1. Why Happy Tails Canine Adventure

Happy Tails Canine Adventure Tours is focused on creating amazing experiences for you and your dog. Travel is an opportunity to learn, grow and connect with our world and the beings in it. It is, in many ways, a spiritual experience. Dogs not only give us unconditional love. They give us the opportunity to love unconditionally. And so when we share an experience with our dogs, we become more open and more receptive, and our connection to our world – to nature and instinct and being in the moment – and to ourselves, deepens. Our dogs become guides to another way of being in and experiencing life. Most of us travel because we want to experience some change in our lives, small or large. Traveling with our dogs takes that experience to another level.

No, absolutely not, but remember that dog tours are our focus so it will impact what we do, where we go and how we do things. If you are ok with that then you are welcome. Also, if you want, we can gladly provide a dog for you!!

 

2. What's Included

  • All accommodation during your tour (unless indicated otherwise in the itinerary)
  • All transport in a private air-conditioned vehicles in North America
  • The services of a professionally-trained tour guide
  • Admission to all State and National Parks and monuments as listed in the itinerary
  • Included activities unique to each Tour, as indicated on the booking page

3. Reservations

Book early! Many tours fill quickly so you should contact us as soon as possible. We would be happy to help you choose the tour that is right for you. All of our sales team have first-hand knowledge and information about our tours. Call us anytime to check availability.

You must make a reservation for our tours. If a tour that you would like to participate in is full, please call or email us right away to see if there is a cancellation or extra space, or put your name on the waiting list. If you would like to do a tour on short notice, email or call so we can make sure that you are signed up and ready to go.

 

Happy Tails Canine Adventure Tours can be booked from anywhere in the world. Bookings can be made online or by contacting our worldwide sales office by phone, email or via our social channels. You can secure your place on a tour with a 50% deposit and final payment is due 8 weeks before departure. The final payment due date will be printed on your invoice. Bookings made within 8 weeks of departure are subject to full payment at the time of booking. Please phone or email us if you need any help or have any questions.

We will email you a confirmation and invoice within 48 hours of receiving your booking. Once final payment is made you will also receive a receipt.

Private tours are available. Please contact us at info@happytailstours.com or via phone at (262) 6-CANINE to inquire and we will be happy to create a custom private adventure for you.

No, far from it. There is a big mix of the people travelling with us. Our trips are a great way to travel safely and meet other like-minded, adventurous dog loving people from all over the world.

There are no additional “fees” for the tours. Each tour has a list of the included activities, meals, entrance fees, transportation, etc. that will be on the individual tour page. Anything that is not in the list of included items is paid individually by you, the customer. Items that generally are not included in the price are optional activities that not everyone will want to participate in, meals during free time & some group restaurant meals, and ground transportation to/from the Pick up/drop off location where the tours start (unless otherwise specified).

Most of our trips leave early on the first morning, and arrive in their final destination in the late afternoon. For this reason, we recommend extending your trip with at least one extra hotel night either side of your tour.

  • Its always easiest if each traveler only has to manage one dog at a time. Therefore, our rule is generally 1 dog per person. If you want to bring more than one dog please contact us to discuss the details and added pricing if applicable.

Most Tours depart from our gateway hotels or a predetermined location at 7:30am on the day of departure and generally end between 5:00pm and 6:00pm on the final day of the tour. Exact start times will be shown on your trip voucher. For your convenience, we suggest you book the pre night hotel in our gateway hotel. You can also arrange the final night in our gateway hotel where the tour will finish. If you must leave that evening, we recommend that you book a flight departing no earlier than 9:00pm to allow enough time to transfer to the airport.

No, if you’re booking more than eight weeks ahead, you can usually secure your trip with a 50% deposit and pay the balance eight weeks before you travel. If the tour includes a flight as part of the itinerary, the deposit increases to 65%.

4. Preparation

In North America you’ll travel in a private vehicle. This offers great flexibility and convenience plus ensures to get you further off the beaten path than you ever could using the North American public transportation system.

 

Yes, every trip is made of a mixture of people travelling alone, as pairs or groups of friends or couples.

