Top 10 Tips...
Vacationing with your Pet in Northwest Florida
1. Call Ahead
Even for ResortQuest units that are labeled as pet-friendly properties, you must let us know at time of booking if your furry friend will be coming along. Please remember that pets are never allowed in non-pet homes.
2. Get vaccinated
Vacationing pets must be up to date on all vaccinations. Bring along your pet's rabies certificate as proof that he's current. It's also a good idea to make sure your dog is on a heartworm regimen before you arrive.
3. Stay off the beach
An Okaloosa County ordinance prohibits dogs on public beaches. However, most Florida State Parks welcome vaccinated, leashed and well-controlled pups in designated areas, and there are a number of local dog parks.
4. Scoop the poop
Be considerate when your canine companion leaves a doggie deposit. It is your responsibility to pick up and properly dispose of all pet waste.
5. Wear an ID tag with a cell number
Tag your pet with the number of the cell phone that you'll carry with you during your vacation. If your pet accidentally slips away, the Good Samaritan who finds your pup will have a devil of a time getting him back to you if you've provided only the number for your land line back home.
6. Avoid heatstroke
Just like humans, pets are susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke in hot weather. Make sure your dog drinks plenty of fresh water often. Don't over-exercise your pet, and have them take frequent breaks to cool off in a shady spot. Utilize the cooler early morning and late evening hours for walks. And never, ever leave a pet in a car—even with the windows down, the interior of a car can increase by as much as 40 degrees within an hour.
7. Don't drink the ocean water
Since dogs aren't allowed on the beach anyway, this one shouldn't be a problem. Still, owners need to be aware that drinking the salty Gulf water can make dogs sick. Always keep fresh water available for your thirsty pal.
8. Guard against burns
Ask your veterinarian to recommend a pet-safe sunscreen and apply it to your dog's nose and ears 30 minutes before sun exposure. Also, try to walk your pet during the cooler morning and evening hours to avoid hot sand, sidewalks and asphalt that can burn tender paw pads.
9. Locate the nearest veterinary clinic
Be prepared in case of an emergency. Before you leave home, conduct an Internet search for veterinarians in the area where you'll be vacationing. You could also ask the ResortQuest check-in staff for recommendations when you arrive, or peruse a local phone book at your rental.
10. Have fun!
Get out and visit these happenin' hound hangouts...
Central Bark at Uptown Station
99 Eglin Parkway NE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Recently opened at the new Uptown Station shopping center, Central Bark is the only off-leash dog park in Fort Walton Beach. The fenced area, comprising approximately one acre, is regularly cleaned and maintained. Baggies and trash receptacles are provided, as are a fresh water spigot and dog bowls.
Bayview Dog Beach
20th Ave and Lloyd in Bayview Park, Pensacola, FL 32503
Located on Bayou Texar in Pensacola, the Bayview Dog Beach allows off-leash dogs to splash and swim to their hearts' content. Owners can relax in the shade at the covered picnic tables or even kayak in the bayou alongside Bowser. Pooper scooper stations and trashcans are available, and a shower station lets you hose down your hound before heading home. Open daily 6am-9pm.
Niceville Dog Park
Off Hwy 85, behind soccer/football fields at Mullet Festival fairgrounds north of Niceville
The spacious Niceville Dog Park provides over four acres of grassy space for dogs to run, with lots of large trees providing plenty of welcome shade. Dogs love digging in the sandy areas, and a water station helps keep everyone cool. The park is fully fenced and has a double-gated entrance for extra security. Bright lights automatically illuminate at dusk. Open from Dawn until 10pm daily, except during annual Mullet Festival.