Take the Plunge for Homeless Pets!

Looking for a something special to kick off 2016?  PetravelR™ recommends the 19th Annual Penguin Plunge benefitting Pennsylvania’s Humane Society of the Harrisonburg Area (HSHA). 

HS Harrisonburg 1

Please come to participate or support HSHA as they “take the plunge” for homeless animals on New Year’s Day!  This annual fundraiser has become a central Pennsylvania tradition for both HSHA and the City of Harrisburg. During the event, more than 300 HSHA supporters “take the plunge” into the icy waters of the Susquehanna River, as hundreds more watch from the shore.

Penguin Plunge photo

There’s still time to register! At the animals’ request, each participant is asked to raise or donate a minimum of $40. Those that raise over $75 will receive an event towel. For teams to receive towels, each member must raise at least $75.


When:  Friday, January 1, 2016 – Event registration begins at 10:00 am, Plunge goes off at noon
Where: City Island, Beach Area, Harrisburg, PA

HS Harrisonburg banner

PetravelR™ wishes you and your pets a happy and healthy New Year!


More Dog Swims!

We’ve found some more end of summer Dog Splash and Pooch Pool Parties for your canine companions!  These are in Tacoma WA, Dallas TX, and Nashville TN.

tacoma dog-gone-pooch-pool-2015-no_m

MetroParks Tacoma Pooch Pool Party
Date: Saturday, September 12th
Pool Party Session #1: 10:00-11:30 am, Pool Party Session #2: 12:00-1:30 pm
Stewart Heights Pool, 402 E 56th St., Tacoma, WA
$10 first dog, $5 the second, humans are free!
Remember to bring pet food donations for the Dugan Foundation!

Bedford TX 10th Annual Dog Splash Day and 3rd Annual 2K-nine
Date: Saturday, September 12th
2K-nine: 8:30 am – 9:30 am, Dog Splash: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Bedford Splash Aquatic Center, 1200 Central Drive, Bedford, TX, 76022
Start off your Saturday morning with a nice 1.24 mile walk/run in the park with your family and 4-legged companions.
Fee: 2K-nine only: $10; Dog Splash only: $5 Per Dog, Owners get in Free!
Or make the day of it and by the Package (2K-nine & Dog Splash) for $12!!!

Dallas Dog Swim 2015

Chattanooga Doggie Paddle Pool Party
Saturday, September 12th 2015, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Warner Park Pool, 1254 East Third Street Chattanooga, TN 37404
Canine Admission $10 per pooch.
Proceeds benefit the homeless animals at McKamey Animal Center.
You and your pooches can swim in an Olympic-sized pool or one of two wading pools.
Goody bags provided while supplies last and event t-shirts available for sale.

PetravelR™ hopes you and your dogs have a great time!

St Louis Dog Pool Parties!

Many of the community pools in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area offer end of season dog swims.  Here’s a list of the upcoming doggy splash parties with dates and locations.

St Louis Dog swim-Ann Dewig Flickr

PetravelR™ thinks these sound like lots of fun.  But be sure to check the details with individual rec centers and pools, because rules vary for different facilities.  For example, some pools don’t allow humans in the pools at all, some allow people to wade into the pool with their dog, some allow children and some some don’t,, etc.

All of the pools are going to require written proof that the dogs attending have had their shots and will expect you to clean up after your dog, so bring a shots record and your potty bags.

September 7 -

Maryland Heights MO

Date: Monday September 7 (6:15 – 8:15 PM)
Cost: $10 in advance or $12 at door (1 dog with one person), $5 additional dog, $3 additional person
Location: Maryland Heights Aquaport

St Louis Dog-swim-Giacomo Carena Flickr

September 8 -

Ballwin MO

Date: Tuesday September 8 (4:30 – 7:30 PM)
Cost: $10 per dog
Location: North Pointe Aquatic Center

Chesterfield MO

Date: Tuesday September 8 (4:30 – 7 PM)
Cost: $7 per dog (up to 2 dogs per owner), $3 per person, children 2 and under are free
Location: Chesterfield Family Aquatic Center

Crestwood MO

Date: Tuesday September 8 (5:30 – 6:30 PM small dogs, 7 – 8 PM medium and large dogs), rain date Wednesday September 9
Cost: $10 resident dogs, $15 non-resident dogs
Location: Crestwood Aquatic Center

Des Peres MO

Date: Tuesday September 8 (5 – 7 PM)
Cost: $10 per dog
Location: The Lodge Outdoor Pool

