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Pet paradises
  • Furry friends love a holiday!
  • Too cute to leave at home
  • Safe, sound and secure
  • A change of scene does everyone good

Planning a holiday when you have a pet can be an emotional experience. While you excitedly thumb through pamphlets of your dream holiday destinations, your loyal pal is gazing up at you with those big brown eyes as though pleading with you to bring him along too. Or maybe it’s your cat, purring while rubbing past you, hoping that you’ll get the hint. At this point you remember the difficulties of holidays when you have pets. Not only will you feel guilty about leaving them cooped up at a kennel or cattery, but you’ll also have the huge cost associated with their care as well. Further, pets tend to remember these slights, and as one Canberra cat-owner discovered, they can get vindictive too. Each time she began packing for a trip, her cat would pee in all of her shoes!

The good news is, you can bring your furry friends with you, and save all the money you would have spent on pet care. Australia has literally thousands of holiday homes, cottages and holiday parks in every spectacular place in the country, where your pets are welcome too. Further, these places are often a similar cost, or even cheaper, than traditional hotels, but boast plenty of space and amenities you’d never find in generic holiday accommodation.

But it isn’t just the tourist areas where you can bring your four-legged friends. Whether you’re staying in Sydney or the central highlands of Tasmania, wherever you go, you can find comfortable, affordable and roomy accommodation for your whole family to enjoy. With such a wide range of places available, you may even find yourself bringing your pet along on business trips.

Check out these tips for selecting the right holiday home for you and your pet:
1.    Head to www.takeabreak.com.au  Here you’ll find Australia’s greatest selection of pet-friendly accommodation (as well as the best selection of boutique, honeymoon, family-friendly and every other type of accommodation!) 
2.    Once you’re there, use the drop-down lists to select the state, region and city/town you’d like to visit. For example, on the top-left dropdown, select QLD, then the next drop-down “Far North Queensland” and then the bottom drop-down, “Cairns”. Then move over to the dropdowns on the right, and where it says, “All Holiday Accommodation” and select “Pet-Friendly”
3.    Click “Go” and voila! There are 17 fabulous pet-friendly Cairns accommodation listings.
4.    The next step is to decide whether the place is a good fit. For example, do they only allow dogs but not cats? Are the pets allowed inside, or are they only allowed in the yard? Does the place provide bedding for your pet? What about little 'extras' like bowls and treats? Is it possible to leave your pet behind for a few hours when you go on an excursion? These questions can often be answered by reading the listing.
5.    Next, check out the guest comments. Here is where you can often get an insight into the special touches provided by the owner of the accommodation, and learn whether the place is genuinely pet-friendly. For example, if you were to check out the Best Friend Holiday Retreat in Tarra Bulga you would find many happy dog-owners have left rave reviews about this holiday park, which boasts exercise areas for dogs, fenced off-leash areas, doggie toys, and is in close proximity to a dog-friendly beach. 

Once you’ve chosen the right place for you and your pet, it’s time to start considering anything special you’ll need to do to prepare yourself and your pet for the trip. These can include:
1.    Ensuring your pet has an ID tag with a number where you can be reached while you’re away. This may mean getting a new tag done with your mobile phone number on it.
2.    Bring along some printed photos of your pets, just in case the unthinkable happens and they get lost.
3.    Be sure to pack some comfort items from home for your pet, whether they are cuddly toys or special blankets. This will ensure  that they have something to soothe them if they’re feeling anxious and homesick, especially if you leave them alone for any length of time at the holiday destination.
4.    Plan plenty of rest stops on the way to your destination, so that your pet can get some fresh air, move around a bit, and of course – have some necessary toilet stops.
5.    If you can fit it , bring along your pet’s bed. Although some holiday homes provide bedding for pets, your dog or cat will appreciate snuggling into their own.
6.    Your pet will also be happy to see their favourite food and treats being packed, as well as a few toys for in the car or to chase during a rest stop. And don’t forget plenty of water for the drive.

Finally – if in doubt, remember to ask. If an accommodation listing doesn’t specifically say that your pet is welcome to sleep inside, call or email to find out. It may have been an oversight, or it may be that they welcome pets, but not on their carpet and furniture. And that may suit you and your pooch or moggy just fine, but it’s always nice to know these things well in advance.

Planning on becoming a pet-friendly accommodation provider?
TakeABreak has discovered it’s the 'little extras' that can make a huge difference to how a person feels about their holiday experience. Here are a few ideas to put you ahead of the pack:
1.    Have some tags made up with the address of your accommodation that visitors can attach to their pet’s collar.
2.    Print out a list of dog-friendly beaches and parks, and leave it with any other pamphlets of nearby attractions.
3.    Include business cards or pamphlets of your local vets, just in case any four-legged guests need medical help.
4.    In the same way as guests appreciate little soaps and shampoos in hotel bathrooms, they will appreciate little treats or toys for their pets.
5.    A fenced-in yard is a big attraction for anyone wanting to bring a dog.
6.    If you aren’t happy for pets to be left unattended while your guests are on excursions, consider leaving contact details for a local kennel who might take pets by the hour.
7.    Nothing says “you’re welcome” quite like comfy pet bedding with water and food bowls nearby.
8.    Providing baggies for cleaning up after pets can be a welcome relief for pet owners who forgot to pack them while rushing out the door.

Further information: Check out these excellent tips for travelling with your pet!

About the Author
Kylie-Jane Degeling is a freelance writer who has lived in Adelaide, Yulara (Uluru), Alice Springs and Canberra, as well as five different countries throughout the world. After backpacking around Australia, she worked as a tour guide in Central Australia, before training for her Commercial Pilot License and working as a flight instructor, scenic flight and charter pilot. She later worked as a travelling IT trainer for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which involved spending time in each of their 16 District Offices around the country on a rotating basis.
Having experienced Australia as a backpacker, tour guide, pilot and business traveller, Kylie now enjoys family holidays with her husband Alex, and children Jezzy and Jordan. She says, “I have been lucky to see Australia from a variety of perspectives, and as a travel writer can use this experience to inspire others to find holidays they would enjoy.”  Kylie currently works as a travel writer in addition to being a government writer and columnist for two parenting magazines.

About the author
Kylie Jane Degeling wrote this article

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  hi friends this is good site for them who love them pets..............so visit it ...........thanks
Posted on Jul 19 2010 at 18:16

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