Road trips are a fun summertime activity for many families. If you choose to bring your canine companion along on one of these long drives, make sure to keep your dog’s basic needs in mind. Dogs need many chances to stop, relieve themselves, stretch out their legs, and drink some water. Some states are very dog friendly, while others are not – at least on their main roadways.
A few states not only provide pet areas at their rest stops, but they also have small fenced areas where your dog can run. In Massachusetts, some places along the Massachusetts Turnpike provide these areas. Generally, the pen will have grass and a “fire hydrant” for male dogs.
If you’re new to traveling in a certain area, do some research about the potential dangers your dog could face. Many rest areas in the southwest and some areas of the south have nasty foxtails and small burdocks. If your dog steps into a grassy area and begins to hold up a paw, get to a paved area as soon as possible and search for plant material in between the toes or on the underside of the paw. Western states may also post warnings about natural dangers nearby, such as rattlesnakes.
In the mountain states, which tend to be on the drier side, some rest areas provide watering stations for dogs. This is a great opportunity for your dog to get a cool drink and for you to fill up your dog’s travel water jugs and crate water bowls.
Always keep your dog on a leash while at a rest stop. While Fido may come to you perfectly on command at home, the chance to stretch his legs or chase a butterfly may prove irresistible after many hours confined in a car. A leash serves to keep your dog safe and also prevents him from disturbing other dogs or other patrons in the area.