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Skijoring; photo by Debbie McMaster It's a dog eat dog world, and let's face it, Fido needs a vacation as much as you do. For many households, the pooch is just as much a part of the family as anyone else, so why break their heart, and yours, and leave them behind?

The obvious obstacle in traveling with pets is accommodations. North Lake Tahoe is home to several pet-friendly properties. Tahoma Meadows Bed and Breakfast on the West Shore, idyllic mountain cabins surrounded by towering pines, welcomes dogs with in-room cookies and supplies bowls and mats in their cabins. With original knotty pine interiors and shingled exteriors, Tahoe Lake Cottages is conveniently adjacent to Sugar Pine Point State Park creating the perfect backyard playground for some snowball fetch. Norfolk Woods Inn, another cozy, country bed and breakfast on the West Shore, allows pets refuge in their cottages. All cottages are equipped with original 1930s stone fireplaces and full kitchens.

On the North Shore, Rustic Cottages in Tahoe Vista accepts dogs. While the cottages are a self-proclaimed clean, comfortable "Old Tahoe" property, it received the California Dog Lover's Companion Golden Bone Awards for being one of the most dog-friendly businesses in California.

Vacation rentals often allow pets at their myriad of locations and properties that range from quaint to upscale luxurious. Agate Bay Realty and Tahoe Moon Properties both have a large variety of homes, which are pet friendly and sleep anywhere from two to 30 people. Rentals can include lakefront/view settings, hot tubs, and game rooms.

Jill Schott, owner of Tahoe Moon Properties, even keeps each home stocked with dog biscuits and a copy of The Dog Lover's Guide to Lake Tahoe. Several of Schott's rentals back up against Tahoe City Cross Country Ski Area, which allows dogs Monday through Fridays and Sunday afternoons.

"Accommodating guests with dogs is a big part of my business," Schott said. "It means a lot to families, couples and individuals to be able to bring their pets with them." The activities for dogs in Tahoe are endless at any time of the year. Prime snowshoeing and cross-country ski areas include Mt. Rose area, Sugar Pine Point State Park, Meeks Bay, Blackwood Canyon, Tahoe Regional Park, Page Meadows, and 64 Acres in Tahoe City. Extensive romping in the snow and ice with delicate city paws can be painful, so owners might want to consider purchasing dog booties. Alpenglow in Tahoe City has an array of dog accoutrements, including the booties, sleeping bags, pup tents, hands free leashes, collars and backpacks.

For travelers spending the day on the slopes, Doggie Love Daycare is an ideal day camp setting where the loving, energetic owners will spend the day tiring your pooch out on numerous hikes and group playtime. Pick-ups and drop offs are available at several properties.

"We basically spend the day playing in the snow," owner Lisa Brannum said. "They run free and get to socialize with other dogs. They have a ball."

For information about pet-friendly lodging and activities, call 1-800-824-6348 or visit . Guests traveling with dogs should notify lodging properties in advance of canine companions and should take notice of leash laws and behavioral etiquette at recreational locations.

For more on the family pet FAMILY PET TRAVEL section.

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