Are you constantly wishing that your pup could accompany you on vacation?  Well, they can!  Many hotels are pet-friendly, and if you travel by car or van, transportation’s a cinch! Read on if you want to include your loyal best friend!

Where to go with your pet? 

Bringing your pet along can make a lot of differences in your trip planning—if you’re bringing your dog, you don’t want to leave him or her alone in the hotel (or worse, the car) all day long. Pick a place where your pup can get involved. For example, if you have a bigger dog, pick a location where you can go on hikes through canyons or on walks through the woods. You may also choose a location with a dog-friendly beach!  You want fun for the whole family, including Rex.

Finding a place to stay: making sure your accommodations pet-friendly

Now that you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to find accommodations. Luckily, there are hotels out there that allow dogs. Some even have special arrangements available for those with pets. For example, my family once stayed at the Windmill Suites in Ashland, which was a very nice pet-friendly hotel. They had grounds you could walk your dogs in, with pooper-scoopers and bags at the ready every few yards. It was actually quite nice to run into fellow travelers and their pets on my daily morning walk with my dog.

You can also look into sites like or, which offer vacation rentals and exchanges that often provide more flexible options for pet-owners. While not every rental will accept pets, those that do might provide better amenities, such as larger accommodations or even backyards that will give your pooch the space he needs!

Choosing Transportation

For transportation, you have a few options. With a dog, car travel is usually easiest; however,  before you embark on a three-day road trip, make sure your dog doesn't get car sick—that can be a nightmare.

Depending on the size of your dog, you have a few options for flights. If your dog is small enough, you can stow them under your seat. Unfortunately, this only generally works for toy breeds. My mutt (who weighs in at about 20 pounds) is too big for this option. If you’re in the same boat as me, your dog will have to ride in the cargo of the plane.

Unfortunately, most modes of public transportation in the U.S. don’t allow dogs (with the exception of service dogs).  Fortunately, some public transportation in other countries is a little more lax—for example, when I lived in Germany, you could buy a subway ticket for your dog.

Training Your Pet for the Trip

There are a couple of basic demands that your pet should know before you embark on your journey—“come” and “stay” are both important. In an unfamiliar environment, you want to make sure that your dog will stay obedient.  With all of the new sights (and smells), your pet might get disoriented.

You may also want to teach your dog to “go” (yes, that kind of “go”) on cue. This can really eliminate wait time. If your pet is trained to go on cue (for example, “go potty”), you can shave time off of a lengthy road trip.

Packing for your pet


What to bring?  The essentials, of course—their food, leash, collar and tags.  If you have some room, you might want to bring along the pet bed. This can help them acclimate to strange new environments—it gives them a little bit of familiarity and can really help them feel more comfortable.

So there you have it—all you need for a successful trip with your best friend!

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in So California who writes on everything from gardening and home improvement, to technology and marketing, to health and beauty. She has two bigs Great Danes and always tries to bring them along on family trips!

By Play Admin on May 27, 2013 at 9:55 am 0 Comments

happy thanksgiving feast Graphic & Myspace Graphics
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are SO excited to spend time with friends and family. And while turkey day always includes delicious food, remember it’s intended for human consumption – feeding your pup something she is not used to, can easily cause an upset stomach. If you do decide to treat your pet, that’s fine too, just make sure you don’t overdo it.  Be extra careful and avoid turkey bones; they can obstruct airways or splinter - causing major problems in the digestive system. If you want to include your dog in the festivities, why not make some yummy homemade treats just for him?  They are healthy and really easy to make — your pup is sure to gobble them up. Here’s the great recipe we shared last year:

Turkey Loaf Dinner Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cooked peas and carrots
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup canned low-fat gravy


  • Grease a loaf pan; set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix turkey, vegetables, eggs and rice. Put into pan.
  • Pour the gravy over the loaf and bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 1 hour or until nicely browned on top.
  • Cool and serve.

If you’re cooking-illiterate, you can always treat your pup to a yummy pre-made treat too. We’re big fans of Buttercups Paw-tisserie - they have great treats and some made just for autumn! Whether you decide to bake our buy, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

How do you include your pup in the festivities? Leave us a comment below!

By Play Admin on Nov 16, 2011 at 11:58 pm 0 Comments

By now, it's pretty clear that Momo is an au naturale type of girl. BUT it's Halloween and we couldn't attend The San Francisco SPCA's Howl-o-ween party without a costume!

She doesn't look very thrilled, does she? But man... she sure makes an adorable tortoise!

To ensure you have a fun Halloween, make sure your pup stays safe! Here are a few tips:

  • Do not let your pup have ANY candy! While it's okay to give him a few treats (of the doggy kind) for doing some tricks, make sure to avoid chocolate and candy. Even sugar-free candy that's sweetened with xylitol can be trouble. If you think your pup has eaten something toxic, call your vet right away! You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
  • Often times, costumes and constant doorbell-ringing can freak your pup out - literally. If she gets uncomfortable, make sure to keep her in a separate room during trick-or-treating hours. 
  • If your pup is socialized and comfortable enough to help you hand out candy, make sure your pup is on leash or has perfected his "stay" command. You don't want to him bolt out of the door!
  • Make sure your pup has up-to-date contact info on her ID collar - losing your pet is an awful way to spend Halloween.

If you do dress up your pup, make sure the costume is comfy and doesn't have any loose parts that could be accidently swallowed.

Are you and your pup(s) dressing up? We'd LOVE to see -post a photo on our Facebook Page!

From all of us at P.L.A.Y., we wish you a very Happy (and safe) Halloween!!

By Play Admin on Oct 31, 2011 at 6:17 pm 0 Comments