5 Best Pet-Friendly Road Trips

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

There is something beautiful and simple about a road trip. It’s just you, the road, and a few friends or family members. Pets, of course, count as family. If you’re taking a road trip with a dog or a brave cat, there are some things to keep in mind. Be aware of extreme temperatures, and never leave your pet in a hot car. Staying hydrated is hard for everyone while traveling, including animals. Ensure that your pet has easy access to fresh, clean water. Take plenty of bathroom breaks too. 

Before embarking on an international road trip, check Pet Travel’s information page for the country you’re going to as well as the country to which you’re returning. Most countries require that your pet have a microchip, an up-to-date rabies vaccination, and a rabies titer test. There are additional requirements in some instances for tapeworms, distemper, and other illnesses. Failure to comply with regulations may result in your pet being quarantined, sometimes for months. Keep your road trip pet-friendly and plan well in advance to avoid waiting periods and other problems.

Great Lakes (USA/Canada)

The Great Lakes of North America contain 21 percent of the freshwater on Earth’s surface and some incredible scenery. The five lakes are named Superior, Michigan, Erie, Huron, and Ontario, although Michigan and Huron count as the same lake from a scientific perspective. They touch eight states and Canada. Depending on the route you take, you can see the Northwoods beauty, the charm of small-town America, and fast-paced city life in Chicago all in one trip. With so much outdoor space, a drive to see the Great Lakes is a fantastic road trip to take with your pet. Be sure to pack some dog sweaters if you’re not traveling in the summer, as it can get cold in this area of the United States. If you’re looking for a great dog-friendly restaurant to check out, visit the Great Lakes Brewing Company, which is a brewpub located in Cleveland, OH, right on Lake Erie. 

California (USA)

California is home to a dynamic range of places, including Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Napa Valley, and Big Sur. Whether you love wine, beaches, or Hollywood, California and its unique Mediterranean climate have something for you. Many beaches, hotels, and parks in California are pet-friendly, so you can relax and enjoy yourself without worrying about whether your dog is welcome. As far as specific pet-friendly destinations go, Coronado Beach, near San Diego, has a dog run where dogs can enjoy the beach without a leash. 

Northeast (USA)

Many states in the Northeast are small, allowing you to visit several of them without much driving. While beautiful at any time of the year, the Northeast is incredibly colorful during the autumn months. In Maine, Acadia National Park is well worth the detour as you make your way through Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Pets are welcome on the hiking trails and walking paths. You and your pet can climb Cadillac Mountain and enjoy the fall foliage. For older pets and anyone who isn’t up to climbing a mountain, Acadia National Park also has scenic driving routes. Don’t miss Central Park in New York City or, for history buffs, Freedom Trail in Boston. Both locations are dog-friendly. 

Dublin (Ireland)

If you’re looking for an international road trip, consider Ireland. Assuming you begin in Dublin, where Ireland’s largest airport is located, you can drive almost anywhere. The Wild Atlantic Way is a road trip around Ireland's entirety, adding up to 2,500 kilometers or a little less than 1,600 miles. If you’re looking for a shorter trip, consider driving a smaller loop but visiting some of the stunning cities located inland. While in Dublin, stay in a pet-friendly hotel like Pembroke Townhouse, which is located conveniently near St. Stephen’s Green, as well as a lot of great restaurants. Dogs are allowed in St. Stephen’s Green as long as they’re on a leash.  

Valletta (Malta)

Malta might not be your first thought when you’re planning an international road trip, but it should make the list. It’s difficult to grasp Malta’s scale if you’ve never been there, but driving is the perfect way to see the sights. Malta consists of three islands. Malta is the main island, and then there are two smaller islands called Gozo and Comino. Some ferries travel between them, so you don’t need to worry about multiple rental cars or flying. Malta has mild weather, beaches, incredible architecture, centuries of history, and amazing restaurants just waiting for you to discover. Unfortunately, Blue Lagoon, which is Comino’s main attraction, is not dog-friendly. Many other beaches aren’t either. Do your research before taking your dog out to avoid potential fines. There are a lot of pet-friendly options for accommodations though, and enough pet-friendly beaches and outdoor spaces that you won’t be disappointed. 

With proper planning, almost any road trip can be pet-friendly. Be sure to pack the right products to keep your pet healthy and happy and comply with all local regulations to make sure your road trip is the best it can be. 

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