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Originally published October 19, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Page modified November 8, 2012 at 12:26 PM

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Done right, traveling with pets is a breeze

In the U.S., lodging chains from Motel 6 to Marriott have many properties that welcome pets.

For advice, help

Humane Society advice on traveling with pets: www.humanesociety.org (search for: pets travel)

Pet-friendly lodging: www.petscanstay.com, www.petswelcome.com

Airline pet policies, international travel with pets: www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/c10442.htm

See Tails of Seattle, our pets blog

Your local source for news and tips about dogs, cats and other critters, featuring fun videos, reader photos, Q&As and more. Read the entries now!

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HAVE PET, will travel.

Almost half of American pet owners plan to vacation with their furry — or feathered or scaled — pets over the next year, a recent TripAdvisor survey found.

Most will go by vehicle, the kindest and safest way to travel with pets. What dog wouldn't prefer to ride in a car, nice and close to owners as well as pit stops, to riding in the scary, isolated cargo hold of a plane?

For something completely different, the occasional well-trained dog hits the road riding shotgun on a motorcycle (above), complete with doggy goggles.

All those dogs on the road need some place to stay. RV travelers and tent campers have their pets' night needs solved. Other pet owners must find pet-friendly motels and hotels.

In the U.S., lodging chains from Motel 6 to Marriott have many properties that welcome pets — one more way to lure guests in recessionary times.

Even boutique hotels have put out the welcome mat for pets. At Seattle's Hotel Monaco and its sister hotels of the Kimpton chain, special service for dogs can include their own food and water bowls (and bottled water) delivered to the room; a map of pet-friendly walks, even a room-service menu for pets. And for owners traveling without their pets and feeling lonely, Kimpton hotels will loan you a goldfish for your stay.

Guppy love. It's not as good as puppy love, but it could help.

Kristin R. Jackson is The Seattle Times NWTraveler editor. Contact her at kjackson@seattletimes.com.

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