Dog Friendly Travel

Tour of America Day 3 – Arriving at BlogPaws

Road Trip Day 3 - Hello Southwest!
Written by Rachael Sando
  • We will be recapping each day of our Dog Friendly Tour of America! Check back daily to see the latest places explored and plenty of dog road trip tips!

Rise and shine, its time to get back on the road!

Day three started with Kevin and I (and the pups) feeling much more rested after a partial night’s sleep at Red Roof Inn. After unpacking a few things and settling in, we got into bed around 3 am. We planned on setting our alarm for 9am so we could shower, pack up, and start the last leg of our journey to Phoenix, Arizona.

Unfortunately, that is not exactly how it worked out.

Alarm Clock Insecurity

I was sleeping somewhat restlessly because I was concerned that the alarm would not go off and we would get too late of a start. We certainly were tired enough to sleep much longer than the 6 hours we planned! I woke up several times in the early morning feeling rested and content. “Well rested” was quickly replaced with panic in my brain because surely “rested” must also mean “late”! I finally decided to stop fighting my brain and got up before the alarm went off, at 7:45am.

Traveling through New Mexico on our dog friendly road trip

I jumped in the shower and decided that I would let Kev sleep until I was done. I woke him up a few minutes after 8 and instantly heard some grumbles about how early it was! He mumbled and grumbled but eventually woke up asking me why we were up so early.

Well, as it turns out, he was on to something.

Rewind to the night before. Shortly after unpacking, I realized that my phone had been left in the car. Knowing we were going to be at the hotel for such a short period of time, I left it out there and got into bed. Concerned about waking up on time and getting on the road for BlogPaws, I slept restlessly; checking my Fitbit throughout the night to ensure I had not overslept. The problem is that my Fitbit was still set to Eastern Time! So, instead of waking up at 7:45, it was actually 5:45! I had only slept for 3hrs!

I knew I was going to feel it later in the day…

On the Road Again

We were back on the road around 9am. Our trip from Gallup to Phoenix was set to take us around 4 hours.  I was sad to leave New Mexico. Kev’s Aunt lives in Taos and we were lucky enough to spend some time there with her a few years ago, and loved it. New Mexico is a beautiful state that deserves so much more exploring and enjoyment. But, until next time…

Harley and Charlie snoozing on their 4Knines bench seat cover


Though we anticipated that the trip would take a little more than 4 hours with some stops for coffee and a bathroom break, we hit some traffic passing through the Tonto National Forest which extended our trip by about an hour. The landscape was so beautiful and we were constantly tempted to pull over and explore the trails that lined the mountain highways. There are so many absolutely stunning places in this country!

BlogPaws Commence!

We arrived in Phoenix at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass around 2pm and were able to check in a bit early. Instantly, we were blown away by how AMAZING this place was (and also how HOT it was)! I couldn’t believe that dogs (an animals of all sorts) were not only allowed, but celebrated at this gorgeous place! Because we arrived early we had time to settle in, unpack, and chill for a few minutes before heading over to conference activities.

First Floor Please!

When we travel without the dogs, we value the view and love having a balcony to sit and relax on after a long day. From a practical standpoint, I also typically feel a little bit safer on a higher level. When we travel with the boys, it’s a whole other story and we felt really lucky to be assigned a ground level room which made bathroom breaks a cinch! Helpful hint: Call ahead and ask for a lower level room so there are no accidents!

Hot Diggity Dog

With outdoor temps nearing 110 degrees the floor your room is located on is only one point of consideration. Extreme heat poses an increased risk of heat stroke and paw burns. We knew we wouldn’t let the boys outside, except to go to the bathroom, which solved the problem of heat stroke but didn’t solve the problem posed by hot pavement!

Enter Pawz dog boots! We’ve reviewed these boots before, here, and cannot say enough good things about their ease of use and the simple but complete protection they offer.  Slipping these boots on is mandatory in this heat where pavement temperatures can exceed the ambient air temperature by more than 40 degrees!!

Let the Drinks Flow

Once settled, it was time to catch up with friends at the first Yappy Hour of the BlogPaws, Social Media and Blogging Conference! It was great to catch up with friends and let me tell you…the drinks were flowing (from the PetSafe Fountains)!

Hamming it up for some extra lovin' at BlogPaws

By 8 pm-we were all tired and ready for sleep! Harley and Charlie crashed hard. I’m pretty sure there is photo evidence that I fell asleep sitting up too, but lets not talk about that!

What we learned:

  • Get Your Tech in Line: Take away any stress that might come from “alarm clock insecurity”. Sync all of your devices including any car clocks/watches and adjust the time as you travel through different time zones. Still worried about getting up on time? You can always ask your hotel for a wake-up call, if needed.
  • Request a Lower Level Room: While you miss out on the views, lower level rooms are really convenient when you are traveling with a dog. Sometimes you get really lucky and have a patio door which makes letting your pal out even easier. Either way avoid stairs and elevators and skip “the view” when you are just crashing along your journey.
  • Wear Paw Protection: Do not underestimate the heat that is absorbed by pavement. It is so much better to be safe than sorry because any injury is not only painful, it can really upset your vacation plans. Heat or cold not a problem? Don’t underestimate the way that environmental allergens can irritate your dog’s paws! Its better to keep them protected!

