Doggone Holidays - Unique Ideas for Dog-Friendly Vacations

I was quite surprised that this piece of mine fell victim to Suite101.com 's Great Purge. I had a blast writing this. There are just so many places to take Maestro to!People love their pets. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, over 49% of Americans consider their pets to be full-fledged members of the family. In 2009, 18% of Americans took their pets on vacation with them.Businesses in the tourism industry are getting the hint. Some establishments offer packages for dogs and the people in their lives, such as activity camps and canoeing adventures; while one beach town has opened the majority of its doors to canine visitors.Outdoor Vacations for Adventurous Dogs and Their Families Camps are sprouting up with fun activities for dogs to enjoy with their entire family. These companies include classes such as agility, flyball, frisbee, rally obedience and swimming. In addition, these camps offer workshops and demonstrations for human family members on various topics, such as first aid for dogs, understanding your dog's body language and troubleshooting behavioral issues.

Canine Club Getaway on Roaring Brook Ranch (Lake George, NY), offers five-day getaways for the entire family. In addition to classes and demonstrations, they offer hikes, Barks and Crafts, a costume contest, Yappy Hour and doggie weddings.

In Chicago, IL, Camp Dogwood designs offers weekend and extended camps throughout the fall, winter and spring. Some of their unique classes include Training Secrets: Teach Your Dog to Do Anything, Dock Diving Workshop and their Rowdy Rover Workshop.

For active dogs and their humans, Dog Paddling Adventures in Richmond Hill, ON, offers exciting outdoor adventures year-round. They offer canoe trips in the summer and in the winter, they offer skijoring and kicksledding in trips. They run hikes in the spring and fall.

Luxurious Vacations for Pampered Dogs and Their Families

An increasing number of hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments welcome pets. They offer amenities for their canine guests, ranging from pet beds and water dishes to massages and special menus for the dog. Pet sitters can be arranged when owners want to do some sight-seeing or shopping without the dog.

Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, AZ is one of four hotel resorts recommended by Modern Dog Magazine. Canine guests arrive to find treats, a water bowl and dog blanket in their room. Their goodie bag includes a leash, tennis ball, dog toy, MANKINDog wristband, waste bags and more treats. Hotel Valley Ho offers in-room doggie massages for their canine guests.

In Vancouver, BC, dogs and cats registered in the Palisades Pooch Program at the Pacific Palisades Hotel are welcomed in grand style. In the pet corner, visiting pets are listed on the hotel welcome board. Each canine and feline guest receives treats, water bowls and a special door sign to use when the pet does not want to be disturbed.

For families who want to include their dog on all aspects of their vacation, head to Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. In "Carmel redefines dog-friendly vacations", Ann Tatko-Peterson states "It has 25 hotels, inns and bed-and-breakfasts welcome pets of all sizes, and 44 restaurants, bars and coffee houses that offer seating where dogs are permitted." Various art galleries, stores, city hall and even the Church of the Wayfarer welcome pets.

Families who consider their dog a full-fledged member of the family have a growing number of vacation spots that welcome and cater to these pampered pets, including activity camps, hotels and tourism sites. Pet owners should research traveling with their dog and handling pet travel anxiety before embarking on a dog-friendly vacation. It is best to make reservations in advance to ensure that the accommodations are prepared to receive all members of the family, furry and non-furry.

(c) Rhona-Mae Arca, 2010. All rights reserved.