Traveling With Pets: How to Find Pet-Friendly Places

 Traveling With Pets: How to Find Pet-Friendly Places

Traveling with pets is one of the joys of the RV Lifestyle, but it also presents some limitations on where you can go.

Not too long ago I conducted an informal survey of RVers about how many have pets.

The results revealed about two-thirds (roughly 67 percent) do, in fact, travel with pets (usually dogs).

A while back, I did a podcast episode and got advice from a real-life pet detective about keeping your animal from getting lost, and what to do if it happens.

But what about traveling in general with a pet?

Traveling with Pets Experts

Enjoying traveling with pets on a rocky lakeshore
Mike and Jennifer's dog, Bo.

The go-to source for traveling with pets, in my opinion, is the husband-wife team behind GoPetFriendly.com – Rod and Amy Burkert.

Amy and Rod are full-time RVers themselves, traveling North America in a Class A and documenting thousands of places friendly to pets. Their site is an encyclopedia of travel advice for RVers looking for pet-friendly places.

Amy and Rod have traveled over 80,000 miles over the past five years with their two dogs, Buster and Ty. I talked to Amy and am happy to report she offered up lots of great advice for our listeners about traveling with their four-legged friends.

Traveling with Pets is Getting Easier

First off, she reports a trend that is going to make many of you happy.

“I think traveling with our pets is becoming easier,” Amy told me. “More places are recognizing that (travelers) are a viable market.”

Specifically, that means more businesses (hotels, restaurants, municipalities, and more) are becoming more pet-friendly.

When businesses pull back on their levels of pet-friendliness, there is generally one place to look: in the direction of irresponsible pet owners.

Specifically, she said, owners “who decide it’s not important to pick up after their pets or decide that the rules – leash laws and stuff like that – don’t apply to their pet.”

“Then there’s an incident and everybody suffers,” she said.

That applies to other places, too, such as beaches, where people who don’t clean up after their pets cause them to be banned. Because public places like beaches aren’t looking to make as much money as possible, Amy said you don’t really see a change in the number of public places that are pet-friendly.

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How to Find Pet-Friendly Places while Traveling

Amy says that gopetfriendly.com chronicles information about places that are friendlier than others based on the couple’s own experiences and input from others.

(Check out their website and look for the “add a listing” option.)

“We’ve got over 60,000 locations across the United States and Canada now,” Amy says. “And that covers hotels, campgrounds, beaches, wineries, dog parks, restaurants, pet supply stores, veterinarians, doggy daycare – really anything that we could think of that we thought people would need when they’re traveling with their pet.”

Amy said she and Rod have two travel companions in form of a German shepherd and a Shar-pei.

It was finding the German shepherd as a stray – and subsequently discovering the challenges of traveling with a large dog – that they began GoPetFriendly.com.

two adult black and tan german shepherds running on ground
Let's go!

“He was a big gangly dog that was just a little bit more difficult to travel with,” Amy said. “After our first three-and-a-half week road trip with this dog, my husband and I decided we were going to start this website and bring all this information together so people have an easier time planning a trip where they can find things to do and places to stay.”

Example?

The GoPetFriendly.com website has a road trip planner, where users can enter starting and ending points of trips and see pet-friendly places along the way.

As you can imagine, keeping it going is a full-time job – exactly why Amy quit her job as an accountant to run GoPetFriendly.com (Rod is able to manage his consulting business on the road).

With so many pet owners like us on the road, we’re grateful for their work!

Dealing with Ticks

One of the biggest concerns of traveling with dogs, is protecting them (and you) from ticks. Ticks are a growing problem in the U.S. so RVers certainly want to take precautions to keep them outside where they belong!

To learn more, read How to Keep Ticks Off Dogs & Out of Your RV.

Traveling with Cats?

Though most people travel with dogs, some don't leave their cats behind.

If you want to include your feline friend in your travels, check out these 8 PURRfect Tips for Including Cats in the RV Lifestyle.

Members of our RV LIfestyle community sent us pictures of their traveling cats so it's a fun post to peruse!

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Traveling With Pets: How to Find Pet-Friendly Places

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

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