Getting ready to spend some time on the road with man's best friend? Before you hit the road, there’s some leg work you'll need to do.
- Pack plenty of dog bags: It’s your duty to pick up the doody. It’s a courtesy to others around you and to the businesses you frequent.
- Bring extra water: Your road trip is bound to wind through some desolate, desert areas, so extra water is a must.
- Get an oil change: No road trip should start without one; after all, you'll want to make sure your vehicle is in good condition on vast stretches of the open road.
- Check your tires: Like an oil change, conducting routine maintenance — like checking your tires — is key before heading out on the road. If you spot signs of tire rot or your treads are low, consider replacing them through a reputable vendor like Tirebuyer.com. You’ve got a lot of miles to cover in this road trip, so your tires need to be in tip-top shape.
- Bring a kennel: No matter where your dog rides in the car, it’s always wise to pack a kennel or crate. This will ensure you're following the law in various states and make for easy transport when arriving at hotels. Plus, you’ll have this apparatus if you kennel or crate your dog at nighttime.
- Call your bank: Call your bank before you set out on your road trip. After all, you don’t want to have any unexpected blocks on your account while you’re hundreds of miles away from home. Pro tip: pack some cash just in case.
There are plenty of areas to explore with your pup in Nashville. First, stretch your legs and explore the Trails at Fontanel. The well-maintained walking paths put you face to face with nature, and while walking the trail, you might even catch a glimpse of The Fontanel Mansion.
When it’s time for lunch, make a stop at one of Nashville’s many dog-friendly eateries. BringFido.com lists more than 130 dog-friendly restaurants, ranging from the aptly named coffee shop Fido to breweries like Fat Bottom Brewing and taco shops like The Local Taco.
And, when the day is over, you both can get a good night’s rest at the chic and modern Aloft Hotel in Nashville’s West End.
Before you leave the Volunteer State, make an overnight stop in Memphis to rest up before taking on another day of driving. The drive from Nashville to Memphis is just over three hours.
A seven-hour trip west will take you to Dallas. According to Rover.com, the Big D is one of the most dog-friendly cities. Here, you can see the city with your pet aboard the McKinney Avenue Trolley, an early 20th century (and dog-friendly) trolley car that winds through the downtown area. Hop off and explore the city by foot.
After an afternoon of exploring, make a stop at Mutts Canine Cantina. Great for dogs — and their owners, too — this dog-friendly restaurant specializes in griddle hot dogs, burgers and custards. There’s even an outdoor dog run, where dogs can play while you enjoy your meal.
A busy day in Dallas calls for a peaceful night’s rest. Spend the night at The Highland Dallas, where there is no pet fee. The hotel even offers specials on parking; just be sure to call ahead for current offerings. Next, a nine-hour drive through the Desert Southwest will take you to your next stop.
Take your travels to the Southwest — and be sure to bring plenty of water, because we’re headed to Phoenix. But not without a pitstop in El Paso first. Spend a night at an affordable dog-friendly hotel like The Red Roof Inn or Motel 6’s Studio 6 where pets stay free.
When you’re ready to hit the open road, you’ve got a four-hour and 40-minute trip to Tucson. Make a pit stop in the Old Pueblo and check out the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Pima Air and Space Museum or the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, as each location welcomes leashed pets.
Finally, load up the car and head north to downtown Phoenix, where you'll find the Hotel Palomar, a modern, dog-friendly Kimpton hotel where dogs stay free. Get some rest and head to O.H.S.O Brewery for brunch the next day. The dog-friendly eatery in Arcadia, a neighborhood of Phoenix, has free dog treats, water bowls and plenty of shade for pets and their people. Afterward, hit the walking paths along Phoenix’s canal system. There's even trail access from O.H.S.O.