Can I bring my dog on holiday?
Is it time for some well deserved time off? For some, an exotic island getaway may be on the cards, and for others, a few days away camping will be more than enough to reflect, relax, and enjoy the break! One thing that all dog owners will agree on though, is that our pets are part of the family. And rightly so, we want them to be included in making special memories (including holidays!). If you’ve never been away with your pet pooch before, you may be asking the question ‘can I bring my dog on holiday? or maybe you’re just a little unsure how to go about organising a trip with a four-legged addition. So, here’s everything you need to know about taking your dog on your summer getaway.
What preparation should I do before taking my dog on holiday?
First and foremost, to make your trip as enjoyable for all as possible, you should ensure that your dog is holiday-ready before setting off! This includes making sure that they are properly trained e.g. having a reliable recall and being able to settle in their crate. Not only will having a well-trained dog make the holiday a lot more enjoyable but will make it a lot safer, too.
Furthermore, you should also be sure that your destination truly is dog-friendly for your dog. Just because somewhere has labelled their property or attraction as ‘dog-friendly’ doesn’t necessarily mean that the needs of your pet, who you of course know better than anyone else, will be met. For example, is the garden properly secured? Or is the property located in a particularly lively resort which could result in your dog becoming overwhelmed? Do they allow dogs of all sizes or just those under a certain weight? It’s important to have questions like these answered before going away.
You should also visit to your dog’s vet, where you can check that their vaccinations, and flea and worm treatments are up to date. Just like us, dogs can be affected by motion sickness when travelling. If you know this is the case for your pet, your vet will also be able to prescribe your dog medication for the journey. If you’re travelling abroad, you will also need to be provided with relevant documentation, which we will discuss shortly.
How can I travel with my dog?
If you’re holidaying in the same country, the chances are that you’ll be travelling to your destination by car. Before setting off on a long journey, you’ll want to make sure that you have everything you need to ensure the ride is as comfortable and safe for everyone as possible. For one, your dog needs to be restrained in the vehicle either with a dog seat belt, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard. In most countries this is a legal requirement. In the Animal Welfare Act prohibits a person from transporting a dog in or on a vehicle unless the dog is restrained or enclosed in a way that prevents the dog falling from the vehicle. Failing to do so will result in a fine, which varies from state to state.
If you are travelling on warm day, you’ll ideally want to head out as early as you can in the morning or late in the evening when the car will be at its coolest. During your journey, it’s important to make sure that your dog doesn’t overheat. You can help keep the car cool by keeping the windows slightly open, but not wide enough for their head to be sticking out. Alternatively, turn on the car’s air conditioning, being mindful not to have it directly blowing on your dog’s face.
We recommend making time to stop off at a dog-friendly service stations for all of you to stretch your legs, for your pup to have a toilet break, and to have a refreshment (a portable dog water bottle is a great option!). When you arrive at your first stop, park in a shaded spot if it’s a warm day – this will help keep the car nice and cool for when you get back in. Needless to say, you should never leave your dog unattended in the car at any point on your travels.
If it’s a bit chilly then make sure you provide your dog with a warm super soft dog blanket it’s the best way to feel comfortable on a long journey.
Travelling by plane
We’ve already spoken about travelling with your dog in the car but to get abroad it sometimes means using other modes of transport! When it comes to flying, the rules differ between airlines but in many cases, dogs, excluding assistance dogs, are only allowed to travel in the hold. Some airlines, however, do not allow pets in either the hold or cabin, so please contact the airline you plan on travelling with to avoid disappointment. In some cases if your pet is over 12 years old you will need a certificate stating your pet is healthy enough to fly.
Can I take my dog abroad?
If you are travelling abroad then your dog will most likely need to have an animal health certificate. These can be obtained from your vet but must be signed off by an official veterinarian, so be sure that your practice provides this service. Furthermore, check what the maximum of pets that can accompany you, unless you are travelling for dog training, a show, sporting event or a competition, which you may need to provide written evidence of.
Before travelling aboard it’s very important to check the regulations and requirements, you can find more information on this, visit the Australian government website.
Ultimately, a travel certification will say that your pet is fit to travel, microchipped, is free of anything that has the potential to spread to other animals or humans, and has their up to date vaccinations, as well as yours and your dog’s information e.g. address, dog’s breed, pet and owner’s name etc.
Settling your dog on holiday
Taking your dog on holiday is as big an adventure for you as it is for them! For our pets, a new location means not only plenty of unfamiliar places but also so many new things to explore and smell! Therefore, you should try to keep their routine similar to how it is back at home so that they don’t feel unsettled or stressed. For example, you should give them their food and walks at the same time as you normally would. At the same time, it’s also important to give your pet some time to settle in their new environment by letting them get enough undisturbed rest.
Furthermore, taking something familiar to your dog is also a great way to help them settle. This can be their blanket, bed or a dog toy they enjoy playing with. You can also take a dog pheromone diffuser for a more anxious dog, which can help them to stay calm.
Omlet and your dog’s holiday
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