My husband and I were so excited to visit my sisters in their new home in Florida.  We packed the car with 2 weeks worth of provisions and our two dogs, Icy and Phoebe, and off we went!   It had been years since I'd been to Florida, I was so excited to go, especially with my dogs!  It would be Icy's first time in Florida, and although we don't know my rescue dog Phoebe's history, she probably hadn't been there either.

There were so many things I wanted to see and do when we got to Florida.  I really couldn't wait to see how the dogs would enjoy playing on a dog friendly Florida beach.

One of the things I was looking forward to most was staying at a particular pet friendly hotel.  I had been dreaming about visiting the dog friendly Kimpton Hotel in Vero Beach, Florida since I discovered it 4 years ago!  This boutique hotel chain is a big step above the norm for dog friendly hotels.  For one thing, they don't specify "small dogs only" like most of the higher end dog friendly hotels do.  It's located right on the beach and is quite luxurious.  It was gonna be Perfect!!  Or so I thought.

Dog Friendly Hotels.  Dogs. Dog Blogs, Pet Travel Tips, Pet friendly hotels
Stunning view of the pool area, and the ocean to the left, from our hotel room balcony.

Sure, the room and the view from our balcony were spectacular....

Pet Friendly Hotels in Florida.  Dog Travel Tips. Dog Friendly
Our room was terrific, I loved the layout and how spacious it was

Sure, the spacious room and bathroom were pretty much to die for, especially for a hotel that allows dogs!

Pet Friendly Hotel in Vero Beach, Florida.  Pet Travel. Dog Friendly
You could open a panel from the bathtub and see straight out to the balcony! 

Dog Friendly Hotel.  Pet Friendly Hotel
The frameless glass shower was wonderful, our bathroom felt like a spa

Sure we all loved our balcony.  We spent lots of time on the balcony with the dogs when it wasn't too sunny out there...

Dog Travel Tips.  Travel with dogs. Dogs. Pet Travel, Dog friendly hotels in South Florida,
Icy and Phoebe relaxing on the balcony of our hotel room

So... what's the problem, you ask?  In my mind, there are two kinds of dog friendly hotels.  Those that are truly dog welcoming hotels and those that are mostly dog tolerant hotels.  The former are those pet friendly hotels that truly GET IT. They understand that my pets are family and part of my vacation fun.  The latter are hotels that allow dogs and other pets but they don't really do much to make pets feel welcome.  Instead, they impose lots of high pet fees, restrictions, and rules.

For me, a truly dog welcoming hotel is a necessity.  If a hotel doesn't welcome my dogs, I might as well leave them home!  They are my furry family members and I love to vacation with them.  My ideal vacation with my dogs includes pet welcoming hotels and dog friendly activities.  If there's nothing for them to do or be included in, I might as well leave them at the PetSmart Hotel, where they can play in doggie day camp and have fun with other dogs. 

My dogs don't want to be left alone in a hotel room with nothing to do but stare out the bars of their crate - who would want that for their pets?!  Although this Kimpton Hotel was gorgeous and great for us, it wasn't much of a treat for Icy and Phoebe.  Here's why:

Immediately upon checking in I was handed a Pet Policy to sign stating that my dogs were basically Not Allowed anywhere in the hotel except in our room.  It stated that if we left the room, our dogs had to be crated .  I do not crate my dogs at home and leave the house so I'm not going to do it in a hotel.  They are super well behaved.  If they weren't I wouldn't bring them to a seaside hotel.

My dogs were not welcome on either of their restaurant's outdoor patios.  The patios were quite spacious, so Why Not?!  I was very disappointed, that is not very dog welcoming.

The only flooring throughout our room was tile, which is cold. Being a Siberian Husky, that's great for Icy, but not for my little warmth-sucker, Phoebe.  They didn't provide a pet bed in the room and one wasn't offered.  After we got to our room I saw how cold it was and that Phoebe was uncomfortable.  I called the front desk to ask for a dog bed.  They brought us a pet bed that clearly hadn't been cleaned.  There was hair all over it and dirt was lodged in the edges of the bed.  I had to shake it out and use a lint brush on it myself.  

