We love our four-legged companions. They’re part of the family! So whenever possible, we take them on vacation. Easier said than done, right? Despite the fact that the number of hotels, restaurants and attractions that accommodate animals is significantly increasing, it’s still hard to ascertain where “Felix” will be welcomed. Rules change, management and policies change, or that one mishap from an irresponsible pet owner ruined it for everyone. So here are some pointers for traveling with your pooch:
Call the hotel, motel, or inn where you would like to stay. That rule of thumb really applies to anywhere you go with your pet. Make sure they are welcome on the dates you will be staying.
Inform management of the breed and size of your animal. Many places, sadly, have restrictions against certain dog breeds or pets over a specific weight.
If you have more than one pet traveling with you, make that known before booking your stay.
Ask about extra costs. An additional fee is to be expected but you may find some steep rates for both the pet’s stay and for fumigation. Usually, it’s one or the other.
Establish the rules—especially for unattended animals in a room. Usually animals must always be supervised. If not, are crates required? Regardless, it’s probably best to leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.
Many places with outdoor seating areas will welcome a well-behaved furry companion. Still, it is a good idea to call ahead and check—especially in the off-season. Maybe even request an out-of-the-way table if your pet is large.
Did the server bring a bowl of cold water or a free tasty treat from the kitchen? As grateful as “Maverick” was for the steak scraps, your server would also be grateful for the extra tip!
Most cities have banned animals that are not service animals from entering a restaurant due to public policy or health code. In Myrtle Beach, this is certainly the case. Do not assume that pets can go indoors just because they were welcomed on the patio or deck.
Hot pavement can burn paws. Be mindful about the ground temperatures where pets are walking.
Bring lots of cool water for your pet to drink. Ocean (salt) water is very dangerous to dogs. It can cause dehydration, vomiting and intestinal pain.
NEVER leave your animal locked in a vehicle by itself. Even a 70-degree day with the windows cracked can be lethal to an animal (or child!) within minutes.
Make sure your pet’s vaccines are current and that the I.D. tags on his collar have up-to-date information that can be used to contact you while on vacation. That home phone number won’t work if you’re not there to get the call.
Keep your dog leashed, in your control, and be attentive. Isn’t it amazing how fast they can get into trouble?
Is “Fifi” not so sociable? Perhaps it’s best to avoid places where there are large crowds, an abundance of children or other dogs until you know he or she will behave and be okay. The last thing anyone wants is animal control involved in a situation that resulted in injury or could impound your fur-baby.
Dogs can become tired while swimming and can easily drown. Make sure they take breaks and stay hydrated. Many pet stores sell life preservers for dogs—a great idea if you often bring “Felix” to the ocean.
Pet parents must always clean up after their furry babies. For the health of people, the environment, and other animals, there are no exceptions to this rule.
So, where in Myrtle Beach can pets and people go together?
Here are some of our favorite places:
The beach and the boardwalk! Year-round, there are oceanfront places you can take your leashed dog. However, between Memorial Day and Labor Day (May 15-September 15 for North Myrtle Beach) dogs are permitted only before 10am or after 5pm. The city does provide doggy water fountains to keep your pet safe.
On the water. Some of the boats available at Beach House Boat Rentals in Murrells Inlet will let “Baron” come aboard. Cruise the water and let him feel the salt air in his face!
Four dog parks! Waggin’ Tails Dog Park at North Myrtle Beach Parks and Sports Complex, Surfside Beach’s Bark Park, and two Barc Parcs – one on 62nd Avenue North, and the other on Mallard Lake Drive near Market Common.
Out for a bite to eat. Oceanfront Bar & Grill and Bummz Beach Café in Myrtle Beach as well as Shell Crackers Grill & Raw Bar in Murrells Inlet (next to the dog park) allow diners to invite their well-behaved, four-legged companions to join them.
Shopping. At Barefoot Landing, “Luna” may not be able to give advice on whether or not you should buy that fedora, but she can stroll the area with you. Stop by for a treat at Sweet Molly’s Creamery, a homemade ice cream shop that was named for the owner’s dog, Molly. You’ll probably also find something your furry friend will enjoy.
We hope with this information you and your pet have a safe and pawsome time in Myrtle Beach!