How to plan a successful road trip with your pet
By Aimee Markwardt
If you are going on a road trip, it may be tempting to invite Charlie the poodle along for the adventure, rather than relegate him to a doggie daycare or drop him off at your mother-in-law’s.
And as much as dogs love car rides (OK, love is not a strong enough word), a road trip can be stressful on a small pet. Being in cramped quarters may not be easy, and the food, water, bathroom and environment conditions are different.
Here are three tips to help make your road trip with your furry friend the most pleasant possible, for the both of you.
1. First, make sure you book a pet-friendly hotel from the get-go. Don’t bet on being able to sneak your Jack Russell under your coat into your room and denying his incessant barking all night long. There is a reason for pet-friendly hotels; other patrons may have animal allergies.
A pet-friendly hotel is not only more relaxing (because you don’t have to smuggle a 35-pound hairball), but it’s more fun for your pet.
Check www.tripswithpets.com for a list of pet-friendly hotels. You can even search by route. Pets stay free at some hotels, like Red Roof Inn, with more than 435 pet-friendly hotels across the country. In addition, book your stay at Red Roof Inn through ShopAtHome and get 1.5 percent cash back.
Another hotel to look for on your route is La Quinta Inn and Suites, which doesn’t charge extra for pets.
2. Book some pet-friendly pit-stops on your itinerary. A busy truck stop with cars whizzing past is not ideal to get the wiggles out. Check your route for dog parks or dog beaches, like Carmel Beach in Carmel By The Sea, California. Here, dogs can run around in the white sand and splash in the water off-leash from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
3. Make sure your pet is in good shape before you go. Just for safe measure, set up a quick trip to the vet for a checkup and to make sure your pet is caught up on vaccinations. Don’t forget to pack your pet’s health records (and rabies vaccination) if you are crossing state lines.