Holidays and Travelling with Your Dog
Holidaying with our dogs is always a popular option for us in the UK, and what with the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic Games, this year it would seem holidaying at home has become even more popular. Travelling abroad with Fido in tow has also become easier this year, however. In January with the Pets Travel Scheme act passed, which has made European travel with pets possible without the need for quarantine. It would be safe to say therefore that there will be plenty of owners taking their dogs with them on holiday this year.
Travelling with pets can be a lot of fun, will give you more quality time with your dog, and can save on the expense of booking a kennel. There are however a number of precautions and measures to consider for the safety and welfare of your dog when travelling.
Before embarking on your travels, it is important to research the area that you are planning to stay while on holiday. The place where you will be staying might allow dogs, but is it dog friendly? Are there places to take your dog for a walk nearby? Is there a lot of traffic? These are all important things to consider. You might also like to research your local beach if you are staying by the seaside, as not all beaches allow dogs. You should also make a note of the nearest emergency veterinary surgery to the place where you are planning to stay.
When you actually set off on your journey, you should:
- Schedule plenty of stops so your dog can stretch his legs and relieve himself.
- Make sure your dog is secured using an appropriate car harness or travel crate.
- Provide drinking water at all times. No-spill travel bowls are ideal.
- Do not feed your dog for an hour or so before travelling. This will reduce the likelihood of car sickness.
- Never leave your dog alone in the car, and do not let your dog lie in patches of direct sunlight. If necessary, invest in a sunscreen.
Before you travel, you must ensure that your dog is well-behaved and socialised. You should also ensure he has a collar and ID tag with up-to–date information attached.
Thanks to the introduction of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), it is now easier then ever to travel to Europe with your dog. This avoids the need for quarantine. Your pet will still need a pet passport, however, and he will also need a microchip and have had a rabies vaccination. You will need to take a copy of your dog’s health and vaccination records when you travel.
You should also consider the culture of the foreign country where you are staying. For example, in France, dogs are a very popular and prominent part of society, and are generally allowed in most public places included restaurants. In other countries such as Croatia however, dogs are not allowed on any forms of public transport. You should respect the culture of the country you are staying in, and make allowances where necessary.
Air travel with pets should only be undertaken after great consideration, as it can be a very expensive process that most animals find distressing. Travelling by ferry or Eurotunnel is far more suitable for those with dogs, as it allows you to stay with your dog for the duration of the journey.
Dog Travelling Kit
No matter where you are travelling with your pet this summer, there are a number of essential items you should take with you. Here is our dog travelling essentials checklist:
- ID tag, collar and lead.
- Travel documents and pet passport (if applicable).
- Travel harness or crate.
- Food and water bowls.
- A favourite toy or two.
- Bed or blankets.
- Dog waste bags.
- Essential grooming supplies.
- A mini first aid kit.
- Any medication.