Fenton MO

Date: Tuesday September 8 (4 – 5:45 PM or 6:15 – 8 PM)
Cost: $10 per dog & handler, $7 per additional dog (limit 2 dogs per handler) $3 additional person
Location: RiverChase Recreation Center

Shrewsbury MO

Date: Tuesday September 8 (6 – 8 PM)
Cost: $10 per dog
Location: Shrewsbury Family Aquatic Center

Wentzville MO

Date: Tuesday September 8 (7 – 8:30 PM)
Cost: $8 residents, $10 non-residents
Location: Splash Station Aquatic Center

September 8 & 10 -

Kirkwood  MO

Date: Tuesday September 8 (5 – 7 PM) & Thursday September 10 (5:30 – 6 PM small dogs 25 lbs or under only, 6 – 8 PM all dogs)
Cost: $10 (dog and 1 adult human companion), $3 per additional person
Location: Kirkwood Aquatic Center

St Lousi Dog-swim Tracy Lee Flickr

September 9 -

Eureka MO

Date: Wednesday September 9 (6 – 7:30 PM)
Cost: $5 per dog
Location: The Timbers of Eureka

Ferguson MO

Date: Wednesday September 9 (6 – 8 PM)
Cost: $10 (dog and 1 adult human companion), $3 per additional person
Location: Splash at Wabash

Webster Groves MO

Date: Wednesday September 9 (4 – 5:30 PM or 6 – 7 PM)
Cost: $10 per dog with adult human, $5 additional person
Location: Webster Groves Aquatic Center


September 9 & 10 -

Lemay MO

Date: Wednesday September 9 & Sunday (5:30 – 7:30 PM)
Cost: $5 (1 dog and owner), $3 additional dog
Location: The Pavilion at Lemay

St Louis Ellisville swim photo

September 10 & 12 -

Ellisville MO

Date: Thursday September 10 (5 – 8 PM) & Saturday September 12 (9 AM – 12 PM)
Cost: $7 per dog, $3 per person
Location: EDGE Aquatic Center


September 11 & 12 -

Maplewood MO

Date: Friday September 11 (4 – 8 PM) & Saturday September 12 (12 – 4 PM)
Cost: $10/1 day or $15/2 days (1 dog with 2 adults), $1 per day (people without a dog)
Location: Maplewood Family Aquatic Center 

St Louis Arnold dog swim

September 12 -

Arnold MO

Date: Saturday September 12 (12-2 PM dogs under 25 lbs and 2-4 PM dogs over 25 lbs)
Cost: $5 per dog (with 1 owner), $1 per additional person
Location: Outdoor pool at Arnold Recreation Center

Bridgeton MO

Date: Saturday September 12 (1 – 3 PM)
Cost: $10 per dog with pre-registration, $13 at the door (humans free)
Location: Bridgeton Crossing Family Aquatic Park

O’Fallon MO

Date: Saturday September 12 (11 AM – 1 PM), rain date Sunday September 13 (11 AM – 1 PM)
Cost: $10 (dog and 1 adult human companion), $3 per additional person
Location: Alligator’s Creek Aquatic Center


September 12 & 13 -

Manchester MO

Date: Saturday September 12 & Sunday September 13 (1 – 4 PM)
Cost: $11 (1 dog and owner, limit of 2 dogs), $3 additional person
Location: Aquatic Center at Schroeder Park

University City MO

Date: Saturday September 12 & Sunday September 13 (11 AM – 3 PM)
Cost: $15 (1 dog and 2 people), $2 additional people, discounted price of $25 per dog for both days
Location: Heman Park Pool

St Louis Dog-swim Andrew Macgill Flickr

September 18 & 19 -

Sunset Hills MO

Date: Friday September 18 (6-8 PM) and Saturday September 19 (10 AM – 12 PM)
Cost: $10 per dog, no charge for people
Location: Sunset Hills Aquatic Center

PetravelR™ would like to thank Arch City Homes for caring enough about local canines and their human companions to compile a list of these great end of summer Doggy Pool Parties!

Boise’s “See Spot Splash” Pool Party!

The Boise City Parks & Recreation teams up again with the Idaho Humane Society for the 7th annual  See Spot Splash off-leash play and swim partya wonderful day of fun and frolic on Monday August 24, 2015.

See Spot Splash flyer 2015

Take your dog for a dive at “See Spot Splash” from 3:00 to 8:00 pm on August 24 at The Natatorium, 1181 Warm Springs Ave.  Dogs are allowed in on a first-come, first-served basis in timed, one hour, on the hour “shifts.” For the enjoyment and safety of all participants, one-hour sessions will start at 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.  The maximum capacity is 50 dogs per hour.

