Among Pet-Friendly States, Oregon is Top Dog

Organizations like Best Friends Animal Society and Humane Society of the United States often give Oregon top grades for animal-friendly legislation, pet-friendly communities, and humane-minded lawmakers. Now, the security technology company Safewise is joining the chorus of praise.

In a report that ranks all US states, the company says, “Oregon has it all—thousands of pet-friendly properties to visit, strict anti-abuse laws, and lots of no-kill shelters where you can meet new friends. Portland alone has over 350 pet-friendly restaurants.”

The top pet-friendly states, according to rankings by Safewise and major animal welfare organizations

The top pet-friendly states, according to rankings by Safewise and major animal welfare organizations

While more than two-thirds of all US households have pets, many areas of the country lag behind in pet-friendly status, as ranked by Animal Legal Defense Fund and NoKill Network. In its report released today, Safewise says some of the rankings may surprise readers. The company leads its information release with, “New York isn’t that safe for pets.” New York ranks fourth on the list of least-pet-friendly states.

“Iowa is the least pet-friendly state in the US, with weak animal protection laws, a high number of puppy mills, and not many pet-friendly destinations,” Safewise reports.

Iowa’s weak animal protection laws and high number of puppy mills earned it the lowest ranking among all states.

Iowa’s weak animal protection laws and high number of puppy mills earned it the lowest ranking among all states.

Other findings, as compiled from rankings published by major animal welfare organizations:

Iowa is the least pet-friendly state, based on shelter euthanasia rates, number of puppy mills, and the relative weakness of animal welfare laws.

California is the state with the most veterinarians, but Montana — with its much smaller population — has the most veterinarians per capita.

Illinois is the state with the strictest animal protection legislation, but animal-friendly Oregon claims the number-two ranking.

The security provider released safety rankings to coincide with the release of the animated film, Secret Life of Pets 2.

animal friendly laws.png

Spring Pet Safety Tips: Mushroom Toxicity

By Dr. Wendy Merideth

Mushrooms play an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter. They are fundamental in nutrient cycling and exchange within ecosystems. Unfortunately, though, many of the mushrooms in Oregon are toxic to pets.

In late spring and early summer, Sunriver Veterinary Clinic in Central Oregon treats many patients for mushroom toxicity. These animals may present with profuse drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, or they may be in a coma. Apart from such obvious symptoms, bear in mind that toxic mushrooms can also injure your pet’s liver.

Treatment involves the induction of vomiting (if the animal is conscious) to empty the stomach of remaining mushrooms. Intravenous fluids are then initiated to help flush toxins from the bloodstream. Activated charcoal, given by mouth, binds the toxins within the gastrointestinal tract and the toxins that circulate through the liver and bile. Pets may also need supportive liver medications and supplements. With treatment, the prognosis is good.
 
Please inspect your yard for mushrooms and watch your dogs closely on the trail this time of year. Unless you are a mushroom expert, please assume all mushrooms are toxic to pets! Wear gloves when removing them from your yard and throw them away in a place your pet can’t reach.
 
If your pet ever ingests a mushroom, contact your veterinarian immediately.  

Dr. Merideth incorporates both traditional and alternative veterinary medicine in the care of pets at her  Sunriver Veterinary Clinic  in Central Oregon. She especially likes helping older pets feel better through acupuncture.

Dr. Merideth incorporates both traditional and alternative veterinary medicine in the care of pets at her Sunriver Veterinary Clinic in Central Oregon. She especially likes helping older pets feel better through acupuncture.

SPLASH! Dock Diving

by Christy Doherty

As one of the fastest-growing canine sports in the world, dock diving is making a big splash with dogs and humans alike. Enthusiasts in the Northwest are fortunate that Hillsboro is home to an indoor dock diving facility.

The facility makes year-round practice and competition both possible and fun. “The dream of opening a combination rehab and indoor dock diving facility became real almost four years ago,” explains Diane Kunkle, certified Canine Rehab Practitioner, who co-owns Paws Aquatics Water Sports and Rehab with Julie Thomas.

