If you are reading this then I am betting you share my belief that dogs are as much a part of the family as the skin children. As such, why should we have to leave our fur babies behind when we go out for the weekends or travel away from home? More and more frequently, people are bringing their fur friends along for the ride and seeking out adventures where they can join in the fun, explore new places, and enjoy the local cuisine!
Unfortunately, Australia has not advanced quite as far as the USA and Europe in this area, and we have a few more limitations on how and where we can take our canine companions. We can only watch enviously as we see pups travelling alongside their owners in the plane cabin, enjoying a miniature wine and some nuts (OK, well not quite that part!) I hope that one day this will change and our pups will be able to start earning their own frequent flyer points.
Despite these limitations, there are still plenty of ways you can enjoy travelling with your pups in Oz! On a personal note, I frequently take advantage of being able to take Dave on the trains in Melbourne. I cannot say he really enjoys public transport (he would much prefer an air-conditioned limo or private jet with dedicated cabin crew and treats on tap), but it allows us to move around the city and travel to suburbs without needing a car.
One of the best dog-friendly adventures I have found here in Melbourne combines two of my favorite activities: eating and drinking! Gourmet Pawprints is a wonderful local business that conducts winery tours, picnic adventures, and truffle hunts throughout the beautiful state of Victoria. Not only are pups granted their own seat on the bus, they are treated like the true VIPs that they are and welcomed at all the prearranged winery and lunch venues. The amazing staff even offer on-board canine massage and movie showings if they have had too much of the wine and food on offer! Now that is what I call a day out!
WHERE TO STAY
Companies like Holidaying with Dogs and Bring Fido, provide a dedicated portal for accommodation searches that are dog-friendly homes from home. Once again, Australia is a little slow on the uptake in this market but thankfully, smaller boutique properties are getting on board and you can now enjoy a weekend away (or longer) with the pooch in tow.
If you were to look at my internet search history, “dog-friendly” must be one of my most frequently googled terms, along with “what to do if my beagle has eaten (insert random food type here!)” As it turns out, there are more and more things we can do on the weekends or while on holiday that will cater for dogs as well as humans. In fact, some of these activities and events are designed specifically with dogs in mind, which is just fabulous!
Dog-a-Palooza is a one-day music festival held annually in Melbourne, which boasts a line-up of amazing talent that can be enjoyed by music fans both human and canine. The venue is a dog-friendly park and VIPooches can enjoy dedicated shaded areas and onsite food trucks, bars, and pop-ups from other dog-friendly businesses.
Melbourne is a city known for its cuisine, coffee, and culture. Tom and Captain, a local dog adventure company, offers city walking tours for humans and hounds. Dave and I recently joined them on a Saturday morning stroll, taking in the city’s beautiful lane-ways, iconic shopping arcades finishing off with an Aperol Spritz (and water for Dave!) on a day bed at a floating bar on the Yarra River.
Visit Victoria (the State’s tourism body), recently created an advertising campaign targeted at dogs, promoting canine-friendly activities. The digital campaign was optimized for dogs’ vision and hearing and includes a video of dogs enjoying various locations across regional Victoria. The ad was created to address the barrier many of us face in not being able to take our dogs away with us and aims to promote well-being for both pet-owners and pets. According to dog behaviorists, a mini break can have many of the same physical and mental health benefits for a dog as it would its owner; a stimulating new environment can be enriching for a dog, developing social interaction and an opportunity for outdoor exercise. Now if that is not a good enough reason to go away with your dog, I do not know what is!
Where have you traveled with your pet? Tell us in the comments!
I’m Sophie, Dave the Beagle’s human. Together we make a pretty good team, sharing a love of Netflix, BBQ Chicken, and sleep! I am originally from the UK but have lived in Australia for almost 15 years.