How to Take Your Dog Anywhere, With the Help of These 6 Smartphone Apps

If you want to take your dog with you on your travels, also bring some essential information tools. (Photo: Igor Normann/Shutterstock).

If you want to take your dog with you everywhere you go, there are a few resources you're going to want to have on hand to make finding dog-friendly locations fast and easy. These six apps are excellent options for locating anything from hotels to restaurants to parks, for helping you know what to do for your dog should an emergency arise, and even for finding a pet sitter for those evenings during your travels where you want to go somewhere that is humans-only.


Hands down this is the best app for finding dog-friendly places in your own town or while traveling. BringFido allows you to browse hotels, restaurants, stores, parks, beaches and even events that all welcome dogs with open arms. You can even make reservations for your destination through the app. You’ll also be able to search for dog walkers, groomers, and sitters in case Fido needs some extra attention during your vacation. Read reviews and leave your own comments, and sort by distance, popularity or price. And, if you're having any trouble finding a place, there's a number to call to talk to a "Pet Friendly Travel Expert." The website is also great, so you can switch from the app to the site to read about the policies of every airline carrier, or take part in the forum to ask or answer questions from other travelers. This is an essential app to have on your phone if you want to be able to bring your dog with you while you’re out and about.


Another handy app is DogFriendly. This app has more than 18,000 dog-friendly listing across the U.S. and Canada, and you can search by a specific location or by what’s near you. The listings include hotels and restaurants, dog parks and beaches among other places, and you can also add your own listings as you find dog-friendly locations that aren’t in the database. You can read travel tips to find out the best way to bring your pooch with you wherever you go. The app doesn’t run as well as BringFido — it can be slow and the search feature can be a bit buggy. But if you want to have a backup on your phone just in case, this is a good choice.

Dog Park Finder Plus

For finding a dog park near you, wherever you happen to be, you'll want to have Dog Park Finder Plus on your phone. You can search for a park nearby your current location using a map feature, search in a specific city or ZIP code, or find out whether or not the park you’re sitting in is dog-friendly and what the rules are. The color-coded map makes it easy to find where you want to be. Light green means off-leash, dark green means on-leash and red means Fido is not welcome. You’ll find out which parks have restrooms or lights, if there are fenced-in areas or if there are specific small-dog areas, and you’ll be able to see photos and user ratings. You can add your own rating to each park or even add parks that aren’t already in the database. With over 6,600 parks listed, you’re sure to find somewhere to play. There are also dog-friendly rest stops listed so you know where to take a break while on the road. There are also about 12,000 restaurants listed in the app, so you can find a place to eat and replenish all the calories spent playing fetch with your dog at the park!

Where To Go

So you’re in the airport traveling with your dog and you can’t find a place where your pooch can take a potty break. Where To Go will show you where Fluffy can take a pit stop, and give directions for getting to the relief area. It’s perfect for people traveling with service dogs. Along with where to take a potty break at an airport, the app features information about the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations for service animals and other helpful information.

Red Cross Pet First Aid

This $0.99 app is an absolute must-have, whether you're traveling or not. But when you're on the road and away from your usual vet, it's a definite necessity. The Pet First Aid app by the Red Cross provides information about what's normal for your pet from heart rate to hydration levels, what to check if something seems to be wrong with your dog, how to deal with everything from bleeding to allergic reactions to breathing problems. For just about every health scenario you can imagine, this app has information on how to deal with it. You can also plug in your vet's phone number so you can call them with a single touch. If you're traveling and need a vet immediately, there is a vet hospital locator. You can even add in your pet's medical records so you have all of their history at a glance. Basically, if there is an emergency, this app ensures you don't have any reason to panic. You can even test the knowledge you've gained from the app and take one of the quizzes!


So say you're traveling and you have plans to go somewhere that just simply isn't dog-friendly, like you have tickets to the theater. Pull up DogVacay on your phone and start searching. This app connects you to trustworthy, insured dog sitters and walkers. You can search for nearby pet sitters, filtering for hosts who have dogs of their own or can take just one dog at a time, if they have special skills like pet CPR, or based on how much outdoor space they can provide, Then, read the reviews of each person and select who you think is best for your dog. You can make a reservation and pay for the service, all on your phone. Your dog gets treated like one of the family with your host, which is a far cry from the experience of a stint in the kennel. During your dog’s stay you get photo updates, and the app makes it easy to share on social media if you’re so inclined. Plus with every reservation you get free pet insurance and 24/7 support included. This is definitely an ideal app to have at the ready for when you're traveling and for when you want to travel (gasp!) without Fido.