7 Tips for Pet-Friendly Travel & Pet-Friendly Vacations

Katie Egan
May 24, 2018

When you get out the suitcase and start packing for a vacation, your pets naturally become excited because they see that everyone is getting ready to do something and they want to know what’s going on.

Your furry friends are a member of your family; too, so it’s no wonder they always think they get to go everywhere you do.

Keep reading for a list of Southwest Florida pet-friendly restaurants, parks and beaches

You don’t like going anywhere without your pets either, huh? So, why not bring them along so they can have some fun? After all, Fido deserves a vacation, too, right?

Royal Shell Makes Pet-Friendly Vacation Travel Easy

  • Royal Shell vacation rentals mostly only allow dogs. However, very few select properties allow cats.
  • Royal Shell charges an additional pet fee, which is used as additional rent to the owner of the property.
  • Royal Shell currently has over 100 pet friendly properties.
  • Breed or weight restrictions vary from property to property, but most properties are ok with one or two pets that are less than 25 pounds. Although, there are a select few properties that offer more relaxed standards.
  • We ask that you please notify Royal Shell at time of booking and pay additional pet fee

Top 7 Tips for Pet-Friendly Vacation Travel

These tips will help pet owners and their companions get the most out of their Southwest Florida vacation.

Have you tried any of these tips? Let us know in the comment section below this post!

1. Check the Pet Policy When Making Reservations

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First things first, make sure Fido is going to be allowed to stay at your vacation rental with you before you book accommodations for your next trip.

Some pet-friendly vacation rental homes require an additional, non-refundable fee to cover the cost of cleaning up after your furry friends. According to Royal Shell Vacations Director of Operations, Nykkie Rizley, pet fees are also used as additional rent to the property owner.

If you are considering a vacation rental property, and pet-friendly is not specified, it’s a good idea to call and inquire anyway, just to be safe. If you assume a property is pet-friendly and don’t learn otherwise until you arrive, that type of thing has the potential to ruin your entire vacation.

Always check the vacation rental property’s pet policy before you make reservations. You can also contact our vacation planners as well. If they’re not sure, they’ll work to get you an answer as soon as possible, so you can plan your vacation accordingly.

2. Proper Pet Identification

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Remember, your pet can’t speak for itself. It can’t tell anyone its name or yours. So, if something were to happen to your pet while you’re on vacation, it’s vital to have your fur baby outfitted with proper identification, whether it’s via a tag or a microchip. Your furry friend could wander off and get lost and you never know when an unexpected event like a car accident or natural disaster could occur.

Even if you are super careful, something could catch you and your pet off guard and cause you to become separated. Making sure your pet has some type of identification ensures a much higher chance of them finding their way back to you safe and sound.

You also never know when you may need to take your pet to the vet. Or worse, you and Fido could become separated. If the worst case scenario does happen, it’s much easier to be reunited with your furry loved one if it has proper identification to find its way back to you.

3. Update Pet Vaccinations and Medical Records

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Before you travel, it’s always a good rule of thumb to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Sometimes, owners are asked to provide medical records for their pet before they make the vacation rental reservation. If that’s the case, you don’t want to scramble to make a last minute appointment.

Also, keep in mind that medical records for your pet can play a vital role in the event of an emergency visit to a local veterinarian while you’re on vacation. Some pet vaccines are considered vital and they’re based on how severe a disease is, risk exposure to it and the chance of the disease being passed on to humans.

4. Pack Pet Carrier & Other Supplies

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Sometimes, we’re so excited to get to our sunny vacation destination that packing our pets’ essentials can seem like an afterthought. When packing for a vacation that’s going to include pets, don’t forget their carriers, food, toys, leash, doggy bags, litterbox, litter and other necessary pet supplies.

Your dog or cat may also appreciate blankets and seat covers so they have a comfortable ride down to the Sunshine State and a comfortable place to lie on once they get here. If your pet is used to sleeping on a certain bed or a particular sheet, bring that with you, too; unless you want them sleeping on the guest bedroom.

While you may want to bring your furry loved one everywhere you go, there likely will be times when you need to leave them alone for a few hours. Putting them in their carriers is going to be the safest option, or you could opt for a local pet sitter.

Find a pet sitter in Southwest Florida

A pet sitter will feed and walk your dog as well as spend quality time with them so they don’t feel lonely while you’re gone.

Here are some pet sitter options:

  • Call the local humane society and domestic animal services for recommendations
    • Naples Humane Society, 239-643-1555
    • Fort Myers (Gulf Coast) Humane Society, 239-332-0364
    • Lee County Domestic Animal Services, 239-533-7387
  • If you’re staying in Fort Myers, you can try local a local pet services company, called Pawsotively Purrfect.
  • Visit the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters website and enter your information and see what your options are.
  • Browse www.Rover.com for pet sittings and dog walkers.

5. Play with Fido at the Dog Park or on the Beach

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Fido is just as excited as you are to explore a new spot. Visit a local dog park near your pet-friendly vacation rental, or any other public park or beach where dogs are allowed.

You’ll get to enjoy the Florida sunshine and fresh air and you can soak up the sun and not feel guilty for leaving Fido behind. Your dog may also want to dip a paw in the water, too!

Here is a list of dog-friendly beaches in Southwest Florida, according to BringFido.com:

  • Keewaydin Island in Naples
  • Algiers Beach on Sanibel
  • Bonita Beach Dog Park

The Naples Daily News offers these pet-friendly options:

  • Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in Naples
  • Fort Myers Beach or any of the beaches on Sanibel. According to the Daily News, Lee County Parks and Recreation lets pet owners walk their dogs on the beach provided they pick up after their furry friend and put them on a leash.

6. Pet-Friendly Restaurants

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A night out on the town can be fun for the whole family, and maybe your four-legged members want to come, too. Depending on the area—from the islands of Sanibel and Captiva, to Fort Myers or Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral or Naples—many restaurants welcome pets in an open air setting.

Check out our list of options, and make sure to call the restaurant ahead of time to confirm. The Naples Daily News recommends the following:

  • The Dock at Crayton Cove in Naples
  • Restaurants along Fifth Avenue South in Naples
  • Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Café in Bonita Springs
  • Some restaurants in Coconut Point Mall in Estero between Bonita Springs and Fort Myers
  • Miromar Outlet shopping mall in Estero between Bonita Springs and Fort Myers

When you do decide to dine with Fido, make sure to bring a treat and bowl of water for your pooch, so they behave themselves and don’t seek out food from the table.

7. Good Pet Etiquette is Key

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Let’s face it, not everyone enjoys pets. However, practicing good pet etiquette is important while you’re on vacation. If you’re planning on staying in a resort condo, keeping your dog quiet will be much appreciated by the building’s other guests.

The atmosphere can be exciting for pets because everything is exhilarating and new. It’s helpful to keep them on a leash and close by, so they don’t disturb others. While a beach house will afford you a little more privacy, pet owners will still need to focus on pet etiquette to ensure, for example, that a barking dog cannot be heard by neighbors at the next property over.

Make sure you and Fido have the vacation of a lifetime

If you’re getting ready to go on the vacation of a lifetime and you can’t stand not being able to bring along your furry family member, the professional staff at Royal Shell can help you find a pet-friendly vacation rental property that suits all of your needs. Whether you choose Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs or Naples, we want to make sure the entire family has the vacation of a lifetime, including Fido!

Do you have other tips for pet-friendly travel on vacation? Share your comments here on your experiences with pet-friendly vacation rentals, or connect with us on social media. We look forward to hearing about your pet-friendly traveling adventures!