In dock-diving events, dogs run the length of a dock and leap as far as possible into the water, competing for distance, height, or -- in timed events -- for speed. Human competitors throw a prized toy just out of reach, motivating dogs to keep their momentum and launch into the pool at the best-possible angle.

The sport offers variations on the diving theme. For example, an in-the-air retrieve event, the coveted dog toy is suspended four feet above the water to start, moving higher as dogs complete each level.

With its growing popularity, the sport is drawing a wider variety of breeds. “About 10 years ago, it was pretty much all Labs, but then the other breeds started to try it. Right now Whippets kind of rule the sport,” Kunkle explained.

When Spot Magazine attended a February dock diving event, a Whippet named Sounders jumped so far he touched the back of the pool -- a little over 33.5 feet. The impressive dive matched his world-record jump in December’s National competition.

It’s an equal-opportunity sport. Whether low-slung lap dog or tall Russian Wolfhound, in this game, size really doesn’t matter, and the mix of breeds is endless. The sport’s organizing body, North America Diving Dogs (NADD), divides dogs into two size divisions -- those 16 inches or taller at the withers, and those shorter. There are also divisions like novice, junior, senior, master and elite within each height category.

Splash BTR photo credit Amaya Frutkoff.png

Getting their Paws Wet

Dogs benefit from the equalizing effect of water, making the sport accessible to all sizes and ages. “All they need is a strong toy drive and a love for swimming,” Kunkle enthused. “We have two labs who still compete at age 14.”

Kunkle says new dogs get a slow introduction to the sport. “We start them off the side deck, only 8 inches off the water, before moving them to the dock,” she explained.

Jenn Zimmerly-Offinga of Hillsboro competes with Motive, a Boston Terrier whose food drive outpaces her interest in toys. The pair manage a compromise. “For Motive, it’s all about food,” Zimmerly-Offinga laughs. “She doesn’t work for free. Food IS her reward, and there’s no food allowed on the dock. We have to go flying right back to the crate, because she needs a paycheck. Some dogs are volunteers; some need a paycheck. Motive needs an edible paycheck.”

Her first diving dog, Hoodlum, was the 2015 NADD Senior Lapdog National Champion, inspiring many Boston Terriers and other “littles” to follow his example. Hoodlum’s success drew Zimmerly-Offinga’s friend from Canada, Mary Young, into dock diving. She has elite jumpers and announces at events.

Young’s dog, Swindle -- a female Belgian Malinois -- is an elite jumper who jumps far and high.  Swindle is “the best counter surfer around, and likes to sleep under the blankets at night curled in between her humans. She loves everything she does and gives 100% every time,” Young says.

Motive and Swindle went to Nationals last year, where almost 800 dogs competed. “I think there were about 20 dogs from the Pacific Northwest,” Zimmerly-Offinga enthused. The Pacific Northwest offers other diving event locales, including a mobile dock, but the indoor venue is a favorite of some dogs who -- like Motive – hate cold water.  “We call her Sensitive Sally because she doesn’t like to jump into cold water. She likes to jump at PAWS, because the water is warm.”

Zimmerly-Offinga is also training Frantic, a puppy Young gifted her. “Frantic is a Boston Terrier/Whippet/Staffy mix, all legs. He’s very cute, After I lost Hoodlum to GI lymphoma, I said I didn’t need another dog. At diving events, Mary kept saying I did, since Motive doesn’t like cold water. She ended up making a four-hour drive for a puppy I said I didn’t want, and she brought Frantic back.”

That’s what friends are for.

Diving All In

Competing with Quiver, the AKC National Champion Doberman, Teresa Ross of Vancouver, WA was amazed how quickly her dogs mastered diving. “We just started. Neither dog was swimming this summer; they were babies,” Ross explained. “and in August, Avatar was in her first competition.”

Dee Morasco of Amboy, WA was at the competition with her veteran Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Rex, who has been to Nationals in Florida three times. Morasco also brought along a puppy who was adjusting to the excitement. “I’ve been doing dock diving since 2003,” Morasco explained. “It’s a good family sport. Kids as young as 7 can be up there, because two people can be on the dock.”

