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Fall Travel Ideas

A dog can get distracted while traveling by car and may not be interested in eating or following the same meal routine as if you were at home. Consider bringing a treat dispenser to regulate your four-legged friend’s dining habits–-using a toy like this turns meal time into play time. Available from wag.com.

When the leaves are starting to turn colors and the temperatures are mild, it’s the time of year when  school is back in session, and harvest festivals are coming to town. For many people, it’s time to leave the air conditioning behind and head outdoors again, enjoying Mother Nature in all her cool, crisp glory. Whether it’s a major road trip or an afternoon getaway, the fall season may be the perfect time to grab your pup and head out of town. We’ve got some essential packing suggestions geared especially for this time of year, and great destination ideas that are just right for fall. Remember, before you head out the door, always check online or call ahead to learn about the current weather and leash laws of where you are headed. Being prepared will help ensure a safe and fun time with your dog.

When traveling by car, even in cooler temperatures, consider bringing along sun shades for the car windows. Whether your dog has sensitive skin or not, having your buddy ride in the car for any length of time while exposed to the sun can have damaging effects on your canine companion. Sun shades installed on your car windows can be an inexpensive way to block 85% of UV rays or more–-look for them in the baby section of stores. They’ll protect your pup while cooling off the car’s interior.

Oregon State Parks and North Coast

Do you have a dog with mobility issues? Less than a two hour drive from Portland and just a few miles north of popular Cannon Beach and Seaside is the town of Gearhart. With its huge (and still mostly uncrowded) beach, Gearhart Ocean State Park is accessible by car. Anyone traveling with a senior dog that might not be able to hike or make it over sand dunes can drive across its beach. For many, a relaxing road trip includes camping at the end of a peaceful and leisurely drive. Across Oregon, from October 1 to April 30, campground rates drop $4 a night at the state parks. You’ll enjoy beautiful weather with few crowds. For those who prefer a roof, there are dog-friendly yurts or cabins in 21 campgrounds. These must be reserved by phone, and there is an optional $10 per night contribution.

Oregon Parks and Recreation: http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD

Gearheart Ocean State Park–-Gearhart, OR 97138

Photos by Claudine Kosier of Simply Dog Photography.

Shenandoah Mountains – Virginia

Shenandoah National Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit during the fall months. Shenandoah is one of only a few national parks that allow pets on trails, making it a favorite outdoor destination among dog lovers. The park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, and there are 500 miles of trails leading to vista points and waterfalls, in addition to acres of quiet woods. If you don’t want to hike with your dog, Skyline Drive has spectacular views from over 75 overlooks that can be reached by car.

Shenandoah National Park
3655 US Hwy 211
East Luray, VA 22835


Glen Highland Farm – Upstate New York

With cool temperatures during the day and gorgeous foliage outside your car windows, driving through upstate New York in the fall is a vacation unto itself. For those who love to travel with their furry family members, Glen Highland Farm is a special canine country getaway that  offers 175 private acres of off-leash trails, meadows, creeks, and ponds. A great bonus for many is that due to heavy winters, their woods and meadows are virtually tick-free. You and your four-legged buddy will be able to play, romp and explore the countryside freely amongst other dog lovers. The cost of your stay, whether it is in a tent, cabin or your own RV supports their Sweet Border Collie Rescue. Since its inception, they have placed more than 1,500 border collies in homes. Not only will you and your dog feel relaxed at the end, but you’ll feel extra good knowing your visit helped other dogs get re-homed.

Visit their website.

Glen Highland Farm
217 Pegg Rd
Morris, NY 13808

Make sure you pack a bag just for your dog like this kit from Martha Stewart. Find more like it in our Products section.
Road-Trip Packing Essentials:
Dog bowls for food and water
Dog food and treats
6-Foot Leash
Bath and hand towels for drying off or general use
Small fanny pack or backpack for you to carry treats and water
Dog bed for overnight or very long road trips



Crate if you’re camping–particularly if you have to leave your dog unattended at any point to ensure their safety. For peace of mind, you should also consider bringing a copy of your dog’s current vaccination records wherever you go. It is better to plan for worse-case scenarios and be pleasantly surprised when nothing happens but a fun and peaceful road trip with your buddy!
In certain national parks it is always wise to be prepared, especially for unexpected events such as encountering a snake. According to the ASPCA, snake bites occur most often between the months of March and October. Snakes can strike across a distance equal to about half their body length. If you see a snake, head back the way you came. Learning the types of snakes common to the area you are visiting can make all the difference in your dog’s treatment in the event that they are bitten. Seek veterinary care immediately if your dog is bitten, and try keeping the location of the bite below heart level.
Photos by Claudine Kosier of Simply Dog Photography.


SharonThis article was written by LIFE+DOG editor Sharon Castellanos.

To read more from Sharon, visit her blog on our site  or her own site Grouchy Puppy.

Want to stay in touch with Sharon? Follow her on Twitter @grouchypuppy or @FromSF or on Instagram @city_girls or @grouchypuppy. Post your comments on this piece below.

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