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Traveling in the USA with your pet or abroad?
Hotels are finally doing something to help us; at last!

In France, Switzerland and to a lesser extent, in Italy, doggie family members are warmly welcome in hotels and most restaurants. But in the US over the last 15 years, we have found more and more hotels and motels turning us away with our furry family member. (Restaurants have a city code situation to consider banning pets in most communities).

True, some high end establishments like San Ysidro Ranch and The Bildmore Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA, accept them and pamper them as does Doris Day's charming inn in Carmel CA, The Cypress Inn, but usually at ungodly rates while small children who pee in the beds and make an unholy noise are often housed for free!

So call me a cranky old idiot, but I have to ask why is it that in America what the Europeans do without a problem, is such a problem? Well it seems some hotel and hotel chains are beginning to realize that there is an untapped market, a huge market, here and are finally doing something about it. The Los Angeles Times just published an article that states there are about 30 million families in the US who travel with their dogs and need some place to stay with them. Now that must have some economic impact!

In August, 2003, the "mega-chain" of hotels, Starwood Hotels and Resorts (740 hotels world wide), decided to provide beds, food and water bowls and ID tags to their doggie guests at their Sheraton, Westin and W hotels. Now there is a good start! Only the "W" hotels charge a fee ($25) per stay. The Ritz-Carlton group also welcomes dogs, often lavishly.

OK out there, let's prove to these folks that dogs and their owners can be responsible guests with well behaved pets and pet owners who know how to clean up after them. Try carrying a roll of those little sandwich bags (no zip locks necessary) to pick up poop. Just put your hand in it like a glove, pick up the poop and reverse the baggie. Simple, clean. Just drop it in the nearest trash can. Do this and many establishments will welcome us.

www.dogfriendly.com 

A great resource for dog friendly establishments. We cannot claim that all of the recommendations are upscale, but in the US when you are traveling with Fido, you can't always be that choosy!

www.petfriendlytravel.com

Instant access to pet friendly lodging in motels, hotels, self catering houses, cabins and condos and more.

French Consulate Regulations on transporting pets to France

Visit this website to get the latest in regulations for traveling with your pet into France which will be very similar to the rest of the European community.