Pet Travel Tips & Ideas Archive

Two Paws Up for SleepyPod Air Pet Carrier

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Worrying about buying a pet carrier that won't fit under an airplane seat is a thing of the past, with Sleepypod's new airline-regulation pet carrier, Sleepypod Air. The innovative new pet carrier features a folding system that allows pets to travel in the largest space possible, yet still allows for stowage under an airline seat during takeoff and landing. After take-off, you can rotate the Sleepypod Air so it's between your feet and expand the ends so both you and your pet can stretch out comfortably. 

Sleepypod Air meets major airline carry-on pet regulations by being able to compress in length from 22" to 16". The ends are designed to expand when there is nothing blocking them; they automatically fold down to fill the available space. The carrier top and ends feature easy-breathing mesh that opens for easy access and the pet carrier also features seatbelt straps to allow for secure auto travel as well.

While the Sleepypod Air pet carrier doesn’t come cheap, the versatility of the carrier makes it a worthwhile investment! Read additional reviews of the product or find the Sleepypod Air at Muttropolis.com

Scene: A-list Celebri-pup’s Favorite Pet-Friendly Hotels

001497566 What do celebrities Molly Sims, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Nicole Richie, Will Smith, Rihanna, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Diane Sawyer, all have in common? Well, according to our friends over at PeoplePets, when these celeb’s travel, there’s one particular individual they don’t leave home without – and that’s their furry four-legged family members!

But exactly which hot spots and dog-friendly hotels do these A-list celebri-pets book to get away from it all and what sort of special amenities might they receive? From Miami Beach to Seattle to New York City, the exclusive hotels serving these pampered pups and their celeb parents provide everything from customized dog tags and designer dog beds upon check-in, to turn down service, pooch centric Yappy Hour, meals served in 'bone'-china, doggie day camps, on-site styling (grooming),  sparkling spring water, gourmet organic treats and more.

Here's a listing of a few of the exclusive pet-friendly properties….for more information and photos visit PeoplePets.com. If you personally have a favorite pet-friendly hotel, share it in the comments below!

Celebs’ favorite pet friendly hotels:

1) Keswick Hall, Virginia

2) Alexis Hotel, Seattle

3) Hotel Gansevoort, NYC

4) Calistoga Ranch, Napa Valley

5) Liberty Hotel, Boston

6) Mondrian Hotel, Miami

7) Costa D’Este Vero Beach (Owned by Gloria & Emilio Estefan…can you hear the conga beat?)

8) Inn at Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina

9) West Baden Springs, Indiana

10) W Hotel, Washington D.C.

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Serenity Meow! Cat Cafes on the Rise

Tokyo Cat Cafes
One of our globe-trotting friends always finds the coolest, most random out-of-the way travel destinations -  and this week was no exception when she sent us a note about the crazy Cat Cafes she found throughout the city of Tokyo.

Cat cafes you ask? Don't worry … they aren't serving up Cat au Gratin like some of Japan's less evolved neighbors out east, but instead the cat is celebrated and honored in these unique cafes.

"I'd like a decaf-capp, add one cat please"

In the densely populated and hustling city of Tokyo – where residents not only long work hours but tight and expensive real estate limit pet ownership – cat cafes are a cultural trend. There are at least seven of them operating in Tokyo, packing customers in at fees varying from $8 to $12 an hour. Given the busy lifestyles of Japanese people dearly longing for a moment of peace and comfort, these cat cafes offer them a dose of kitty calm and serenity along with their tea … and they don't seem to mind the staff dipping their whiskers in their tea or pouncing on their fur coat. (Of note, word is that in Cafe Calico, an upholstered reception chair no longer looks like itself.)

Vacuums are ever-present, everyone going in must wash their hands and use liquid sanitizers. Shoes must be removed (a Japanese custom in homes but not normally in public places).

Of the seven cat cafes in operation in Tokyo, the globe-trotters over at Spot Cool Stuff Travel have sniffed out  the top three cafes, which according to them are: The Calico Cat Cafe, Neko JaLaLa (means 'cat' in Japanese) and Nekorobi. Check out Spot Cool Stuff Travel for locations and details.

Safety and Comfort First with Sleepypod Pet Carriers and Pet Beds

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A pet carrier, a car seat and a hideaway bed all wrapped into one, the award-winning Sleepypod provides security and comfort for pets both at home and on the go. Available in a host of vibrant colors, the beauty of the Sleepypod is its versatility, as a dog that needs to be aware of his surroundings at all times can be just as easily accommodated as the cat who likes her privacy.

Many cats and dogs unfortunately associate travel with negative experiences such as a trip to the vet or the kennel. The Sleepypod allows pets to travel safely in the comfort of their own cushy bed, thus alleviating the stress associated with travel and confinement in hard, plastic boxes with limited visibility.

As well, according to the June 2009 issue of Pet Product News Magazine, the designers of the Sleepypod updated its award-winning Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed and Sleepypod Mini carriers with enhanced safety features to make it even more secure in an automobile.

With nifty add-on accessories available such as a special heating pad and uber-plush blankie, I give the Sleepypod a definite four paws up for versatility and value. You can find the Sleepypod pet carriers and pet beds at Muttropolis.com

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

The Dog Bark Park Inn: Where a night in the doghouse ain’t half bad

The Dog Bark Park Inn Ever wanted to really get inside a dogs head? You can literally live the dream at the Dog Bark Park Inn — a bed and breakfast guesthouse inside the "World's Biggest Beagle."  This ginormious wooden beagle domicile, created by self-taught chainsaw artists and proprietors Dennis and Frances, is located in north central Idaho on US Hwy 95 in Cottonwood, Idaho.

