Winter Ski Destinations
With the start of prime skiing weather on its way, it’s time to start planning that well-earned winter getaway. We at Animal Fair know how heartbreaking the thought of leaving your precious pooch behind is, so we have put together an all-inclusive guide to winter traveling with your pet. Now you can hit the slopes guilt-free knowing that your pup can come along!
New England is a great winter ski destination, and the town of Bethel, Maine is especially beautiful. There you will find the Sunday River Ski Resort, with its eight mountain peaks, 127 trails, and several parks great for snowboarders. Sunday River also offers free trolleys to White Cap Fun Center, which has a tubing park, an ice skating rink, bonfires, and evening fireworks.
The Sunday River Cross Country Ski Center is located at the base of the alpine area. Although the accommodations at the center are not pet-friendly, it may be a good place for you and your dog to visit. It has a one kilometer Farm Loop for dogs, appropriately named “The Loop de Poop.”
The Bethel Inn is located 10 minutes from Sunday River and
features 30 kilometers of groomed trails and a special three kilometer trail for dogs. Prices range from $79 to $149 per night, and dogs are allowed in the Oaks Building for $10 a night. The Bethel Inn’s winter package includes free lift tickets, a candle-lit dinner, a country breakfast, and a free shuttle to the lifts. For those times you just feel like staying in, there are two on-site restaurants. The Millbrook Tavern offers casual dining with a family atmosphere and for more upscale dining, there is the Main Dining Room and Veranda with beautiful mountain views.
Also in Bethel is Carter’s XC Ski Center, which has 85 kilometers of trails that go from a riverside meadow all the way up to 1600-foot Farwell Mountain. The whole center is pet-friendly although just like you, your dog must have a ticket. Pet rates go by age, but the highest fee is only $10.
When taking your dog on vacation with you, it’s always good to know who to call if there is an emergency. The local veterinarian in the town is Gary Stuer, DMV at the Bethel Animal Hospital. The Animal Hospital also does doggy day care!
Aspen has always been famous for catering to the “jet set,” but did you know equal attention (and maybe even more) is given to the “pet set?” What better place for you and your dog to enjoy that well deserved winter getaway!
Aspen has a wide array of activities for everyone. Nearly every hiking trail in Aspen allows dogs. The Aspen/Snowmass Nordic System even allows dogs on the cross-country trails. There are also some fun, dog-friendly events such as the annual Winterskol (toast to winter) weekend where one of the biggest events is the canine fashion show.
Aspen is also known for its shopping, with everything from quaint country stores to Prada and Gucci. For your dog, CB Paws is a great place to shop for high-end pet products. For dining, whether you’re looking for fine restaurants, local charm, or a quick place to eat-and-run, there is something for everyone.
Animal Fair recommends two hotels in the area: The St. Regis and The Little Nell, sure to give your dog something to bark about.
The St. Regis Aspen is located at the base of the beautiful Aspen Mountain in the middle of town and offers endless personalized service and facilities for both you and your dog. For you, there are cozy lounges, delicious dining at Olives Aspen, a fitness center, and a spa. For your dog, the St. Regis concierge can suggest pup-friendly activities and will arrange a pet sitting service for the times Fido can’t come along. The St. Regis also offers a service to those who don’t have dogs, but would love some canine companionship on their vacation. The hotel works with the local Aspen Animal Shelter from which guests can adopt a dog for the day, and if desired, the night too! You can also get an “I walked a dog in Aspen” t-shirt. Shelter officials say that guests adopt about four dogs a year!
The Little Nell is great for those who like the style of a quaint country inn along with the luxuries of a five-star hotel. This hotel is a dog’s dream come true! Upon check-in dogs get their own personalized brass identification tags and through the concierge desk, they can receive a variety of services. You can arrange to have your dog’s bowl filled with a steady stream of tap or bottled water, set-up appointments for grooming and pet-sitting, and find out about all of the most popular dog-friendly hiking trails.
Special doggie dining areas include the terrace of the Montagna (The Little Nell’s gourmet restaurant) as well as the living room and bar. If your dog would rather dine in your guest room, The Little Nell will keep your refrigerator stocked with whatever he needs!
The Little Nell has also created Petiquette, a handbook of guidelines for pet owners. While the hotel provides luxury services for your pet, you have to do your part as a responsible owner. With all the luxuries Aspen has to offer, you and your dog are sure to enjoy your stay! But remember, always be prepared for an emergency – the local vet is at the Aspen Animal Hospital.
SUN VALLEY, IDAHO
Taking your dogs to Idaho is as easy as taking your kids! Sun
Valley/Ketchum offers a serene, beautiful setting for an active vacation. Prime getaway spot and home of stars such as Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver – you and your precious pet will never run out of places to go. There are many hotels to choose from in the Sun Valley/Ketchum area that offer accommodations for you and your furry friend, such as the Sun Valley Resort. Rated #1 by Ski Magazine, this is the perfect place to hit the slopes.
Sun Valley is home to a myriad of hikes for both you and your pet to enjoy. For avid hikers, multi-day trails like Toxaway-Petit Loop are a great pick, but for the less experienced, try West Fork Prairie Creek or Baker Lane for a full day of exercise and fun. Not only are there walking trails in abundance, but there are biking trails too. Every Wednesday, year round, from about 9:30-1:00 at Adam’s Gulch trail head, the Sun Valley Animal Shelter hosts a dog walk where people come with pets or take shelter dogs for a day of love, care, and play!
