Taking Your Dog On Holiday: The Ultimate Guide

As 26% of the UK population own a dog, it’s no surprise that the market for dog friendly holidays is rising rapidly.

For those pet owners that want to take their four-legged best friend away with them, here’s my ultimate guide to making the process as hassle-free as possible so you can enjoy more time with your pet and less time planning your trip.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Fit To Travel

Before you even consider taking your dog on holiday, be it abroad or in your own country, you need to make sure that they’re healthy enough to travel a long distance. Take them to the vet for a check-up and ask if they think your dog is in good enough shape to stand a journey and enjoy their trip. Dogs that are particularly old, or unfit, or have several health conditions may be better left at home, as they won’t enjoy the journey and will just become unhappy, so take the advice of your vet and be respectful of your dog’s health when planning a trip with them in tow.

Get Them Every Vaccination They Need

Dogs that travel abroad need an up to date microchip and vaccinations for diseases like rabies, so while you are at the vet getting them checked over make sure that they have everything they need. This will save time later and leave you free to make your preparations without worrying about taking several trips to the vets with your pet.

Work Out Where You Want To Go

The distance you travel and the country you visit will determine the amount of preparation you need to make before your holiday, as well as what you’ll need to take with you so that you and your dog both have a great time. Some countries are more welcoming to man’s best friend than others, so take this into consideration when selecting your perfect destination.

Find A Place To Stay

Remember that a lot of establishments don’t allow dogs, so try to find a dog-friendly hotel that will make both you and your pet comfortable during your stay. If you don’t want to stay in a hotel then research other options, such as holiday cottages, camping or even renting a caravan and taking a road trip. Wherever you decide to stay, make sure that you consider the size of your dog and find somewhere that has enough room for them to be comfortable, and access to outside space so they can relieve themselves and stretch their legs as and when they want to.

Select A Transport Provider To Get You There

Another key consideration when taking your dog on holiday is how you are both going to get to your destination. Where you are going will determine how you get there, as domestic journeys can be made by car or train, whilst longer trips will require you to take a flight. Very few cruise ships allow dogs on board, and if they do there are strict restrictions, so it’s better to fly with your dog. Some airlines will allow you to fly with a small dog in the cabin, whilst others will insist that your dog goes in the hold no matter its size. Do your research to find the ideal way to get to your destination that will allow your dog to have a stress-free journey, so they arrive happy and healthy.

Get Your Dog A Passport

Dogs that are travelling abroad need a passport, so find out more about how you can get them one before you go on holiday. Make sure you get them a valid passport and have it and all the additional documentation you need to take them abroad with you ready before you travel.

Get Travel Insurance For Your Pet

Like people, dogs will need travel insurance when they go abroad so that if something does happen to them you will be covered and won’t be left with a hefty bill. Think hard about what you need your policy to cover then compare the offerings from a range of providers before you commit, so you find the insurance cover that suits you best.

Pack Them A Bag

When you go to actually set-off on your trip, it’s important that you pack your dog a bag in the same way you would pack one for a child. You want to make sure that they’ve got plenty of toys, treats and items to keep them entertained, as well as everything they’ll need throughout the trip such as medicines, food, bowls and any clothes they might need if the place they’re visiting will be very cold. Remember to pack for every eventuality and take a spare of everything so that if something does go missing or get broken you have another ready.

Try To Keep Them Calm And Happy

Throughout the journey and the holiday itself, it’s important that you work to keep your dog calm and make sure that they enjoy themselves. Bring anything from home that will make them feel settled as soon as they arrive and try to keep the loud noises to a minimum. Give your dog time to adjust to every new space and try not to leave them alone too much so that they feel safe.

For any holiday to be a success, preparation is key, and this is never truer than when you’re travelling with your dog. Use these tips to plan your perfect pet-friendly adventure and really make the most out of your time bonding with your dog as you both see new sights and enjoy unforgettable experiences.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved Lucy Hudson