Allow me to show you to your hind-quarters

Named one of the Top 20 Most Fun & Exciting Places to Stay by the London Times, guests enter the belly of the Beagle from a private second story deck.  (No word if the belly of the Beagle is strewn with bits of shredded sock, bits of tennis ball and twigs just for authenticity purposes.) Inside the bowels of the bed and Beagle guests will find a queen bed, reading nook within the dog’s snout and a bounty of kitchy canine-themed decorations, many of which are creations of the proprietors. 

The Dog Bark Park InnDogs of all sizes are welcome for an additional $10 per night per pet and guests can enjoy prairie views and starry nights from the second story 'tummy-deck.' During the day, excursions can include taking a jet boat tour into nearby Hell’s Canyon, horseback riding or hiking.

For more information visit the Dog Bark Park Inn.

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Six Ways to Ensure a Righteous Road Trip with Rover

Julie's Dog Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner and millions of us will quite possibly spend our vacation by hitting the road with Rover or Rags in tow.

In fact, more than 10 million Americans include their 4-footed family members in their travels annually, according to AAA.  Eighty percent of us take the dog, while 15% carry a kitty and the rest of us bring other pets.

Proper Pre-paw-ration is key

Whether you’re headed out for a weekend junket or week-long affair, proper planning is essential to ensure good times are had by all.  The most important question to ask before hitting the road with Fido or Mr. Fluffybottoms is: “Is my vacay destination suitable for my pet?”  Some well meaning folks must understand that taking their cat camping or bringing their dog to the US National Lawnmower Races is not necessarily a good idea.

If you are looking for pet friendly destinations and accommodation ideas, Pettravel.com is a great resource as is FidoFriendly.com.

Herewith are my top six tips to ensure your adventure is both fun and safe:

1) Do what I say
Ensure your pet is taught how to “Stay!” in the car when you get out of the car as pets frequently get lost on trips when they jump out of the car during stops.

2) May I see your ID
Ensure your pet wears updated identification at all times – including your mobile phone information or the phone number of your hotel accommodations.

3) Buckle Up PupDog_on_car_seat
Pet Safety Restraints and Car Seats help restrain pets that won’t tolerate crating, as well as help tiny dogs from bouncing around the back seat. These devices lessen driving interference and reduce injury due to sudden stops.

4) Create familiarity and routine
Bring a familiar bed, favorite toy or treats as a great way to help reduce stress and keep them comfortable. Great foldable travel pet beds are comfortable yet compact and can be used in the car as well.

5) Take the edge off
If your pet suffers from anxiety while on the road, you can help take the edge off your pet during your travels with Calming Rescue Remedy, a natural, homeopathic anti-anxiety remedy that helps to relieve stress and aid in the prevention of nausea associated with motion sickness. A great natural alternative to pharmaceutical tranquilizing with all the negative side effects.

[A note on whining: If during your travels your GPS takes you to BFE instead of Joshua Tree, may I personally suggest a calming remedy/adult beverage of a different kind courtesy of Mutt Lynch Winery.]

6) Leave no man-ure behind
An inconvenient poop can make for an embarrassing moment while on vacation, so don’t forget to bring plenty of disposable “pick up bags for pet waste disposal.

Do you personally have tips to ensure a fantasterrifc trip with Fido? Share them with us in the comments below!

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Coffee or Kibble? Pet Airways Hits the Skies

Flying the Fido-friendly SkiesPet-Airways-Traveling-Dog

Hitting the road for adventurous junkets and vacations with the Lulu Schmoo and Zazou has become one of my most favorite activities, right up there with anonymously winning the lottery and discussing my theories on LOST to whoever will listen.

Exploring a new city is even more of an adventure when we experience it with our pets as we often serendipitously discover little-known parks and secret paths that would have gone unnoticed had we not been seeking a pit stop for the dogs. As well, traveling with the dogs in tow means we inevitably meet an interesting range of people who either share a love of animals or who have no friends and are simply starving for social interaction.

There are many cities throughout the United States that I’d absolutely love to visit with the dogs, but driving to most of these cities would be quite time-consuming and flying the dogs hasn’t been an option as they’re too large based on cabin-restrictions and they’d likely require a year of post-traumatic stress counseling if they were handled like baggage in the cargo hold.


Scheduling that playdate with Bo Obama just got easier

Pet-Airways-inside-plane-tGood news! These travel limitations are all about to change this summer with the launch of Pet Airways, the first pet-only airline specifically designed so that all pets travel in the main cabin, not in the cargo hold.

According to their website, Pet Airways is specifically designed for the safe and comfortable transportation of pets, with all pets traveling under the continuous care of trained pet attendants. Pets are given regular potty breaks, and the airline assures pet owners that their animals will never be left alone.

 

Sir, I’m sorry, but airline regulations indicate I cannot serve you any more catnip.

The airline announced it would keep pets in special lounges until shortly before departure, then walk them on the plane, where rows of crates await them in the stripped-out main cabin. The airline will start its service July 14, 2009 with fares starting at $150.

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Pet Airways will be serving about five cities to start, including New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles, with plans to expand nationwide with easily accessible pet check-in lounges to serve its “pawsengers” in major metropolitan areas.

For more information, check out their website: PetAirways.com.

Article reprinted courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley.