Pets Teach Us So Much Radio, 164 with Robbin and Joseph Everett

Another fabulous pet related radio show from the King and Queen of all pet related media, Joseph and Robbin Everett.

Amy and Rod Burkett of GoPetFriendly.com pictured with Ty and Buster

Amy and Rod Burkett of GoPetFriendly.com pictured with Ty and Buster

Amy Burkert talks about her travel site for people with pets, GoPetFriendly.com.

Plus we talk about everything pet related. Always fun and entertaining.

Your comments are always welcome.  Let us know what you think.

Pet Friendly In The Poconos

Since launching GoPetFriendly.com in 2009, we’ve travelled over 60,000 miles in our RV scouting out pet friendly destinations across the United States and Canada. And when it comes to pet-friendly road trips, there’s no doubt that one of the best areas is right where we started … in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Compared to some of the locales we’ve visited with our dogs, Ty and Buster, the Poconos are a relatively short drive from Philadelphia – but convenience for East Coasters isn’t the reason we recommend the Poconos for you and your pets. This area has so much to offer, regardless of where you’re coming from. It’s a spot that every pet owner should experience with their dogs at least once.

If you’re planning your next pet friendly road trip, consider visiting the Poconos with your pets! Below are three pawsome attractions that represent just a fraction of the great reasons why the Poconos get our “pet-friendly” stamp of approval.

Knoebels Amusement Resort

Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA offers some of the most pet friendly fun available in Pennsylvania’s Pocono region. This amusement park is a perfect spot to visit with the whole family, because dogs are allowed throughout the park as long as they are leashed. An amusement park that allows dogs! How cool is that?

You and your kids will enjoy the roller coasters and thrill rides at Knoebels, and your pups can even partake in the fun with a ride around the park on the popular “Pioneer Train” ride. When the family has had enough of the rides, kick back and relax in one of the park’s spacious picnic areas or camp in the RV park.

Remember to bring plenty of bags to clean up after your dog, and a portable water bowl so you can keep your pets well hydrated.

Big Pocono State Park

A manageable hour and a half drive from Knoebels, Big Pocono State Park is one of the most beautiful spots in the state of Pennsylvania. More than 1,300 acres, criss-crossed by 8.5 miles of hiking trails, Big Pocono State Park has plenty of space to explore. Dogs are welcome on the trails as long as they’re on leash, so this is a great place to get some exercise while enjoying breathtaking views. If hiking isn’t your thing, there’s also a scenic drive that runs through the park.

Mountain biking and horseback riding are also popular activities at Big Pocono State Park, and there are plenty of picnic areas where you and your pets can stop, rest, and enjoy a snack.

Bushkill Falls

I'll break up the wood for the camp fire Mom!

I’ll break up the wood for the camp fire Mom!

Known as “The Niagara of Pennsylvania,” the Main Falls drops 100 feet and is a sight to be seen for anyone passing through the area! Once you’ve seen the main falls, hit the two miles of trail to check out the 7 other waterfalls at the park – leashed pets are welcome on all the trails. This top tourist attraction has been open to visitors for over 100 years and remains a favorite for amateur and experienced hikers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Note "carry out" in many parks.

Note “carry out” in many parks.

The park is open from sunrise to sunset and gives visitors (and their pets) a great glimpse at the very best Mother Nature has to offer.

Enjoying all nature has to offer!

Enjoying all nature has to offer!

Of course, these attractions are just three of the many pet friendly locations in the Pocono Mountains. Even if your stay in the Poconos spans an entire week, there is plenty to do for you and your pet, but if your travels are only taking you through the Poconos for a brief period of time, be sure to check out at least one of these terrific pet-friendly spots!

Amy Burkert runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their motorhome with their dogs, Ty and Buster.

