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Pet Friendly Travel in the News

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DOGGIE DINING TREND HAS TAILS WAGGING UNDER NATION’S RESTAURANT TABLES

New Guide to Dog-Friendly Eateries and Watering Holes Helps Diners-with-Pets Stay Ahead of the Pack Thanks to “Dog’s-Eye” Reviews

Etiquette Tips Ensure Friendly Welcome for Canine Restaurant-Goers

Hollywood, CA, July 14, 2006 -- Florida passed a “Doggie Dining Law” in June, Austin, TX got one in March, New York City allows pets to accompany their owners at outdoor dining spots, and Chicago’s restauranteurs are lobbying for similar approval. Meanwhile, California’s well-established business in letting pets join their owners while dining al-fresco makes that state a leader of the doggie-dining pack. Across the nation, more and more eateries and watering holes are joining the ranks of pet-friendly establishments – increasing dining choices for pet owners, and adding an upscale revenue stream for hospitality owners.

“All sides of the table are benefiting from this latest development in pet-friendly accommodation,” says pet travel expert Tracey Thompson, founder of website PetFriendlyTravel.com. “Those of us who travel with pets are finding more and more dining choices available wherever we go. ‘Doggie Dining’ makes excellent business sense for restaurant owners willing to take the simple steps needed to accommodate pets owners – who will spend over $15 billion this year feeding their pets. For animals, dining out with their owners expands their opportunities to share companionship. And for truly lucky dogs, there are even restaurants adding special menus with canine fare, like the “Dog Days Burger” at Bully Ranch in Vail, CO, the “Ham Barker Helper” at Tin Shed Garden Café in Portland, OR, and the “Very Terrier Veal Bones” at Out of Denmark Restaurant in Delray Beach, FL.”

Spurred by the need of her website’s users to identify pet-friendly activities while on the road, Thompson recently added a restaurant guide and restaurant reviews to her lodging referral site’s bundle of services, which also includes a national listing of dog-friendly beaches. The growing roster of PetFriendlyTravel.com restaurant and bar listings currently includes establishments in 31 US states, and 2 Canadian provinces.

“Dog’s Eye View” restaurant reviews on PetFriendlyTravel.com are a special feature that add additional “Paws-on Pet-spectives,” like these observations from the Chicago dog Bof -- who wrote that the Ann Sather Café in the Windy City served “a buttery flaky croissant that was scrumptious” and Northern California’s Caleb -- who appreciated that at the Mendocino Café in that city “they bring water for the thirsty dog,” but warns “beware of the cat!.”

Thanks to federal regulations, service dogs have long been welcome in restaurants, but most local health codes limit dogs to outside dining areas, or to venues like bars, where no food is served. Enterprising bar owners have responded with “Doggie Happy Hours” – special times when pet owners can bring their canine companions along to enjoy the ambiance. Notable “Doggie Happy Hours” reported on PetFriendlyTravel.com include Tuesdays at Hotel Indigo Atlanta Midtown, Wednesdays at Joe’s Sports Bar in Chicago, and Wednesdays at the Helix Hotel in Washington DC. Charlotte NC even boasts one venue where it’s Happy Hour all the time for pet-friendly crowd – the Dog Bar Noda – designed especially for dog owners, their pets and other dog lovers.

Etiquette Guide for Four-Footed Dining

Of course, ensuring a warm welcome when dining out with a four-footed “best friend” demands attention to certain niceties – which Thompson summarizes in her Tips for Pet-Friendly Dining: • Dogs should remain on a leash at all times, and should not socialize with other diners or restaurant employees, unless welcomed.
• Barking or begging for food is frowned on -- dogs should always be well-behaved around other people and animals.
• Dogs should be kept close to or under the table while owners are eating – and stay out of the way of the restaurant staff.
• Pets are not permitted to eat or drink out of restaurant glasses or dishes, unless they are disposable. Bring your pet’s own doggie bowl or ask the waiter for a paper or plastic bowl for water.
• It’s considered rude for dogs to stand or sit on chairs or tables.
• Finally, because not all restaurants with outdoor seating allow dogs -- be sure to call ahead and confirm the restaurant is pet friendly.

About Pet Friendly Travel
Founded in 2000 by Emmy Award-winning children’s television producer Tracey Thompson, www.PetFriendlyTravel.com provides easy access to pet friendly accommodations in the US and Canada, including dog and pet friendly hotels, vacation rentals, cabins, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, cottages, resorts and lodges. The site’s business partners comprise more than 1,000 separate listings, including private vacation rental owners and property management companies. Especially popular for summer travelers are listed vacation rental properties on the beach, among them Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, MA; The Outer Banks, NC; Topsail Island, NC; Hilton Head, SC; Tybee Island, GA; Galveston, TX; all of Florida; and the California and Oregon coasts.

For additional information:
Tracey Thompson
www.PetFriendlyTravel.com
323-850-5732

Naerim Kim
Brainerd Communicators
212-986-6667

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