It’s hard to just get a little bit into the sport. Mary Young confesses, “Oh yes I’m the addicted one. I have three dogs that compete: Swindle and Scandal, my two Belgian Malinois; and Quiz, an Australian Cattle Dog. They are all amazing!”

Immersed in dog sports for over 25 years, including flyball, agility, barn hunt, lure coursing, nose work, urban mushing, obedience, Superdogs and dock diving, Young finds “dock diving seems to be a much more family-friendly event and while people are competitive and want their dogs to do the best they can, the joy of watching all the different dogs and people on the dock is what it’s really all about.”  

Young still competes in agility and flyball, and teaches flyball classes at home in British Columbia, “But the dock diving community is powerful and much more welcoming for all newcomers of all the different size dogs/breeds/mixes – it just doesn’t matter.” 

A tiny jumper’s personal best may be nine feet where the big jumpers sail out 32 feet or farther, but “the human-dog team is what keeps people coming back,” Young asserts. “I live in BC Canada and drive to Oregon for all their events. What I love most about diving is the camaraderie amongst competitors encouraging and helping with each other. We are competitors, but most are friends first,” she said with a smile.

Maybe the sport is wildly popular because, at its heart, it’s all about fun – for people and dogs. “The dogs smile,” Zimmerly-Offinga laughed, “They really do. It’s such fun to see them with smiles on their faces when they’re jumping off the dock!”


Interested in seeing if your pup has a future in the sport? Kunkle offers introductions and assessments at PAWS. A first-time assessment is $65. “After that, dock diving lessons are $45. And on Saturdays from 2-5 there is open dock diving practice, at $25 per dog, no appointment required.” 503-640-4007 www.pawsrehab.net

Diving events require registering with NADD – North American Diving Dogs - $35 for the life of the dog. Each competition has entry fees.

For information on registering your dog with NADD and finding an event, go to NorthAmericaDivingDogs.com.

Photo credit:  Amaya Frutkoff

Photo credit: Amaya Frutkoff

Photo credit: Landon Treanor

Photo credit: Landon Treanor

Spin the compass, and Get OUT!

AdobeStock_34337870_c.jpeg

Best Bets for NW Adventure

It’s no secret, the Pacific Northwest is a mecca of amazing pet-friendly places. Wherever your whims take you this summer, these wonderful, Fido-friendly hot spots are fantastic options that promise great adventure and wonderful memories.

Head East

Bennington Properties — Sunriver

The Bennington family puts the love in vacationing with your dog. With classy dog-friendly homes and lots of fun activities, you’re sure to make memories that last a lifetime. Visit Sun River and enjoy Yappy Hour snacks and beverages while your pups romp and tussle with their “vacation friends.” Check out the Pet Parade during the Day celebrations. There’s also the American Cancer Society Bark for Life. Like biking? There bike trailer rentals for the dog!

Cooper Spur Mountain Resort — Mt. Hood

Visiting Cooper Spur Mountain Resort is a cozy getaway. The pet-friendly resort has all the amenities, plus barbeque grills, picnic areas, and an on-site restaurant. All of this surrounded by the majesty of Mt. Hood National Forest.

Head West  

Idyllic Oregon Beach Houses — Tierra Del Mar

If long quiet walks away from city crowds are to your liking, this will feel like a slice of dog-loving heaven. Both the Pier St. and Guardenia St. houses live up to the idyllic name, with accommodations for pooches and nine to ten people, all just a blink from the beach in a quiet neighborhood. Enjoy walks on the beach, watching seals and winged wildlife, while your dogs romp happily alongside.

Surfsand Resort — Cannon Beach

Fireplaces. Balconies. Haystack Rock. This resort has a lot to offer pet lovers, and half the rooms are pet friendly. Surfsand throws in dog-savvy extras like pet beds, towels and sheets, dishes, doggie bags, and placemats, and tasty treats whenever your pup pops into the lobby. In the fall, the resort hosts a dog show to raise money for the Clatsop County Animal Shelter.

