Your pet isn’t just a pet, they are part of your family. Yes?
Let’s find out how much you’ve taken that to heart with a little quiz, shall we?
- search out events they can have fun at?
- look for places where they can do their favourite things?
- celebrate with them on their birthdays and holidays like you would a (human) member of your household?
If you said yes to all three of these questions, then congratulations; your furry friend is indeed full-fledged member of your family (go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back).
Missed the mark but justifying it because you play catch with them regularly? That’s a good start. But if we’re talking family-level activity, consider these points:
For a significant other’s birthday, wouldn’t you take them to dinner or check out the community calendar to find if their favourite band was in town? If you have children, wouldn’t you look for special ways to surprise them by taking them to parades or the pool for an afternoon of swimming?
It’s what you do for family, right?
So, if you’ve been neglecting that part of your pet’s life, it’s time to get your actions in line with your words. Here are just a few places around the Kootenays to make it happen:
Checking out the bbq, frisbee and all the divers jumping in, you’d come to a conclusion that this pool party was the classic summer kickoff pool party—for humans. But this party is reserved for those who doggy paddle (literally). Each year, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort closes their pool for maintenance and throws one last hurrah—with the pooches. And why not? Our canine family deserve luxury time, too.
And while the dogs are letting loose at the Pooch Plunge, they’re also giving back to fellow furry buds: The event is a fundraiser for both Global Animal Lovers and ICAN, two organizations created to protect animals.
Many who attended the Pooch Plunge in the past noted that they’d be back this year, echoing Rhonda’s sentiments surrounding her pooch plunging participant: “Duke had a great time!” If your dog wants in on the action, mark your calendar for May 6th this year.
Adults have happy hour. Children have play dates. Doesn’t your dog need a social hour, too?
Yup. Enter dog parks. I’m not talking the kind that’s a plot of grass with a chain-link fence wrapped around it; think instead of your favourite city park: it includes elements of nature, provides creature comforts like shelters and benches, and within its borders, it lets you roam without restriction.
Now scale that for dogs.
That’s what Fernie Pet Society has in mind as they plan a new dog park, scheduled to open with its first phase in July. They even have an architect, Leslie Lowe, designing the entire area. Lowe’s belief, according to a Citylab article, is that a good dog park “replicates the experience of frolicking in the wide-open, ever-stimulating wild, making dogs feel at ease by placing them in a setting that feels naturally familiar.”
To make that happen, Fernie’s dog park will include a vegetated plaza, decorated walking paths; a weatherproof pavilion; a water park; and play area with tunnels, a slide, and climbing ramp. If you end up playing as much as your pup, no judgement here.
You take your dog out when training for an upcoming 10k, right? But then leave them at home on race day? With all that training in, let them get some competition time in, too.
Golden gives canines the chance to get competitive during their annual Canada Day Kicking Horse Country Dash. Starting and finishing in Golden’s “Spirit Square”, the timed 5k and 10k event utilizes the town’s Rotary Trail, which runs along the Kicking Horse River, through forested areas, and past Reflection Lake.
Even if your pal hasn’t been training, they still love to stretch their legs; this race lets you both go at your own pace. “Run as an ambitious athlete or as a family,” says Ruth Hamilton of Golden’s Chamber of Commerce.
Wide open spaces for daytime exploration. Suites outfitted for evening relaxation with heated floors and custom-made beds. Soothing music to ease away the stresses of daily life. Spa services on site. And nutritious meals that can be customized to fit dietary needs.
No, this isn’t for you, dear human. It’s for your furry buddy. These resorts cater to the whims of your beloved canine or feline friend. From kitty condos with views to wading pools for dogs and “Bow Wow TV”, these resorts are so catered to the enjoyment of your pets, it could become part of a regular rotation of play (and not just when the humans are away).
Story by Gina Begin; cover photo by Dave Best (pet-friendly accommodation in the Kootenays)
Gina Begin - Although she’s a Florida girl, exploration called her away after the final bell of her high school career. On a quest to reach the distant adventures of North America, she lived in her car, traveling to ski the backcountry of Alaska, sleep under the northern lights in the Yukon Territory, ice climb Colorado's frozen canyons, photograph Nova Scotia’s coves, backpack in southern US wildernesses and munch on sugared tamarindo in the jungles of Mexico. But after three years living on the road and seeing the many wonders this continent had to offer, she chose the place she knew would fit an explorer looking for a lifetime of wild wonder: British Columbia. Dual citizenship in hand, she settled along the Powder Highway in the Selkirks and is making her home between four walls and deeply wooded mountains.