October 21, 2021

Are 'pet-friendly' hotels really worth the extra money?

The pitter-patter of paws can be heard in close to half of all Canadian households, so it’s no wonder that the hospitality industry is anxious to capture this demographic with enhanced 'pet-friendly' features.

A decade ago hotels either “accepted” dogs or they didn't, Len Kain, the editor of, a travel site for dog owners, told the New York Times. “You could not really say they welcomed them, that is, encouraged you to bring them.”

But they sure do now.  

Some hotels welcome pets in all rooms; others have a limited number. But their doors are always open to pet owners and their friends.

"It makes good business sense for hotels to recognize that pets are part of the family," says Susan Sims, publisher of Fido Friendly magazine. "People who bring their pets tend to stay longer and spend more."

One reason guests spend more is that, unlike children, pets usually don't stay free. Many hotels charge about $25 a night, others far more, Sims says. You might also have to put down a refundable $100 deposit and accept financial liability for any damage your pet causes.

Pet policies vary widely among pet-friendly accommodations. Some hotels are only dog friendly; others have a 2 pet maximum.

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October 08, 2021

Save money and don't over-vaccinate your pooch

Man's best friend is a great companion, but let's face it, they're also a costly member of the family.

While it's important to ensure your dog is in good health, save money by vaccinating your dog once every three years rather than once a year, which many vets continue to push, according to a recent CBC Marketplace investigation. These vaccinations apply to what are known as core canine vaccinations, which are essential to your pooch.

This vaccination timeline follows guidelines released by the American Animal Hospital Association, which is used by veterinarians in North America. It turns out that protection from core vaccinations will last for seven to nine years, according to the CBC.

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October 03, 2021

Dog owner reimbursed $500 after dog ate his bank notes

If your dog eats your money, don't fret, it's possible you'll be reimbursed. A Montana man waited six months before the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing sent him a cheque for the five $100 bills his dog scarfed down.

The golden retriever, Sundance, chowed down on his gourmet meal when the bills were stashed in the car's front seat compartment. Once the dog owner, Wayne Klinkel, realized the situation, he followed Sundance around with rubber gloves and plastic bags while waiting for Sundance's meal to pass through the dog's system. More pieces of the bills showed up once the snow melted.

It's a bit of an icky task, but Klinkel washed, dried and ironed the bills before sending them over to the U.S. Treasury. And it looks like his efforts paid off.

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October 17, 2021

Who'll look after your pets when you're no longer there?

Have you thought about the future when it comes to your pets?

The bond between people and their pets runs deep, so it's only natural that pet owners should be concerned about what will happen to their charges should they die or can no longer care for them.

Hopefully, a relative or close family friend will jump right in, particularly if you've already broached the subject with them.

But, emotions aside, be careful who you chose for the task, warns Doug Carroll, vice-president, tax and estate planning at Invesco Trimark.

For instance:

  • Does the person have the disposition to be a pet owner?
  • Would their schedule allow for adequate care?
  • What about travel and vacations?
  • Are they physically up to the task?
  • Are there any safety issues, particularly with regards to young children?
  • What about allergy issues?

And then there's the hundreds of dollars in annual care, of course.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...