Head North

Tranquil-A-Tree — White Salmon, WA

What? A tree house you can take your dog to? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Tranquil-A-Tree — a dog-friendly two-story log cabin suspended in the firs. Enjoy the pleasures of taking in the nature and beauty around you, hiking and birdwatching, relaxing in the hot tub, and more.

Sou’wester — Seaview, WA

Who hasn’t seen the vintage camp trailers that look like rolling toasters and thought how cool it would be to stay in one? Sou’wester Historic Lodge and Vintage Travel Trailer Resort invites you to check that one off your bucket list — with dog in tow. Keep the vintage vibe going by borrowing the resort’s bicycles or vinyl records, or indulge in a little pampering with massage and bodywork. Attractions include miles of beach, hiking, museums, lighthouses, and funky thrift stores.

Staycations

Hotel Monaco — Downtown Portland

The uber dog-friendly (dare we say dog-crazy) Hotel Monaco in the heart of downtown actually employs a Director of Pet Relations to guarantee Fido gives them two paws up. Perks include no pet fees, no weight or size restrictions, and no limit to how many furry friends can join you. And how about a nightly dog-friendly wine reception? This is a staycation you’ll surely dig.

International Rose Test Garden — Portland

What good is it to live in the City of Roses without enjoying its signature flower? Set high in the hills above the city in Washington Park above the Oregon Zoo, visits to the garden are free and boast scenic views, rose variety, scents and colors beyond the imagination. Perfect for a picnic, and all of it dog friendly.

Lucky Labrador Brewing Company — Portland

Lucky Lab is a Portland fixture with its four locations and incredible dog-centric vibe. What more would you expect with a dog breed in the name? How about philanthropy? Yep, the Lucky Lab is into that too, presenting an annual dog wash to benefit DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. When looking to enjoy a brew and bite, make it your summer goal to take the pup and visit dog-loving pubs on Hawthorne, Quimby, Capital Hwy and Killingsworth.

McMenamins — everywhere

This NW favorite has locations from Seattle to Eugene and in between, and the grounds and restaurant patios of many are dog friendly. Just west of Portland, the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove boasts lush, scenic grounds, and seasonal outdoor eating.  Just east of the city is pet-friendly Edgefield, with exquisite sprawling grounds. Each location offers craft beers and unique art that tells the stories of the area. 

The Oregon Garden — Silverton

Imagine 80 acres of lush botanical gardens, something for everyone, and all pet friendly. A short drive to Silverton takes you to this gardener’s paradise. Enjoy photography, geocaching, and learn about sustainable farming while strolling the fabulous grounds.

Hike the ‘Hood

If you’re looking to clock some miles under your hiking boots this summer, there are plenty of dog-friendly destinations close at hand. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (Sellwood) has miles of paved and unpaved hiking trails with views of the native forest, wetlands, and the Willamette River. Tryon Creek State Natural Area (Terwilliger Blvd) boasts bridges, a wetland boardwalk, shelters, exhibits, wildlife, and miles of multi-surface trails. Forest Park is a gem in the city, with more than 5,000 acres of vistas, views, and hiking galore.

Head OUT

Oregon State Parks

Most Oregon parks are pet friendly. Check website for information on day facilities, campgrounds, trailheads, and more. If you have time to book well in advance, consider a dog-friendly yurt or cabin at one of 22 campgrounds. Many activities are available at various locations, including hiking, wildflower viewing, beach walks, educational talks, biking, and swimming.

Learn more

Benningtonproperties.com

CooperSpur.com

Hike the ‘Hood — PortlandOregon.gov/parks

IdyllicBeachHouse.com

LuckyLab.com

McMenamins.com

Monaco-Portland.com

OregonGarden.org

OregonStateParks.org

SouwesterLodge.com

SurfSand.com

TreeHouseTranquilaTree.com


Ftr-AngelsKennedyTRAILERphoto.jpg

A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan has been around dogs her entire life – from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane!) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.

Wanderlust

Get ready for summer’s best NW escapades

AdobeStock_164871588_c.jpeg

This is the time of year when clear skies and warmer temperatures invite us to explore. But after months of slower, cooler days, we and our dogs need to pace ourselves.

