How To Have An Elevated Vacation With Just You & Your Dog

Matt Kroll/Bustle

Think about it: Dogs are the perfect travel companion. Sure, they may not be able to help with navigation, but they’re loyal, and beyond excited to explore a new city. In fact, the up-for-anything attitude of a canine is probably something all human travelers could embrace more! So why not consider making your next vacation all about the two of you?

Of course, finding a dog-friendly destination complete with quality food options and fun outdoor activities requires a little extra research. To help you plan an elevated vacation for you and your pup, Bustle partnered with Castor & Pollux®, the maker of America's #1 organic pet food brand, to ask food blogger Skyler Bouchard and her four-legged BFF, Poppy, how they spent a weekend in Telluride, Colorado. This duo had everything planned out, from where to stay, what fun local activities to do, and even how to make sure they were both getting the highest quality food available over the course of their travel.

Are you starting to feel a bit inspired to plan a getaway with your furry best friend? Read on to find out how Skyler and Poppy pulled off their trip, and then start planning one for yourself!

Where To Stay

Matt Kroll/Bustle

Searching for pet-friendly places to stay may feel like you’re limiting your options, but the truth is there are many hotel chains and vacation rentals that are happy to accommodate pets. For Skyler and Poppy, a dog-friendly hotel was the right choice for their trip, especially because they had so many outdoor activities on their itinerary close by, like the Telluride Wine Festival and a gondola ride. However, if you’re traveling to a less walkable destination, a rental with a yard might be a better option.

Whatever you decide, it’s important to do your research ahead of time to ensure your pet fits any mandatory criteria (for example, some hotels have a weight restriction on pets allowed). Once you’ve booked your stay, make sure to pack your pup’s favorite toy, treats, and their favorite ORGANIX recipe, like Poppy's go-to Castor & Pollux ORGANIX® Organic Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe, which is USDA certified organic and is made without corn, soy, or wheat.

Where To Eat

Matt Kroll/Bustle

Besides a love for adventure, Poppy and Skyler also share a love for food. Skyler is a wellness advocate who believes in eating nutritious foods made with USDA organic and non-GMO ingredients, even while traveling. Lucky for Poppy, he gets to eat just as well with Castor & Pollux® ORGANIX. All recipes are free of antibiotics, chemical pesticides, and added growth hormones — providing the level of quality and safety you want for your dog.

Traveling can make eating healthy difficult, so Skyler packs and makes her own oatmeal at her hotel for breakfast, and then drops by the local farmer’s market to find local, seasonal ingredients — in addition to sampling bites at the Telluride Wine Festival. Not only are these types of events easier to explore with a dog in tow than a restaurant, but there’s also an opportunity to meet local farmers and chefs, and learn more about the food they stock.

What To Do

Matt Kroll/Bustle

While your dog would probably be happy sniffing patches of grass along the sidewalk, it’s best to widen your horizons a bit to really discover a new city. Choosing outdoor, dog-friendly activities like festivals, fairs, or markets are a great way to simultaneously enjoy the sights and smells of your destination while experiencing some of the many local venues it has to offer. Be sure to bring some cash to shop around, and a collapsible water dish to keep your pet hydrated on the go.

Aside from enjoying local dog-friendly attractions like Telluride's beautiful mountainside gondola, Skyler also made tasting the local cuisine and libations a top traveling priority — and what better way to do that than at a tasting event? To get a true taste of Telluride, Poppy and Skyler explored the local farmers market and the Telluride Wine Festival’s Sunday Tasting — a dog-friendly event featuring flavorful, organic bites. This year, Castor & Pollux® hosted Sunday brunch guests alongside local chef Eliza Gavin, the owner and acclaimed chef behind Telluride-based New American restaurant 221 South Oak. Watch our video below to learn more about Skyler and Poppy's adventures in Telluride, and to meet chef Eliza!

This post is sponsored by Castor & Pollux®.