Quick Stats

  • Miles traveled: 281
  • States passed through:  2 (NM, AZ)
  • Gas fill ups: 1

Stop back tomorrow to see what we’re up to on Day 4…

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About the author

Rachael Sando

Rachael is a School Psychologist with degrees from the University of Rochester and RIT. Though a lifelong dog lover, this passion has taken on a new direction through the utilization of therapy animals in her day job. Charlie, our Golden Retriever, works with Rachael as a school therapy dog in a local primary school where he brings comfort and support to students and staff on a daily basis.


  • i bet they were glad to get out of the car. do you have doggy nose prints all over your car windows? i have them and in my house as well. so glad to hear that the hotel was so good with dogs. i know yrs ago, when we had a storm, no electricity for 7 or more days, i tried to get a hotel room and no dogs were allowed anywhere. finally i found an old dumpy hotel that let me stay in a very old room. it was nasty but heat and hot water. yep you have to watch how time changes. i bet you were bone tired at the end of the day…but good tired. i can just see the dogs at the windows of the car, when you arrived…just itching to get out and see what all of the excitement was, with all of the other dogs….hope you had a wonderful time…

  • Sounds like so much fun! The pavement is such a struggle we just had a heat wave it California so we had to get up so early to beat the heat and walk the dogs. And love the idea of requesting a lower level room if travelling with pets.

  • My dog loves Pawz boots. I just wish they made a taller version to cover more of her legs in the winter when it snows!

  • We were on a long weekend getaway last year and the temperature was above 90 when we stopped for a potty break I was really worried about his paws because we had to walk on sidewalks. I will have to check out the Pawz boots.

  • We need to get some Pawz boots. I worry about my dog’s paws in the summer heat.

  • I can’t believe it’s Blog Paws time already! It seems like last years was just yesterday! What a nightmare with the alarm clock, but I will take note for when I travel to a different time zone. I’ve only done it once, and it was just one hour off and I was so jazzed about it, I was on top of changing everything. ? But I could easily see myself forgetting on a longer road trip, or a plane flight. Thanks for the reminder!

  • My mom is terrible if she needs an alarm. She usually sets 2-3 just to be certain she is awakened but still cannot sleep. I’m sure the Sheraton beds were perfect to catch up on all those lost zzzz’s!

  • So glad you made to Arizona for BlpogPaws. Sounds like having a lower floor room was a good idea. Thanks I would never have thought of it. Pawz Boots sound awesome.

  • It is nice that you can stay in a nice hotel for the dogs and you. I have that same trouble worry about alarms going off at home I hardly ever use them. I prefer ground floor rooms too when traveling with my dogs.

  • How do your dogs like walking in those boots? Were they resistant to them at first? We have 4 dogs and even in the wee hours of the morning the pavement here in the Hudson Valley is hot

    • No adjustment time at all. We were talking to another blogger about it. She was hoping to get one of those ridiculous dogs in boots videos, but nope! The only thing they have ever done with them is right in the beginning thinking they were stuck to the floor!

    • Turns out it was some arthritis and for whatever reason he was favoring a front paw. We’ve been resting and limiting time in the car without a stretching break which seems to help! Thanks for caring and checking in!

  • Those boots do work great! I have them for my dog too. 110 degrees! Those pups must’ve been happy they were in an air-conditioned hotel for the conference! Dry heat or not that had to be HOT!

    • It sure was! We stayed inside except for potty breaks as that kind of heat is just too much for the dogs.

  • I’ve always wanted to attend a BlogPaws conference, maybe one day I’ll be able to. These boots look amazing.

  • Though we didn’t really say hi or take pictures, it was great to see you in passing at BlogPaws! That’s always tough when you’re nervous about missing the alarm clock and you wake up super early!

    • Yes it was, we will make s point to meet. It’s always more challenging when we are all trying to keep the dogs well behaved too! It’s a double edged sword I guess! So glad you stopped by!

  • I’ve never really traveled, so would never have even thought about many of those considerations. Thanks for the tips!

  • I always request a first floor because LaMancha is afraid of the elevator and one hotel didn’t have stair access going up.

  • I always try to stress the importance of paw protection in this Texas heat to my husband and we finally decided to buy some for our babies. Your adventure is also giving us major confidence to travel with our dogs

  • 7:45!! Gasp! bol! JK – I wake up at 7:16 every mawnin! bol Good idea on a balcony room. Too bad I didn’t make BlogPaws this year, but I hope to next year! <3 Milk

  • i did not see a day 4 post, so i am posting again. i hope you had a wonderful time at blogpaws. i would love to go, it is sc next yr, so i will see. cant make such a decision so early. hope you had lots of fun

  • have not seen day 4 as yet, so hear goes…i hope that you had a wonderful time at blogpaws…it would be wonderful to meet people that i only meet thru social media…i bet the dogs had a wonderful time with all of the loot i saw everyone posting…treats, toys, etc. i also prefer a lower room, faster to get to, however, not like the first floor if the security is not good if it is an outside room.

    • Yes totally makes sense! Thanks for chiming in, maybe someday you will come to Blogpaws too!

  • Hopefully Blog Paws will be in a cooler climate next year, I think it’s great that the dogs were treated so well at the convention how fun.

  • I don’t have another post to comment on so will post here again. I hope you guys are traveling & exploring somewhere fun & enjoying disconnecting!