Age and Ability

Consider the fitness level of both you and your best friend. Those who are active, healthy and relatively young will enjoy long hikes and big treks. For others, easier, shorter excursions are just as fun and beneficial (physically and mentally).

Location

Consider terrain, plants, wildlife, and insects. Keep dogs on leash or voice control to avoid confrontations or injuries to themselves or wildlife. Especially keep small dogs close and be watchful of possible predators. It's also important to watch for poison oak or treacherous foxtails. The latter can cause severe ear problems in dogs, and if you venture into a tick zone, treat your pet in advance and do a thorough post-activity check — of both pooch and human.

Temperature

Be prepped and equipped for the conditions. Depending on age, breed, color, and coat, the same trek might warrant a coat for one pup and sunscreen for another. If your activity buddy is a Pug, Boxer, or other short-nosed (brachycephalic) breed, watch for signs of labored breathing with exertion. Remember, too: walking on hot surfaces is dangerous for dogs as their pads can easily burn. 

Gear

Most parks and recreation spots require you to have your dog on leash, so a sturdy, comfortable lead is a must. Harnesses can be nice on hikes where enthusiasm might make your dog want to pull ahead.

If you’re really venturing out, pack some essentials for the unexpected. Nobody plans on getting lost or having an injured hiking partner, but it’s wise to prepare. Before you go, consider these items for your backpack:

•    Basic first-aid kit (most vets keep a handy content checklist)

•    Water and bowl (pet supplies and outdoor retailers stock handy pack-and-carry types)

•    Snacks for you and your dog

•    Emergency phone numbers (vet, emergency contacts)

•    Waste disposal bags

•    A bed sheet or blanket (if needed to carry an injured pet)

•    Rain poncho/parka (for canines and humans)

•    Emergency blanket

•    Backpack (medium and large dogs can often carry some gear themselves and share the burden, but be careful to not overload!)

•    GPS unit

•    Dog booties (available in styles for every activity)

AdobeStock_189253141_c.jpeg

If your pup will be swimming, even strong swimmers benefit from a good flotation vest. For hot-weather adventures, consider a cool coat to shield the dog from the harsh rays of the sun. . Wetting the cool coat also provides effective cooling.

One more possible backpack item is a dog-specific sports drink. Water enhancers like Go Dog and Active are meant to encourage dogs to drink while replenishing electrolytes and helping with stamina and muscle recovery.

Now that you’ve got your checklist and gear ready and checked twice for summer fun, get out there and enjoy! Share your photos with us at SpotMagazineNW on Facebook. 

Resources

K9 Power Go Dog * k9power.com/go-dog-hydration-electrolytes-active-dog-nutritional-supplement

WaterDog *  https://www.waterdogsupplements.com/product-page/waterdog-active

Ruffwear *  ruffwear.com


Ftr-AngelsKennedyTRAILERphoto.jpg

A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan has been around dogs her entire life – from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane!) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.

Sink or Swim! Water Safety for Your Dog

Summer Must Sees The author's dog, Vegas.jpg

 

If you have a water-loving dog, you know there are few things more inviting than cool water on a warm day. There are risks such as overexertion and toxic algae, so it’s important to take precautions to help keep things fun and safe.

Don’t push a scared or reluctant swimmer — not all dogs are natural swimmers.

Take along: Ear cleaning/drying solution if your pup’s floppy ears are vulnerable to infection, a dog flotation vest, and knowledge of pet first aid.

Water-crazy dogs don’t automatically rest when they’re cold or tired. Watch for signs of fatigue, and get your dog on dry land for regular rest breaks.

Safe fencing to prevent unsupervised swims by pets or kids in pools and ponds.

Watch the waves. They can be deadly to tired or distracted swimmers.

Heed all warnings and advisories about toxic algae. Get help right away if you see signs of illness (lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea) as toxic algae poisoning can be fatal in under 24 hours. Check for affected areas at by searching "Algae Bloom Advisories" at oregon.gov.

That rule about swimming right after eating applies to dogs, too. Avoid any heavy physical activity for several hours after a meal. 

