Taking your dog on holiday.

dog-729754_1280This will be easiest if you prepare everything well in advance – accommodation, travel arrangements, and paperwork can all be organised months before you go, which means less stress and more fun for both of you.

Of course, you might not be going abroad but staying somewhere close to home, in which case things are even easier. Whether you’re holidaying with your dog at home or overseas, there are now many types of dog-friendly accommodation options to suit every taste and budget. Your dog might also enjoy dog training holidays, which provide a place where you can enjoy canine activities and sports with other dog lovers under the guidance of a qualified trainer.

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad with your dog you will need to consider pet passports, vaccinations and any rules of travel.

Just keeping a few simple things in mind will really increase the ease of taking your dog on holiday. Get your pen ready and make sure you’ve thought about everything in the list below – and when you’ve done all that, the only thing left is to get excited about your trip.

  • Familiarise your puppy with car travel as early as possible, as this will make any trips away far less stressful. Get them used to the car with treats, toys and lots of encouragement!
  • Your dog can lose a considerable amount of body water through panting, so take a bowl and lots of bottles of water with you to help them stay completely hydrated. (PJ Pet products provide a range of water bottles designed specifically for your dog you can view here)
  • Remember to pack plenty of plastic bags for when your dog goes to the toilet. After all, even when travelling they have the same needs as usual.
  • Whether travelling by rail, boat or air, a carrier designed for dog travel is an important accessory, especially if you have a car without a large, secure boot space. Start looking for the perfect one early.
  • Consult the airline or train company about carrier size and requirements, which may differ according to your dog’s height and weight. This will help you avoid a last minute rush!
  • If your dog isn’t already used to a carrier, take several weeks to introduce it before your trip. Leave it open and available, filled with soft bedding and an occasional hidden treat.
  • Make sure your accommodation is dog-friendly and, if you are staying at someone else’s home, check ahead about toilet facilities for your dog.
  • Remember to think about the presence of other pets (either during travel or at your destination) which might affect your dog’s behaviour. Will your dog want to chase the B&B owner’s housecat, for example, or bark at the dogs they’re travelling with?
  • Before you go on holiday with your dog, particularly by plane, get a check-up with the vet first. Not all pets will be suited to all forms of transport – some may find it too stressful.