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  • Joshua Tree & the Surrounding Desert Area
    Offers a Barking Good Time for Pet Owners
    With Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals, Restaurants & Activities
    Best Time of Year: October Through May

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    JOSHUA TREE, CA – August 4, 2015 – An easy drive from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas, the Joshua Tree area of the high desert is a great option for pet owners who would like to bring along their furry friends while on vacation. This unique high desert location is home to spectacular scenery that features fascinating Joshua Tree forests, spring wildflower displays, rugged mountains, stunning stargazing, as well as interesting geologic and historical sites.

    “The high desert is a great place to bring your pets; most people up here own pets and love animals,” says Lori Portillo, proprietor of the pet-friendly Thunderbird Lodge Retreat, who personally owns four dogs, a cat, a llama, and five chickens, “There is a lot of beautiful country here to take your animals into for a relaxing walk, much of which is way off the beaten path, where you won’t encounter many people or cars, if at all.”

    37% of American households own dogs and 30% own cats, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Many of those pet owners would love to take their furry companions with them on vacation, but face a challenge when trying to plan just the right pet-friendly getaway. The Joshua Tree area is a great vacation option for pet owners, with a variety of accommodations, restaurants, services, and activities suitable for four-legged companions.

    Thunderbird Lodge Retreat Owner Lori Portillo with her pet llama, Jewel. (Photo courtesy of Thunderbird Lodge Retreat/Angela Barker)

    Thunderbird Lodge Retreat Owner Lori Portillo with her pet llama, Jewel.
    (Photo courtesy of Thunderbird Lodge Retreat/Angela Barker)


    Pet-Friendly Lodging:

    A number of high desert area guest accommodations allow pets including dogs, cats, horses, and more.

    • Thunderbird Lodge Retreat, Yucca Valley, thunderbirdlodgeretreat.com / 760-408-0768
    Thunderbird Lodge Owner Lori Portillo is a lifelong animal lover and pet owner who recognizes the difficulty in leaving one’s pets at home while on vacation. She has taken measures to make all six of her Thunderbird Lodge Retreat homesteader cabins in Yucca Valley pet-friendly, with all types of animals welcome, including horses. All of her eclectic properties offer a pet-safe fenced area. Located in one of the most stunning areas of the high desert with fantastic views, numerous Joshua Trees, and abundant wildlife, Thunderbird Lodge Retreat vacation rentals are all near the Covington Flats entrance to the park. Jackrabbits, lizards, coyotes, quail, roadrunners (and more!) make this corner of the desert home. A number of fun-to-explore abandoned homesteader cabins are also within walking distance. No extra charge for dogs or cats, but a security deposit applies.

    Other pet-friendly accommodations in the area:
    • Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs, www.acehotel.com/palmsprings  / 760-325-9900
    • Black Rock Campground, Yucca Valley, www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/blackrock.htm / 760-367-3001
    • Desert Hot Springs Inn (with dog swimming pool), Desert Hot Springs, deserthotspringsinn.com / 760-600-0246
    • Mojave Sands Motel, Joshua Tree, www.mojavesandsatjoshuatree.com / 760-550-8063
    • The Green Acres Ranch, Joshua Tree, www.thegreenacresranch.com / 323-445-7499

    Pet Sitting & Grooming:
    Want to treat your pooch to a doggie play-date or day of spa treatments while you take a hike in the park or visit another local attraction? A variety of pet care and pampering services are available in the area.

     Joshua Tree Pet Resort (formerly Quality Pet Sitting), Joshua Tree, www.jtpetresort.com / 760-366-3050
    The Doggie Day Care service at Joshua Tree Pet Resort is a great way to do your thing, while your pet is being well cared for. The clean, comfortable, and insured pet resort specializes in individualized pet care based on the animal’s needs. Supervised play-dates can be arranged for socialized dogs. Long term, as well as short term, dog and cat boarding is offered. A variety of services like vaccinations, microchipping, spa treatments, and grooming are also available. The family-owned business is run by Christina Mills, who worked in the veterinary field for 10 years prior to opening up the business. Her husband Robert is also a licensed veterinarian.