Paradise found — year round

Considering a Sunriver vacay? Bennington Properties tops the list for a getaway that promises lifelong memories. In the shadow of Mt. Bachelor, near 4 major rivers and streams, 30 lakes, and 5 snowcapped mountains, the destination is beautiful, and best of all, the Benningtons don’t just welcome dogs, they love them.

Proprietor Robert Bennington’s dog’s name is Ohana, meaning ‘family’ in Hawaiian, and family is exactly how guests — including the pups — are treated.

“Ohana, our Golden Retriever, comes to work with me every day,” says Robert with a smile. “And my employees are welcome to bring their dogs to work every day.”

“Here, you’re family,” affirms Robert. “We help you plan and book your trip as if it was our very own. No detail is too small and nothing goes overlooked. Your vacation begins to take shape the moment we answer the phone. Our staff take the time to get to know you, to find out what you want from the trip, and to recommend the perfect house or condo for your experience.”

Indeed, staff help with everything from pre-arrival grocery shopping to dining and activity recommendations — which might include horseback riding, golf tee times, or the perfect trail for your pack.

Each of the 174 unique Bennington Properties is carefully screened. From hot tubs and complimentary bicycles in all units to free movie rentals, popcorn, and high-speed internet, details matter. 109 of the properties — over 60% — welcome dogs.

The properties feature an off-leash play area and complimentary on-site dog wash, perfect for cleanup after a fun-filled day. Whether it’s romance for two or a reunion for 16, the accommodations, surrounds, and staff care cover every fantastic detail.

Mention Fido at reservation time and your pup (of any size or breed) will receive the royal Bennington treatment — including special doggy goodies waiting at your vacation home. Even puppies under one year are welcome (with a security deposit just in case). Mention the kids and receive the Kipa Ranger Guide, which is packed with fun activities.

Dog-loving activities are held year-round, and even tiny dogs can go, thanks to bike trailer rentals from Sunriver’s Village Bike and Ski. The locale boasts 30+ miles of paved pathways, some along the Deschutes River, and lots of fun off-leash areas.

Summer offerings also include Yappy Hour events, with complimentary beer, wine, soda, snacks and ice cream, and a fun-packed off-leash area for Fido. Find more summer fun online.

In winter, families love the dog-friendly groomed ski/snowshoe trail (Oregon’s first), just 15 minutes away at Wanoga Sno Park, elevation 5,500’. Sunriver Brewing Company’s K9 Keg Pull is a perennial crowd-pleaser.

Asked what makes him laugh out loud, Robert replied, “I would have to say, the wiggly butt of a dog. They kind of arch their back into a crescent moon shape, and their butt’s just wiggling, they’re so happy.”

Spoken like a true dog lover.

For more details about Bennington Properties’ beautiful rentals, too many fun activities to list, what to take on vacation and more, visit benningtonproperties.com.

 

Fido-Friendly Summer Travel

For Dr. Jason Nicholas and his family, a short jaunt out of Portland usually means a stay at the Oregon coast or hiking and snowshoeing in the Columbia River Gorge. For a shorter day trip, the family of four might spend an afternoon on the Sandy River Delta. Whatever the destination, Wendy, the family’s 11-year-old Spaniel/Border Collie mix, is almost always along for the ride.

Traveling with our pets is good for us and for them. We make memories and strengthen our considerable bond. “There are cats that enjoy getting out on a harness and going for hikes, but mostly we’re talking about dogs when we’re traveling with pets,” says Nicholas, adding that, as a hiking or camping partner, a dog offers security as well as companionship. 

But whether canine or feline, furry travel buddies make us better at getting out and exploring, even if only because we stop the car for their bathroom and exercise breaks. Just doing that, we’ll explore things we might have driven past and talk with people we might never have met.

As a family man, Nicholas loves the freedom of loading the kids and the dog in the car and heading out for adventure. But as a veterinarian and chief medical officer of the educational website Preventive Vet, he’s alert to the danger of heading out unprepared. 