Appropriate clothing varies based on the region and season in which you are touring. We recommend closed toe shoes with ankle support for hiking, water shoes for water activities, clothing that will protect you from the sun, sunglasses, hats and sunscreen year round. Lightweight rain gear is important to have for all tours. Check the tour page of each tour for specifics.

Please do not bring and distribute treats to your, or any dog, during the tour while anywhere around the group or members of the group. This is very important! Many dogs have food aggression issues, and even if your dog doesn’t, feeding him or her around dogs that do have issues may trigger them, or even your dog to respond to their energy inappropriately.

It is not required that you print a receipt, but it is highly recommended in case that there is some mix-up in booking or paperwork. Having a printed or electronic receipt with tour name, dates, itinerary and your information will allow the guide to take decisive action and make adjustments immediately to get you to the right place and get your adventure started!

All dogs must be on a static leash of a maximum of 6 feet long at all times. No retractable leashes are allowed on your tour!!! Retractable Leashes (leashes that spool in and out) do not give one sufficient control over the dog and result in numerous dangers and will not be allowed under any circumstances on our tours. We want to bring everyone home healthy, happy and ready for more!

Comfortable shoes will make all walking more enjoyable, so we do recommend walking shoes or boots that will provide a more sturdy grip as well as good ankle support. A pair of tennis shoes (sneakers) will be ok, but be prepared for these to get dirty and make sure they do offer some grip. A nice, solid and comfortable pair of tennis shoes is best, not your favorite pair of pumps.

You may need to pre-book optional activities. If you do, those activities that require pre-booking will be indicated when you register. You tour leader will run through all the options with you during your trip and you can decide what you’d like to do and pay as you go along for these.

For hotel trips any type of bag would work. For camping trips a duffel bag or backpack is generally better. There may be a few occasions where you will need to carry your bag short distances and a soft bag would be beneficial. When storing luggage in your tent it also works out better having a soft bag. Suitcases will however suffice.

One suitcase or backpack with a maximum weight of 23 KG and one carry on bag for the vehicle (plus your sleeping bag on our camping trips). Be sure to check the weight allowance of your luggage with your airline as well.

North America is huge, and you’re likely to encounter several different climates during your trip. Check the weather averages for the time of year you’re travelling and pack accordingly. Here are some of the things that should be in your case as well as your general clothes:

– Waterproof jacket
– Warm sweater / fleece
– Casual clothes and a few ‘evening out’ options
– Sunscreen / insect repellent
– comfortable footwear for walking, ideally boots with ankle support.
– Comfortable day shoes, sandals or flip-flops
– Sun hat / sunglasses
– Water bottle
– Camera & charger
– Travel power adaptor / USB car charger and cord
– Flashlight / Head torch
– Towel
– Toiletries / personal medicine
– Warm hat / gloves
– Swim wear

Happy Tails Tours do not have age restrictions per say. However minors (under 18 years old) must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and certain tours may attract groups that will not be as family-oriented. Please contact us about touring with minors to find the best tour for you. Our tours are designed with different physical exertion levels in mind. Tour descriptions refer to the strenuousness of the activities on tours and we encourage clients to book tours that are not beyond their or their dogs capabilities. If you aren’t sure, please feel free to email us for details.

You will need to bring a backpack, water bottle or water bladder, and bring plenty of poop bags for your canine companion and heavy duty zip lock bags to put the used poop bags in while we are out walking or hiking. Trashcans are not always readily available. We also recommend collapsible bowls for water and food, and snacks and food sufficient for the duration of the tour. During the day please be sure to bring at least one meal of kibble in case we are delayed or off on a special adventure. Also bring walking poles for hiking, a camera, a snack, a hat, raingear, a towel to dry your dog off with if it rains or they are swimming, and a sense of adventure and enthusiasm! This is going to be great!

Although it may not be customary in your country, it’s normal and expected in USA and Canada to tip local guides, waiters, bar staff, taxi drivers and anyone who provides a service for you. Service workers are paid a low wage and depend on their tips for their livelihood. Your tour leader (and driver on some tours) will work long and hard for you during your tour and we recommend a discretionary tip of at least 10% of the cost of your tour if your leader’s performance meets or exceeds your expectations.

