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In praise of Novotel’s 3-dog policy

Posted by on Apr 17, 2012 in Moneyville, Quality of Life | 0 comments

Read this article and comments on moneyville.ca

By Sheryl Smolkin

It’s sometimes hard to find pet-friendly accommodation.Tannis Tooey/Toronto Star

I must confess that sometimes I feel like I rent our pets instead of owning them. As empty nesters with adult children living outside of Toronto, we take several vacations a year and many long weekends away.

Our wonderful groomer charges a nominal amount to board Rudy, our Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever ($25/day) and feed Simba the cat ($10/day), but over the course of a year, it adds up. We also really miss the menagerie when we are way for an extended period.

So I was very interested when I discovered the website bringfido.com which gives the scoop on the best  hotels, dog parks, beaches and restaurants that welcome pets. Search your destination city and a list of pet-friendly hotels will pop up, with information about any charges or other requirements.

I discovered that there are quite a few options available if we travel to Ottawa where our daughter lives. There’s a wide variation in prices charged.

  • Novotel allows three dogs of any size for no additional fee.
  • The Crowne Plaza Ottawa allows up to two pets for a fee of $35 per stay.
  • The Capital Hill Hotel and suites allows up to two dogs of any size for $20 per stay.
  • At Extended Stay Deluxe Ottawa-downtown up to two pets are allowed for a fee of $25 per night.

It is less likely we would take Rudy to Vancouver when we visit our son, because shipping him air freight for a weekend or even a week would be expensive and traumatic for him. But if you do need to transport a dog by air for any reason, you will appreciate the large list of airlines on bringfido.com with comprehensive information about policies and pricing for each.

For example, I learned that Air Canada allows small cats and dogs (maximum 10 kg / 22 lbs combined weight for the pet and carrier) to travel with their owners in the passenger cabin of Air Canada and Jazz flights. The cost is $50 each way on flights within Canada or between Canada and the U.S. and $100.00 each way for all other flights.

Since our dog exceeds the weight requirement, he could only travel on the same flight as us in the baggage compartment. The fee for travel within Canada and the United States is $105 each way, excluding taxes; international travel costs $270 for each leg of the journey.  The airline also has  blackout periods when no pets may travel as checked baggage.

Other worldwide pet-services listed and rated by readers on bringfido.com include dog-friendly hiking trails and shopping plus pet sitting, dog walking and dog grooming services. You can even speak to a pet-friendly pet travel expert at 877-411-FIDO.

Our shared-ownership cottage in Muskoka is pet-friendly so at least for a couple of weeks a year Rudy gets a vacation when we do. But if we ever actually retire and spend winters in a warmer location, we may want to take our pets with us. It’s good to know that all this great pet travel information is available in one place so I can easily get the answers to all my questions when I need them.


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