Tips for Traveling Well from Dr. Nicholas

1.     Keep current on vaccines and parasite prevention.  Lyme disease is less common in our region than elsewhere in the US, but cases here have steadily risen in recent years and annual cases tend to peak in August. While ticks that might carry Lyme disease are more plentiful in the mountainous and eastern reaches of our region, “we’ve even had some Lyme disease over here in the western side of the state,” Nicholas says, “And fleas are a concern 365 days a year in Oregon; we don’t have a flea-free season here.” 

Talk to your vet about your dog’s lifestyle and travel schedule. Regular flea and tick prevention might be enough, but for intrepid wilderness explorers, a Lyme vaccine might be in order. 

2.     Buckle up!  An excited, wiggly dog is a hazard in a moving car and a projectile during even a low-speed crash. The results can be devastating. “Virtually any harness will help prevent an accident,” but not all will stand up to an actual crash. Nicholas prefers padded, crash-tested models like those from Sleepypod, but depending on your pet’s size and travel attitude, she may do better in a carrier that’s carefully secured. In any case, never let a pet ride in your lap. If an air bag deploys, pets on drivers’ or passengers’ laps get crushed in the impact.

3.     Keep ID tags current.  “Ideally, they’ll also have a microchip,” says Nicholas. Also keep a current photo saved on your phone in case your pet gets lost. 

4.     Scope out your surroundings on arrival.  “Say you check into a vacation home in the mountains and there are rodents out there,” says Nicholas. “Do a quick check of your hotel or rental house for possible hazards: rodent poisons, chemicals, balconies, maybe an open gate. And while you’re doing that, find out where the nearest veterinary clinic is in case you have an urgent and unexpected need.”

5.     Remember hot cars are deadly.  “No discussion of pet travel is complete without a warning about the risk of heat stroke,” Nicholas warns. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside your car will quickly climb into the danger zone. And when heat isn’t a concern, unrestrained pets left alone in parked cars can chew or choke on whatever they find in the car. 


Where do you and your furkids like to travel? Here’s how dog parents answered that question in a recent informal Facebook poll.

“Almost anywhere on the Oregon Coast.” We all know there’s something magical about dogs and beaches. Favorite lodgings include Lincoln City’s Looking Glass Inn, “very dog-centric property right on the Siletz Bay.”  —    Michele from Portland

“The Fireside Inn, The Whaler in Newport, Neskowin’s Proposal Rock Inn, and The Surfside at Rockaway Beach.  Very dog friendly and we like that beach a lot.”  —    Julia and her travel-loving St Bernard, Gomer

The Oregon Gardens Resort in Silverton, perched just between Salem and Portland, has dog-friendly rooms and endlessly walkable garden trails.” I took my dogs there last 4th of July — no fireworks!”  —    Jawea from Salem

Also citing The Oregon Garden. . . 

“Visitors can even bring their dogs to fenced exercise areas just up the road for off-leash playtime, in case you still need to tire them out,”  —    Sue from Molalla

For swimming/hiking/camping adventures, Stub Stewart State Park west of Portland boasts trails, cabins, and an off-leash romping spot. Many Oregon State Parks have dog-friendly yurts, as do some Washington State Parks such as Cape Disappointment. Other favorites include Sauvie Island, the Washougal River (SW WA), Cooper Creek Reservoir (Southern Oregon), and the popular hiking area known as Peavy Arboretum (Corvallis).  


Resources 

Dog Friendly Oregon Coast * idyllicbeachhouse.com * visittheoregoncoast.com

Dog Friendly State Parks * oregonstateparks.org

 Safety * preventivevet.com

 Silverton * OregonGarden.org

 Sunriver * BenningtonProperties.com


Michelle Blake is a Salem, OR-based massage therapist and freelance writer whose work has appeared in national publications. Her husband wants you to know that she's a REALLY crazy dog lady too.

Ready to Roll? Take the pet on Amtrak

New policy offers convenient travel for you and your small buddy

When Amtrak Cascades — which operates trains between Washington, Oregon and British Columbia — first considered developing a pet carrier, there was one small setback.

"We talked with Amtrak about wanting to be able to carry pets on our trains and they gave me the dimensions of the pet containers that would fit under the seats," says Kirk Fredrickson, Cascades Passenger Services Manager in Olympia, WA.  "And, true story, I had one of my coworkers and his three young boys create a cardboard box in the pet carrier's actual dimensions.  They brought it to our train and it didn't fit."

