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Celebrate National Dog Day with a pet-friendly stay

It doesn’t matter if your best fur friend is a purebred or a mix. On August 26, pet lovers celebrate National Dog Day, established in 2004 by animal advocate Colleen Paige. It’s a way of bringing attention to rescue dogs in need of homes.

The National Dog Day website lists many ways to help. You can donate blankets, toys and foods to an animal welfare organization, volunteer at a shelter, or just show your pet some extra love.

If you’re on the road around August 26, check out one of these hotels or resorts. They’re offering special treats for their guests’ fur friends. Note: Listed prices and activities are subject to change. Inquire about any pet size/weight restrictions at the property you plan to visit.

St. Petersburg/Clearwater, FL

Let your dog get his bark on, while you sun and swim on these Florida beaches. Dogs on 6-foot leashes can enjoy Fort De Soto’s 1,136-acre county park, which features a fenced Paw Playground with cooling stations and doggy drinking fountains. Leashed dogs are also welcome at Honeymoon Island’s dog beach, where the clear, shallow water is perfect for wading. Book a stay at the Loews Don CeSar, on St. Pete Beach, where dogs are treated like VIPs (Very Important Pets) with a special pet room-service menu and a rate of $45/night.

Asbury Park, NJ

Does your four-legged friend need some R&R? The Asbury hotel provides a Do Not Disturb doggy sticker, if he wants a nap. Pet-friendly rooms are stocked with treats from a local pet store and waste bags and puppy pads. Ask the Pet Concierge if you need food for yourself or a bowl and a leash, or a list of pet-welcoming eateries, activities, pet sitters and more.

Boston, MA

Located near popular Fenway Park, Hotel Commonwealth offers fur-friendly service. Pet bowls and beds are provided during your stay, and there are nearby services like dog-grooming and pet massages. Ask for the Terrier Suite, which honors Boston University’s sports legacy and its beloved terrier mascot.  

Manchester, VT

If your pup needs a pal, ask for the names of other dogs spending the night at Taconic, a Kimpton Hotels property in Vermont’s Green Mountains. The front desk will help you connect and welcome your canine with treats. On National Dog Day, the hotel will partner with a local animal shelter, Second Chance, so dogs can romp together on the hotel lawn from noon to 4 pm. Scheduled activities may include dog washing and grooming services, a dog parade and a “Yappy Hour.”

Sea Island, GA

Bring your hungry hound to Sea Island, a luxury resort that provides dog beds and bowls upon request. Dogs can explore the property with you, and you can order from an a la carte gourmet pet menu for in-room dining. Consider the “Crazy Dog” (braised beef tips with white rice), “Chicken Delight” (grilled chicken breast with sautéed vegetables and chopped noodles), or a specialty snack of a bacon strip with peanut butter.

New York City, NY

The trendy Bowery Hotel encourages doggy guests, and you and your pet can socialize on Gemma’s patio, one of the most popular outdoor dining spots in the city. At The Ludlow Hotel,  on the Lower East Side, guestrooms include pet bowls, treats and dog walking services. There’s also a “secret garden” where you can hang out together. Dogs are also welcome to celebrate National Dog Day with the Gansevoort Hotel Group, which has locations on Park Avenue and in the historic meatpacking district. Pets can snack on artisanal, all-natural treats and enjoy complimentary amenities like pet beds, monogrammed mats, bowls, Fiji water, toys and more.

Lynn Coulter is owned by two rescue dogs—Molly and Miss Paws—and occasionally blogs at She’s also the author of three books and a freelancer who writes about travel, gardening and more. She and her husband live in metro Atlanta, where they cheer for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and spend their money on dog biscuits.

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