“Are You Bringing the Dogs?”

Drive 10 hours round trip for a really sweet dog park? Yeah! You wouldn’t??

I’m not kidding – this past weekend, we loaded up Winston and Ivy (and cousin Izzie – my parents’ cairn terrier) and traveled five hours north to Columbus, Ohio. Our English Setter Rescue was holding its annual Setter Picnic. Each year, they choose a fancy dancy dog park, which makes me consider moving to a new city just for their dog amenities.

Bringing the dogs along removed all pet owner guilt and saved us a hefty boarding bill. We’d love to do this more often! If you’re in our boat of wanting to take the fur fam with you on trips, here’s some helpful tips for traveling with dogs:

  1. Check Accommodations Ahead of Time – The last thing you want to do is drive across country and find out your hotel or tourist destination isn’t pet-friendly. Use resources like BringFido and AllTrails, and then take it one step further and call and confirm. When traveling with pups in tow, we are personally big fans of La Quintas, which are all dog-friendly and affordable!
  2. Plan Stops and Walks – Winston and Ivy are good for about four hours in a car until Winston grumbles every time a sister setter hair touches him. Then there’s the “I’ll pull this car over if you two don’t behave” threats, the breaking up fights, trying to build barriers in between the two. But … if you plan stops and walks ahead of time with frequent bathroom breaks and rehydration, everyone gets along wonderfully!
  3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise – Want a patient, calm pupper while navigating or while exploring a city together? You’ve got to work them out! Public dog parks or hiking trails are stellar for this!
  4. Bring the Bones – Make sure to pack some entertainment for your dogs while hanging out in the hotel waiting for your next activity to start! We stock up on bones that will keep them occupied during these quiet moments. Here’s the brands we recommend here.
  5. Don’t Forget to Pack it – Bring extra water bottles for your dog, portable dog bowls, buy a bag of your dog food to take with you, a light dog bed if your dog isn’t a share the bed type, a foldable crate (I love this type from Chewy.com), plenty of dog bags, shampoo and towels for those dogs that love the mud like mine, any medication, and vet/vaccine records.
  6. Identify Yourself – Don’t forget to check your dog’s collar identification is on and up to date. Go the extra step and get your pet microchipped.
  7. Plan Your Meals – If you’re planning on dining out with your dog, it’s a good idea to plan your meals at restaurants ahead of time. Call restaurants and double check their policy on dogs on patios. We are big fan of craft breweries, which are often dog-friendly.
  8. Practice Waiting – As you’re getting ready to get your dogs out of the car, practice the “wait” command allowing you have a firm and confident grip on your dog’s leash before they jump out of the car.
  9. Big Don’ts – Never leave your dog unattended in a car. Don’t let your dog stick their head out of the window or ride in the back of a truck!

Here’s some sweet spots we discovered in Columbus, Ohio, while we were there:

  1. Alum Creek State Dog Park – This public dog park has two large fenced in areas of grass for the dogs to run and play, and also a fenced off beach and water area for the dogs to swim!
  2. Companion Club Dog Park – This is a private dog park, but you can pay to visit per single day. This is a massive fenced in area with a gorgeous lake setting and trails. The dogs absolutely loved this place!
  3. Somewhere in Particular Brewery – Wow, wow, wow! I can’t say enough about how much we loved sitting outside with the dogs, drinking fantastic brews, and dining on the best food. My faves? The Ohio Pepperoni Pizza (the jalapeno honey is sweet, not hot) with the Liquid Weekend beer to drink. This place has big communal style tables outside with fine gravel and plenty of grassy areas surrounding it, plus dog water bowls are delivered right to your table.
  4. BrewDog – Basically, you can spend the night in a brewery with your dog! Does it get any better than that? Or just enjoy some brews with your best friend at this dog-friendly brewery in Columbus.

Like what you read? Follow Winston and Ivy on Instagram at @winstontheenglishsetter.



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