Pack up the pooch for pet-friendly Prescott

Molly is ready to spend the day in Prescott!

Molly is ready to spend the day in Prescott!

If you’re looking for cool ways to spend a summer Arizona weekend, consider spending a day, weekend or — even an entire week in pet-friendly Prescott. Just like we do, our furry best friends also deserve an cool getaway during the coming ‘dog days’ of summer. Here are some suggestions for Prescott:

Dog policies are well publicized at the Prescott Farmers Market

Dog policies are well publicized at the Prescott Farmers Market

Vendors from Rabbit's Run Farm sell their produce at Prescott Farmers Market

Vendors from Rabbit’s Run Farm sell their produce at Prescott Farmers Market

Grab a snack and a cold drink at Prescott Farmers Market

Grab a snack and a cold drink at Prescott Farmers Market

Start a Saturday morning by visiting the Prescott Farmers Market at Yavapai College. The market is held weekly from 7:30 a.m. to noon in the college parking lot, at 1100 East Sheldon Street. Find local produce vendors, crafty-types, ready-to-eat brunch and lunch items, artists and live music. We strolled the booths shopping for mesquite honey, artisan breads, homemade soaps and farm-fresh veggies while listening to laidback tunes such as a cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.” We snacked on authentic Kenyan samosas — a delicious baked pastry, puffed and stuffed with one of several meats — beef, pork, chicken or chorizo.

We shared our samosas with our border collie, Molly who politely walked along the aisles of this ample farmers market. Know that the Prescott Farmers Market has a policy for dogs — mostly just common sense — but we acknowledge some dog owners need to be reminded: Keep your dog leashed, close to your side, away from the market vendors’ wares.

Crooked Sky Farms' booth at Prescott Farmers Market

Crooked Sky Farms’ booth at Prescott Farmers Market

If there’s a show, exhibit, fair or some other type of activity at Courthouse Plaza (and there usually is on summer weekends), you’ll want to check that out, so venture over to downtown Prescott. Because our visit fell on Memorial Day weekend, we were fortunate the 39th Annual Phippen Museum Western Art Show and Sale was in full swing at Courthouse Plaza. It seems most western art buffs must be dog lovers as well — numerous vendors, shoppers, both visitors and locals had brought their canine pets to the square.

Phippen Museum benefits from the annual Memorial Day art show and sale

Phippen Museum benefits from the annual Memorial Day art show and sale

Oodles of poodles can be seen at summer Courthouse Plaza events

Oodles of poodles can be seen at summer Courthouse Plaza events

Some events at Courthouse Plaza in fact, are just for dogs. The first weekend of June was Woof Down Lunch, a fundraiser to benefit United Animal Friends. The annual event is a pet fair featuring training demonstrations, contests, handcrafted pet food, music and pet adoptions. It was held on June 1st, so we just missed this event but we’ll mark our calendars for next year. Coming up in the fall on October 6th is the 7th Annual Dogtoberfest and Adop-a-Thon, sponsored by The Prescott Dog and the City of Prescott.

After the show, you’ll undoubtedly want a bite to eat. And you won’t have to travel far to find a dog-friendly patio restaurant in downtown Prescott. We opted for the Firehouse Kitchen, just half a block and around the corner from Whiskey Row. We did not see any Dalmations at this two-level firehouse, but we did notice some well-behaved dogs with their owners. Know there are TWO dog patio (one on each level) to allow enough space for pooches to spread out. Our server brought us our lunch meals without hardly any wait, considering this very busy weekend. Chuck ordered a satisfying crab melt with tomato and avocado, covered with cheddar cheese and served on an English muffin. I selected a delicious barbecue brisket sandwich on Kaiser roll with sweet potato fries. Molly noshed on doggie treats from home. She was very impressed that our server brought out a dish of water. Being on second floor, Molly enjoyed watching the street traffic below while we dined. A perfect lunch!

Crab melt sandwich at Firehouse Kitchen

Crab melt sandwich at Firehouse Kitchen

After lunch, you and “Fido” may want to exercise off some calories at a local dog park. Willow Creek Park, located at 3181 Willow Creek Road, is a City of Prescott dog park. Take some time to let your dog run off steam without the leash before heading back to the Valley or checking into your hotel room.

If you need suggestions for pet-friendly overnight lodging, more dining options or things to do with your dog in Prescott, there are a number of websites with information. Here’s a partial list:

1. Prescott.com

2. Petswelcome.com

3. Bringfido.com

One we checked out before our trip is The Prescott Dog, a locally managed website. The information seems to be fairly comprehensive, current and accurate, but we make it practice to confirm pet policies of restaurants and hotels before we go. Two downtown pet-friendly Prescott hotels at which we previously have stayed are  Hassayampa Inn and SpringHill Suites Prescott.  If hotel lodging isn’t an option for you, consider of several nearby campgrounds in Prescott National Forest.

Take the opportunity to visit pet-friendly Prescott at least one weekend this summer. It’s the perfect way to escape the Valley’s hot ‘dog days.’ We already have planned our next weekend in Prescott.

You can also find AZGetawayTravel.com on Twitter and Facebook.

Packing tips for the ‘pooch’

Like many traveling dog owners, we have over the years put together a list of pet-friendly travel items and tips, but occasionally we’ll come across a new idea. Here are some items we recommend:

Car Harness

Dogs should be restrained in the vehicles whether it is in a designated dog seat (for smaller dogs) or a dog seat harness.  It can be even something as simple as a regular chest harness with ring on the back with a short lead through the ring, then looped through a secured seat belt. Any way to secure the dog’s range of motion is recommended in case of sudden breaking or collision.

Molly is ready for a road trip, secured in her harness

Old Sheets

These come in handy for many situations. They can be draped over the car seat as added protection or even over the doggy car seat blanket.  Old sheets from home can be draped over the furniture at the pet-friendly hotel unit also, in case your dog is tempted jump on the sofa or chair.

Crate

Our dog, Molly is crate-trained, so our collapsible wire crate can be easily stowed on top of the suitcases in our trunk. Most hotels do not allow guests to leave their pets unattended, but an increasing number of resorts will allow crated dogs to be left alone. Pet stores also sell canvas or mesh foldable travel crates. If a crate isn’t an option, you may want to bring your pet’s own blanket, pillow or dog bed.

Washcloths and stain removers

Just in case there is an accident, it helps to have washcloths and cleaning products from home. After a resort tried to charge extra fees for “ruined washcloths” at check out, we carry our own. We pack a small container of a powdered cleaner such as Oxy-Clean or a travel-size spray bottle of liquid stain remover such as “Nature’s Miracle.”

Dog Park Locations

Check online to find the nearest dog parks in your destination city. Because your dog will be on the leash or in the room for the majority of the time, it’s a good idea to have access to the nearest fenced dog park where they can run around freely. Listings of dog parks in Arizona can be found in online directories or on your destination’s municipal website.

Other useful items to consider:

  • Spare copies of dog license, health and immunization certificates, microchip documents
  • Extra leash and collar
  • Homemade pet first aid kit including some items such as self-sticking adhesive wraps, bandages, Benadryl and puppy pads
  • Comb for removing cactus needles, burrs or thistles after hiking
  • Finally, remember to bring plenty of “chewies” and treats to reward your dog. They will enjoy vacations too!

Molly and I take a break from shopping at Sedona's Tlaquepaque