pet-friendly travel

Your four-legged friends are part of the family, so it’s no surprise that they want to come on summer vacation too. Many hotel chains (such as Ritz-Carlton and Kimpton, whose hotel, The Alexis, is featured at right) ensure that some or all of their properties are able to accommodate pets, but they cannot guarantee that Fido or Fifi can come with you once you choose to leave the hotel.

As all pet owners know, a bored dog is a destructive dog, and so we often choose to take our pooch to destinations where they can join us on sightseeing excursions. According to, the these top ten cities were chosen for their high quantity of pet-friendly accommodations, transportation, beaches, park, attractions, stores, dining and more.

The winner this year? Portland, Oregon, where dogs can explore Rose Gardens and the Lucky Lab. Other winners?

[Flickr via Jeffrey Beall]

Home to the Navy Pier, pet-friendly boat tours and many parks.

San Diego
The country’s best dog beaches and trails and world class pet-friendly shopping centers.

Here, you can take public transportation with your leashed dog.

Get a famous cheese steak. See historic early American sites and stay in a downtown luxurious hotel.

Great hiking trails and parks, pet-friendly dining. A pet-friendly atmosphere throughout.

Dog-Friendly parks. Outdoor cafes. Take tours and see the sites. See the Zilker Gardens and the Congress Street bats.

Alexandria/ Washington D.C.
See the capital’s sites, walk in charming Old Town, take a dog cruise on the Potomac.

New York
Luxury hotels welcome dogs, Central park beckons, off-leash parks everywhere. Shop the famous stores with your dog.

Many historical sites, Nature preserves, trails and parks. Many of the cities tourist sites can be viewed with a dog.

Honorable mention cities include Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville, Orlando and Raleigh.

Trump Las Vegas hotel offers a “paws massage package” for you and your pooch

Sure, traveling with your pet is nothing new – but what about heading to the spa with your favorite four-legged friends? Trump Las Vegas, one of the first Las Vegas hotels to
welcome pets, is now offering a guests a Paws Massage Package, which includes a 30-minute rubdown for guests and a 30-minute massage for your pooch. The $150 package is performed in the comfort of your own suite.

Misty, star of Marley & Me, was one of the first to recieve the service. The pooch gave it four paws up, or so we’re told.

The hotel goes out of its way to be pet-friendly, equipping rooms amenities including a plush dog bed, gourmet treats, a water bowl and fresh bottled water. The hotel will also donate a portion of the $200 cleaning fee for every dog that stays at the property to the Nevada SPCA No-Kill Animal Sanctuary.

While we’re not sure our own pup is going to be the best companion for a rubdown, (he’s a bit vocal about his tummy rubs) we’d love to hear your thoughts about this service – is it something you want to try?

Santa Paws: Kimpton Hotels offer free holiday pet portraits

Here comes Santa Paws! Take your four-legged friend to your nearest Kimpton Hotel on Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12, 2010 for a gratis holiday portrait session and refreshments. Human companions are invited to bring their cameras to host Kimpton hotels to snap pictures of their pets with Santa amid festive decor while furry friends enjoy treats and toys in the hotel’s living room-style lobby.

“Santa Paws is bringing holiday cheer to our two- and four-legged guests and neighbors,” said Niki Leondakis, Kimpton’s president and chief operating officer. “Pet patrons always receive special pampering at Kimpton, which is why we want to offer them this special way to celebrate the season.”

In addition to providing a fun afternoon activity for pets and their owners, Santa Paws is also helping host hotels partner with local animal rescue organizations around the country. These partnerships include the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals, Washington Humane Society, Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Baltimore SPCA, Operation Kindness, Humane Society of Vero Beach and River County, PAWS Atlanta, Aspen Animal Shelter and Aspen Valley Horse Rescue, Ginger’s Pet Rescue, Oregon Humane Society and San Francisco SPCA.

Santa Paws will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in select hotel lobbies (see the full list below).

Participating hotels include: Alexis Hotel (Seattle, WA); Cypress Hotel (Cupertino, CA); EPIC Hotel (Miami, FL); Eventi Hotel (New York, NY); FireSky Resort & Spa (Scottsdale, AZ); Hotel Allegro (Chicago, IL); Hotel Marlowe (Cambridge, MA); Hotel Monaco (Alexandria, VA); Hotel Monaco (Baltimore, MD); Hotel Monaco (Washington, DC); Hotel Monaco (Denver, CO); Hotel Monaco (Portland, OR); Hotel Monaco (Salt Lake City, UT); Hotel Palomar (Atlanta, GA); Hotel Palomar (Dallas, TX); Hotel Palomar (Philadelphia, PA); Hotel Palomar (Westwood, CA); Hotel Solamar (San Diego, CA); Sir Francis Drake Hotel (San Francisco, CA); Sky Hotel (Aspen, CO); The Muse (New York, NY) and Vero Beach Hotel & Spa (Vero Beach, FL).

Owners will need to bring cameras to capture a photo of their pet in Santa’s lap. Best of all – this event is free!