We love our dogs, don’t we? Dogs are part of the family and we are increasingly including them in more aspects of our lives, including our holidays. To cater for this trend, there are a growing number of dog-friendly places to visit, to stay and to eat and drink. And perhaps it is self-perpetuating, as the more places that exist that welcome us with our furry-friends, the more likely we are to bring our pooch along on our travels. This prompted me to think about what are my tips for taking your dog on holiday.
Holidays with Dogs
When you are preparing for your hols, you probably have a checklist (even if it is just a mental one) of things you need to remember to do and to take. You need to do exactly the same for your dog. There are lots of things to think about and to remember to make sure your pup can relax and enjoy the trip. Here are my 8 tips for taking your dog on holiday.
8 Tips For Taking Your Dog On Holiday
1. Planning is key
The first of my tips for taking your dog on holiday is pretty obvious but I couldn’t leave it off the list! You need to find somewhere to stay that will welcome your four-legged family members. It is worth doing some research to find out how dog-friendly the area is overall. It would be very frustrating to stay in a dog-friendly hotel or cottage only to find that you can’t take your dog anywhere with you.
Have a think about the kinds of things you like to do and then look into what options there are for you to take pooch with you. As an example, some beaches are off-limits to dogs in the summer months but there are some where you can all visit together throughout the year. Things to consider are attractions to visit, places to eat and places to drink and relax. There are online and print directories that list dog-friendly venues to help you with your research. Try Dotty 4 Paws, or this fab guide to dog friendly places:
Read reviews and check details such as how many pets you are allowed to bring and what additional charges or deposits there may be. It is also worth checking other policies to make sure that the venue will suit you. For example, where is your dog allowed to sleep? And are you allowed to leave your dog alone in your rented accommodation or do they need to go everywhere with you?
Finally, if you want to to be absolutely re-assured your pup is welcome, it is worth double checking with the venue by giving them a quick call or email to discuss your requirements.
Your pet may be in tip top shape, but you should always be prepared in case of an emergency. Its horrible to think about, but if your pet fell ill or had an accident while you were away from home, would you know where to go?
Research the details of vet surgeries in the area and what out of hours services are available and make sure you have the details to hand. You should also make sure you have your pet insurance details handy too, just in case.
You should consider attending a dog first-aid course so you can help your dog immediately if there is an accident or sudden illness. It is worth doing anyway, even if you are not taking your pup on holiday. There are plenty of options out there. Your own vet surgery may run courses. As a starting point, courses offered by veterinary nurse Rachel Bean are fantastic and will give you all the basics.
If you are not sure whether you should attend a first aid course, here is an interesting article on 5 reasons why your should. And if you would like to know the basics, this article is an brilliant summary of a first aid course that the writer attended and will give you some potentially life-saving advice.
Things to pack include a good doggie first aid kit and any medication or supplements that your dog is taking.
Just as important as health, you should be thinking about your dog’s safety while you enjoy your trip together.
Make sure you pack a harness, collar and lead and that they are readily accessible while you are travelling. If you make a pitstop, or go somewhere new, keep your dog on the lead until you are confident he or she won’t get spooked and bolt.
We wear seatbelts in the car, and it is very important for your safety and your dog’s safety that your dog is secure too. Make sure that your pup is in a crate or is wearing a doggy seat-belt.
Is your dog easily identifiable?
It is a legal requirement to have all dogs microchipped and to keep your details up to date, so if you do get separated he/she can be identified. When you are preparing to go away, make a note of your microchip number and either the phone number or website login details for your microchip provider. If the worst does happen, you need to be able to notify your provider quickly that your pet is lost. Some memberships also have a facility to alert all vet surgeries in the area. Take a few minutes to look into what the procedure is to report your pet if it gets lost and what services they offer to help you find him/her.
Microchips are brilliant, but you should also make sure your pup is wearing a collar tag displaying your contact details. This is often the quickest way for people to help to reunite you with your dog. Most members of the public don’t carry around chip scanners but do carry phones. They can give you a quick call and avoid a trip to a vet surgery.
