Indianapolis Edition

Pets Welcome Here

Happy Places to Live and Travel Together

sirtravelalot/Shutterstock.com

As of last year, 90 million dogs lived in American homes. Including cats, birds, fish, small animals and reptiles, the grand total is 393 million, reports the American Pet Products Association. Pets are considered family members by 95 percent of their people. Accordingly, pets are a key consideration in choosing a friendly place to live or visit.

The personal finance website WalletHub analyzed the most pet-friendly U.S. cities encompassing criteria inclusive of access to veterinarians and cost, pet insurance rates, pet-friendly restaurants, pet-centric businesses, dog parks and animal shelters. SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company, ranked cities by dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants and stores, walkability, weather and housing costs. Unsurprisingly, many high picks are in warmer climates.

What to Seek

“First, look for pet-friendly landlords. Space to play, socialize and exercise animals is next on my list, followed by breweries and restaurants that allow dogs on their patios,” says Alexandra Bassett, a professional dog trainer and owner of Dog Savvy Los Angeles. “I hike off-leash in Runyon Canyon and we visit the Pawbar at Pussy & Pooch, a pet lifestyle boutique, to mingle and sample treats. Food is the fastest way to make a dog comfortable in just about any setting.”  

Irvine and Carlsbad, California, and Portland, Maine, are among the first cities to ban use of toxic pesticides in public areas and homes, following pressure from local groups. Being closer to the ground and smaller in size, pets suffer adverse reactions faster than humans. Contact local environmental groups to help ban harmful insecticides and herbicides in public areas.

Find amenable lodging at PetsWelcome.com.

In Pasco County, Florida, Epperson Community homes exemplify eco- and pet-friendly planning, with open spaces and solar power-lit trails for jogging and walking. Birdhouses throughout the property welcome wild feathered friends. A centerpiece lagoon enhances scenic walks and uses less water and energy than a traditional pool or golf course. Separate paths allocated for bikes and driverless cars keep dog walkers safe.

Colony Cove, in Ellenton, Florida, is a 55-plus retirement community that allows multiple pets, including some breeds banned elsewhere. It maintains a large dog park, and at summer’s end, dogs are welcome to take a dip in the pool. Further, the association offers mobile groomers, photos with Santa and costume contests.

InBetweentheBlinks/Shutterstock.comAll species are welcome at Rose Villa Senior Living, in Portland, Oregon, where residents’ request for an off-leash dog park play area was granted. One resident owns two dogs, two cats and an African gray parrot.

The largest-ever Canadian residential project to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification, Calgary’s University District, embraces
ecological conservation, habitat restoration and long-term conservation management principles. Designed for residents to age in place with their families, recreational fitness amenities include on- and off-leash dog parks, a pet-friendly activity space and paths leading to parks.

Favorite Activities

Sara Nick, chief content officer at Sidewalk Dog Media, in Minneapolis, suggests experiencing unique adventures. Dog paddling takes on new meaning via stand-up paddleboarding with a pooch at Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse and Tettegouche state parks. Whatever the weather, equine-friendly pups can ride along in a horse-drawn carriage from Doubletree Carriage Company, in Spring Valley. Dogs are welcome to watch or snooze through film showings at the Long Drive-In, in Long Prairie.

Dogs eat grass, roll in it and walk on it. Pesticides on feet and fur walk into the house. One of the top three pesticides sold in the U.S., known as 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or 2,4-D, is used for golf courses, landscaping and public areas. Popular products containing 2,4-D include:

• Bayer Advanced All-in-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer
• Ortho Weed-B-Gon Max
• Scotts Liquid Turf Builder
• Scotts Snap Pac Weed & Feed
• Sta-Green Phosphorus-Free Weed & Feed

Source: HealthyPets.Mercola.com

Birgit and Jim Walker, authors of Keep Your Paws on the Road: A Practical Guide to Traveling with Dogs, travel by RV in summer with their three dogs to favorite stops like Tombstone, Arizona. “Some tourist areas don’t welcome dogs, but in Tombstone, dogs can go for stagecoach rides and down into a mine with you,” she says.

Kim Salerno, president and founder of TripsWithPets.com, in Wake Forest, North Carolina, recommends Kimpton or Aloft hotels. “Kimpton accepts any pet, any size, weight, breed or species. Amenities include a bed, treats, a water bowl and toys with no additional pet fee,” she says.

Salerno continues, “In Asheville, dogs are allowed on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate. The Ernest Hemingway House, in Key West, Florida, allows small, cat-friendly dogs. Boutiques, feed stores, wineries and art galleries may say yes to pets. Ask first and make sure your pet is well-behaved.”

Whether at home or traveling, families can enjoy many opportunities to share new experiences with pets. Just be sure they mind their manners to have a good time.


Connect with freelance writer Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@mindspring.com.

 

Top 10 Cities for Dogs

Stefaniya Gutovska/Shutterstock.com

San Francisco—dog parks, walkability and friendly restaurants

Albuquerque—only 28 rainy days a year, plus affordable housing

Tucson—50 welcoming restaurants and sunny weather

San Diego—200 restaurants, plus a dogs-welcome beach

Denver—posted solid scores in all categories

Las Vegas—dog parks favored by dry, sunny weather

New York City—high on walkability, especially in good weather

Sacramento—affordable housing and lots of green space

Phoenix—friendly restaurants and shops, plus sunny days

Chicago—great walking; bundle up against lake breezes

Top 10 list by SmartAsset.com. Find a different, 100 best list at Wallethub.com/edu/most-pet-friendly-cities/5562.


This article appears in the June 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Mindfulness Based StressReduction Classes Return

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes return at CenterPoint Counseling this fall with their eight-week program and one-day mindfulness retreat, with orientation sessions available the third and fourth week of August.

Indy Folk Fest Brings Neighborhood Together

The eighth annual Indy Folk Fest will once again gather neighbors and friends from noon to 10 p.m. on August 18 at the Indy Hostel.

Annual Cumberland Arts Festival Blends Art, Food and Fun

Come celebrate the end of summer at the 10th annual Cumberland Arts Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 18 at the Cumberland Town Hall.

Letter from Publisher

August is cherished by most of us from an early age as the last chance for summer vacations before the new school year starts. Excited anticipation wrestles with a bittersweet farewell to summer’s goodness.

Little Hands on the Farm Returns to the Indiana State Fair

Experience the best of Indiana with 17 days of entertainment, food and exhibits spread out over 250 acres at the Indiana State Fair, August 3 to 19.

Add your comment: