Pet-friendly Hotels, Dining and Air Travel make big strides while Intercity Trains and Buses continue to fail the pet traveling public.
DogFriendly.com (http://www.dogfriendly.com), a publisher of dog travel guides, announced that it has graded the United States pet travel industry. And how did they do? That depends. Improving were hotels, restaurants, air travel, camping and shopping. Continuing to miserably fail are intercity trains and buses, which don’t allow pets at all. “The overall conclusion is that the United States has a ways to go to be as pet-friendly as Europe for traveling dogs and their human companions” said Len Kain, Editor of DogFriendly.com.
Lodging: A – Pet-friendly hotels available almost everywhere. B&Bs and Vacation Rentals are also available. Some hotels have special pet programs.
Campgrounds: B+ – Most campgrounds allow dogs, but there are restrictions. There have been improvements in pet access to state parks.
Airlines: B- The big problem remains – most dogs must fly in cargo. For smaller dogs, airports have pet relief areas and overall easier travel.
Nationwide Trains/Buses: F – What can we say? No dogs are allowed on Amtrak or Greyhound. Not even small dogs in carriers. In Europe, leashed dogs of all sizes are allowed on trains. This must change.
Local Transit: C+ – Small dogs allowed on many city public transit systems; Large dogs allowed on a few. In most cities it is possible but sometimes tricky to get cab service with a larger dog.
Parks: B+ – Many parks have eased restrictions on dogs. The exception is the National Parks. State parks are much better. Some city parks remain too restrictive.
Off-Leash Parks: B+ – There are over a thousand off-leash parks and most are open to visiting dogs; some require local permits and fees which makes it difficult for travelers.
Beaches: C+ – Most beaches don’t allow dogs. You can find a dog-friendly beach in most areas, but you have to look.
Restaurants: B – For the most part, the debate about dogs at outdoor patios is over and dogs are allowed. Many states and cities have clarified this recently. In Europe, a restaurant can allow dogs inside. Why not here?
Shopping: B- – Most open-air shopping centers allow dogs as do many stores. Indoor malls usually don’t. Can this change?
Attractions: B- – Some outdoor attractions allow dogs; most indoor ones do not. There are many things to do with a dog if you look carefully.
Pet Sitters: B – High end hotels often offer pet sitting. There are also doggy day care and day kennel facilities. Or you can call a pet sitter in the area you’re visiting.
Since 1998, DogFriendly.com has been providing information for people who travel with dogs world-wide.The company offers complete travel guides for thousands of cities. Find the dog-friendly guides on the web at http://www.DogFriendly.com, as a free iPhone app or Android app, a mobile website at http://www.DogFriendly.com/m and in ebook and paperbook formats.