Safety is important, but not alway the most fun of topics. However, you can be safe and look good too! Have a look at our range of beautiful collar tags. We have breed specific tags and a wide selection of tags engraved with fun motifs or slogans.
4. The Basics
Next on our list of tips for taking your dog on holiday is to make sure you pack the basics.
It may seem obvious but sometimes we get so caught up in the more complicated details that we forget the basics. What does your dog eat? Can you buy it at your destination or do you need to take it with you? Where/how can you store your food? The answers to these questions will depend on how you feed your dog. If you raw feed for example, you might need to invest some time in a little bit of extra planning.
And as well as their food, don’t forget to pack your dog’s favourite treats! My boys love Beautiful Joe’s treats. There is a lovely tin available to store the treats in which is really handy for transporting them. For every bag of treats sold, the fabulous people at Beautiful Joes donate a bag to a rescue centre.
When you are planning your trip, make a list of the other bits and bobs that you will need. Make sure you have a plentiful supply of poop bags and that you have a food bowl and water bowl. If you are travelling a long distance, you should ensure you are able to provide your pup with food and water during your journey.
This dog walking bag is fantastic for walking, days out and longer trips. It is spacious and has plenty of room for treats, your wallet, phone and keys etc. It comes with a collapsable bowl, a water bottle, poop bags and a clever poop bag dispenser.
5. Travel in Comfort
When you go off on your travels, you can’t take everything with you but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel in comfort. When it comes to making sure your dog is comfy, think about the journey itself, where you are staying and what outings you have planned.
Do you have room to pack their usual bed? If not, what alternatives can you take with you?
You might want to think about getting a cosy blanket for them to have in the car and in your accommodation. These pretty pet blankets by The Natural Pet Toy Company are easier to transport than a large dog bed. This luxury pet blanket is available in 2 sizes. It features thick plush fleece on one side and sturdy printed designer cotton fabric in gorgeous seaside stripe on the other.
When you are out on day trips with your dog, think about where they will sit while you are eating or having a drink. A portable travel mat is so handy for such occasions. This Bowl & Bone mat is padded and comfortable but is compact when it is rolled up and features a useful carrying handle.
If you have a small dog, these Mutts & Hounds dog carriers look fantastic and are very handy to have when you are out and about. These double up as a little travel bed so can go from car, to accommodation to site-seeing and to the pub!
6. Stay fresh
Whilst travelling is fun, it can leave you feeling a bit grubby! And lots of days out can also leave you feeling slightly less than fresh. We humans always pack our wash bags with the essentials so we can stay clean and fresh whilst on holidays and you can do the same for your pooch.
You may not have the facilities for a full dog bath while you are away, but a quick spritz with a freshening spray and a good brush can help your pup feel fresh as a daisy again (and help you avoid doggy odours!). We have a selection of cosmetics bags for dog lovers that are great for people and equally as great for transporting your dog’s grooming kit.
In addition to the bag, a dog drying coat could be one of the most useful things you pack for your pup. If your dog gets wet and/or muddy out on a walk, just pop this Ruff & Tumble dog drying coat on to contain the mess and to get them dry and comfortable as quickly as possible. You can also use it as a cooling coat in hot weather by soaking it in some cool water.
7. Look good
How many of you go shopping for new clothes before you go on holiday? I know I do and so do many of my friends and family! We all want to look good, so why not let your pup join in on the fun?
We have various accessories such as bandanas, doggy hats and bow-ties to keep our boys looking sharp.
8. Have Fun!
And perhaps the most important of our tips for taking your dog on holiday – Have fun!
What are your tips for taking your dog on holiday? Let us know in the comments!
About Barks & Squeaks
Barks & Squeaks is the home of fabulous gifts and treats for you, your pet and the home and life you share together. Barks & Squeaks has been created by a dog and cat lover for dog and cat lovers. We offer a carefully curated range of beautiful pet products and gifts for pet owners and their fur family alongside our our own range of Original Designs. Whether you just want one small gift for a pet or pet-lover, or a bespoke hamper stuffed full of beautiful gifts, Barks & Squeaks can help!
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