 

Moving With Your Dogs: Three Tips to Make a Move Easier on Your Pets

Moving with pets can be challenging

Moving with pets can be challenging

Moving is hard enough as it is between vacating your old home or apartment, finding a new place to live, packing up all of your belongings, figuring out the easiest and most cost effective way to get everything transported to your new abode, and then finally unpacking, it’s no secret that moving is quite a handful. Factor in pets and the situation becomes even more stressful. Here are three tips to help make moving with your dog or cat a less daunting endeavor.

1. Purchase (Or Rent) Property Your Pet Will Love

Regardless of the reason for your move, be sure to keep your pet in mind as you shop for a new home. If at all possible, look for a property that has a yard so your dog or outdoor cat can frolic and have fun. Pets need plenty of exercise, but sometimes you’re going to be a bit too busy to take your dog for a walk – especially right after a move when you’re trying to get settled into your new home. A yard (or nearby park) is an excellent asset for pet owners.

2. Plan Ahead

As soon as you know there is a move in your future, start planning for your pets. Your adorable little buddies are too special to be an afterthought in the moving process. Even with so much going on, don’t just wing it when it comes to your beloved animals make planning for a smooth transition a priority.

Whether you’re driving or flying to your new home, purchase a safe and durable travel crate to ensure your cat or dog has a safe and comfortable trip. Also be sure to pack all of your pet supplies in a clearly marked box so you can find them quickly at the new home.  It’s also a good idea to order a new ID tag for your pet’s collar with your new address and/or phone number.  Do this ahead of time so it’s one less thing you have to worry about after the move.

3. Be Patient and Understanding With Your Pet

A move isn’t just a big change for humans – animals can feel stressed out about moving, too. As soon as you arrive at your new house or apartment, unpack that box of pet supplies you packed so your pet has some familiar belongings (like a bed, blankets, and toys) in what will be an otherwise unfamiliar land. Allow your pet time to acclimate, and try to re-establish your typical routine. Be patient with your pets if they seem a bit out of their element; with a little bit of love and support, your pet will be back to his or her old self in no time!

Amy Burkert runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their Winnebago with their dogs, Ty and Buster.

Upscale Pet Friendly Hotels – Updated for 2014!

Upscale Pet Friendly Hotels – Updated for 2014!

Oooooh! Fancy Schmancy!  (Photo:chrocodiles-classical.blogspot.com)

Oooooh! Fancy Schmancy! (Photo:chrocodiles-classical.blogspot.com)

 

From luxurious bedding to white-glove service, a stay at an elegant hotel or resort can make the difference between a good vacation and a great vacation. Sadly, those who travel with pets might find those deluxe accommodation options limited. Not every world-class hotel chain has a pet friendly policy – and those that do might place restrictions and additional fees to your rate during your stay.

Updated for 2014, we have collected the most current pet policies for some of the most popular and upscale hotel chains to help you get the most out of your vacations:

In 2006, Starwood Hotel and Resorts – the parent company that runs and operates the St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton, Le Meridien, and W Hotels – announced their Starwood Love That Dog program. As part of this initiative, Starwood invested heavily in wooing pet lovers to their hotels and resorts with a bevy of amenities focusing on those that travel with their pets.  Plush and comfy dog beds, food and water bowls, temporary I.D. tags, toys and treats are just some of the perks you and your dogs will find at a Starwood Hotel.

“We intend to become the most dog-friendly hotel company in the land, and not just allow dogs to stay, but actually pamper and spoil them,” said Barry Sternlicht, Starwood’s Chairman and CEO.

Now, that doesn’t mean there are not restrictions and possible additional fees at Starwood hotels. According to an update in 2013, Starwood Hotels and Resorts “does not have a standard policy regarding pets for our hotels or brands. Each hotel determines the policy depending on its ability to properly welcome and care for our furry friend”.  For example, the St. Regis and Le Meridien Hotels do not have a standard policy regarding pets, while Sheraton Hotels welcome dogs with a weight limit of 80 pounds. Westin Hotels limits dogs to just 40 pounds.