However, Phoebe loved that bed and spent most of her time snuggled up in it so I can't complain TOO much!  Many upscale pet friendly hotels provide a pet bed in the room or offer one upon checkin, which is very welcoming.

Throughout our stay, no one even offered me a biscuit for my two dogs!  Most dog friendly hotels have a little something to welcome their furry guests upon arrival; a biscuit or dog treat, a bed, poop bags, something!

I knew in advance that although the hotel is right on the beach, no dogs were allowed on the beach.  That is a Vero Beach town rule, so it's not their fault. It was a shame though.

The hotel has no self parking, only valet (daily fee) which makes it difficult when traveling with dogs.  I don't know about you, but we often need to get into the car to grab some dog related item or other.  Their parking garage was large so I wish they offered self parking as well, but that's not necessarily a pet friendly point so scratch that complaint.

Think I'm being too picky? Think I should be grateful that any hotel allows our dogs?  Let me tell you, for the prices they charge at this place I think they should include a full on Spa Day for my dogs!  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's a bad place to stay with dogs.  I'm just saying there are hotels that are far more welcoming to pets.  Which brings me to the second half of my Tale of Two Dog Friendly Hotels.

I found dog friendly Hyatt Place Hotels quite by accident when we drove down to Myrtle Beach for a BlogPaws conference.  We needed a pit stop along the way so I settled on Fredericksburg, Virginia. 

When searching for pet friendly hotels in the area I happened upon a Hyatt Place Hotel.  I've heard of Hyatt Hotels of course, but wasn't familiar with their Hyatt Place Hotels.

Great dog friendly hotel, Pet friendly Hyatt Place Hotels. Pet friendly hotel in Florida,  Dog Friendly Travel
Icy and Phoebe relaxing in the beautiful Hyatt Place Hotel in Fredericksburg, VA.  They LOVE the Hyatt Place hotel!  

Imagine our delight when we found this lovely Hyatt Place Hotel that welcomes pets!  Actually, by dog friendly hotel standards, it's gorgeous and beautifully updated! Their fee was reasonable and they welcome up to two dogs 50lbs and under.  I've been told however, that larger size dogs can be accepted at Hyatt Place Hotels, at Management discretion. Call in advance, of course.

Check out this beautifully updated, spacious room!  We are so comfortable in this hotel.  We've stayed at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Fredericksburg 4 times, we just love it!

Dog friendly Hyatt Place Hotels.  Pet friendly. Dog friendly hotels. Dog travel tips.
My exhausted dogs and husband relax upon arrival at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

The Management and Staff at this particular hotel are fabulous.  It's such a pleasure going there.  They are so welcoming to us and to our dogs.  They always want to pet and love on Icy and Phoebe, and they always offer them biscuits!

Just outside the hotel is a really pretty walking path with wide sidewalks and a convenient poop station. We really look forward to our morning walks with the dogs at this hotel.

They don't pummel us with rules of what we can't do with our dogs, they welcome them!  The vibe is just great here.

Because we've had such great experiences at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Fredericksburg, we looked for a Hyatt Place Hotel in West Palm Beach Florida where my sisters live.  We found a great one, right in downtown West Palm Beach.  Not only is the location perfect, but the staff are so sweet.  They really liked our dogs and treated us so well.  Again, they didn't pummel us with rules about where they can't go, they welcomed Icy and Phoebe.  We even saw dogs hanging out at the bar with their owners!  I'm not sure that's really allowed because they do serve some food in that area, but no one complained.  I didn't dare bring our dogs into the bar though, I was too timid LOL!   

We hung out with them in a corner of the lobby one afternoon and no one had any issue with it.

Dog friendly Hyatt Place Hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida. Pet travel tips. Travel with Dogs. Pet friendly travel. Dog welcoming hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida
Cooling off with Icy and Phoebe in the Hyatt Place Hotel lobby after a long walk around West Palm Beach, FL.

