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.

 

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.

 

 

Top Cities For Pet Friendly Winter Vacations

 Just because the thermometer is dropping it doesn’t mean it’s time to lock your self away until spring. The winter months are a perfect time for you to grab a sled and skates and head to these top destinations for pet friendly winter vacations. Each of these locations has been vetted to give you the best options for your winter travels. So bring the dogs, strap on some boots, head out and enjoy these top pet friendly locations for winter fun.

Buster and Ty, chillin'

Buster and Ty, chillin’

Stowe Vermont

Vermont is well known for being a top destination for ski enthusiasts from around the world, but Stowe might also be the gold medal winner for pet friendly travel. The town seems as if it was pulled from a Norman Rockwell painting with its stunning mountain ranges, covered bridges, and scenery that is truly breathtaking. While this alone would make for an outstanding winter getaway, it is their pet friendly attitude that sets Stowe over the top. From cafes and restaurants to the stunning gondola ride, Stowe has made the town accessible to those who travel with their pets.

Buster is enjoying the accommodations.

Buster is enjoying the accommodations at Topnotch.

We’d recommend a stay at Topnotch, an award winning hotel and spa located at the base of Mount Mansfield – the highest point in Vermont – right on the outskirts of Stowe. Since 1958 (that is right, 1958!) Topnotch has been just that when it comes to pet friendly hotels and spas in Stowe. The entire grounds (minus the pool areas) are dog friendly and the resort does not impose additional pet fees or weight restrictions. Add the fine touches of Reiki or traditional dog massage, fleece-covered beds, and pet sitting services and the resort gets a big “thumbs up” from pet lovers.

Aspen Colorado

In 2010, GoPetFriendly.com awarded Aspen the most pet friendly city in the United States and it is easy to see why. The city’s residents seem to wear their pet friendly outlook like a badge. On any given day in Aspen you will see plenty of people and their dogs enjoying the downtown area.  Dog watching is just as popular as people watching around here! The city is loaded with parks, pet friendly restaurants, and plenty of activities to keep everyone busy.

Most hiking and walking trails in Aspen are dog friendly including the Hunter Creek Trail and the Ute Trail. An off-leash option, Smuggler Mountain Road, is perfect for dogs that like to do some exploring of their own. Sadly, the Silver Queen Gondola that takes visitors to the top of Aspen Mountain is only available to visitors with their pets in the summer months.

Buster and Ty enjoy summer hikes on the ski trails as well as winter fun.

Buster and Ty enjoy summer hikes on the ski trails as well as winter fun.

If you are looking for five-star pet friendly accommodations, The Little Nell might be the hotel for you. They provide in-room food and water bowls for your furry friends, pet sitting and dog walking services and even a Puppy Jet Lag Kit. Pampering your pooch has never been easier! 

Lake Placid New York

Sure, it is the home of one of the most famous Olympic moments in history, but Lake Placid has become a top pet friendly destination as well. The city’s location and terrain in the Adirondack Mountains makes it a focal point for all sorts of outdoor activities including skiing, skating and snowboarding. The village also hosts a slew of pet friendly accommodations, dining, and shopping options to keep everyone happy.

Mirror Lake in the middle of Lake Placid offers a wide paved walkway with plenty of waste bins and doggie bags to keep clean ups a snap. The east side of the lake is mostly residential but the west side offers Lake Placid’s unique shopping and business district.

With over 12 different pet friendly hotels and resorts in Lake Placid, you’ll be sure to find the ideal place to warm up and catch some rest. High Peaks Resort offers fantastic views over looking Mirror Lake. Its location is ideal to take advantage of all the shopping, dining and activities in Lake Placid and is always a solid choice.

As with all of our recommendations, it is best to call in advance to make certain that the establishment’s pet policies have not changed.

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.

