PET TRAVELING MADE EASY – Pet Friendly Canada.
What’s better than going on a great vacation? How about a great vacation WITH your dog?
Pet Friendly Canada is the go-to place for planning a trip with your furry friends. From accommodations, parks and travel tips, they’ve got you covered. With all of this great info in one place, why do you even need to leave Fido at home anymore?
What is your business?
Pet Friendly Canada is a searchable directory of accommodations across Canada that allow pets so that you don’t have to leave them behind when you travel! We list all types of lodgings, ranging from hotels and motels, to cottage resorts, to private cabins and B&Bs, and everything in between. We also offer a newsletter, pet travel tips, information on dog parks and beaches, and pet-friendly attractions. Find us online at www.petfriendly.ca.
What inspires you to do what you do?
Pets are family. Like many people, I prefer to have my dogs with me – I like to do stuff with them, and I don’t like to leave them behind if I don’t have to. PetFriendly.ca is a service for people like us, people who want to include their dogs in their lives.
How does this service make a difference for dogs?
Most dogs just want to be wherever their families are. PetFriendly.ca makes this easier since we offer a centralized directory of accommodations where travellers can come and browse. Dogs don’t have to be left behind when their families travel!
Our directory also lists accommodations of all types. We list pet-friendly hotels and motels, of course, but also smaller, unique places like cottage resorts, private cabins, and B&Bs. These alternative types of lodgings allow families to travel with dogs with different needs (for example, dogs who might not enjoy busy environments like in a hotel), or who are looking for “extras” like more room to walk or play with their dogs in a country setting. For dogs that enjoy being pampered, some hotels and other accommodations offer things like a plush dog bed, welcome treats or toys, sometimes even a special menu with goodies specifically created for dogs!
Where did the idea or inspiration come from to start your business?
Personal experience. When my first dogs were young and I was about to go on vacation, I was faced with the question of what to do with them. I could have left them with family or friends, but I didn’t want to burden them – plus I would have missed the dogs and worried about them the whole time we were away. So I went flipping through accommodation guides looking for places where I could bring my dogs. It was a tedious and time-consuming process. I figured I could do better!
I also spoke with other dog owners on the trails and at the dog parks. Lots of people didn’t even realize that bringing their dogs was an option (short of sneaking them in, which I don’t recommend!)! Yet most people wanted to have their dogs along. And so the business was born.
What is the best part of your job?
I love it when travellers tell us how much the directory has helped them. People want their pets to share in fun new holiday memories, so we love to be able to give them a way to find places that allow pets. Sometimes, people have to travel for relocation, medical reasons or family emergencies, too, and being able to easily find places that will allow their pets gives them one less thing to worry about.
I also love it when our member accommodations tell us how much they love having guests with pets! It’s always a treat to hear how most pet owners are wonderful, respectful guests.
This is probably a good time to remind all travellers with pets to please remember to travel responsibly and always pick up after your dog – we’re all goodwill ambassadors for everyone who travels after us!
Can you share a personal experience related to the business that you will always remember?
Many years ago, we took our very first cross-country trip with my first two dogs. We stayed in a variety of places, including a private cabin and a cottage resort. Everyone was very welcoming and kind to the dogs, and the owners of the both the cabin and the cottage resort were especially great. The cabin owner told us that the dogs were so well-behaved that he didn’t mind if we let them off-leash on his huge acreage. And so we did – and we got to watch them joyfully run through the woods, completely ecstatic with all the new smells and the chance to really stretch their legs!
The owners of the cottage resort were also awesome. We wanted to take one of the resort’s paddleboats onto the lake but didn’t want to leave our dogs behind in the cottage. We were hesitant to ask if they could join us since we assumed the answer would be ‘no’. One of the owners saw us looking at the boats and right away, he invited us to bring the dogs with us! That was the first time they’d been in a boat of any kind. They really enjoyed the experience and that started their love affair with boat rides.