Hotels happy to welcome your four-legged friends

Florida Planning Guide:

By Jane Stokes
Pet Friendly Hotels

Tourism services in Florida, and indeed all across North America are learning to accommodate the ever-growing petmania.

Pop-up, transportable pet houses are hot. At first-rate hotels, doggie meals can be ordered on room service menus. Specialized pooch-music calms Fido in the car —and in wacky Key West, those who wish to flaunt their mutual animal magnetism are encouraged to enter a year-end parade, as a pet-and-person duo.

Currently, 53 percent of travellers bring a pet, according to a recent TripAdvisor survey of more than 1,100 participants. The same survey revealed that 35 percent of pet owners admit to taking shorter vacations—and 25 percent travel less because they don't want to leave their little pals behind.

Indeed, some won't. A good 7 percent of the survey respondents said they travel only to destinations where they know they can bring their pets. For helpful information on this topic go to www.petego.com. For pet-friendly hotels, here's a snapshot of enticing offers:

Aventura: The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club (half way between Miami and Fort Lauderdale) welcomes your four-legged friends with customized amenities, such as personalized card, a fluffy bed, favourite treats and a pooch-pouch of dining options. For example, if ordered in advance, your dog will be treated to organic scrambled eggs, or a rice and vegetable dish, or a beef burger with American cheese. The cat menu includes poached chicken breast, tiger shrimp, and steamed local fish. Guidelines and fees apply.

Clearwater: At the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa, guests are invited to experience the Pampered Pooch Services Package. For you, it consists of a manicure, facial, and pedicure. For your little companion, it includes a manicure, shampoo, and style. This will allow your pooch put his or her best foot forward for paw painting and nail art.

Orlando: Walt Disney World is building a full-service, luxury pet resort for a scheduled opening in 2009. Partnering with Best Friends Pet Care Inc. this facility will include luxury suites, nature walks, playgroups, ice cream treats and even bedtime stories.

Complete state tourism information at www.visitflorida.com.

Credit: www.newscanada.com

Oasis Cruise & Travel Stories   http://oasiscruise.com/Travel/Pet-Friendly

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