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Updated: May 18, 2022

Pets are welcome at Bjørn Holm.

We offer welcome treats for the canine variety. In the bedroom cupboard, you will find bagged organic doggie treats and pick-up bags. Please be mindful of our neighbours. As well, there are extra blankets specific for your pet(s) in the left bedroom cupboard. Please don’t mix and match with human blankets.

As well, there are extra water and/or chow bowls, just in case.

The best off-leash beach is the long sandy one at the head of San Juan Bay. The bulk of the beach is on traditional Pacheedaht Nation land; paid parking may be in effect. However, in the middle, the West Coast Trail/Carmanah/Walbran Park has a dedicated wee bit of land with beach access and free parking directly across the road from the access (refer to the parking icon on the map).

Botanical Beach is dog-friendly, but all trails and beach areas are leash-on areas. As well, take care that your pets avoid jumping into the tidal pools. These are precious pockets of marine life; be respectful. As for other forest hikes, we’d recommend keeping your pet on a leash to avoid unexpected wildlife encounters with bears or cougars. Lastly, we’ve heard comments on the space between the glass panels and the deck of the balcony. Some folks consider it not petite-dog friendly. Please be aware that the open space measures 4”. If this is of concern, we recommend you bring something to block off this hazard.

As past owners of both a chocolate and then a yellow lab, we love seeing who is staying with us. Click to see our gallery of furry guests.  As an aside, we’ve had a Mourning Dove who literally was in mourning for his mate and a feline friend too.  Should there be a caveat of reptiles not welcome?  😉

My short story? Because of the COVID pandemic, we have learned how near and dear our furry friends are to all of us. For that reason, we have chosen to waive pet fees permanently!


Read on for the guts of my tale.

The Pet Effect, also known as the human-animal bond, is the mutually beneficial relationship between people and animals that positively impacts the health and well-being of both. Any pet owner will tell you that living with a pet comes with benefits, including constant and unconditional companionship, love, and affection.

Living in today’s fast-paced and interconnected world can be tough on our mental health. The best cure might just be a wet nose or a wagging tail. It’s also no surprise that 98% of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of the family.

This past year (2020-2021) has taken a toll on our collective mental health. Between lockdowns that shut down social life and the uncertainty of a world racked by COVID-19; we’ve been through much. Pets have been a factor worldwide that has helped keep us ‘humans’ afloat. Stronger bonds have been forged between the furry and the furless.

Positive human-animal interaction is related to changes in physiological variables, both in humans and animals, including a reduction of subjective psychological stress (fear, anxiety) and an increase of oxytocin levels in the brain. Specifically, pets and therapy animals can help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Perhaps the biggest way our pets have helped boost our mental health during this pandemic was by Simply Lifting our Spirits.

A 2020 survey showed that sharing a home with a pet appeared to act as a buffer against psychological stress from the pandemic lockdown. The study — from the University of York and the University of Lincoln — found that having a pet was linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness.

The strength of the emotional bond with pets did not statistically differ by animal species, meaning that people felt as emotionally close to, for example, their guinea pig as they felt to their dog. Cats can be wonderful too – but dogs have been domesticated by humans for much longer, and, as even the most devoted cat lover (I’ve outlived 11 cats) will admit, dogs are far easier to train for companionship. Pets teach kids to be responsible, altruistic, and compassionate and, valuably but sadly, how to cope when someone you love dies.

Along with the health benefits of daily walks and the social delights of chats with other dog walkers, the simplicity and depth of this love are a continuous joy.

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