Published: March 2013
Dogtrekking: Where To Go With Your Pup  

Joan Poimiroo on Pt. Reyes Beach with Shelties Murray and Ditto. Image: John Poimiroo

Hotels welcome travelers---at least, the two-footed kind. But what about our pets? It hasn't always been easy to know which places simply tolerate dogs, and which really embrace our fur-babies with complimentary biscuits, water bowls, and special bedding.

Now you can find pet-friendly lodgings before you leave home, says Dave Kendrick, co-founder of, an online guide for travel in northern and central California.

Kendrick says about a quarter of all travelers take their dogs with them on trips, but it's often tricky to find dog-friendly rooms and pricing info before check-in. "(People) also want to find new places to take their dogs (and) experiences to enjoy...when they travel. That's one thing we're working to change at"

We like DogTrekker's suggested itineraries, which help you find paw-approved places to stay, eat, hike, play, and swim. In Marin County, for example, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, DogTrekker recommends getting a day of exercise with Fido after you stop for a muffin and coffee at Arzimendi Bakery.  From there, hike the waterfalls at Cataract Falls or Cascade Canyon Falls. Relax in the afternoon with a cold drink---maybe a raspberry-flavored ale for you, and fresh water for your pup--at Marin Brewing Company.  At dinnertime, visit doggie-welcoming Comforts Cafe and ask for outdoor seating. DogTrekker plans to add more pet-welcoming destinations in the future.

Need some tips on traveling with your best friend? Try these:

  • Call ahead to avoid surprises. Your hotel may require that you book a special pet-friendly room, or charge additional fees for a companion animal.

  • Ask your hotel about amenities. Does it have a pet run or doggie daycare? Pet-passionate hotels may offer pet massages or welcome bags with homemade treats.

  • For pet-friendly lodgings across the U.S., look for Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA Petbook. It's a guide to over 14,000 AAA-approved and Diamond Rated campgrounds, hotels, attractions, dog parks, emergency clinics and other pet-welcoming locations.

  • If you need a pet carrier, Miss Paws recommends the Wild Side Print SturdiBag from Sturdi Products for its comfort and roominess. As a pet parent, I like its seat belt safety straps, the adjustable, padded shoulder strap, and the leather hand grip.

Happy trails!

Lynn and Miss Paws

SturdiBags Wild Side Print

SturdiBags in Lime