Finding The Right Pet Friendly Rental Car Company

From the TPPC.tv Crew: We welcome GoPetFriendly’s Amy Burket as an expert contributor to our blog! Amy’s tips will keep you and your pet comfortable on the road.  Read more about Amy on our About page and see her bio below.

Finding the Right Pet Friendly Rental Car Company

In recent years, the idea of enjoying a vacation with your pets has become the norm. From ski and snow resorts in Aspen to pet friendly hotels in Orlando, vacation destinations have adjusted and met the demand for pet friendly vacations and accommodations. While hotels and resorts have come around to the idea, car rentals still pose a challenge to some pet-friendly travelers. Without knowing, your vacation could take a turn for the worse with hidden fees and limited access to vehicles.

Not all rental car companies are the same when it comes to traveling with your pets. Many companies have specific pet policies that may or may not allow you to have pets within the vehicle. Add to that the possibility of “hidden fees” and you might have a major headache on your hands. While we always recommend calling the rental car company to discuss their individual pet friendly policies, our comprehensive list of agencies and their guidelines is a great starting point.

Pet Friendly Rental Car Companies

In most cases, the major rental car companies in the United States allow pets to ride in their vehicles with no additional fees. These rental car companies include Advantage, Alamo, Avis, National and Dollar. Some rental agencies, like Budget and Hertz, specifically use the terms “housebroken” and “domestic” in their pet policies allowing pets to ride in the vehicles at no additional charge. In all cases, renters are responsible for any damage caused by pets.

Both Payless and Thrifty Car Rental have pet policies that vary from location to location. Although many do allow pets to travel within their vehicles, some do not. If you are planning to rent from these agencies, it is best to call in advance to make certain that particular branch has a favorable pet policy.

Although it may vary from location to location, most Enterprise Rent-A-Car agencies do not allow pets within their vehicles. Also, if you are lucky enough to find an Enterprise that does allow pets in their cars, the pets will need to be confined to a carrier. It is best to call Enterprises’ central reservations to determine the exact policy for your rental location.

Avoiding Unexpected Charges

In all cases, rental car companies require that the vehicle is returned without damage, cleaned, and free of pet hair. That last point is of particular significance to many pet owners. Having additional fees tacked onto your credit card for a bit of dog hair could be a shock to you and your wallet. To avoid these additional fees and to make clean up much easier, we turned to an inexpensive shower curtain and doormat.

The shower curtain fits great in the back seat and cargo area.  The doormat keeps everything in place and adds to easy clean up.

The shower curtain fits great in the back seat and cargo area. The doormat keeps everything in place and assists with easy clean up.

The boys are comfortable and the rental car stays clean.

The boys are comfortable and the rental car stays clean.

Why a shower curtain? First, a nylon-like shower curtain generates a bit of static cling so loose hairs tend to be pulled to the shower curtain instead of the upholstery of the car. Also most shower curtains have prebuilt reinforced holes – and those holes are perfect for securing it to the vehicle. Keep in mind that if the car you are renting has a cargo area you might need to invest in an additional shower curtain to cover both the back seats and the cargo area.

Using the holes in the shower curtain to keep it in place is easy.  Just use the headrest stems and poke them through the holes.

Using the holes in the shower curtain to keep it in place is easy. Just use the headrest stems and poke them through the holes.

In our rental vehicle, we removed the back seat head rests and slid the legs of the headrests through the holes of the curtain. When we placed the headrests back into place the headrests secured the shower curtain perfectly. If you find it difficult to remove the headrests, invest in two or three carabiners to attach the shower curtain to the headrest posts.  Make certain you spread out the curtain to ensure maximum coverage and then place the rubber-backed doormat on top of the shower curtain. This will make sure that your curtain doesn’t slip and slide in the vehicle and will also give your dogs a comfy surface to stand on.

When it is time to return your rental car clean up should be a snap. Carefully remove the shower curtain and shake off the collected fur. Take a lint roller to the upholstery and knock out any stray hairs the curtain was unable to collect.

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.