Other popular endeavors include horseback riding, golf, tennis, skeet-shooting, fly-fishing, and skating. In the summer, the rink at the foot of the Sun Valley Lodge becomes the stage for some of the world’s top skaters: Nancy Kerrigan, Scott Hamilton, and Katarina Witt are among the stars who have performed in recent years. Close by, the Nordic Center hosts “The Paw and Pole” fundraiser – a ski race where people and pups race through a variety of short courses while they are dressed to ‘pawfection’ in that year’s theme. But if your four-legged friend has a different sense of fun, he will be delighted to spend a day at the Sun Valley Animal Center. They offer doggie day care where your canine or feline friend will enjoy a day of hiking and swimming on Dollar Mountain, Lake Creek, and Adam’s Gulch. Your pet would not be upset to stay for a few days in one of the Center’s luxury rooms. At the Center, there are indoor/outdoor runs where your pet can go in and out at his whim: a puppy room, kitty condos (a cozy place for a cat to stay), and the hotel room suites, quiet, relaxing, and great for a senior pet. In addition to the on-request hikes, all pets play outside on the trails and river behind the Center 4-5 times a day. After a hard day of play, your pet can enjoy a luxurious bubble bath in the Spa. There is always a vet on-call and its Pet Express shuttle service will pick up and drop off your pleased puppy at your convenience.
A Tail We Could Wag
Founded in 1988 by Wendel Wirth, A Tail We Could Wag features pick-of-the-litter clothes and accessories for both pets and people. Inspired by the Guatemalan sash she used to make a collar for her dog Aiko, Wendel sold her accessories at Apples Bar and Grill and since has created a global company. With designs reminiscent of Mayan and Guatemalan crafts, products include leashes, collars, doggie dishes, t-shirts, belts, postcards, and more! A Tail We Could Wag does its part to keep all the animals’ tails wagging and not only donates portions of the proceeds to charity, but, in fact, has a line of all natural dog treats, “Dig the Earth,” designed to create awareness and help save endangered species. The treats, shaped as salmon, bones, and bears, are packaged in tins with information about various endangered animals. Products are available through the catalog,
in select boutiques, and on the web at www.tailwags.com.
WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
If you’re thinking about heading north for your winter getaway, try one of North America’s top resort destinations, Whistler, British Columbia. The scenery is spectacular, the skiing superb and the hospitality can’t be beat. Located at the base of Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler offers the best in luxurious facilities, mouth-watering cuisine, and picturesque scenery.
Pets are welcome at the Fairmont Chateau for an extra fee and are naturally given the top dog treatment. Your dog will be supplied with his own bed and pet bowl as well as plenty of special treats! You will also enjoy Fairmont’s lavish services including relaxing treatments at the Vida Wellness Spa.
You and your dog will never run out of things to do in Whistler. For a hint of adventure, spend the day hiking, biking, or rollerblading. Or if you just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, head to Rainbow Park where dogs have their own beach called Barking Bay. After a long day of fun-filled activities, take Fido to the Portobello, the Fairmont Chateau’s dog-friendly restaurant that also serves gourmet doggie desserts!
For the times your fellow canine traveler can’t join you, drop
him off at The Puppy Zone Dog Day Care & Adventure Centre where he’ll be pampered during his stay. The Puppy Zone offers an incredible array of services including dog walking, massages, obedience classes, a social atmosphere, and a do-it-yourself dog wash – complete with doggie cologne!
There are two local veterinarians in Whistler, the Whistler Veterinary Hospital and the Animal Health Clinic of Whistler in case trouble should arise. The local animal rescue organization is called W.A.G. (Whistler Animals Galore) and is a volunteer-based organization that cares and finds families for homeless animals. They also provide emergency medical care for injured animals and promote spay and neuter programs in the area.
Winter Dog Product Guide
With the cold winter months approaching, you and your dog should be prepared, especially if you are planning a ski trip or other outdoor activities. Here are some products sure to keep your dog safe and happy through all of your adventures!
1) FidoGear’s Roll Bowl is great for a dog on the go. It’s lightweight and can easily clip on to your belt or backpack. Don’t let your dog get dehydrated on long trips! Find it at www.fidogear.com for $17.95 – $19.95. 2) When it comes to extremely cold weather, your dog’s natural coat may not be enough to keep him warm. For these days, Ruff Wear’s K-9 overcoat reduces loss of body heat and protects your dog from the elements. It also provides a custom fit so it is sure to stay in place during those romps through the snow! Prices range from $35.95 to $75.95 Available at www.ruffwear.com. 3) An important safety must-have is Wagwear’s canvas reflective collar and lead. You never know when you and your dog will be out and about after dark. Prices are $28 and $34. Go to www.wagwear.com. 4) Whether you are skiing with your dog or hiking down scenic trails, his paws need protection from the snow and ice! Try Ruff Wear’s 3D Bark n’ Boots at www.ruffwear.com. Cost is $38 a set. You could also try Polar Booties from www.fidogear.com which are made of polar fleece and also great for treating sore feet. 5) Wagwear makes apparel for the style-conscious canine. For less extreme weather, there Wagwear’s Merino Wool Sweater, available for $88 at www.wagwear.com.