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Best road trip ideas for pet owners

Summer is here, and you know what that means: road trips! Want to make your summer road vacation fun for your four-legged friend? Check out these pet-friendly road trip ideas for summer 2012.

woman and dog road trip

We’re so ready for a vacation — and so are our pets! It’s no fun to stick your babies in a kennel, so why not let them go with you on an epic (and dog-friendly) road trip this summer? Don’t worry — you’ll find plenty of destinations that are fun for both dogs and humans.

Mutt Lynch Winery, Healdsburg, California

Dogs and wine? It can’t get any better than that. The dog-loving wine makers at Mutt Lynch Winery offer tours for both humans and their canine counterparts. In fact, we kind of think the humans are an afterthought.

“Our first priority is to play host to you and your canine companions,” the winery writes on its website. “Yes, that’s right — dogs are welcome, in fact encouraged! We love to open our winery doors, turn a barrel on its side, pull out our wines, give your dog a treat (or two or three!) and get to know you while you get to know our wines. We’ll even bring our iPod to play some music… how about ‘Who Let the Dogs Out?'”

The Winery also offers puppy parties, including “Bark” Mitzvahs!

Tours are available by contacting Mutt Lynch via their official website.

dog leashOff-leash beaches in California and Illinois

It’s no secret that dogs love water. Sadly, most of the public beaches in the United States prohibit dogs from going off-leash at the beach — though a couple destinations allow dogs to roam free on special beaches. Coronado Dog Beach on Coronado Island, California and the Susan Kimmelman Off-Leash Dog Beach at Montrose Beach in Chicago let dogs swim and frolic to their hearts’ content without fear.

San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara, California

Want to hike and then get a massage during your vacation? How about hiking and a massage with your dog? You can do both at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California. The ranch — nestled in a lush landscape — features miles of trails and exercise areas for dogs, along with the option of either a Slow & Gentle Massage or an Authentic Reiki massage for the canines. The free-standing cottages also allow pets, so you’re good there, too.

Prices at the San Ysidro Ranch start at $600 with an additional $100 cleaning fee. You can make reservations through their official website.

Brewer’s Memorial Ale Fest, Newport, Oregon

Wine and dogs is awesome, but beer and dogs is better! The annual Brewer’s Memorial Ale Fest is held in honor of Brewer, the loyal canine companion of Rogue Ales master brewer John Maier. The black lab was a fixture at the brewery from his puppyhood to his death in 2006. The fest — only $10 for admission — includes plenty of dog-friendly activities like doggy musical chairs, dog wash and dog dancing, along with ample amounts of Rogue’s microbrews. Sadly, the event has passed for 2012, but there’s always next year. We highly advise you put it on your calendar now.

On the cheap

Don’t have the cash for a road trip this summer? Take your dog to a local off-leash dog park or on a trail. You’ll get some fresh air — and your dog will just be happy to be outside with you.

More pet travel tips

Tips for taking your dog camping
Summer air travel and pets: What you need to know
Ways to keep pets happy on road trips

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