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Many of us wouldn't dream of going on vacation without our pets. Under the right circumstances, it can be a wonderful experience for both you and your animals. Dogs and cats are accepted at many motels in Utah, but not as universally in resorts or more expensive hotels. This book consistently notes those lodgings that take pets. Some properties require you to pay a fee or damage deposit, and most insist they be notified at check-in that you have a pet. All Motel 6 motels accept pets; the chain has a number of locations throughout Utah.

An excellent resource is www.petswelcome.com, which dispenses medical tips, names of animal-friendly lodgings and campgrounds, and lists of kennels and veterinarians. Other good websites are www.pettravel.com and www.travelpets.com.

Be aware that national parks and monuments and other federal lands administered by the National Park Service are not pet-friendly. Dogs are usually prohibited on hiking trails, must always be leashed, and in some cases cannot be taken more than 100 feet from established roads. On the other hand, U.S. Forest Service and BLM areas, as well as practically all of Utah's state parks, are pro-pet, allowing dogs on trails and just about everywhere except inside buildings.

Aside from regulations, however, it's important to be attentive to your pet's well-being. Just as people need extra water in Utah's hot, dry climate, so do pets. Try those clever nonspill travel water bowls sold in pet stores. And keep in mind that, particularly in southern Utah's red-rock country, trails are rough, and jagged rocks can cut the pads on your dog's feet. It's a good idea to carry tweezers to remove cactus spines. Remember, too, that dogs, who usually spend most of their time sleeping, aren't used to 10-hour hikes up mountainsides. More than one exhausted pooch has had to be carried back to camp by its owner.

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.