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  1. Default Winter driving trip from NY to NM with a dog

    Good evening,

    I am moving from NY to NM in mid Jan. Since this is a major move for me I want to drive rather than fly with my pet,(I need time for reality to set in.) Have any of you done this or a similar trip with a dog? Any tips or special ideas? I am thinking since it will be winter months I should go south and then cut across but am not even sure about that, then I have to look for pet friendly motels and what do I do with Fido when I have to eat or want to sight see for a bit just to stretch my legs? I thought about selling my car and renting a Uhaul but I bet that will be an uncomfortable ride. A friend of mine said she will make the drive with me so all three of us in the front of a cab might be uncomfortable. Ugh!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    Where in NY and where in NM? Pet friendly hotels are not hard to find. No need to sell your car, people drive cross-country every day year round. There are snow possibilities in the winter no matter which route you take.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default When Not Traveling Alone

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First, you need to understand that in traveling with a pet, you are traveling with another living being who is totally dependent on you. If you were instead traveling with an infant, would you be asking what to do with it while you ate or stretched your legs?

    Now, having RoadTripped extensively with my own dog, I can tell you that it's simply not that big a deal. People do it every day. You will need to take multiple short stops each and every day at places where both you and the dog (and any other humans who join you} can get exercise. I'd also recommend that you travel with a small cooler so that you can make at least one of those stops for a picnic lunch. If you take advantage of motel breakfasts wherever possible, that will significantly cut down on the number of times you'll have to leave 'Fido' in the car alone while you eat.

    You'll also need to make the ride as comfortable and familiar for your pet as you can. If your pet has a favorite small bed or blanket, pack that in the back seat and bring it into your motel room as well. That will not only make the ride more palatable, but also help make the dog more comfortable being left alone for say a half hour or so while you have an evening sit-down meal.

    There are several motel chains that advertise themselves as 'pet friendly', including La Quinta, Best Western, Motel 6, and Red Roof Inns. But that's the corporate policy. Actual rules and restrictions are set by the individual franchise operator, so you'll need to plan ahead and contact each specific property you plan to stay at and determine what limitations and/or costs might apply. And note that it is up to you to keep your pet from bothering other people staying at the same place. No matter what the policy is, if you leave your dog for an hour and it barks constantly while you're away, you can expect to be told to vacate the premises when you return.

    Finally, since you are making this drive in January, you must assume that you are going to run into snow at some point on this trip. Indeed, snow is possible anywhere along it, even if you "go south and then cut across". Actually, doing that increases your chances of finding impassible roads, because southern states and municipalities are simply not equipped to handle snow in the same way as their northern counterparts. Plan on taking the most direct all-Interstate route and simply build in an extra day for any weather related delay(s).

    All of the above points to one other factor you'll need to consider. Unless your dog is a seasoned traveler, you can expect this trip to take 10-20% longer than you might otherwise budget. Depending on where you're leaving from in New York and what your final destination in New Mexico is (those are both pretty big 'targets') this might mean you need to schedule six days for the drive instead of five. Make that seven days when you factor in the weather cushion. Taking a U-Haul, or adding another person will slow you down even further.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    The key to having a safe and enjoyable journey is time. Do not get a false sense of security by using estimates from an electronic mapping program. A computer doesn't allow for the fact us humans have to eat, rest, exercise, sleep or face possible traffic, construction and weather delays or have a pooch to take of. It's worth researching lodging options and jotting down phone numbers of those that suit your budget and pet needs and are in suitable locations if there was no disruption, but leaves you open to change if you get held up or just want to get off the road early due to a storm or a nice town you stumble across. At this time of year where daylight hours are shorter and ice could be a problem through the night, I would figure on 450-500 miles per day as a maximum target which gives you leeway and time for 'walkies'. Any serious sight seeing means you will have to add time accordingly.

  5. Default

    I've driven several times with my Jack Russel between Detroit and Tampa in the winter. No big deal.

    Take along a water bowl. Also take plenty of water. Stop frequently at rest areas and take along plenty of bags to clean up after your dog. Your dog will probably enjoy the trip with all the attention it gets from the frequent rest stops!

    For some reason, my dog never eats during these frequent stops but would eat when we stopped at the end of each day. So don't worry if yours acts the same.

    Some of the motels have designated rooms for dogs. The floors are tiled rather than carpeted and frankly smell like dogs. Take along a can of Febreze. They might also have designated dog walk areas outside close to the door.

    Word of warning. Be careful with your dog on elevators! Make sure it's feet don't fall into the floor gap, and make sure you have a tight grip on the leash when the door closes. We once had a close call when our dog's floor slipped down.

    Here is a TV spot about one lucky dog.

  6. Default Driving from NY to NM with a dog in winter

    Leaving from Nassau County and going to Rio Rancho, NM. Not sure which route I am taking. Just hoping and praying it is another warm winter. Thanks for all the comments/help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would plan on taking the most direct route, which would be I-78 to I-81 to the PA Turnpike to I-70 to I-44 to I-40. You should be able to do this in 4 days if the roads are good, overnights around Zanesville OH, St. Louis, and OKC. Try to stay on the west side of the cities to avoid morning rush hour, and have an extra day or two available if you have to get off the road for a storm.

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