Yes. Insurance is compulsory on all Happy Tails Tours. We recommend you purchase a policy as soon as your booking has been confirmed. Please ensure your policy covers all optional activities you may wish to participate in as well as air rescue and repatriation. Also we strongly recommend cancellation and baggage coverage. Due to the nature of traveling with our pets, we have a stringent cancellation policy to ensure that trips are not undersold and thus cancelled due to last minute cancellations.

Our group size varies depending on the tour. With Canine Adventures, transportation seats are taken up by our canine companions, so group size would average 22 and max out at 30 people for the large tours, while small groups would max out at 12 and be as small as 6.

Happy Tails Canine Adventure Tours is the leading operator for dog oriented and dog friendly tours in North America. Although this is a new concept and company, our founders have over 15 years combined experience in the adventure travel industry and have operated tours and guided adventure travel activities throughout North and Central America since 1993. We offer an easy, dependable and fun opportunity to explore North America with your best friend!

No, absolutely not, but remember that dog tours are our focus so it will impact what we do, where we go and how we do things. If you are ok with that then you are welcome. Also, if you want, we can gladly provide a dog for you!!

5. On The Road

For day trips, the departure and parking location will be sent to you or indicated on the booking page. Our departure hotels are conveniently located and serve as your tours start and end points, Most of our tours start in the lobby of the departure hotel at 7.30am. If you want to stay at these hotels for the night before and after your trip we can book this for you. Once you have booked we will email your tour vouchers detailing the joining point and time of your trip, and our Trek Tips with hotel details and transfer advice. 6 weeks before travel relevant vouchers will be re-sent and these can be downloaded to your smart-phone before departing.

We would love if every day is perfect but Mother Nature has her own ideas of perfection. We do hike in the rain, snow, wind and any other weather conditions that nature decides to throw at us. After all, we’re going on adventures! However, in keeping with our mission of safety, your tour leader will evaluate every situation on a case by case basis and when necessary come up with some great alternative activity. Our main concern is to make sure everyone is safe, healthy and happy. If the weather is unsafe for any reason before a day trip, the trip may be changed or postponed. You will be notified before your trip if there are changes due to weather.

 

No we don’t arrange transfers from the airport to our gateway hotels. Usually there are quick, easy and more cost effective transfer options available directly from the airport to the gateway hotels. See the hotel section on the individual tour pages for transfer information.

We have made camping easy and fun, so don’t worry if you have never camped before! We provide all the necessary camping equipment including tents, foam sleeping mats in USA and Canada (10mm thick), cold food storage containers, camp lights, stoves and other camping accessories. The only thing you need to bring is a sleeping bag and pillow. If you’re on a long trip or prefer some extra comfort, we’d recommend bringing a self-inflating mattress, such as a Therm-a-Rest. Our high quality tents are very easy to set up and take down on your own and your leader will show you how. We camp with two people in each spacious tent, leaving more than enough room for your luggage. Many campgrounds are situated in stunning settings. When we camp near major city destinations, most campgrounds will typically have full facilities such as showers (some campgrounds charge $1-$3 for hot showers), shops, laundromats and sometimes pools. Virtually all national park campgrounds have pay showers, flush toilets and basic facilities. Occasionally, our groups will stay in more remote areas where the surroundings will quickly make you forget any lack of facilities. Most camping based trips will spend some nights in hotels during the tour, usually in the cities. This is based on a multi share or twin share basis. On some occasions we will stay in cabins, ranches or a traditional Navajo hogan, as per the itinerary.

 

8. Refunds and Cancellations

You must call and provide written documentation/ request for cancellation 30 or more days ahead of your scheduled tour departure for a full refund, less an administrative fee of $50. Cancellations less than 30 days in advance but more than 15 days out will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations or no shows within 15 days of departure will receive no refund but we will apply 50% of the tour price toward a future tour.  We highly suggest trip cancellation insurance for this reason. Due to the nature of doing Canine Adventure Tours, costs for transportation and lodging are generally higher and thus our policy is such in order to ensure that trips run, even with cancellations. Please review our Cancellation and Refund Policy for specifics and additional details on our policy.