It wasn’t long ago that we wrote about California-based Dining with Dogs and its directory of canine-centric restaurants; before that, it was the Sniff Dog Hotel. The latest dog-friendly spotting? Chien Bleu, a UK travel agency that specializes in arranging trips for people and their canine companions. Chien Bleu bills itself as “the UK’s first and only travel specialist devoted to fine accommodations truly welcoming to dogs.” Toward that end, canine-attached travelers can consult the firm for help planning trips that don’t exclude their furry friends. The company works with prospective travelers to find an appealing dog-friendly trip; once that’s done, Chien Bleu taps its relationships with canine-friendly establishments throughout the UK and makes all the arrangements. Featured providers include London’s Milestone Hotel, for instance, which offers canine travelers welcome hampers, a choice of custom-made bedding, a turndown service complete with turndown treat, and a room service menu featuring steak and Cumberland sausage. Chien Bleu explains: “At Chien Bleu, we know first-hand that dog-friendly is often anything but. Personally putting countless places to the test, we’ve sought out those that are truly worthy of the title. Being truly welcoming to dogs is not enough. With exceedingly high standards, the service and surroundings must also be of the highest quality to be included in our portfolio.” Think it’s all a bit silly? The American Pet Products Association estimates that US consumers alone will spend USD 50.84 billion on their pets in 2011. With figures like that, this might be a good time to stop chuckling and start planning.
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