Road-trip season is here! It’s time to pack up the family and head for the open road. And if your family includes some four-legged members, you’re in luck because Manitoba offers plenty of pet friendly options for weekend excursions.
"We love having dogs in the hotel; they are part of the family," says Bruce Garvey of the Delta Hotel in Winnipeg. "Other guests who miss their dogs while travelling are certainly excited to see dogs in the hotel."
The Paw Pleasers Package at the Delta Winnipeg includes a one-night stay, complimentary pet room-cleaning fee (normally $50) and free parking. And if you forget something, dog beds, and bowls and doggie bags are available at the front desk.
Lakeview Resorts in both Gimli and on Hecla Island have plenty of room for outdoor exploration with spacious rooms for everyone to have an afternoon nap. Two pets are allowed per room and there’s a $15 charge per pet per night. There’s no size restriction. Pets are also welcome at Lakeview Signature in Winnipeg.
The Fairmont’s Spring into Summer Staycation package includes a nightly $50 credit that can be applied to the pet fee ($25 a night). "We also accept cats and could entertain other pets, but please check with us first," says Stella Gu, marketing and PR manager for Fairmont Winnipeg. There’s no size limit on dogs and they also provide beds, bowls and water as a complimentary gesture.
The Hamilton family — owners of Falcon Trails Resort — are dog lovers and understand how important it is to bring the pups along on an adventure. Four of their 11 Falcon Lake cabins are dog friendly (Eagle, Birch, Tamarack and Owl Wing). Three of their six High Lake cabins are dog friendly too (Juniper, Highline and Whiskeyjack).Two dogs are allowed per cabin and there’s a $20 per-pet per-night fee.
Pet-friendly rooms at Mere Winnipeg are on the main floor where there’s easy and convenient access to Stephen Juba Park. It’s the perfect place for a long walk or a quick play, right alongside the Red River.
"We see a lot of guests bring their pets with them and are happy to be able to provide a modern boutique hotel experience while still allowing them to travel with their pets," said Emily Patrician, marketing manager for Sparrow Hotels and general manager of the Mere. There’s a $25 per-night per-pet fee and no size restrictions.
Tips from the vet
"Does your pet enjoy car rides?" asks Dr. Keri Hudson Reykdal, of Prairie Vet, the popular docu-series on Animal Planet Canada, and North of 55 Veterinary Services in Thompson. "If yes, then the trip should be easy. If not, it will help to get them accustomed to car rides by taking them on lots of short trips to fun places like the dog park so they associate the car with fun." If your pet is prone to car sickness, there are effective medications as well as safe anti-anxiety options that can ensure everyone has a pleasant trip, Reykdal adds.
"It is also important to ensure your pet is up to date on their yearly exam and their vaccinations. If you are travelling, they will be at higher risk for exposure to diseases. Speak to your vet to ensure that they will be protected against the diseases and parasites common to the travel area, such as ticks, which carry tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, and mosquitoes, which carry heartworm disease in many parts of Canada," she adds.
Once you arrive at the destination, having your pets’ familiar bed, bowls and food will make them feel much more comfortable.
"Keep in mind that your pet will be in unfamiliar circumstances and may not act like his or her normal self," she said. "Ensure that you have a properly fitted collar and leash, as well as a slip lead. If they get scared, you want to be sure that they can’t pull out of their collar and take off."
NOTE: Be sure to read all pet policies thoroughly. You’ll likely be on the hook if your pet damages the space in any way. And if your pet is acting unruly or causing excessive noise, you may face additional charges.