It’s the end of the summer and you want to get away. However, you don’t want to leave your furry friend at home. So, where are the best places to go with your pooch in the US? Reviews.com reached out to Nature Reflections in response to our blog post Have Car, Have Dog, Let’s Have an Adventure with a great article on places to travel with your dog. Not only does their article explore the top 10 places but they do a deep dive of the most dog friendly towns throughout the US. It is a must read for any dog lover that likes to travel with their companion.
By Jackie Nelson- Feature Writer
The U.S. is full of incredible places to visit, but if you’re planning to take along your furry family member, there are some important things to consider. Outdoor recreation, lodging, and even dining take on added importance when planning a trip with your dog. It’s also safe to say a dog-friendly destination would have some type of doggie daycare and good access to veterinary care in case of emergency.
Overall, having good amenities for your pup can make or break your entire experience. We spent over 150 hours researching what makes the best vacation spot and came up with 100 top locations out of 567 possible destinations to visit with your dog. And why did we do all this? Because we want to help people research and find the best places to visit that don’t require leaving Fido behind.
We determined the top cities to visit with your dog by scrutinizing and cutting from a total of 1,000 of the biggest tourist destinations across the country according to TripAdvisor and Touropia. Using population density, we were able to filter out highly populated metropolitan areas full of traffic, concrete, and crowds – definitely not conducive to a doggone good time.
Next, we graded the frontrunners against seven crucial criteria that would helped a city rank higher on our list. These factors included: number of dog parks, availability of dog trails, amount of dog-friendly restaurants, options for dog-friendly lodging, nearby dog-friendly beaches, availability of dog daycares, and nearby veterinarians or emergency clinics. Based on this research, we grouped those factors into two different city scores: amenities and outdoor activities.
We also talked to three experts who provided additional information about traveling with your dog:
- Erin Ballinger, the destinations editor at BringFido, offered essential tips for exploring the world with a pup.
- Suzanne Bryner of Lucky Fido Dog Training recommended training techniquesto turn your dog into a great travel companion.
- And Kathleen Darling, the Infection Prevention Coordinator at Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, explained how to make traveling a safe and healthy adventure for your pup.
What We Learned
In our research, we discovered a majority of our most dog-friendly destinations are in the southeast United States. If you’re traveling in the summer months, Darling recommends limiting time outside and making sure your pup has plenty of water.
We awarded honorable mentions for the most dog trails, most dog parks, the most dog-friendly beaches, the most dog daycares, and the most dog-friendly restaurants. We also had to figure out just the right approach to weighing certain aspects of a destination against another. For example, we determined outdoor activities to be a significant factor for those considering where to visit with their dog. This resulted in a place like Nantucket, Massachusetts, earning an overall high score (and making the top 10) despite having relatively few pet-friendly amenities, since it does have such great outdoor activities.
View the Top 10 Places (Click on the link to continue reading the article on Reviews.com)