FIDO Friendly magazine has been covering canine lifestyle issues for more than a decade. Do dogs really have a “lifestyle,” much less issues related to it, you might be asking? Consider that 58 percent of dog owners surveyed this past April said they planned to travel with their pets this summer, and nearly a third of them shelled out more than $1000 annually on products related to taking Fido on the road. The answer, clearly, is a resounding “Yes.”
Fido Friendly's Carol Bryant with her research director
Carol Bryant, the social media and PR director of both the magazine and its associated website and blog, FIDO Friendly.com, has been traveling with her dogs for some 16 years. She’s ideally positioned to discuss the latest developments in the pet travel segment.
FIDO Friendly’s Canine Research Director
Behind every successful pet travel writer there’s a good dog. In Carol’s case it’s Dexter, the Cocker Spaniel she calls “the heartbeat at my feet.” Carol didn’t think she could bear to feel deeply for another dog after her companion of 15 years passed away, but Dexter proved her wrong.
Last year, Dexter and Carol went cross country together on a three-week research trip, sniffing out great places for the canine travel inclined to stay and play. “I tried to think of things from Dexter’s perspective,” Carol says. “What would be Disneyland for him?”
So What Makes a Place FIDO Friendly?
Carol expects places that are genuinely pet friendly to treat Dexter like a member of the family rather than just tolerating him. She makes a distinction between what she terms “dog accepting” and “dog welcoming.”
A couple of examples:
- Providing a room at the corner of the hall: Dog accepting
- Asking if you’re interested in a massage when you check in and discovering they mean for your dog, not for you: Dog welcoming.
Useful features such as pet sitting services and areas set aside to take Fido to the bathroom are important too. And these features can’t be faked, as friendliness can be, even if the property is aware that Carol is a member of the media. Lucky thing. Carol often tries to go incognito, but says it’s tough to be undercover when she’s with Dexter, who has such a sparkling personality that he carries an aura of celebrity.
FIDO Friendly’s 50th: The Golden Anniversary
Celebrating its 50th issue, FIDO Friendly still has the youthful attitude of a puppy, Carol says, continuing to look with fresh eyes at a variety of dog-related subjects in addition to travel. Other topics that fall under Fido Friendly’s aegis include health and wellness, new products, training, and trends in all areas.
Another sign of the keeping up with the times: The website, including the blog to which Carol is a key contributor, continues to grow and improve. In time to coincide with the 50th anniversary, it rolled out a new look.
Still, maturity is a great asset, something to be heralded. So it was natural — and a coup — for Fido Friendly to feature on its Golden Anniversary issue cover one of the Golden Girls, the inimitable Betty White.
Naturally, she’s accompanied by a Golden Retriever. Pretty punny, huh?
Still frisky after all these years…
Listen to the interview here.