Pet friendly advice
i'm taking a summer long road trip from kansas and back again, from one coast to the other and everywhere in between. I am on a limited budget, so camping is my accomodation of choice. However, i think i might splurge and get a room once in awhile. My main purpose is simply to see the country- the typical tourist stops, national parks, the quirky roadside stops, the two-lane roads, the big cities and the wide open spaces. I have a 7 year old Wiemaraner who will be going with me. Any tips on pet-friendly motels, campgrounds, cities? Any general advice from previous pet-accompanied road trippers? Thanks in advance........
Larger critters have more restrictions
We have traveled 200,000+ miles with Marvin the Road Dog in recent years. Things to keep in mind -- plenty of water, consistency of food, temperature control (if it is not comfortable for a human in the vehicle, it won't be for your friend). Campgrounds are generally accepting of all 4-legged creatures under 30 lbs. But a canine companion closer to 55 lbs(?) will present some challenges because of restrictions.
Be sure to look at our <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/read/pets.htm">Pets</a> page for some other ideas and resources.
I love my dog and take her virtually everywhere with me...except long roadtrips. I like to go where it's hot and it's not good for her in hot climates. She is a Belgian Shepherd with fairly long, thick fur and can't take the heat well. And taking a dog will limit where you can go and what you can do quite a bit. But if you are willing to make those concessions, go for it!
One thing I do when I take Baby with me and the weather is fairly warm and I need to make a stop: I put those interior windshield covers in both the front and back windows to deflect as much sun from coming in as possible. I then put smaller window covers on the side windows that attach with suction cups. I have a small, battery-operated fan that I then put on the dash and turn on. I leave the windows cracked about 2". Then I run like heck through the store to get back before the dog overheats. Of course, parking in shade is great if you can find it but, remember, the sun moves and the shade may not be there when you get back.
I tell you this because this might be a way to make your dog comfortable for short explorations to places where your dog can't go. However, even these precautions won't save your dog from possible heat stroke if it's real hot and you're gone for more than a little bit.
Of course, boarding your dog for a day here and there might be another good option.
Pet culture tip
Another thing about traveling with dogs in the car -- Passerbys can get quite loopy sometimes when they see a dog sitting in a car (without humans around) especially if the day is a tad warm or a tad too cool for comfort.
Our production rig (sorta like a RV) is climate- controlled and Marvin the Road Dog is never placed in a situation where he might be in danger from the temperature -- but it doesn't seem to stop folks from trying to rescue him. We found that a simple solution was to print up small signs that stick to the inside windows of the front seat (with suction cups) that indicate that the temperature inside the vehicle IS climate-controlled "for his protection." (If you use this tip -- make sure it really is...)