How to Have an Awesome Road Trip with your Dog

Travelling with your canine friend brings a totally new experience to life on the road, but it also brings a few unique challenges that you don’t normally run into chauffeuring your dog around town. After all, it’s a trip for two; you must pack and plan for the journey with that in mind.

With that said, a long road trip with your furry friend can be an extremely rewarding experience that both you and your dog will love. It gives you a chance to see new things and meet new people while allowing your dog the very same treat. And if you’re the sort to seek an adventure, we have some important suggestions to keep in mind when starting a trip with your four-legged friend.

Scout your Route Carefully

Like it says above, a full-on road trip with your dog requires more thought than just loading them into the care and driving them around town. Your dog will get restless. Where will you stop along the way for its comfort? Where will you sleep? What hotels allow pets?

Planning these stops should be your first priority. Local dog owners can be a great help with your preparations if you can find one to talk to. Checking online for local blogs where dog owners discuss things. If you’re visiting a city well-known for its dog lovers like Portland, Seattle or Las Vegas, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. And when in doubt, the BarkHappy app can help you find friendly spots along the way.

Visit the Vet

Be sure to take your dog to the vet before embarking on a trip. This is especially important if your dog is prone to motion sickness – and many dogs are – since the vet will be able to provide medication and guidance for that.

You want to ensure that your dog is healthy not only for fun’s sake but because scrambling to find a vet you’ve never met is stressful. If your dog has a medical condition that needs monitoring, be sure to ask your vet for referrals in the areas where you will be staying just in case of an emergency.

Plan for Play Stops

We all get restless during long car rides and dogs need to stretch their legs even more than you do. A good way to go about it is to stop every two hours or so in a rest area or park where you can allow your dog to run around for a bit.

This is why it’s very important to plan ahead and find locations along the way. If you don’t, you might find yourself veering off course and stressing out in search of a park.

Pack everything – and then some

When traveling with a dog, you should think about it like you are traveling with a toddler. Planning for their comfort might even require things that you would not assume they’d need. For example, it might occur to you to bring a toy or two for your dog, but they need their favorite toys and blankets to truly feel at home. They may not even sleep well in a hotel unless they have familiar smells from home all around them.

If they are picky with their food, be sure to pack a lot of what they love to eat so that you do not stress trying to find the right brand of kibble. Beyond that, make sure you pack a first aid kit for them as well as grooming supplies. You’ll also want to crate them in the car; it’s for their safety, but it also makes those park trips even more important.

If you take care of the little things, you’ll set yourself up for the trip of a lifetime for you and your dog. They may be a bit guarded at first, but if you stay positive and encourage their curiosity throughout the trip you’ll both make new friends and many, many memories.

Samantha Tung is a contributing writer and marketing specialist for Caliber Collision. She regularly produces content for a variety of car and travelling blogs.

The 7 Best Dog Friendly Restaurants in Austin for Brunch

What do you and your dog have in common? You both love food! And Austin has some of the most dog-friendly restaurant options of any city.

It’s Sunday morning. You take your dog for a long walk or a playdate at the park. Afterwards, you want what any Austinite wants late Sunday morning: some doggone brunch. Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Austin to enjoy a taco and some eggs with your dog in tow.

The Park on South Lamar

With made from scratch food The Park is not your average sports bar, plus it’s dog friendly! Featuring a full Covered dog friendly patio protected from rain you can watch your favorite football game every Sunday without leaving your best friend at home. 5/5 Bones from Bark Happy users for their food, water bowls and covered patio.

Red’s Porch
From 11-3 on South Lamar, head to Red’s Porch for an awesome brunch of chicken and waffles, Tex-Mex omelets, brisket hash and other Texas-style plates. Your dog can enjoy the huge dog friendly porch and Bark Happy water bowls are provided! 5/5 Bones by BarkHappy users.

