The best service stations when travelling with your dogs

A dog sitting in the back seat of a car and looking out.

Driving home for Christmas? If you’re travelling with your dog, you may want to make a pit stop so that everyone has a chance to stretch their legs. But where should you take your break?

Well, new research has revealed the best motorway service stations for drivers travelling with their four-legged friends.

Killington Lake takes top spot

Following a poll by that revealed 1,852 dog owners plan to travel an average of 111 miles with their pooch this Christmas, CarStore looked into the best service stations for dogs.

Killington Lake in the Lake District and Telford in Shropshire were named as the top two service stations.

These were followed by the Oxford services on the M40, Reading services on the M4, and Tebay services on the M6, in Penrith, Cumbria. Other highly rated motorway service stations for dog owners include Gloucester services on the M5, Warwick on the M40 and Woodall services on the M1.

Stopping at service stations is crucial for drivers who want a break, especially for those with pets – 72% of those planning to travel with their dog will factor in at least one pit stop every two hours to let their pets stretch their legs.

43% of drivers will also plan their route with breaks in mind for their pups at reasonable intervals, and 61% admit to stopping more often with their dog in the car than they would if they were driving alone.

Comfort is key

Kim Costello from CarStore said: “Our dogs are our family too and making concessions for them while travelling is important.

“We have no doubt that all the stops on our list of motorway services cater in some way to the needs of our four-legged friends – but other factors such as a calm atmosphere, space to walk away from the road and, importantly, places to go to the toilet, make some stations more suitable than others.

“The service station voted the best by dog owners, Killington Lake near Kendall, boasts picturesque green space purposely situated far away from the motorway, a pretty picnic area, and a dog-friendly approach.”

Rob Bays, canine behaviour and training manager at Battersea, added: “Christmas should be fun for all the family – including our pets, whose comfort and safety should be considered amongst the festivities.”

He advised that when travelling with pets, “it’s important to ensure you stop during your journey to allow your dog time for an all-important comfort break and chance to stretch their legs.

“Whilst each dog has their own specific needs, we recommend factoring in a break at least every two hours.

“Planning stops in advance will ensure your pets’ needs will be taken care of and will give owners peace of mind so they can enjoy the festive season.”

Follow our tips on driving with your pet for a smooth car journey.

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