by: Carol Bryant
Pet friendly means increase in revenue to businesses and recidivism of customers to those businesses. It creates a general fostering of community and good will to one another and spawns a sense of togetherness.
Why, then, is there still a big invisible “do not cross” line across the doors of so many hotels and Bed and Breakfasts when revenue is at stake? Fellow dog mom and pet blogger, Bunny Allen, recently posted a comment on Facebook that really got under my skin. As a dog traveler of 20 years, I internally shriek when I read comments like this:
“Dear ____ (insert city here), why do you have to be dog unfriendly? Yes we know there are stupid pet parents out there but please know that there are more responsible ones. If more places that had outdoor dining, activities etc would allow pets you would see more businesses have an increase in sales.”
I have traveled the country, literally, with dogs for 20 years now. Not one incident has occurred anywhere, anytime that I have been out with my dog. Diligent dog owners can be given a set of rules and they need to abide by them. But for these places to say "no" to dog owners is kissing cash goodbye and excluding a whole huge contingency of pet parents that would spend, spend, spend.
As I write this blog post, the words of a hotel in Maine that I stayed at (with my dog) resonate:
Dogs are welcome in this hotel. We’ve never had a dog that smoked in bed and set fire to the blankets. We’ve never had a dog who stole the towels, played the TV too loud or had a fight with his traveling companion. We’ve never had a dog who got drunk and broke up the furniture. So, if your dog can vouch for you, you’re welcome, too!
I realize people have allergies, that there is an aversion to pet hair for others, and that many view pets as animals and not family members (they can be both), so I have no problem with non-pet welcoming rooms. The stats and logic, however, are against those who don’t let pet-fairing travelers in.
Indeed there are risks, indeed there are liabilities, and indeed the same applies to the human variety. There are many truths and fallacies to pet-friendly travel. Sites like BringFido.com and PetsWelcome.com thrive because droves of us are traveling with a pet in tow. Embrace me: I’ll come back. Welcome my dog: I’ll spend more. Know my dog’s name: I might marry you. Kidding, but you get the point.
Recent example: I stayed at a place in Maine called Inn by the Sea. Not only was the Inn extremely welcoming to pets (they offer in-room dog massages), but the nearby towns rolled out the Rover red carpet. LL Bean allowed us to walk their grounds; many of the stores in downtown Freeport, Maine, let us in and had biscuits at the counter. In Portland, the signs welcoming pets to the patios to eat were resplendent. I came, I saw, I spent, I’ll go again. See a pattern?
BlogPaws is a pet-friendly/pet-welcoming conference: Always has been, always will be. Since our inception in 2009, pets have been coming to the 3-day conference and educational sessions, networking, etc, with their pet parents. We even have a pet park on site for those who want to leave Rover to roam with dedicated dog sitters while pet parents learn.
- Pets should not be left alone in their room. Even well-behaved pets do act up when their master leaves them alone.
- Pets should be kept on a leash when not in their room (unless, of course, you have a goldfish).
- When you walk your pet, please pick up the poop. This foster general pet travel code of ethics, right?