Have a furry friend that you don’t want to leave behind on your next adventure? Why should you? There are so many dog-friendly options now that bringing your pup along for the ride is totally do-able and enjoyable!
During the holidays, I always take my 2-year old dog, Peach, on the road to visit my family so I’ve become quite the expert in organizing the most puppy-positive trip possible. So here are my tips for how to take a dog-friendly road trip!
5 Tips to Take a Dog-friendly Road Trip
- Health first: Make sure your dog has all the proper vaccinations and proof of these shots for the state/country for which you are traveling. Through my research, I discovered that Tennessee recommended a different shot than what was required in Florida, so make sure you ask your vet!
- A spacious and safe car: During my latest road trip, I was lucky enough to drive the 2017 Mazda6 Grand Touring. This was the perfect fit as it combined luxury with fuel efficiency and some stellar safety features. So, while cruising up I-95 with the EPA-estimated 35 mpg, I was feeling good about getting great mileage while also feeling safer with the Mazda’s i-Activsense batch of active-safety assists. Thanks to a new camera, this setup can detect pedestrians, cars and large objects moving into the Mazda’s path at city speeds and, as with the system’s existing collision-warning function, it can automatically hit the brakes.
- Keeping your pup in their place: If your furry friend is going to be a good road trip buddy, you need to make sure they are happy and comfy, but also secure. The last thing you need to happen is that your pup jumps into your lap while you are cruising along the interstate. Depending on your dogs size and personality, there are endless options for crates, booster seats, harnesses, and carrying cases. I recommend you check out all the options on Amazon and let the reviews be your guide as to which would ideal for your pet.
- Take your time: The key to a happy road trip with your pet is keeping them happy. Each time that I travel with my pup is a different experience, based on her mood and physical state. So, instead of rushing and focusing on getting to my destination at a specific time – I let my dog’s attitude be the gauge for our trip. When she gets restless, we stop for a break. I know she needs exercise, so I always opt for the roadside rest areas with ample space to run versus only stopping for gas in urban areas where it wouldn’t be safe for her. I especially love the service areas on Florida’s Turnpike which almost all offer dog run areas.
- Hotels that love pets: Instead of trying to force road trips in one day, I try and break them up across a few days. This lowers stress and gives me more time to do the idea mentioned above. However, doing that means I have to book a hotel. But no fear, there are now so many great options for pet-friendly hotels these days! I personally love to stay at the Best Western properties and during my recent road trip, we found a Best Western Plus in Valdosta, Georgia which was perfect! Between the spacious suite, pet-friendly floors, and free breakfast – it was the ideal rest place for us. My pup felt right at home and it helped us both rest and relax before getting back on the road the next day.
Doesn’t Peachy look cozy? If you have any other tips for how to make the best of a road trip when you have your four-legged friend to think about , please let us know in the comment section below!