Did you know that 68% of American homes have a pet dog, for a total of over 82 million mutts living amongst us. Annually, we (collectively) spend over $53 billion (with a ‘b’) on our pets, of which $78 million of it is spent on travel.
Therefore, a guide to traveling with Tyke, your pet dog (by whatever name), comes in handy. And here’s an eminently useful one — Kelly Carter’s Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel. The cover page blurb says it all (well, almost all): “Best Destinations, Hotels, Events, and Advice to Please Your Peter–and You.” And, while this guidebook has limitations, it provides enough good information to help you get leashed up to do it right.
Kelly Carter has put a lot of work into this tome, for good reason. Traveling with Tyke can be overwhelming if you are not prepared. She provides useful information and tips to get started off right with the first tug of the leash. (By the way, she uses some cute doggyisms. You figure them out: e.g., ultimutt, pawsome, pawsengers, petiquette, and many more. And she refers to dogs by many different names, such as Buster, Fifi, Fido, Rover, and Sadi, and to our pet dogs generally as pooch, furry friend, four-legged friend, and others.)
As an overview of many important issues about traveling with dogs, her introduction to the book is, to my mind, exceedingly useful. It advises you how to prepare for travel with a dog by plane, train or car, in the USA and Canada. She talks about many airlines rules, for example, that you must understand before you book a flight. And, she mentions the doggy-services provided at some airports.
International travel takes a back seat in this book, however, but there are many clues here that should help you prepare for travel almost anywhere. Best, however, is that you contact the airlines and hotels on your route for specific rules, regulations and expectations.
After the first few pages, the book is divided into regions of North America: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Northwest, West & Hawaii, and Canada. Not all states are listed, however. (Where’s Alaska, the Dakotas, Kansas, and some others?) Within each region she lists a few main cities and popular venues such as parks and beaches that travelers (with dogs) may visit. Then, within each destination are these sub-sections:
PLAY : where to walk or run with dog, dog parks and dog-friendly biking, swimming, boating and skiing areas, etc.
SIT : where to groom, board, or have your dog photographed, as well a list of vets, pet hospitals, and local emergency service information.
COME : special tours, galleries, carnivals, etc., where dogs are welcome.
HAUTE DOG : for “furry fashionistas”—where to buy fashionable dog clothing and other canine kit.
CHOW TIME : bistros, restaurants, ice cream parlors and the like where dogs are welcome, and may even get special treats.
UNIQUE ACTIVITIES : local doings that will interest both your dog and you.
There are also interesting, first-person ‘Insider Tips’ with sage advice and suggestions from experienced travelers.
There’s a lot that this book doesn’t cover, but then if it was totally comprehensive it would come in many volumes. Missing, for example, is a guide to dog traveling information on the Internet. But, it’s not hard to figure out: just ‘google’ “Pet Friend Hotels,” for example, and you’ll get more ‘hits’ than you’ll want to count. Narrow your search to a specific destination and you’ll still be amazed at how many come up. If you want to find a vet in Vancouver, or pet parks around Puget Sound, google ’em…
For New York City the author lists 11 pet-friendly hotels. But, when I googled “pet friendly hotels in new york city” I got millions of hits. So, I narrowed it to “dog friendly hotels near Madison Square Garden”, where the annual Westminster Dog Show is held. The first “woof” up on the screen listed seven close by, none of which, surprisingly, were on Kelly Carter’s list. So, while the book has great advice, it still requires you to do your homework to hunt out some of the fine details.
Overall, this book is recommended for its sound advice, both general on how to travel with a dog and the specific about where and what to expect at selected locations. For a handy how-to-plan-your-travel-with-dog guide, this is a good’go-to’ source book. And, if it doesn’t have what you are looking for, go to Kelly Carter’s website for more: www.thejetsetpets.com.
The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel, by Kelly E. Carter (a National Geographic Publication, 2014); ISBN 978-1426212765.
The sketch of dog reading a book is by Hans Messerschmidt (www.themodcorp.com and http://www.EditWithUs.com – writing, editing & graphic design).