HOUSTON - Not only did more people adopt pets during the pandemic, but more folks are also traveling with their pets these days. And more hotels, restaurants, and venues are welcoming them.
Traveling with a pet means finding places to dine and stay that are pet-friendly. A free app called BringFido makes it easy.
"We have birthday parties for dogs all the time," said Allen Siebeneicher with Barkley's Midtown. "We provide cupcakes or cakes for any size party, pupcorn, and of course, Good Boy dog beer."
More restaurants, hotels, and entertainment spots are dog-friendly, even dog-centric, like Houston's new Barkley's Midtown.
"Coming out of COVID, we just thought people want to be outside. They want to be out with their dogs," said Siebeneicher. "They all went out and got dogs during COVID and there's not a better time to do the concept."
"Since the pandemic, we've had tons of hotels and different activities call us and let us know they are pet friendly," said Erin Ballinger, spokesperson for the app BringFido.
Just enter your destination into the app BringFido, it will show you pet-friendly restaurants and hotels, including those with amenities like dog treats, and a wide array of activities.
"Dog parks, hiking trails, tours, watercraft rentals," said Ballinger. "It really runs the gamut. But breweries are really on-trend right now."
In Houston for example, BringFido says you can take your hound to the Arboretum.
"You can bring your pet, your dog, and you can explore over five miles of walking trails," Ballinger added. "There's also a cool food truck hub."
Or events like a Specialty Coffee Tasting or the Puptopia Festival, and restaurants like Goode Company Barbeque.
"Your dog's allowed on the patio to listen to some live music and beg for some scraps (laughs)," said Ballinger.
The app tells you the venue's rules, vaccination requirements, and any pet fees, plus where to find veterinarians, dog walkers, and pet stores.
Being a cat lover, I had to ask. BringFido has cats covered, too.
"St. Simons Island, they have a cat room service menu," said Ballinger.
Before you travel, read your pet insurance policy to see if it covers travel. Some policies do, some don't.
Make sure to pack your pet's food, bowls, medications, toys, a leash, and crate.
And be sure their tag or microchip has your current contact information in case you and your pet are separated.