What Does “Pet Friendly” Really Mean?

06/12/15 at 11:00 AM | Published Under Travel with Pets by Amy Burkert

Every year more and more people are including their pets when they go on vacation, and to attract those tourists businesses are presenting themselves as “pet friendly.”  But what does that really mean?


Hotels were the first group to begin focusing on the pet travel market by providing pet friendly hotel rooms and, while the number of hotels welcoming pets has ballooned in recent years, the range of pet friendliness varies greatly.


Some hotels have fully embraced our pets, offering amenities like pet beds, bowls, treats, and even room service menus, while opening their doors to the furry, feathered, and scaly members of our families, no matter their size – all for no extra charge. At the other end of the spectrum, a number of hotels have seized this opportunity to charge outrageous fees – as much as $100 per night - with no pet perks included.


Airlines, always in search of a new fee to charge, also took this opening to impose additional fees. Though your pet’s carrier replaces your carry-on luggage, you’ll pay and additional $100 or more each way when flying with your pet.


Pet friendly restaurants have taken a different approach. Though some incur costs to obtain special permits allowing pets at their outside seating areas, they’re not charging a separate doggy admission. In fact, many provide water, and some even give homemade dog treats to their canine guests!


Campgrounds have historically been pet friendly, and for the most part that’s still true. A few have begun charging additional fees for pets, but it’s still relatively rare. What you will find more often are weight and breed restrictions, discriminating against larger dogs and those that have landed on some arbitrary list of “dangerous” breeds.


As you can see, “pet friendly” ranges from over-the-top accommodating to barely pet tolerant, which is why it’s important that pet travelers do their research when planning pet friendly vacations!


June’s Featured Location from Take Paws


Each month we’ll tip you off to a place we’ve visited and that we think you’d enjoy sniffing around. This month’s feature is on pet friendly Telluride, Colorado! 


Though it’s a bit off the beaten path, once you’ve arrived in Telluride, you won’t want to leave! This quaint Victorian village sits snugly in a box canyon high in the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by craggy peaks on three sides. Shopping and restaurants can be found on Main Street, miles of hiking trails wind though postcard scenery, and the free pet friendly gondola gives you a breathtaking view of the landscape. And, with a nice selection of pet friendly hotels, Telluride 

About the Author

Amy Burkert

 Amy Burkert runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their motorhome with their dogs, Ty and Buster.


Comment? Question? Looking for something?