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Planning a Pup Friendly Road Trip

Tips for devising an amazing summer vacay with your pup.

by JoAnna Lou
May 24, 2021
A dog with its head sticking out the window of a moving car.
Photo: Javier Pardina / Stocksy

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Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer vacations and road trips. Whether you are thinking of going on a brewery tour with your pup or heading to the beach, there are plenty of dog-friendly travel options. But there are a few things to consider before heading off on that spectacular road trip with your dog.

Prepping for car travel with your pup.

Road trips involve a decent amount of time in the car, so it’s important to think about how your dog will safely ride with you. A crate or specially designed dog seat belt (that is well fitted) will help keep your dog safe in the event of an accident while also preventing distraction while you drive. The crate or seat belt should be set up in the backseat, away from airbags which can be fatal. The cargo area of hatchbacks and SUVs isn’t ideal because of crumple zones, but you might need to put a crate there because of space restraints if you’re traveling with multiple people.

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Oh, and be sure to get your dog used to their restraint before you need to use it by easing them into longer rides. You don’t want a multi-hour road trip to be their first time in a crate or seat belt.

Finding pet-friendly accommodations.

You won’t have much difficulty finding pet-friendly accommodations because of the growing market for vacationing with dogs. Most websites can filter hotel search results by pet-friendly accommodations and let you know of any size limitations. Websites like Go Pet Friendly and Bring Fido will list only dog-friendly lodging, including campgrounds.

Online reviews are invaluable for narrowing down choices. TripAdvisor is a great choice since there are millions of users, and you can search reviews by keywords such as “dog” or “pet.”

Planning the route.

When planning a road trip with your dogs, check your route for pet-friendly spots in the major cities that you’ll pass through. Go Pet Friendly’s Road Trip Planner lets you map your route and view pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks, and stores along the way. Many restaurants with outdoor seating allow pets, but not all, and policies can change, so be sure to call ahead to confirm.

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JoAnna Lou

JoAnna Lou

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.