You And Fido Hit the Road: Notes about Pet Friendly Establishments

Pet friendly doesn’t mean poop-friendly, so bring lots of little pick-up bags.

Don’t wash Fido in the jetted tub. Even if he loves a bath. (Don’t laugh–more than once, we’ve had to pick dog hairs out of the jets with a tweezers). If he needs to “freshen up”, or get the sand out from between his toes, ask if there is an outside area you could clean him off (we have a hose and large bucket behind our inn for puppy showers and baths).

Give the owners your cell phone number. Then answer it if you go out.

Ask if there is a pet deposit in addition to the pet fee.

Ask if there are restrictions on pets–some places have weight limits for dogs, and some do not allow particular breeds.

Keep your dog on a leash. Yes, he’s as gentle as a kitten, but if he sees another dog, and they decide to threaten each other, you’re going to wish you had him on a leash instead of trying to grab his coller while he eats another guest’s baby.

Ask if there are pet amenities. Water dishes, pet treats, travel beds.Her regular food will go a long way towards making the trip more pleasant for both of you (not to mention for the cleaning staff!)

If it rains, ask if the establishment has some old towels you could use to dry off Fluffy. They might have some lying around, just for that use. And they might greatly prefer that you use those instead of the new expensive white ones.

Bring something from home. A toy. His favorite snack. His bed. What excites you about traveling–a beautiful room, new places to explore–might just make your best friend scared. Or homesick. So pack some items for him that will let him feel at home. Away from home.

Ask for a list of pet-friendly restaurants, as well as pet-friendly venues (like beaches, parks, and other attractions). There are multiple restaurants in Saint Augustine that welcome your pet, including the Florida Cracker Cafe, O.C. White’s, . Dogs are welcome on most of the beaches on Anastasia Island, and can also enjoy the historic fort, the pedestrian mall, and of course just walking through town. Our guests often make their dogs “sit” when there is a horse and carriage nearby–for many city-cousin pets, it’s the first time they’ve seen a horse and it can frighten them at first.

Be honest with yourself. If your pet has ever bitten anyone, nipped at anyone, or even threatened anyone, please keep him at home. Your liability and responsibility is the same as it is at home. We prefer that guests travel with their pets (and don’t leave them alone in the rooms), but if you do have to leave them behind for a short period of time, please use the “do not disturb” sign on your door. That way, we won’t freshen your room or replace towels, only to let Duke run right out and into the street.

Ask if there’s a pet emergency room nearby.

Pet friendly doesn’t necessarily mean that all pets are welcome. So if you’re not sure, ask. We have had people come and ask to bring their pet rat, ferrets, and multiple cats.