Keeping everyone entertained and happy on a vacation is always important. If you are traveling with kids you will want to include them in what you do, and if you have a group of friends, you will want to find activities that pique their interest. There’s one group we sometimes forget about, though… our dogs!
If your dog is like mine, it needs a lot of special attention. I have a two year old coonhound, which I keep as a house pet. Coonhounds normally live on large, open properties where they can run around at their will. It’s important that I find places not only where he and I can walk or run with a leash, but also where he can explore independently.
Dog parks are great because they allow your dog to run freely, and to interact with other dogs. It can also be a quick half hour stop that will wear your pooch down for the whole day.
If you are traveling by RV, making a stop at a dog park every few days may make everyone’s experience a little better. They are not only social places for dogs, but for the owners as well, so you will likely get to meet locals in the area.
There are several Iphone and Android Apps that can help you find dog parks wherever you travel. Dog Park Finder Plus is the best app for iOS, and Android also has a paid app or a similar free version.
Not all beaches are pet-friendly, so it’s important to do your research before taking the leash off. Some do not allow dogs at all, and others require leashes at all times.Beaches that are not friendly to pets or that have restrictions will almost always let you know with signs as you enter the beach area.If you are traveling up the West Coast, Southern California has a variety of off-leash beaches in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and beyond. Cannon beach in Oregon also allows dogs to run free, as well as a portion of Marina Beach in Washington State.
Florida has several off-leash beaches as well including Picnic Island Park Dog Beach in Tampa, Paw Park in Venice, and Jupiter Beach. Even some of the lakefront in Michigan and Illinois will allow dogs to roam.
Similarly to beach areas, some hiking trails allow dogs with restrictions, some allow them freely, and still others to not allow dogs at all. It is important to respect the rules of the park out of courtesy to other visitors, because you may receive fines or tickets for allowing your dog to run freely, or even because there may be dangers to the animal that you cannot foresee.
Again, Southern California is a great area to take your dog hiking. Runyon Canyon Park in Los Angeles has a 90-acre area where dogs are allowed off the leash, and Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park is also dog-friendly.
Utah is renowned for its hiking and scenery, and there are several hiking areas that allow dogs on or off leash. The Indianapolis area in Indiana, specifically Monon Trail is another great spot that has a variety of trails that allow dogs.
If you are wondering if a nearby hiking trail is dog-friendly, Bring Fido has a guide to hiking areas that allow dogs, and it lists any restrictions they may have.
Even if you already have your destinations planned, use your phone or computer to see what kind of dog-friendly attractions are available. Spending time with your dog and allowing it to run freely every once in a while will keep everyone happier and eliminate any restless dog syndrome on your long journey.
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