Traveling With Pets-Another Big Problem
By Roy MacNaughton
It was a warm, tropical night with soft sea breezes, the sounds of a million night frogs, and the heavy scent of hibiscus hanging on that breeze. My wife and I had just arrived in the twin-island republic of Trinidad & Tobago in the West Indies. We were the guests of the local government, staying at a famous resort hotel, located in 25 acres of landscaped gardens. We had just finished dinner and decided to take a romantic stroll in the moonlight to absorb the sensory reality that is the tropics.
As we crossed a manicured lawn walkway, in the headlights of an approaching taxi we could see a large â€˜moundâ€™ that, as we got closer and could see better, seemed to be unexplainably moving. The mound was moving!
Then–now that we could see clearly–we understood. This â€˜moundâ€™ was animal excrement; and it was totally covered by moving Trinidadian cock roaches! We went back into the hotel but on our way back to the lobby and pool area, we spotted at least four other piles of such waste. Now it was quite difficult to keep our dinner down.
The local dogs run on the property depositing their business at all hours. Naturally this immediately attracted all manner of insects, particularly the tropical variety of cockroach. These guys fly in like B-52â€™s. Locals say you have to watch they donâ€™t carry off your cat.
This true story came to mind when friends in the lodging business asked me to research a new burgeoning market segment: guests traveling with their pets. The pet industry is booming like never before. Lodging operators have realized that millions of pet owners want to travel with their pet. There are more than a dozen pet-friendly directories on the web, comprised of lodging establishments that welcome guests with pets. When trip planning, simply click on these web-based pet-friendly directories and determine which hotels on your route, or at your intended destination, accept pets with the guest in the room.
But let me pause for the cause, for just a moment of reality. Getting as basic as I can here–to make my point–one thing we know for sure is that dogs and cats, like we humans, have to eat and they have to–well you get the picture. The question raises itself. How does a hotel owner manage this potential mountain of pet poop? The answer rises to the appropriate occasion: someone had to invent a very special plastic totally biodegradable doggie bag. One that conveniently assists the pet owner in picking up after his pet and allowing him to dispose of this unwanted waste in such a manner that the plastic bag and its contents totally degrade into nothing but CO2, water and humic matter, when it is put in the landfill or the composting containers. These people originally began marketing plastic biodegradable trash bags and bags for carrying home the groceries from the supermarket.
Letâ€™s face it: if a hotel is going to appeal to and welcome guests traveling with their pets, that hotel is going to have to manage the poop problem. Whether inside the room as in the case with the kitty box, or outside the room on the hotel grounds, in the expensive shrubs and flower beds, or on the manicured lawns, â€œpoop managementâ€ can be a big problemâ€¦or opportunity for the hotel owner.
Many hotels provide those guests with one or three of these branded doggie bags upon check-in. Some have also added some explanatory information about their environmentally-friendly poop management program in the guest room. Now when you travel with your pet, youâ€™ll see that the real smart hotels are concerned about the environment and are carefully handling such waste. This sends another positive message to youâ€”including those without petsâ€”that this hotel, inn or resort is really professional and caring for the safety and comfort of all its guests.
Â© Copyright, Roy W. MacNaughton, 2006
For more information about these unique, environmentally-friendly doggie bags, readers are invited to contact the Chief Pet Officer, at http://www.ecosafeplastics.com Roy MacNaughton is a writer and niche marketing specialist, with more than 25 years of hands-on international marketing experience. He can be contacted using his full name, (in lower case) at gmail.com
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