Many of us wouldn't dream of going on vacation without our pets. And these days, more and more lodgings and restaurants are going the pet-friendly route. The Loews Coronado Bay Resort, W San Diego, Hotel Indigo, and Hotel Solamar, in particular, go out of their way to welcome pets. Many San Diegans congregate with their canine friends at Dog Beach, at the north end of Ocean Beach, where dogs can swim, play, and socialize. After your pooch is thoroughly coated in seawater and sand, take him to the do-it-yourself Dog Beach Dog Wash, 2 blocks away at 4933 Voltaire St. (tel. 619/523-1700; www.dogwash.com). Nate's Point in Balboa Park is another favored place to let your pooch run loose. It's at the west end of the park, on the south side of Cabrillo Bridge.
Good resources include www.petswelcome.com, which dispenses medical tips, names of animal-friendly lodgings and campgrounds, and lists of kennels and veterinarians; www.pettravel.com; and www.travelpets.com.
If you plan to fly with your pet, a list of requirements for transporting live animals is available at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/publications/animals.htm. You may be able to carry your pet on board a plane if that pet is small enough to put inside a carrier that can slip under the seat. Pets usually count as one piece of carry-on luggage. The ASPCA discourages travelers from checking pets as luggage at any time, as storage conditions on planes are loosely monitored, and fatal accidents are not unprecedented. Your other option is to ship your pet with a professional carrier, which can be expensive. Ask your vet whether you should sedate your pet on a plane ride or give it anti-nausea medication. Never give your pet sedatives used by humans.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.