DOG FRIENDLY Travel TipsWhile the High Country’s mix of beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery and relaxed pace continues to draw human travelers from all over the world, these same features also make the region ideal for canine tourists as well. It’s common to see every manner of dog enjoying the mountain travel experience with their owners, but an uncomfortable time for man and beast can also mar an otherwise satisfying trip for those who don’t prepare. Here are a few dog-friendly travel tips to help keep Spot happy.


1. Ruff and Ready: After endless hours of car travel, Fido will no doubt be just as ready as you are to stretch his four legs and check out the local scene. There are hundreds of miles of dog-friendly trails in the area, but remember, your dog is in an unfamiliar environment away from home so always (repeat this with me “ALWAYS”) keep your dog on a leash. In most town limits, it’s the law, but it’s also simply proper pet etiquette. While your dog is no doubt a sweet, ‘lil snookums at home, he can prove you wrong and behave unpredictably in a strange place, with possible dangerous repercussions for him, other people and wildlife.

2. Worst-case Scenario: Fortunately, if your dog does get injured or sick, help is available around the clock. The Animal Emergency Clinic of the High Country recently opened its doors to all ailing pets and Dr. David Linzey, DVM offers all manner of after-hours emergency veterinarian services. The clinic is open weeknights, weekends, and all major holidays. The clinic is located at 1126 Blowing Rock Road, Suite A, in Boone. For more information, call 828-268-2833.

3. Room to Roam: For dog owners who want to give their pet the gift of unleashed roaming, check out the Watauga County Humane Society’s Dog Park. Located on 13 acres of farmland, the dog park allows free reign behind six-foot, chain-link fences for an amazingly low price of $3 for a day pass. Please bring your dog’s rabies certificate including the rabies tag number as well as the date it was given and the expiration. The park is divided into two areas — one for active dogs and another for older or more timid canines. For more information, call 828-264-7865.

4. General Travel Tips: Of course, always make sure your hotel, cabin or condo accepts pets before checking in — never assume.

If your dog isn’t used to traveling in the car, get him or her ready by making short trips a week or two before the big trip to acclimate him to the motion and to ensure calm behavior. Allowing your dog to stick her head out the window of a moving car can irritate eyes and cause other medical problems. Always carry paper towels, room deodorant for your lodgings, a pooper scooper and plastic bag to clean up after know.

Help your dog feel at home by bringing her familiar dish, toy or blanket.

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