    Other pet sitters and groomers in the area:
    • Elite Pet Care (boarding), Palm Springs, elitepetcarepalmsprings.com / 760-320-4710
    • Grand Paw Pet Resort (boarding & training), Indio, thegrandpaw.com / 760-398-9900
    • Posh Pooch Salon, Yucca Valley, theposhpoochsalon.com / 760-369-0528
    • Sandy Paws Pet Grooming, Yucca Valley, sandypawsgrooming.org / 760-228-1233

    “The best time of year to visit the area with your pets is generally October through May, when the weather is cooler,” says Christina Mills, owner of Joshua Tree Pet Resort, who has four dogs, four cats, and four rescued desert tortoises, “When the weather is warm during your visit, don’t leave your animals in a hot car, make sure you bring along plenty of water, and be aware of the heat on trails and roads, which can lead to burned and injured paws.”

    Joshua Tree Pet Resort (Photos courtesy of Joshua Tree Pet Resort/Christina Mills)

    Joshua Tree Pet Resort
    (Photos courtesy of Joshua Tree Pet Resort/Christina Mills)


    Restaurants With Dog-Friendly Patios:
    Socialized pets are welcome on the patios of a number of area restaurants including:
    • Café Ma Rouge (coffee house), Yucca Valley, www.marouge.net / 760-365-4100
    • Pie for the People (pizza), Joshua Tree, pieforthepeople.com / 760-366-0400
    • Sherman’s Deli & Bakery (Jewish deli), Palm Springs, www.shermansdeli.com / 760-325-1199
    • Sidewinder Grill (diner), Desert Hot Springs, www.yelp.com/biz/sidewinder-grill-desert-hot-springs / 760-329-7929
    • The Natural Sisters Café (healthy food), Joshua Tree, www.thenaturalsisterscafe.com  / 760-366-3600
    • The Rib Company (barbeque), 29 Palms, theribco.com / 760-367-1663

    Pet Supplies:
    • Cowboy Corral (feed & Western wear), Yucca Valley, cowboycorral101.com / 760-365-7582
    • Pets Plus (pet food & supplies), Yucca Valley, www.yelp.com/biz/pets-plus-yucca-valley / 760-228-0209

    Vet Care:
    • Animal Samaritans Vet Clinic, Thousand Palms, animalsamaritans.org / 760-343-3477 x3
    • Companion Animal Clinic, Yucca Valley, www.companionanimalclinicca.com / 760-228-1474
    • VCA Animal Hospital, Yucca Valley, www.vcahospitals.com/yucca-valley / 760-365-0641
    • Mirona Petrus DVM/Large Animal Ambulatory Vet, Joshua Tree, www.facebook.com/mirona.petrus / 714-458-3881

    Other Activities:
    • Palm Springs Dog Park, Palm Springs at 222 Civic Drive North
     South Side Neighborhood Dog Park, Yucca Valley at Joshua Lane & Warren Vista Avenue

    Joshua Tree National Park –
    Popular with rock climbers and hikers, the Joshua Tree National Park attracts roughly 1.5 million visitors each year from around the world. The 794,000-acre park (slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island) was declared a U.S. National Park in 1994. This ecological wonder is located between the Mojave and the Colorado deserts and features striking rock formations, dramatic desert vegetation, and abundant wildlife. Dogs are permitted in the park and can be walked on roads, but not on hiking trails. They are permitted on leash up to 100 yards from the road and there are plenty of small dirt roads away from traffic. The Visitor’s Center is in 29 Palms (www.nps.gov/jotr / 760-367-5500).

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    For more information, photos, or to schedule an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

    Posted on August 4th, 2015 lynn-hasty No comments

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