Reigning Cats and Dogs: Pet Travel Tips in NYCMarch 10, 2017 - by Mari Gold
New York is a very animal-friendly city. Many pets call the Big Apple home while others visit for a while along with their human companions. Here are some tips about how to make life easier while sharing the city with a dog or a cat.
If you need a rental car, companies like Hertz, Alamo, Budget, and Avis allow Fido but often charge a cleaning fee. Do your bit and be sure the inside of your wheels are super clean when you return your car, possibly escaping the fee. Zip Car also allows animal passengers in crates or other containers.
Animal taxi services abound. Pet Taxi rates depend on how far you're going and where the pickup is—upstairs costs more. Canine Car will transport a pet with or without a person, taking the animal to a group of selected (by them) vets including the Animal Medical Center. Is Fido walking down the aisle? Canine Car will have someone stay with a pooch at the venue until the big moment and transport her home afterwards. Airport pickup is also available.
Photo: NYC Doggies/Facebook
In warm weather months, dogs can accompany you to restaurants with outdoor seating. Among welcoming eateries are Bistro Chat Noir and the Barking Dog on the Upper East Side; the Boat Basin Café at the Hudson River and West 79th Street; and the Madison Square Park location of the popular, ever-crowded Shake Shack, 23rd St. and Madison Ave.
Many city dogs are walked via services which can be ultra-handy if you need to be out when Wags does, too. You can elect a solo or group walk and how long the walk should last. NYC Doggies takes dogs walking or "hiking"; NY Tails also offers boarding and dog sitting (as do most walking companies); Bark Ave Dog Walkers largely deals with pooches in Manhattan. Or, call a vet and ask for a recommendation.
You can take a pup on a bus if it's small enough to carry in a container. There's no size or weight limit on animals assuming you can tote it.
Photo: Kitty in NY (Facebook)
For felines, Katie's Kitty, in business for 16 years, offers cat sleepovers in your home as well as cat sitting and boarding as do Kitty in NY and Gotham City Cat Care.
If travel minus your four-legged pal is a non-starter, check out and into a pet-friendly hotel. The Roxy Hotel in Tribeca welcomes dogs; their sister hotel, Soho Grand, a five-minute walk away, offers a private dog park. In midtown west, The Affinia Manhattan hosted the 2016 Westminster Dog Show Best in Show winner. A stay here includes discounts on neighborhood pet products. Hotel Pennsylvania offers reasonable rates and a convenient location opposite Penn Station and Madison Square Garden and near Macy's and the Empire State Building. At 27 Grant Street on the lower East Side, the James Hotel accepts fluffy plus-ones in style (as it does its human guests).
NYC parks are full of dog runs, fenced off areas where you and your dog can both make new friends. Some have specified off-leash times, usually early and late in the day, so your canine pal can burn off some energy. For runs near you, check: https://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/dogareas
And now there The Ark (as in Noah's), a luxury airport hotel for creatures great and small. Just-opened Phase 1 of this operation at JFK has resting stalls for travelling horses; an aviary quarantine for birds flying on airline wings; animal handling and 24/7 vet care for pets large or small. More on animal transport at: http://arkjfk.com