By Dr. Julie Damron
Stockton Record May 2, 2009
If you like to travel with your dogs, you should really think about a trip to Carmel. This city caters to the canine population in so many ways.
Dogs are allowed to run freely on the beautiful city beach of Carmel-By-The-Sea. Canines of all breeds, ages, and sizes can be seen frolicking in the waves and along the sandy shore. Some dogs surf, some play fetch, and some just soak up the rays. There are social groups that meet at the beach at certain times of the day. The beach scene even has its own canine newspaper, The Doggie Gazette. This magazine features stories from the perspective of the beach dogs. There are also writers from out-of-state as well as some international correspondents. Some medical information is also provided.
The streets of Carmel have many canine walkers. Leashed dogs are allowed all along Ocean Avenue. Many of the shops provide outdoor water bowls for the canine visitors. Much of the artwork in museums and shops along the avenue feature dogs. Carmel plaza has a "Fountain of Woof" drinking fountain that is only for dogs. Many shops have hitching posts to tie your companion, and several stores allow dogs to roam inside. There is even a store, Diggity Dog, that has a wide variety of essentials, treats, and toys for both the canine and feline.
This area is also filled with other canine friendly activities. There is a 2-hour historical tour available through the streets of Carmel. Many of the restaurants have pet-friendly outdoor seating areas. You can dine alfresco with your canine companion at a wide variety of cuisines all around the city. Most of these venues will provide dog treats and water for your pets. Carmel Mission Trail Park is also a nice place to walk with your dog. Canines can walk off-leash in this lush 37-acre park. Seventeen mile drive is also pet friendly; our dogs were able to picnic with us at The Market at Pebble Beach.
Most of the hotels also allow dogs for an additional fee. Some have a number or size limit. Most do not allow pets to be left unattended; but there are several pet sitters in the area. These inns often provide treats and toys for the canine travelers. One hotel, The Cypress Inn, has a canine Yappie Hour get together Monday through Friday 4:30-6:00pm. We stayed in a cottage on a 10 acre lush property at the Carmel River Inn. Just outside the city, this facility provided a beautiful setting for the dogs to walk and play.
When traveling with your pet; bring proof of current vaccinations and all needed medications. During the warm summer months, don't leave your pets unattended in your car for more than 5-10 minutes. There is an excellent website to find hotels, compare prices, and book reservations called BringFido.com.