But did you check to see if your destinations—including the places you’ll be stopping along the way—have any restrictions on your dog’s breed? Breed-specific legislation or BSL is a law that prohibits dogs based on breed or perceived breed, and researching it is an important part of your trip planning.
What is BSL?
If you have a pit bull-type dog, it’s extremely important that you do a little extra trip research to ensure that you won’t have difficulties at your destination or at any stops along the way. For some locations, that list includes more than pit bull-type dogs but many other breeds including Akitas, Dobermans, Rottweilers, American Bulldogs, and others, depending on the location.
Just what does BSL mean to pet travelers? Again, that depends on the location and on the specific law. In some cities, you’ll be required to muzzle your dog, even though your dog has no bite history. Other cities, such as Denver, are far stricter. you are prohibited from having a pit bull-type dog and risk your dog’s life by bringing it into the city.
In 2012, the White House responded to a petition calling for an end to BSL by saying, “We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.” The official statement went on to say, “In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.”
Identifying Cities with BSL
BSL continues in cities in both the United States and Canada as well as other parts of the world. If your dog is a “bully breed” type dog (including a mixed breed dog with a larger head or neck), it’s important to check the list of cities with BSL before you make your pet vacation plans.
You’ll find an updated list of cities across the US with BSL at wiki with information on the individual regulations of the BSL cities. If you’ll be traveling in Canada, know that pit bull-type dogs are prohibited in Ontario plus many cities (including Winnipeg) in Manitoba. Wikipedia has a list of BSL worldwide as well.
Hotel and Campground Restrictions
Along with official BSL on a city or larger level, breed restrictions can also impact your stay at some hotels and campgrounds. Some accommodations do not permit “bully breed” type dogs. When you reserve a stay, be sure to explain not only the weight of your dog but breed to forgo any problems before arrival. As with all travel plans for your pets, be sure to take down the name of the person you spoke with and carry all details of your reservation with you on your trip.