See Spot Splash 1

See Spot Splash 2

Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted.

All donations benefit Boise’s dog parks and the Idaho Humane Societyand PetravelR™ urges to support them with you contributions.

See Sot Splash 3

See Spot Splash 4

You can read the event rules and download a waiver form (all participants must fill out the waiver) here.


Lake Accotink Canine Cruises

PetravelR™ thinks you should treat your canine companion to a special cruise on Lake Accotink Park in Fairfax County, Virginia!

One Sunday each month from approximately May to October, the park’s pooch-friendly pontoon boat glides across the lake, setting tails a-wagging and noses pointing. Catch the last rays of the sun as it dips toward the distant lake shore while your dog scans for ducks, geese and other lake dwellers.

Accotink Canine Cruises

Two more Canine Cruises are scheduled for this season: Sunday August 23 and Sunday September 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm.  (Cruises may be cancelled at discretion of park staff in case of rain or gusty winds.)

Dogs of all ages are welcome, but humans must be at least 8 years old. Cost is $6 per person; no charge for dogs.  Reservations and advance payment required. Limit one dog per person.  Refunds issued only if cruise is cancelled.

Lake Accotink Park

Lake Accotink Park offers other dog-friendly activities -

  • Exercise and maintain health for you and your dog by joining one of the park’s Walking for Fitness Doggy and Me classes
  • Enroll your pup in a professionally-led Dog Obedience class
  • Celebrate your pup’s birthday with a picnic under the birthday tent
  • And don’t miss the Halloween Costume Contest, Pet Pictures with Santa, and the Easter Bonnet Pet Parade

So bring your favorite pooch out to Lake Accotink Park for a cruise, picnic, or just a fine walk in the park!

Pool Escape Ramp for Pets & Wildlife

If you’re taking your dog for a swim at home or on vacation this year, you might consider the Skamper Ramp Pet Escape Ramp, especially if your pool lacks a shallow end with built in steps.

skamper ramp 2

According to the manufacturer, these ramps allow pets up to 200 lbs to exit the water by themselves.  Because all living beings see white, animals can see it—day or night—and they “skamper” out of the water on the ramps.  The Skamper Ramp not only protects them against drowning, but also allows them to safely get out of a pool, back on a dock or aboard most boats on their own.

The regular size ramp is best suited for wild animals, shorter strided pets, stock tanks, pools & water troughs; the super size is advertised for larger animals up to 200 lbs. and for any size pet to use with most docks, bulkheads, pools, and some boats. Made from recyclable materials the Skamper Ramp features an easy snap together design for easy assembly.

skamper ramp 1

The Skamper Ramp comes with rope, stainless steel D-ring clips, and nylon washers for attachment. The simple plastic ramp attaches to the deck of the pool, walled pond, or even most docks and some boats.  If desired, simply “flip it out” when the pool is in use, and flip it in to safeguard your pet when you leave the pool area.  Even in winter, leaving it hanging down inside a pool that is partially drained down, under a winter cover, or on top of a non-permeable cover, can prevent accidental animal drowning by giving them an escape route.

skamper ramp cat

skamper ramp wildlife






Available at numerous online retailers including PetSmart, Petco, The Uncommon Dog, OnlinePetDepot, BedBathandBeyondIn the Company of Dogs, and Amazon for about $46-$71 for the regular size ramp and $65-$95 for the super size.

Note: PetravelR™ has not seen or tested this product, so we cannot vouch for it. We can only say that it sounds like a good idea, especially for smaller pets and also for saving wildlife from drowning in your backyard pool.  We recommend that you read online reviews of the product before buying one, especially for use by a larger dog.

Splash About Dog Pools!

Here’s another great piece of gear to keep your dog cool at home or on vacation this summer: Guardian Gear Splash About Dog Pools from PetEdge.

Guardian dog poolSplash About Dog Pools are portable, easy to fill and empty, and are made of extra-tough PVC for lasting use.  They’re perfect for a refreshing dip in the backyard, or on decks or patios. The pools fold down completely, making them easy to pack for summer vacations and easy to store during the winter months. Each pool is packaged in a polybag with handles and an insert card.