Bouldin Creek
Alright, so they technically serve breakfast instead of brunch, but if you’re eating vegetarian, Bouldin Creek is your new favorite Sunday morning spot. The eggs are grass fed and free range. The tofu is organic and locally made. The breakfast is delicious and the space is ultra dog friendly. 5/5 Bones by BarkHappy users.

Bangers
With plenty of space out back and sausage treats for your dog, Bangers on Rainey St. is a great place to relax and indulge on a Sunday morning. You can’t go wrong with anything from the brunch menu (served every Sunday, 12-3), but whatever you do, make sure to add a Lolo’s Grapefruit Brulee: Half a grapefruit sprinkled w/ sugar & blasted with a blowtorch. 5/5 Bones by BarkHappy users.

Licha’s Cantina
If you’re in the downtown area, you can take Fido to Licha’s which offers covered seating and water bowls on the patio. We recommend the Salmon Ahumado (Gravlax, guacamole, goat cheese, cucumber salad, crispy capers, served with toasted bolillo) and the Licha’s Torta (Bolillo bread, cochinita pibil, ham, pickled red onions, ancho-dijon, queso asadero – pressed on the plancha). Sunday brunch is served 11-3. View their brunch drink menu here > http://lichascantina.com/#menu-item-3025. 5/5 Bones by BarkHappy users.

Chinatown
At the West Lake Hills location, Dim Sum Sunday brunch is from 11-2:30. We seriously suggest the coffee glazed baby back ribs. Your pup can relax with you on the porch. Water bowls provided! 4/5 bones by BarkHappy users.

Lambert’s Downtown BBQ
Every Texan knows the importance of barbeque. Why not have it for brunch? Especially when you can bring your dog! We recommend the Breakfast Frito Pie (Chopped Beef, Queso, Chèvre, Pico de Gallo, Poached Egg) or the Brioche French Toast (Strawberry Butter, Fresh Berries, Maplite Syrup). 4/5 bones by BarkHappy users.

Do you and your dog have a favorite restaurant spot? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!

Dog Friendly Parks in Austin, Texas

If you’re an Austinite with a dog, you’ve probably been to Zilker park. Located on the river with lots of space to run, Zilker is a dog haven. However, if you’re an Austinite that’s been to Austin City Limits fest, you know it’s not as accessible for about 3 weeks surrounding the fest. A short while later the park will be transformed into a trail of lights. Zilker is such a fantastic park, that it gets used for a lot of different reasons throughout the year, transforming it from the perfect dog park into…well, anything the city thinks up! Luckily, BarkHappy and its users have been building a searchable bank of dog parks in the Austin area, so you’ll always have a place to get out and play.

Shoal Creek Greenbelt Off Leash Dog Park
Located at 2400 N. Lamar between 24th and 29th streets, let your dog loose to run and play with other pups off leash in this large, grassy space adjacent to Shoal Creek.

West Austin Dog Park
At 1317 W. 10th St, you can enjoy a safe, social, fenced off area. 5/5 bones by BarkHappy users.

Norwood Estates Dog Park
This park also received a 5/5 bones rating by BarkHappy users. Part of the Town Lake Trail at I-35 and Riverside, Norwood Estate is known for its off-leash dog area, shade trees and separate areas for large and small dogs.

Butler Park
Not far from Zilker and Auditorium Shores, Butler Park is located at Toomey Road and Sterzing Street. BarkHappy users have rated these lovely, on-leash walking trails a full 5/5 bones.

Zoom Room
Personally, I’ve never experienced an ACL season without rain. If you’d just rather be indoors, check out Zoom Room at 7739 Northcross Drive, Suite H. This indoor gym for dogs offers full agility equipment. A one-time evaluation and proof of current vaccines are required.

Cedar Bark Park
This fabulous dog park is located within the Veterans Memorial Park, Cedar Park. It is a 5-acre dog park with a pond, showers, dog water fountains, and a separate park for small dogs (less than 30 pounds). Open from dawn to dust daily, this park is a fantastic place to play with your pup!