When a dog becomes part of our family its natural to want to spend as much time with them as possible. If we are at work most of the week then free time becomes particularly special with our furry friends. Taking with them with us where ever we go becomes a way of life so it’s not surprising we want to take our dogs on holiday. If we are holidaying on home ground this may seem like the best idea though depending on what you want to do on holiday and whether your pooch travels well it may not be the ideal solution.
Before you make your mind up to take your beloved pet on holiday ensure they are in good health. A vet check is a good idea to ensure their vaccinations are up to date and their microchip still works. Does your dog travel well? Do they get travel sick or do long journeys or strange places scare them? You have to assess whether the holiday is about you or your dog. If you think the journey and stay away from everything that is familiar to them will be too stressful then they should stay at home.
Think about what you want to do on holiday and how this will fit in with your dog. Will they get bored or stressed stuck in an unfamiliar cottage or hotel room? It seems unfair to upset their routine and take them from the comfort of their own home to sit bored in a room. Often, even in dog friendly cottages, there are restrictions on where you can leave your dog so they will be confined to a certain area. This doesn’t sound like much fun for your pooch.
If your holiday is going to focus on staying with your pet in the evening and long beach and country walks then this could be fun for them if they don’t mind the journey. If this is the case then make sure you take all their favourite food, beds, blankets and toys so they feel totally at home. There are many travel accessories that will be useful in the car such as special water and food bowls as well as harnesses that clip into the seat belt. A dog should be restrained at all times in a car so whether they travel in the back or boot area or on the back seat, ensure they are safely restrained by seat belts, a cage or a dog car guard.
You will need to plan the journey well to allow for toilet and exercise breaks. Make sure you travel with plenty of water and if the weather is hot, ensure the air conditioning is on or the windows are open. When you arrive, let your dog explore the accommodation so they can familiarise themselves with their temporary home. It goes without saying that your dog should be microchipped but if you are enjoying an off lead walk, it’s easy for dogs to get distracted and get lost in unfamiliar territory so it might be a good idea to consider using a pet GPS tracker device to give you extra peace of mind. They either come as part of their collar or are easy to attach to their collar or harness. They work via an app on your mobile phone where you can track their location on a map in real-time. Knowing you will be able to find them easily should they get lost, will allow you to relax on off lead walks.
A lot of this advice is common sense so when planning your next holiday, think carefully whether the presence of your pooch is about your needs rather than theirs. Creatures of habit don’t often like their routine upset so considering every aspect of your trip away will ensure your furry friend really does enjoy the trip as much as you.