Last week’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York left me with two thoughts burning in my mind:
I mean, you saw the Best in Show winner Uno, right? WOOK AT HIS WITTLE FACE! I’m not even really a dog person (gentle reader, please don’t hold it against me!), but I want an arrROOOOing bucket full of beagles to take home with me. All the press for this cutie has rekindled a desire for a beagle I developed after staying at a B&B near Middlebury, VT, that had two or three fat beagles lazing around on the couch, tummies exposed for scratching by a never-ending supply of guests, in front of a fire in the common room. Boy, did they have the life!
But enough of that. The real question is: where do those thousands of dogs and their owners stay in New York City? Find this answer and other advice for keeping your pets in top form on your travels after the jump.
I’m sorry, I slipped. He’s just SO CUTE. Look at those eyes, will you? If you haven’t had enough of Uno either, you can watch the video of his win and other footage at the WKC website.
Your first stop for advice on traveling with your pet should be the clearinghouse of information you’ll find in Travelhacker’s post How to: Travel with Pets – the Ultimate Guide.
Back in NYC, the WKC makes arrangements with numerous hotels in the city to provide lodging for their competitors. I’ve sorted out the pet-friendliest lodgings under $200/night below.
THE HOTEL PENNSYLVANIA
401 Seventh Avenue, (212) 736-5000
Room Rates with dogs: $159 + tax
Room Rates without dogs: $159 + tax
Hotel Penn is cur central come dog show time. If you saw a news story or two covering the event, you likely saw images of pooches being primped and pampered at this hotel. One of my favorite from the NY Times’ coverage was the Penn’s indoor “elimination area,” complete with hydrants for the dogs’ comfort and security. While the Penn goes all out for Westminster, employing a doggie concierge to attend to their various demands, it remains a pet-friendly hotel year-round — one of the most affordable in the WKC list. Through March 31, they are offering up to 20% off room prices; check out their “specials” section for more details.
For something cheaper, try booking with recognized pet-friendly chains, such as Days Inn, La Quinta or Westin. Strangely, pet-friendly seems to be a low-end or high-end hotel phenomenon, with few mid-level national hotel chains following suit. If you’ve found the perfect hotel but aren’t sure about their pet policy, it can never hurt to call and ask. Sometimes they will allow your pet if you agree to a damage deposit or a small per-stay fee.
If you’ve booked a hotel that won’t accept your pet, it is possible to board your animal in the city during your stay. A quick search shows Pet Chauffeur has reasonable daily rates; you can find others advertising their kennel and walking services in the City Pet Guide.
If your pet experiences serious health problems during your stay, find 24-hour emergency veterinary services at
Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd St., New York, NY 10021. (212) 838-8100.
5th Avenue Veterinary Specialists (VCA Animal Hospitals), 1 West 15th Street, New York, NY 10011. (212) 924-3311.
You’ll find a lot of tips and general advice from city dog owners and pet professionals at NY Urbanhound and Dog Friendly City Guide to NYC. Urbanhound offers a searchable guide to city dog parks, while Dog Friendly serves up another helping of pet-friendly hotels in the city. Check out their handy pet travel etiquette as well.
Finally, for all you dog lovers, pedigree breeders and aspiring doggie hairstylists who have read this far, here are the details for attending the show:
+ The cheapest tickets are general admission — seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. All tickets are granted full access to the benching area, where the dogs are boarded, primped and displayed while the show is going on.
+ 2008’s general admission tickets were $40 for one-day or $75 for two-day admission; children’s tickets were $20/day.
+ Tickets are available only from Ticketmaster or Madison Square Garden. If you’ve ever been to a concert, you know they charge you additional fees on top of the ticket price, so reckon another $15 per ticket.
+ If you’re bad at planning or the show appears sold out, a limited number of general admission tickets are available at the venue for purchase on the days of the show.
Have you attended or shown a dog at Westminster? Leave us your suggestions and advice in the comments.