When Frederick the Great of Prussia first declared the famous phrase ‘dog is a man’s best friend’, it is thought he was referring to one of the beloved Italian Greyhounds he had in his possession at the time. However, the phrase clearly struck a chord with dog owners the world over, as the expression entered the vernacular of dog-related conversations and has continued to be widely used ever since, demonstrating the unwavering relationship between man and canine. That being said, when it comes to planning a holiday and getting away from the hustle and bustle for a few days, this relationship can very quickly become sour, as you very quickly realize that moving around with your cherished pet will not be quite so plain sailing as you assumed previous to taking them under your wing. Not only will your boutique hotel not allow them, it’s also going to be difficult getting them into cafes, restaurants, parks and the beach, thanks to tight rules on animals you didn’t know existed before booking the trip. That’s where websites catered specifically to those travelling with pets come in. Featuring archives of pet-friendly places, tips and advice on taking a trip with a dog and options for leaving your pet at home, without doubt these websites take the stress off planning travels while in the ownership of an animal.
As a result, we have compiled a list made up of the top four websites concerning pet-related travel, be it for a trip to the other side of the world or just round the corner. Discover dog-friendly establishments, read interesting and informative blogs, find essential accessories, and get 24/7 support from pet travel experts, all by simply referring to the options on this carefully curated list. Organizing a trip, whether your pet is coming with you or not, is never going to be an easy task, therefore accessing all the help you can get will pay dividends further down the line. Each site was thoroughly assessed to ensure that a selection of only the best were selected, with each review containing a brief summary of the service, its highlights, what makes it unique and its potential drawbacks, while the pros and cons of each one are listed in an easy-to-read set of bullet points below each review. There are dozens of websites all promising to offer you the best services and information on pet-related travel, however we’ve chosen only the ones that most suitably fit our criteria by considering a number of factors outlined below.
It largely goes without saying that when it comes to finding pet-friendly – or more specifically, dog-friendly – establishments, a number of different variables have to be considered, from food type to distance from hotel. The ability to quickly narrow these parameters down so that they match customers’ specific requirements is a useful feature to have included, saving time in scrolling through pages and pages of suggestions, none of which are of interest to you. This option to narrow down and sort through search results usually comes in the form of filters and ‘Sort By’ options. By applying various filters, you will be able to view all the available establishments that match your requirements, while the ones that do not match will disappear from view. ‘Sort By’ options, meanwhile, work in a similar way to filters, however as the name suggests, they sort the results once users have added the appropriate filters, so that they can view options in either ascending or descending order depending on what you have selected. For example, if you are on a budget, you may wish to view all nearby restaurants offering vegetarian food in ascending order, based on price.
Another important and infinitely resourceful factor that was taken into account when reviewing the various platforms was whether they offered a blog or forum on their site. Articles contained on blogs can range from simple tips for travelling with pets to lists featuring the best beaches to take your dog, while forums offer users a space to pose their questions, such as attitudes in specific countries towards travelling with animals. BringFido.com offers an immensely resourceful forum in which Topics can easily be browsed by destination and provide a great place for finding out information from fellow dog owners with a desire to travel. Pet Travel, meanwhile, have a blog where you can find a whole host of different articles offering tips and advice for travelling with a pet, such as a ‘Checklist for pet travelers’, ‘Best animal friendly parks in the UK’, and ‘7 things you can do with your dog in Switzerland’. Each article is well-researched and written by experts in pet travel, making for a very informative place to gain insight. Ultimately, these contribute towards making the websites more comprehensive and resourceful for travellers, and were therefore factored into the review process.
A significant feature that was assessed was the level of customer service offered by the sites. Included in this was the range of options for getting into contact with customer service in the first place, as just one form of contact can feel limited, especially when abroad and making a phone call has the potential to be expensive. The presence of an live online chat was considered a great addition, where customers are quickly put in contact with an agent who is on hand to clear up any queries they may have without the need to login to their email or wait in line on the phone. BringFido.com was one example of a platform that offers 24/7 customer support from its team of pet travel experts, who can be contacted in a variety of ways, from on the phone to instant online messaging. Once in contact, the level of attention is important, as there is little use in having instant messaging capability without someone quickly responding to your queries on the other end. Each one was therefore tested to see how prompt the agents were at replying and how fast they could get you an answer.
Overall, this list provides a selection of the four best websites for pet-related travel information and services from amongst dozens, combining all of the above features to single out only the top four. Owning a pet is a wonderful, enriching experience, be it for getting more exercise, or simply having some company. Nevertheless, when it comes to planning a holiday, pets can, by no fault of their own, get in the way, leaving you searching around for a solution of how you will be able to manage either taking them with you or leaving them at home. For that reason, we have taken into account the aforementioned factors – including, search filters, sort by options, blogs and customer care – to provide you with only the very best sites for finding solutions to travelling with your pet, be it a short break in Madrid or a month long trip to Mallorca. With this list you have all the information you need in one convenient place, saving you time in scrolling through pages of results on a search engine to discover the best pet-related travel information available.