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A Dog Parents Guide: Road Trips 101 and Summer Safety

It’s no doubt that the evolution of a dogs role has come a long way. In our dog-obsessed culture, the unconditional love for our fur-children is obvious. So much so, that the age old phrase, “dog is man’s best friend” is no longer enough to describe the relationships we have with our pups. It’s more common than ever to hear pet owners refer to themselves as “dog moms” or “dog parents.” To put it simply, dogs are awesome. They’ve evolved from the traditional household pet to sharing our living spaces — sometimes even our beds — acting as babysitters for our children, having the coolest wardrobes, supporting people as service animals and being the ultimate co-pilots on a road trip.

 

As dog parents, it breaks our hearts to leave our fur-children behind when we travel, so why not take them with you? While not every dog breed can jet set, the travel industry is rising up to meet that growing demand of dog travel, making a road trip with our furry best friends more accessible than ever. Apps like BarkHappy are a great way to find dog parks, beaches, restaurants and social gatherings that can help you and your pup plan out your route and trip activities in advance.

 

Taking a road trip with Fido is a great bonding experience that can encourage you to get active, meet new people and scout out dog friendly locations. With thousands of miles of open road to cover, you don’t have to stress the anxiety of leaving your dog at home when you can just bring them along! To help with the preparation process CarRentals.com created this guide to a road trip with your dog that highlights tips for smooth travel, an essentials checklist, and safety tips to consider, so you and your four-legged BFF are ready to hit the open road together.

 

 

 

By Keilah Keiser

Unusual Places that Welcome Dogs

Sharing adventures with your dog doesn’t have to mean the same old hiking trails, car rides or dog parks. The BarkHappy app gives you access to the dog-friendly world and makes it easy to plan a unique getaway. For those interested in mixing it up with some new experiences, here are some unusual places that welcome you and your four-legged companion.


Baseball Parks: Take your dog out to the ballgame and watch a major league baseball game. Many stadiums host a pet-night event for dogs. The PNC Park, located on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, PA, is home to the famous Pittsburgh Pirates. It features Pup Nights, a popular local event where once or twice monthly, you and your dog can sit in the deck section and enjoy the game. Dog Package tickets are $35 and include one dog and one human. A portion of the proceeds goes to help local animal shelters. At the Safeco Field in Seattle, there are Bark in the Park nights where for $50, you can purchase a Dog Pack Ticket. It includes entry for you and your dog, a Mariners dog tag and a stroll around the bases. At the Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston, TX, pet owners can attend the annual Dog Day and watch the Astros play the Seattle Mariners.

Ride NY’s Fire Island Ferry and spend the day at the Sunken Forest: It’s a short hop on the Long Island ferry from the town of Sayville to Sailor’s Haven and the Sunken Forest. Seagoing dogs can enjoy the ocean views from the ferry’s top deck. There is a one-way child’s fare charge of $5.00 and dogs must be leashed. The Sunken Forest is part of Fire Island’s National Seashore that includes a 50-acre track of dunes, beaches and trails through an ancient holly forest, with trees as old as 300 years. Dogs can enjoy the 1 ½ mile hike along the boardwalk. There is also a visitor center, snack bar and picnic tables. While the Sunken Forest trails eventually lead to the ocean, between the months of March through Labor Day, dogs are not permitted on the beach at Sailor’s Haven. But for those who crave an ocean experience, grab a sea taxi to neighboring Cherry Grove, where dogs are welcome to romp on the beach all year round.

Get back to nature and take your dog whale-watching: Cape Cod, MA is known for its beautiful beaches and towering sand dunes. But it also offers whale-watching trips, some that welcome dogs. On the Dolphin Fleet in Provincetown, leashed dogs can enjoy the three to four-hour trip that exposes travelers to the beauty of the Outer Cape while viewing humpback, baleen, right whales and other marine life. Dogs must be leashed and well-behaved. Be sure to call ahead for available seating and bring along a water bowl.
Toast your best buddy on a trip to a winery: Dogs love the outdoors and open air, making California’s vineyards the perfect retreat. There are many that are pet-friendly. At the Alexander Valley Vineyards in Healdsburg, CA, visitors can attend the “AVV Going to the Dogs” event that benefits Sonoma County’s Animal Care and Control. Taste the wines while sharing a scenic walk with your dog through the vineyard. At Mutt Lynch Winery in Sonoma, a portion of every sale goes to help rescue groups. The vineyard hosts pet birthday parties and features a yappy hour. Starmont Vineyards features classic Napa wines while catering to their four-legged visitors with Frisbees, doggie biscuits and tennis balls.


Celebrate fall and take your dog apple picking: Sharing fall traditions with your fur baby is a good way to bond. A dog’s world is ruled by smell, and a walk through an apple orchard can produce an intoxicating blend of scents. NY’s Hudson Valley has many that are pet-friendly. Wright’s Apple Farm in Gardiner, NY sits on 500 acres where visitors can pick their own apples, pumpkins and cherries. Scenic Fishkill Farms at Hopewell Junction, NY is just 1 ½ hours north of New York City. There are nature trails, hay rides and pick-your-own fruits. One caveat: dogs must be leashed and well-behaved.

Spend a leisurely afternoon at an art gallery: Believe it or not, some, such as the William Second Gallery in NYC, will allow you to browse with a four-legged friend. This gallery specializes in original paintings of dogs from the 18th and 19th century as well as dog collectibles. For a starting fee of $7,000, you can even commission a painting of your own dog that will immortalize him forever. The A.T. Hun Gallery in Savannah, GA, welcomes four-legged patrons with water and a treat. This gallery features many pet-themed works of art. Check with your local art galleries for information on their pet policies.

When planning your day, be sure to use the BarkHappy app to connect to the dog-friendly world around you. It includes restaurants, bars, events, lodging, weekly meet-ups and more. Share your own finds with others through personal posts and photos on BarkHappy’s Facebook and Instagram pages.