"Pet friendly" often means less restrictive policies for dogs. La Quinta Hotels, including the ones in the Myrtle Beach area, don't charge a fee for your dog and don't have weight restrictions. The City of Myrtle Beach maintains fenced recreational areas for dogs that has fountains, showers, and training structures. There's a "Barc Parc" in both North Myrtle and South Myrtle.
A state park or campground can be a good option. Many West Virginia state parks allow pets. The website www.wvstateparks.com/pet
policy.htm explains the policies and fees. Know before you go is the best advice for traveling with your dog.
One of the best choices is a private home or condo.
Privately owned properties often have the most liberal dog policies, usually charge one set fee for the week and they often are safer for your dog. They offer the most privacy and you don't have to worry about your dog disturbing other guests. You can rent directly from owners or agencies that manage properties for owners.
Direct rentals are easily found at a website for vacation rentals by owner, www.vrbo.com; there are dozens more like this. After you choose your location, vrbo.com has filters at the top of the page to narrow your search. The site offers 259 dog-friendly rentals in West Virginia and 504 in Myrtle Beach, which is no doubt the most popular vacation destination for people from our state.
Since each property is individually owed, polices, rules and fees differ. Sometimes the property information page will tell if the owner has a dog. These properties are normally more pet-friendly than others, with amenities that the owners have chosen for their own dogs. The vrbo.com site lists 58 oceanfront Myrtle Beach rentals from one-bedroom condos to The Big Chill, a seven-bedroom house. Another, the Tropical Breeze, is a rental on Oak Island, N.C., that has a fenced yard and an outdoor shower.
Some important things to consider with a rental unit include whether it has a fenced yard and a location away from a busy street. An outdoor shower is helpful, as is a deck with a locking gate. Check into the beach rules. Myrtle Beach, for example, prohibits dogs on the beach from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Some locations have specific dog-friendly beaches where dogs are permitted off leash.
Private rentals usually ask for a damage deposit. Agencies representing private properties often have an option called "peace of mind," a flat fee to cover anything that gets damaged by you or your dog. This fee can be pretty expensive.
Taking your dog on vacation can be a wonderful experience if you are well informed before you go. With the proper preparation, your vacation will get a four-paw rating.