Best Dog-Friendly Sightseeing Locations: Ireland Edition

  • 06/08/2019
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Going out for routine walks is something that is crucial to keeping your dog happy and healthy. While most of us take our dogs on walks around the block or to a nearby park, we can certainly make it more interesting by planning a trip to somewhere different, keeping it creative and exciting for both you and your four-legged furry friend.

Irish road trip ideas for you and your dog

Taking your dog on a road trip around Ireland during the summer season can bring unique challenges and require dog-specific prep but this is a great way to spend time with your best friend.

The Sky Road, Connemara

You can take your dog on a short 15km road trip along the Sky Road from the Galway region. It is a tranquil route with an amazing view of the Connemara coast and will take you to the Connemara National Park where dogs are allowed and entry is free. The park offers a vast wild expanse of mountains, bogs, heathlands and lake for you and your dog to explore in. When you are done walking, you can stop by the nearby historic town of Clifden for a quick bite.

Wexford to Waterford, via The Ring of Hook Road

The 95km long route along the Ring of Hook will take you to some historical monuments. Some of the best stopping points that you and your dog would enjoy include the Hook Peninsula where your dog will be able to run free near the world’s oldest working lighting dating back from the 13th century and a small fishing village complete with a 15th-century castle.

Fanad Peninsula

If you want a more adventurous route for you and your dog to go on, the route from Fanad Peninsula out to sea will be a perfect choice. Drive north from Letterkenny in a loop that takes you up to Fanad Head and back to Rathmullan via the Knockalla Coast Road. Plan to make a stop at Ballymastocker Bay for a swim and enjoy a beach day with your dog.

Preparing to take your dog on a road trip

Before taking your dog on a long drive, you should prepare for the occasion to ensure that they are ready and can endure the journey.

Packing Appropriately

A road trip with your canine friend will have to account for a longer duration. Here’s a few things that you would want to consider bringing along with you:

●      Food, water bowl and food for each day on the road

●      Treats to keep your dog calm when feeling uneasy

●      Updated leash and collar with ID tags

●      A soft crate with a pad or blanket

●      Doggy waste bags

●      Toys or something to chew on as stress relievers

●      Medical and vaccination records

●      Motion sickness or other prescription medication

Travel Practice

Helping your dog get adjusted to the journey is important. You can train them up by taking a few short drives and gradually extending them. Most dogs can easily overcome car sickness once they get used to the idea of being in a moving car and feel much calmer and comfortable. While sometimes dogs can be calmed by rewarding them, it may be handy to recognise the signs of car sickness. Not all motion sickness manifests as vomiting, some signs include inactivity, uneasiness, whining, excessive drooling or the fear of cars.

Mental, Emotional and Physical Toll on a Dog

Travelling can be uncomfortable for dogs on a physical and psychological level as they are not used to it. To ensure your dog is feeling okay, you can plan in stopping points for shops and ‘toilet’ stops. You can identify dog-friendly parks, restaurants and accommodation facilities ahead of time as well! 

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