Guardian dog pool small

The pool comes in three sizes -

Small pool measures 31.5″ diameter x 7.87″ high, 19.75 gallons
Medium pool measures 47.2″ diameter x 11.8″ high, 67 gallons
Large pool measures 63″ diameter x 11.8″ high, 119.25 gallons

PetravelR™ reminds you to use pools with CAUTION:

  • Do not leave pets or small children unattended near pool
  • Supervise your pets while they are playing or bathing
  • Do not allow pets to chew or stand on pool edge
  • Do not sit on pool edge. Empty pool after use
  • Do not fill pools more than 3/4 full with water

Guardian dog pool large

Splash About Dog Pools are sold by PetEdge. Also available from several online retailers, including Cherish Pet Supplies, petocart.com, ValuePetSuppliesRakuten, and Amazon. Prices run from about $45-$68 for the small pool to $80-$116 for the large (shipping charge vary).


Dog-Friendly Lake George Beach State Park

The Adirondacks Mountains are the perfect summer vacation spot, and if you’re traveling with your dog PetravelR™ recommends a trip to Lake George Beach State Park.

Lake George canoe with dog

Lake George, at the southeastern base of the mountains, is the largest lake in the Adirondacks, measuring 32 miles long. The lake offers many recreational opportunities, including boating and swimming.  Million Dollar Beach is the largest and most well-known beach in Lake George, with lifeguards, showers, picnic areas and plenty of room to swim.  The beach is part of the Lake George Beach State Park, located in Lake George’s Southern basin.  (Admission to Million Dollar Beach is free, but parking is $10 for cars and $4 for motorcycles.)

Lake George Million Dollar Beach map

Lake George Beach Park dog 2

While Million Dollar Beach is a favorite with human beach-goers, the stretch of beach between Million Dollar Beach and the Lake George Steamboat Company is the place to take your canine companion for a swim. The area is known to locals as the Lake George dog beach. Although no human swimming is allowed along this stretch of beach, many people bring their dogs to enjoy time in the water.  Sounds like a great way to spend a summer afternoon!

Lake George Beach Park dog 1


Splash Pad Puppy Party!

Wausau and Marathon County, Wisconsin are hosting a Dog Gone Pool Party for dogs and their people on Sunday, June 21, from 5:30 to 8:00 PM.  Okay, so it’s technically not a “pool party,” because it will be held at the Marathon Park Splash Pad and not at a pool.

Dog splash pad 1

But PetravelR™ thinks it still sounds like a great time, plus this off-leash dog romp helps raise funds for reduced-cost pool passes and swimming lessons for families who couldn’t otherwise afford them.  The cost is only $5/person, and youths ages 13 and under get in free with a paid adult ticket.  And there will be door prizes!

Marathon SplashPad

Dog splash pad 2


There is a limit of two dogs per adult.  Dog owners must bring proof of current vaccinations. All dogs must have current rabies tags and a collar or harness.  Dogs must be well socialized to people and other animals. Aggressive dogs will not be allowed to participate. Good Dogs are welcome to be off-leash!


Two more Dog Gone Pool Parties are scheduled at Marathon Park this summer on Monday August 3 and Sunday August 16.  And if you think these events are a lot of fun, then be sure to come back next winter for the Dog Gone Snow Stomps!


Florida’s Pet-Friendly Flagler Beach

If you’re looking for a dog-friendly beach getaway, consider Florida’s Palm Coast and Flagler Beach.

Flagler Beach 1Dogs are allowed on the beaches north of N. 10th Street and south of S. 10th Street, but they must be kept on a 5-foot or shorter leash (some sites say leashes up to 8-feet are acceptable, but PetravelR™ recommends having a shorter leash on hand just in case).  You can even download a map of Flagler Beach’s pet friendly areas.

Flagler PetMap

You can also walk your dog in most of the local parks, preserves and trails. Wadsworth Park in Flagler Beach features a 60,000-square-foot fenced Dog Park, where dogs can run unleashed and mingle, while their owners relax on shaded park benches. This is great place to take your dog for some exercise and playtime. The park even has separate sections for large (over 20 pounds) and small dogs.

Whether you and your canine companion are hitting the beach, the trail, or the park, don’t forget to carry plastic bags to pick up after your dog and dispose of them properly. And be sure to bring along fresh water and a bowl for your dog to prevent dehydration.

At least a half-dozen Flagler Beach restaurants now offer pet-friendly outdoor dining areas.  The city began issuing permits for “doggie dining” a few years ago, and High Tides at Snack Jack and the BeachHouse Beanery & Cafe were the first two to participate.  Dogs must remain outdoors and they are not allowed to climb on seats or tables.

Many area hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds allow pets for free or for a nominal charge. If you find pet-friendly lodging online, it’s always a good idea to call and verify their pet policies.

Don’t forget to pack the suntan lotion and the dog toys!