During our stay in West Palm Beach, Icy and Phoebe were so comfortable and happy at the Hyatt Place hotel in West Palm Beach.  We had no issue leaving them in the room for short periods of time while we went out for a few meals.  Honestly though, there were so many things to do with the dogs in the area they didn't need to stay in the room alone much at all. 

Dog friendly West Palm Beach, Florida.  Pet friendly hotels in West Palm Beach, FL, Dog friendly hotels in South Florida
Phoebe checks out the skyline of West Palm Beach, from across the Intracoastal in Palm Beach

The staff was great about actually calling to say they noticed we had our Do Not disturb sign on the first 2 days, and asked if we needed any towels or cleaning.  If so, they wanted to know when it was convenient for us to have them come into the room.  How nice is that!?

Our stay at the Hyatt Place Hotels was so pleasant and comfortable, we loved every day we were there.  I can't wait to stay there again!  

I'd still recommend the Kimpton Hotel in Vero Beach, I just wouldn't recommend bringing pets along if you don't want them confined to the room all day or if you don't plan to take them on outings away from the hotel.

Guess what  the Best dog friendly beaches on Florida's East Coast are?!

I'm definitely adding Florida to my list of great dog friendly vacation spots!  Looking for more great vacation spots to take your dog? Check out some of my posts on Great Dog Friendly Travel!


They say no two dogs are exactly alike, and that's certainly the case with my dogs, Icy and Phoebe!

My Siberian Husky, Icy, is a Snow Dog for sure!

Siberian Husky in the snow.  BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, Bloggers, Blog hops
I've got my tush high in the air for a reason, Come Play  in the Snow With Me!!

Dogs playing in the snow.  Pet bloggers, Dog bloggers, blog hops
How dare you ask me a question, can't you see I've got a ball stuffed in my mouth?!?

But my dog Phoebe, a Havanese/Maltese/Bichon kind of mix is definitely a Beach Bunny!

My dog at Juno Beach, Florida.  Dogs love the beach, Juno Beach is mostly a dog friendly beach in Florida
My dog Phoebe at Juno Beach, Florida

My dog relaxing on Juno Beach, Florida, a dog friendly beach.  Dog friendly beaches in Florida. Dogs on the beach.  Blog hops.
Mmmm, this sand tastes pretty good!

What about your pets, are they snow bunnies or beach bunnies?  Tell us in the comments!

5 Ways To Celebrate Valentines Day With Your Dog

February 14th is Saint Valentine's Day.  Americans celebrate the entire month of February as the month of romance.  Valentine's Day is celebrated in the U.S. and many other countries as well.  It is an ancient celebration, thought to have originated as part of a pagan fertility ritual in ancient Roman times.

The origins of Valentine's Day weren't exactly hearts, flowers, and kisses, but that's what it symbolizes in modern times!  Valentine's Day is synonymous with cards, candy, gifts, and flowers.  And for pet parents, it's also synonymous with special treats, toys, and dates with their best furry friend.

My Furry Valentines, Phoebe and Icy!

Making your dog your Valentine?  Great! 'Cause Dogs Make The Best Valentines Day Dates!!

Here are 5 Extra Special things to do with your dog this Valentine's Day. 💕


Several grooming salons and hotels offer spa treatments for dogs.  They know many pet parents want to thoroughly spoil and pamper their pets.

The Pooch Hotel, with a number of locations in California and a few on the East coast, will pamper your pet with style.  In addition to more traditional dog grooming you can add spa treatments to thoroughly indulge your dog.  I read about one place that even offers a warm Hydro Surge massage bath, hydrotherapy for dogs with arthritis and other muscle problems.

If a doggy day spa isn't in the budget, create an at-home spa treatment.  Give your dog a facial and a pawdicure, dog friendly nail polish and all!   I found a fun recipe for a homemade Blueberry Facial for your Dog on Wag's web site

In a mixing bowl, grind up a half cup of oats to a powder.  Add crushed fresh blueberries and combine.  Wag says that this will create a facial mix that is high in antioxidants and good for the dog's skin and fur.  Check out their web site for full instructions and the proper method to give your dog a facial.  Blueberries tend to stain so make sure you don't use your good white towels!