The Ritz Carlton’s pet policies vary from location to location, though generally they do allow pets. Weight restrictions on dogs usually settle between 10 and 40 pounds, so those vacationing with larger dogs may not be able to lap in the luxury of The Ritz. Also, consider that many Ritz Carlton locations place an additional fee to those visiting with pets. As an example, The Ritz’s pet friendly hotel in Philadelphia adds a $150 non-refundable fee and allows only dogs under 30 pounds.

For those that travel with their cats, Loews Hotels might be the best option for you and your feline friends. Many hotels, even those that claim to be pet friendly, limit this policy to just dogs, leaving cat-lovers out in cold. Loews policy addresses this by providing menus, bedding, catnip and even scratching posts at some locations. Of course, dogs get the pampered treatment as well with treats, food bowls and ‘Gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, prepared by our award-winning Master Chefs’.

As of this post, Loews puts no restrictions on their pet policy, other than the standard requirement that the pets be “well-behaved.” Add to that the huge selection of pet amenities available, and Loews seems to have recognized the need for upscale pet-friendly hotels.

Still, it is always wise and our recommendation to call the specific location to obtain that hotel’s individual pet policy. By calling in advance of your booking you can avoid the hassle and headache of unexpected policy changes and limitations so that you and your pets can truly enjoy your stay.

Amy Burkert runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their Winnebago with their dogs, Ty and Buster.

Why Vacations With Your Dogs Are Better

Why Vacations With Your Dogs Are Better

 

Vacation is better with your dog!

Vacation is better with your dog!

For many pet owners there is no other option to consider – the dogs always go with them on vacation. They know that a traveling with their pets is the only way to go – it’s more fun, more adventure, and more relaxation. But not all pet owners feel as confident. For them planning a pet friendly trip can seem overwhelming. What they need to know is that with the number of pet friendly hotels and restaurants constantly growing, vacations can truly be vacations with your pets. It’s true! Here is why.

No Boarding Worries: Some people are lucky enough to have family members available to watch over pets, but many do not have that luxury. While there have been vast improvements with kennels and pet sitting services in recent years, it’s still hard to avoid the guilty worrying that makes the idea of kennels unappealing. Are the dogs OK? Are they stressed? Are they eating enough? Are they being cared for?

Beautiful pups and beautiful scenery.

Beautiful pups and beautiful scenery.

Being glued to the pet cam is no way to spend a vacation and, when you add in the costs, boarding becomes less and less attractive. For many pet owners, the piece of mind that comes with being with their dogs is the most alluring part of pet travel. It can be the difference between a relaxing vacation and one that leaves you even more stressed than before.

Local Pet Community: Pet friendly people are the best people! We all know this is true, so why not meet a few of the locals at a dog park or pet-friendly event? You’ll get great insider tips on the best places to take your dogs, the best restaurants in the area, and keys to avoid the tourist traps. It is that community spirit that helps fuel GoPetFriendly.com and we’re always amazed by the new friendships that we’ve made just by traveling with our dogs. Get involved in a local pet-friendly event and you’ll be surprised at how quickly conversations start and friendships launch.

Keep Moving: Okay, we relish days snuggling on the sofa as much as the next person, but we also enjoy quite a bit of play time with our dogs. If you are like us, you know that a good hike or day at the dog beach is a perfect way for both you and your dogs to get the blood pumping and feel great. Sometimes, that is exactly what you need to wind down from work and everyday life. Even if it is just a brisk walk around the block, you and your dogs will enjoy the time together and being outside will help you clear your mind. What could be better while on vacation?

Inquisitive Spirit Pays Off: Speaking of dog walks, there have been countless times that our dogs’ inquisitive natures have lead us to stunning views and interesting sights that we might have missed without them. Your results may vary, but we’ve found there is a special feeling when you let your dogs take the lead in an adventure. It is almost as if they’re saying, “Hey, come this way. The views are incredible!” and more often than not they are so right!

Amy Burkert runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their Winnebago with their dogs, Ty and Buster.