Turns out, the Amtrak Cascades are the only trains in the entire Amtrak system with cars built overseas.  "Amtrak Cascades coaches are from Spain," explains Fredrickson, "and they’re different than all the other trains.  Our trains have a post under the seat so the box they told us we could use didn't fit!"

On all the other Amtrak trains, the pet carrier slides under the seat.  But on Amtrak Cascade trains, the carrier is allowed to sit on the floor in front of the seat.  After that minor detail was worked out, in May 2016, Amtrak Cascades began offering riders the ability to take along their dogs and cats.  The traveler purchases his or her seat at the going rate, and an additional $25 for the pet seat.  Since the carrier sits in front of the other seat it is unusable by another passenger. 

Amtrak Cascades added five pet seats to each of its 11 daily trains.  Pet seats purchased for any train are placed in Coach 4.

Amtrak began offering pet seats after a small national pilot program.  At first, the company was concerned about losing the full fare of a seat offered to a pet.  "We said there may be a little bit of revenue loss on some of our trains as a result of this, but at the end of the day we're going to come out ahead and we're going to please a lot of people who would like to travel with their pets," says Fredrickson.  "We've been hearing people ask about traveling with their pets for years."

Portlander Dena Sorensen has had her Blue Heeler puppy June for just three months, but they’ve already traveled together on Amtrak.  "We traveled to Seattle to visit my mother-in-law," Sorensen says.  "It was very convenient.  I mean, it was not an issue at all!  Her seat was right next to me.  Having the carrier close was a good factor in keeping her calm."

Sorensen says she wouldn't have taken the train at all if they hadn't allowed her to take June along, adding that driving in Seattle is a turn-off and that she's grateful she now has another option.

"It was awesome!" she says.  "I enjoyed not having to drive four hours or sometimes five to get there.  It was relaxing.  And the scenery is so pretty.  It's worth taking the train — I enjoy it."

Amtrak's early concerns about noise from the pets, "accidents" needing to be cleaned up, or riders having allergy issues were soon laid to rest.  “None of that has been a problem," says Fredricksen.  "We've had a couple of people ask to be reseated from the pet car and that was not a problem — we reseated them and everything was fine.  Our cleaners come through and clean the carpets and wipe down the pet car after every trip and they have had no problems."

Prior to the new pet policy, Amtrak did not allow pets of any kind or size other than service dogs.  "People would say all the time, 'We want to be able to take the train and we want to travel with our pets,'" says Fredricksen.  "It's not easy for folks to find a pet sitter or kennel and they want to bring their pets because they’re part of the family.  We saw the pet policy as a good way to keep our customers happy and increase ridership on the trains."

Amtrak Cascades carried 813 pets from March to December 2016.  So far in 2017, 220 pets have traveled Amtrak with their families.  “Word is getting out among our pet-loving customers and the numbers are climbing,” says Fredricksen.

All aboard!

Limitations and Guidelines

  • Only cats or dogs are allowed. No rabbits, gerbils or other animals. 
  • Must be 20 pounds or less
  • Pet reservations are first-come, first-served for five pet seats per train (service animals do not count toward this limit)
  • Pet owners must provide a pet carrier meeting the train's size requirements
  • The pet must stay in the carrier the entire trip
  • The pet must be at least 8 weeks old and current on vaccines

Get the complete guidelines at www.amtrak.com/pets


Vanessa Salvia's love for animals began as a child, when stray kittens just seemed to follow her home (who thankfully, her family accomodated). She lives on a sheep farm outside of Eugene, OR, surrounded by dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and kids.

Up for a coastal outdoor adventure?

Citydog Countrydog offers a variety of canine events, classes and fun for puppies and dogs in Yachats on the Oregon Coast. Puppies and adult dogs can brush up on social skills during monthly events through October; other offerings include Willderness Companion Training, Testing & Certification, Adventure Hikes, Reactive Dog Practice Groups, Canine Caching and more. Learn more at citydogcountrydogtraining.com.