It’s that time of year—everyone is hitting the road, and many of us just can’t leave our four-legged friends behind. No worries! A little planning will make the journey a breeze. Rest stops are the key to preventing travel burnout—for you and your dog.
Dog Friendly Rest Stops
Here are a few rest stops your pup will love:
Florida 595 Truck Stop in Davie, Florida features a dog park in addition to its full-service convenience store and diner. Gas up, grab snacks, eat lunch and stretch your legs all at once.
Oklahoma Welcome Center on i-40 coming in from Texas, has a spacious fenced dog park with nice, cushy grass. Bathrooms and outside facilities are always available, but if you make it by 5pm, you’re in for an educational treat inside. Bonus: biodegradable poop pick-up mitt dispensers are situated on the fences.
49er Travel Plaza in Sacramento is a one stop shop, with plenty of food, a hotel, WiFi, and a place to scrub up your pup. You can miss the huge 49er monument marking the location.
Generally, National Parks allow dogs to roam trails and other outdoors areas. If convenient enough, stopping at a state park may be the best way to recharge, and even delve into a new place.
Tips for Locating Pet Friendly Stops
A good app makes all the difference, consider downloading the following:
Bring Fido is “jack of all trades” app, offering information on the best restaurants, parks, hotels and other facilities that welcome dogs. Use the app to search for parks and resting points that not only welcome your pet, but are safe for them as well. Helpful information, like airport and international guidelines are detailed as well.
USA Rest Stops app lists and ranks stops along your road trip route. Amenities, facilities and even reviews are listed, so you can judge if it would be good for your pup.
Nylabone’s Dog Park Finder is great for locating places that are a bit more fun for your pup to stretch their legs, if you’re looking to make the journey more than just a stop and go car ride.
Figo Pet Cloud makes the world your pet’s playground, no matter where you roam. The Near Me feature helps you find pet-friendly parks, restaurants and other locations. And in an emergency, you can find nearby veterinarians and animal hospitals quickly.
And let’s face it, we could all use to slow down a bit.
Browse rest stops on the Department of Transportation site before you depart. You’ll be able to see how often you’ll be passing one, and could even do a little research on each location.
Consider an overnight break from the road: Aloft, Kimpton, and La Quinta hotels have a reputation of being wonderful doggy hosts.
Rest Stop Petiquette
Always keep your dog on a leash, this is not only for other’s protection, but for your dog’s too. Traveling can be stressful for animals, prompting them to run off. Local wildlife and other pets can pose a threat to your baby, and a leash keeps them close and safe.
Of course, it’s common courtesy to pick up “the business”, so some unsuspecting traveler doesn’t wind up with a smelly surprise on the bottom of their flip flop. Bring clean up products along and dispose of them properly.
It’s easy for your pet to become dehydrated on long road trips, so a good rule of thumb is to make “potty time” hydration time too. Invest in an inexpensive collapsing bowl or portable water bowl, and let them drink up!
Most importantly, enjoy the ride! Take this time on the road as an opportunity to appreciate your pet, and as a little time away from the daily grind.