Plan in Advance - We know this sounds like an obvious one but planning in advance with a pooch is very important. Finding and booking dog-friendly accommodation is a job in itself, but there’s more to thin about too. If you’re planning trips or meals out, you need to find places that are either dog-friendly or not far from your accommodation. You don’t want to be leaving your pup alone for long stretches of time, especially in an unfamiliar place. It would also be a shame to have taken the time to travel somewhere only to find your four-legged friend wasn’t welcome.
There are loads of websites and resources online to help you plan a dog-friendly holiday though, so don’t worry, you’re not alone!
Thin of Your Dogs Basic Needs – Adding a dog to a trip means having to consider a lot more things, to make sure your pup is happy, comfortable, cared for and happy on the trip. Start by making a check list of all the things your dog is definitely going to need and things that they maty need too. It might sound like over preparing but it’s better to be safe than sorry! Saying that, to reduce the amount of thigs take with you, it might be a good idea to check if there are places near where you are staying that you can but things like dog food, treats and other doggie essentials.
Some of the more obvious items you'll need are food/water bowl, leash, collar, ID tags, dog waste bags, bed, shampoo, and an old towel. Whilst you may be happy to shop for any items you forget to bring, there could be things you leave behind which may not be available to buy.
There are other things to think about as well that might not be quite as obvious; any medications your dog is on, or may need in an emergency situation, a recent photo of them in case they get lost plus extra collars and leashes.
Visit the Vets Beforehand – It’s encouraged that you take your dog to the vet at last once a year for a check-up, but before a trip is also a good idea. Whilst away your dog may come into contact with other animals that may carry fleas, ticks, or worms. Getting all clear and being up to date with your dog’s flea treatment will go a long way to keeping them happy and healthy.
If your pup isn't already microchipped, then it's strongly advisable to consider having this done too while at the vet. This normally costs between £10-40 at a veterinary practice, or if you live near a Dogs Trust, you can get the procedure done for free if you book far enough in advance.
You should also use this time to take a look at the details of your pet insurance. It's always a good idea to cover your holiday against your pets falling ill, so if this does unfortunately happen, you won't be out of pocket.
Train in Basic Commands – Basic commands such as ‘sit, ‘stay’, ‘come’ and ‘stop’ are going to be very important in keeping your dog safe and wearing a more pleasant holiday. Dogs can get over excited, especially in new environments, and not always be well behaved. Leaning basic commands before you go away it will give you more control. Reward them when they follow your commands and soon enough you won't need to fear letting them off the lead in public open spaces.
Travelling With Your Dog – If you’re travelling with your dog in the car, it’s best if this is a familiar experience. If your pup hasn’t been on a car journey before it could be stressful and problematic for everyone involved.
Before you book your holiday, get them used to travelling in the car; start with shorter distances then ease up to longer car journeys. If your dog gets particularly anxious in the car, try playing some of our relaxing music during the rides, it’ll really help them feel more at ease!
When travelling in the car with your dog, safety is absolutely essential. Crating is a good safe solution as it restricts their movement and stops them distracting the driver. Dog harnesses offer another good alternative, but you must always position them away from any airbags. During the journey you should aim to stop every two hours to allow them to stretch their legs.
Stop often for your dog to be able to go to the toilet, stretch their legs and get something to eat and drink. Travel bowls for food and water are widely available and are good things to just keep in the car just in case.,
Locate Vets & Pet Shops - Even if you’ve packed all the essentials and been to the vet before you left, you never know what you’re going to encounter or need whilst away from home. Hopefully you won’t have any doggy emergencies but it’s important to know where the nearest vet is to where you’re staying just in case.
Same goes for pet stores; forgetting an essential is easier to do than we think, so having somewhere near to pick up food, toys, beds etc. is a really good thing!
Going Abroad – Most of these tips are for travelling with a dog in your own country, usually by car, but what about going abroad with your beloved pooch?
If you’re wanting to travel by plane or boat wit your dog, it’s best to get in contact with the travel companies directly. Not all airlines/sailing companies have the same regulations or rules when it comes to travelling with pets, so it’s best to clue up way before you book your holiday.