New Forest Dog On The Forest Off The Lead

Dogs at Motorway Services

Have you ever wondered what to do with your dog if you are travelling alone, or if it is much too hot to leave your dog inside a hot car parked at a motorway services? I certainly have! I was so pleased to see this advice on the website of the Moto services at

Do they allow dogs on site?

Yes, they won’t turn any drivers away who need to bring their dogs with them to use the toilet facilities inside buildings. Please note though, that dogs are not permitted inside the restaurants or shops. Of course, all accessibility and guide dogs are allowed in all areas of the building including the restaurants and shops as before.

Can your dog come with you whilst you sit and have something to eat?

If it’s not safe to leave your dog outside, ie. If you are travelling alone, or it’s too hot to leave your dog in the car, your dog will be allowed inside whilst you use the facilities.Please keep in mind though he/she is not permitted inside the restaurant areas, so if you do just want to pick up food to eat you can, or consider using an ‘order and collect’ service with your mobile phone and enjoy your food in one of the outdoor seating areas.

What facilities do they have for dogs?

There are some stunning outdoor spaces at service locations, some with short walking routes perfect for letting dogs stretch their legs mid-journey, and all with space for your dog to relieve themselves and have a quick drink of water

What about other services?

Extra motorway services say this: 'We only allow assistance dogs in our food court buildings. You will find dog walking areas at all our service area locations with the exception of Cullompton. You are however free to walk your dogs around the car parks and footpaths.'.

Welcome Break say they have 'pet friendly outdoor areas' at all of their services. Roadchef say: 'All of our locations are pet friendly with outside spaces, so your four-legged passengers can get out and stretch their paws too!'.

What about feeding?

It’s best to avoid disrupting your dog’s normal feeding schedule, so try to set off two or three hours after they've eaten. The aim of the game is to allow time for your dog’s stomach to settle. A car sick passenger is no fun, two legs or four.

If that doesn’t fit your schedule, it’s okay to feed your dog on your journey. But find somewhere to stop and let your pup eat from their normal bowl. Dish out a smaller portion than normal and allow thirty minutes or so before resuming your journey.


The hard shoulder is NOT the place to stop in case your dog needs a break or relieving. It's dangerous, and for emergencies only. 

If you want more information about dogs at motorway services, search here

Sarah Morris. NFDOG Committee Member