Get some Valentines Day relaxation for you and your pup by taking a DOGA (Dog Yoga) Class.   In New York City, you can book a private DOGA session with your dog, or find a group DOGA session to attend. Search for a DOGA class in your city. If you can't find one in local search, check out the site Trips With Pets.   They list some DOGA classes being given in various parts of the country.  You can also Call a local yoga studio and ask if they know of any instructors that have led DOGA classes.  A local animal shelter in my area actually hosted a few DOGA classes last Summer!  How cool is that?  There's a yoga studio in The Hamptons, NY that gives DOGA sessions in Summer as well.    According to DOGA in NYC,    "Doga is simply creating a space of presence where you and your dog can share a state of peaceThat sounds good to me!


Host a Valentines Day Yappy Hour party for your dog's best furriends at your house, or search for one in your neighborhood. 

A local brewery here in New York is hosting a Valentine's Day Yappy Hour.  When I lived in Phoenix, Arizona there was a local bar that regularly hosted Yappy Hours.  If you live in a warm weather state and are near water, you may be lucky enough to find a Valentine's Day Yappy Hour Cruise!

A few years back I read about a singles group that hosted a mixer for singles looking for love... and their dogs!  Attendees brought their dogs along to the event in the hopes of  finding love.  Talk about a great ice breaker, having dogs at the event!  The event doubled as an animal welfare fundraiser.  I love that idea.

Do an online search for Valentine's Day Yappy Hours in [your city].   BringFido.com/event lists Worldwide Dog Events, so it might be worth checking out their event page as well.

If you host a Valentine's Day Yappy Hour yourself, invite your dog's best furriends and have fun with a Valentine's Day theme!

💗 You can find inexpensive party themed items at the dollar store or craft store.

💗 Get some Valentine's Day themed dog treats to serve your furry guests.   Petco and PetSmart always have fun holiday themed dog treats.

💗 Set up some fun games for the dogs to play.  I like the tennis ball muffin tin game.  You place treats in a muffin tin and cover each of the muffin holes with a tennis ball.  The dogs have to knock the balls out of the way to get to the treat!  

Find the Treat is a super easy, fun game.  Have the dogs stay out of the room while you hide small treats all around the room.  Then let the dogs in and tell them to "find the treats!".  Dogs catch on fast and will have a ton of fun treat hunting.  I play this game with Icy and Phoebe on rainy days if they get antsy about having to stay indoors.  They love it!

If you have a few interactive dog toys, bring them all out and have the dogs circle around to each one.

Interactive games can be fun for multiple dogs to play with together


Serve your dog a special home cooked Valentine's Day dinner.  Boil up some Chicken, beef, or liver in a pot with healthy dog friendly vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, broccoli or other pet friendly veggies.  Leave out the onion & garlic, as those can be toxic to pets! Add some brown rice or barley and serve up a homemade feast.

If you don't have the time or desire to cook, look for special holiday dog foods such as Merrick Pet Food's PUGS N' KISSES Grain Free canned dog food.  It's one of their many special Limited Edition, Seasonal Recipes.  Available through Chewy.com and other pet retailers.


Bake some special Valentine's Day dog treats, or Find a doggie bakery that makes something special for Valentines Day.  Many dog bakeries (or BARKeries, as they're often called) will ship goodies right to your home.

Our friends at My GBGV Life have a great recipe for Strawberry Banana LuvCakes !  These are really special. My DIY Recipes, Crafts & Projects Pinterest board has lots of pet friendly recipes too, check it out.


Now that you've planned something extra special for your dog this Valentines Day, why not treat yourself to something special?  

Our UNCONDITIONAL LOVE design was created exclusively for Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them by Brooklyn artist MendyDraws.com  It's our own unique design, inspired by the Unconditional Love our pets give us every day.  You won't find this exclusive design anywhere else!


Lightweight Sweatshirts

T shirts in several styles & colors
 iPhone and Galaxy cases, Laptop Cases & Skins, Mugs, Bags and more!

Are you doing anything special with your pet on Valentine's Day?  Tell us about it in the Comments!