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Dog Friendly Guide To Interstate 95

Traveling on the open road can be rather daunting when you are suddenly faced with stop and start traffic, miles away from your destination with an antsy dog in the back. Even in the GPS era, finding a place that will welcome you and your dog can be hard. I-95, which starts or ends depending on your perspective in Houlton, Maine and goes straight down to Miami, Florida is one of the most heavily transversed roads in the nation and one you are likely to find yourself on if you are traveling on the East Coast.

Searching for a place to stop for the night with the pups need no longer be a hassle. When it comes to a quick stay, most people are in search of an easy place to pull off and that place often ends up being a brand name hotel, motel or one of the so-called suites. Here is a sampling of a few of the national chains you can find on I-95 that allow dogs.

  • Motel 6 lets your pet stay for $10 a night and all locations welcome pets. Service animals stay for free.
  • Marriott tends to charge a $49 fee for pets and has no weight limit. They also put up a sign that says “Pets in Room.”
  • Extended Stay America has a pet friendly policy and a dog or cat costs $25 a night.
  • Ramada Inn and Clarion have the greatest differentiation; pet fees can vary from $10 to $25 night, but not all locations welcome pets.
  • If you use a website like BringFido.com for a last minute reservation, some hotels will waive the pet fee.
  • Red Roof Inn allows pets to stay free at most of its locations.
  • Studio Plus, one of the more uncommon hotels on I-95, charges $25 plus a cleaning fee. Breed restrictions apply.
  • Springhill Suites has a $75 fee for pets and only allows dogs under 50 pounds.

For a list of all the locations that are pet friendly, try the Pets Welcome hotel database. They also have the prices of each hotel, which can sometimes vary depending on the owner. http://hotels.petswelcome.com/chains/

There are many smaller locally-owned hotels that are pet friendly as well. If you have a smartphone, try getting the Pets Welcome app. It helps find all kinds of nearby dog approved hotels, parks, attractions and can even finding emergency grooming services. If you prefer paper guides, try going with the official AAA Guide. The AAA has Petbook, which gives you the skinny on feline and canine friendly resorts and family owned inns. http://www.aaa.com/petbook/travel_tips.html

When driving along I-95, it is reassuring to know that most rest areas are good places to stop with the dogs so they can let out that pent up energy. However, for the driver that has a little extra time, try the dog park. Petcentric is an app that offers listings of all the pet friendly dog parks and even places to dine, so you aren’t limited to the McDonalds drive-through or the granola bar you packed.

If those aren’t on the route, try searching www.doggoes.com. They have a phenomenal list of dog parks, runs and pet-friendly beaches for all 50 states. If you can’t get online, there is still an app for that. The Off-Leash app lists 600 dogs parks that you can visit based on your location.

In addition, it never hurts to pack a few supplies including extra treats, a jug of water and plastic bags. Then make sure to brush up on the car safety basics for pets. Clint Cora, a Canadian dog obedience specialist, offers a little training video for first-time and long-time dog owners on how to keep dogs safe in the backseat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmVJa_A64oE

Happy travels!

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