Monday, June 15, 2009

Travel Guides for Dog Lovers

If you're a dog lover in Washington and you need some resources to help you figure out how and where to travel with your dog in our lovely state, I have a couple of book recommendations for you:

The Dog Lover's Companion to the Pacific Northwest
Val Mallinson
Published by Avalon Travel

This book might be slightly outdated by now (I have the first edition; the second edition was just released last month), but it's still an excellent resource on traveling with your dog(s) in the Pacific Northwest. It covers Washington, Oregon and British Columbia (only the western half of the region - the book's major drawback), taking a look at pooch-friendly accommodations, restaurants and shops. It covers many parks, beaches and recreation areas and both urban and rural locations. Mallinson's dogs - Dachsunds Isis and Cooper - served as the panel of canine judges for this book, rating locations on a scale of one to four paw prints. Keep in mind, however, that these are small dogs, and may be accepted more readily (especially at hotels) than larger dogs.

Mallinson's writing is witty, and the illustrations are charming, making this a fun resource for your vacation planning. We've already dog-eared several pages, looking at potential day/weekend trips where we can include Reece. Sometimes, however - as in the case of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - we think she is better off in doggie daycamp, which is probably more fun for her.

Best Hikes with Dogs - Western Washington
Dan A. Nelson
Published by The Mountaineers Books

My husband felt it was important to get this book, although I'm not entirely sure why. Neither of us are avid hikers, and we generally only do trails of 5 miles or less when we do hike. But Reece, being a Lab mix, is rather outdoorsy, so this is a good resource to plan hikes with her. Fortunately, it covers both short and long hikes.

There are lists of essentials for humans as well as dogs when preparing for a hike, tips on canine first aid (and I want to add, be especially aware of foxtails! We had this problem with Reece recently and it was costly to have it removed), and information about encountering bears and cougars. Essentially, this looks like a book that caters mainly to hardcore hikers, not necessarily the person who wants to take their dog for a short jaunt through the park, although there is information for novice hikers too.

There are plenty of maps, photographs, and details given about the trails and the suggested hikes cover a wide range of skill sets. All in all, a good hiking resource, even if you don't have a dog.


As for supplies, you generally can't find good hiking/doggie travel gear at Petsmart, although it's good for lots of other things (I can't recommend their doggie daycamp enough!). I've found these types of items at places like
Mud Bay (various locations around the Puget Sound area) and Reber Ranch (located in Kent). Reece is a big fan of both stores, especially since they always dote on her and give her lots of treats!

And now she is dropping a squeak toy on my keyboard, so I suppose I better end this post.


Val Mallinson said...

Thanks for mentioning my book on your blog!

Karyn said...

Thank you for writing it! I'm finding it very helpful.