One of the worst things about life on the road is loneliness. A solution to that is to bring a pet along, if your company allows it. But a dog, cat, bird, etc. can be a hassle to keep clean and healthy. Here are some tips to solve that issue.
Ever seen a pet-o-mat?
Most truck stops now carry pet-related products on the shelves. There’s cat litter (I recommend you keep a couple of bags of dried clay cat litter for leaks and spills anyway), dog food, and even bird seed (no, not the sunflower seeds meant for us).
They have plenty of toys, pet care items like basic dewormer and flea shampoos, and harness and leashes so your pets don’t run off. Here’s a list of locations out on the road with amenities.
Love’s Travel Stops
Love’s is rapidly growing across the country, with new locations finished and new builds announced constantly. The most up-to-date builds are incorporating pet areas with agility obstacles and off-leash pens to run in.
TravelCenters of America/Petro
I’m breaking this up into separate categories because of the multitude of franchises under the TA/Petro banner. So let’s start off with the usual stops first.
Like Love’s, TA/Petro carries a wide selection of goods for pet owners. Some even have dedicated dog walks and pens for off-leash play.
Walcott Iowa 80
As expected, “The World’ Largest Truckstop” is on the list, standing apart from its peers. Iowa 80 has its very own “dogomat.” In this very rare video, a trucker gives us a tour of the building with an enclosure to give your dog (or cat, etc.) a hot bath and a shampoo.
White’s Travel Center
White’s Travel Center is known as “the largest truckstop on the East Coast.” The massive facility is spread out in a valley in Appalachian Virginia outside the small town of Raphine.
Just like its Midwest cousin, it boasts a massive dog run area and pet wash. You’re sure to find ample pet supplies in its new “Mercantile Mall” expansion opened earlier this summer.
Dodge City Petro
No, not Kansas, but Dodge City, Alabama. The Petro of Dodge City is a tourist attraction, with a massive store with handcrafted sweets and knick-knacks and a dog wash large enough for any breed.
Big Apple Truck Stop
If you’re traveling across Missouri, a stop at the Big Apple Truck Stop is a sure bet if you have pets with you. The Phillips 66-branded facility has all the basic essentials and a modern dog park.
Jubitz Travel Center
If you are traveling through the Portland, Oregon area along I-5, a stop at Jubitz should be on the itinerary. There’s an area for your pets to roam in the back behind the Blue Beacon Truck Wash.
49’er Truck Stop
Miner, miner, 49’er. The King of California’s truck stops is a mainstay if traveling through Sacramento. Your animals will enjoy a freshening up at the pet wash in the complex.
Taking care of your pets is as essential as caring for yourself and your truck. They have needs, from being fed good food to a hot bath, so let’s do our best to take care of them – and yourself.