HUMANE SOCIETY: How to be a snowbird with pets |

HUMANE SOCIETY: How to be a snowbird with pets

Dawn Armstrong
Special to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – ‘Tis the season for snowbirds to pack up for extended stays in the Southwest, Florida, Hawaii, Europe, New Zealand, Mexico and other winter sun spots.

Fortunately, accommodations abound for those who don’t have second homes outside of Tahoe.

In addition, except for countries like New Zealand, it’s becoming a pet friendly world. International travel regulations have eased. Blood titers have taken the place of stressful and costly quarantine requirements in many countries.

Today, pet guardians cruise across the ocean or on ferries, paddle, fly, trek, and road trip with their pets.

Here are some resources and ideas for what you need to travel safe and assure memory filled winter snowbirding with your pet.

Your pet packing list should include:

Pet health documents

Current pet photo for lost and found

Home and local identification tags

European microchip as needed

Carrier or crate, complete with identification

Leash and an extra collar – cats, too

Protection cover under the carrier for auto travel and to cover hotel furniture

Familiar blanket or cushion or bedding

Familiar food with can opener and spoon as needed

Two gallons of home water to mix with new destination water;

Food and water dishes, treats, toys

Grooming tools, baby wipes, and lint remover

Boots and doggie backpack

Waste pick up bags

Disinfectant and carpet cleaner

Litter pan and litter


Dog safety harness and/or crate

People and pet first aid kit.

Looking for a place to take your furry friend? Here’s a list of top cities, according to,,, AAA Pet Directory.

The top 10 pet friendly cities (compiled for pet services, amenities, accommodations, and emergency pet hospitals) are:


San Antonio

Austin, Texas (12 off leash dog parks)

Albuquerque, N.M.



New York, NY (44 dog parks)

Orlando, Fla.

Nashville, Tenn.

Tucson, Ariz.

The top 10 dog friendly beaches are:

Del Mar Beach San Diego, Calif.

Fort DeSoto Beach, Florida

Dog Beach, San Diego, Calif.

Cape San Blas, Florida

Carmel City Beach, California

Hunting Island, South Carolina

Ocean Beach at Fort Funston State Park, San Francisco

St. George Island, Florida

Ft. Fisher State Recreation Area, North Carolina

Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint, Oregon

Arroyo Burro Beach County Park, Santa Barbara, Calif.

All Beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Islands

The top 10 dog-friendly vacation spots and adventure tours are:

Dog Paddling Adventures, Richmond Hill, Ontario

The Paw House Inn, West Rutland, Vt. (Charges $10 extra for guests without dogs)

Hike with Your Dog Tours, the Catskills, N.Y.

The Ocean Lodge at Cannon Beach, Oregon

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Acadia National Park, Maine

Camp Winnaribbun, Lake Tahoe

Dog Scout Camp, St. Helen, Mich.

Fourpeaks Camps, Jay, N.Y.

Also available online are listings of the top 10 pet friendly hotels in the United States, top 10 pet friendly bed and breakfasts, top five national parks (based on sights to see and places to walk or hike with dogs) and more.

On the road, remember to let your pet take comfort stops to stretch and eliminate. Plan a more relaxed travel schedule to see, sniff, and sense all the bonuses that traveling with your best friend offers.

– Provided by the Lake Tahoe Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals to help “Keep Tahoe Kind.” Dawn Armstrong is the executive director of the Lake Tahoe Humane-Society and SPCA.

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