The Ultimate Guide to Taking Dogs on Holiday
The summer holidays are in full swing and will see a lot of families heading off to take a break – you included, we suspect. Whether you are going abroad or sticking to the English countryside or beaches, you want to enjoy yourselves to the maximum, but how does a holiday fit in when you have a dog?
Around 40% of households in the UK have pets and often, a family holiday wouldn’t be considered a family holiday without the dog – but sometimes it’s not that easy. There are a few things you have to consider when taking dogs on holiday, especially if you’re taking a dog abroad.
Luckily for you, we’ve got everything you need to know about planning a holiday with your dog right here. It will answer all your questions about dog-friendly holidays, from where in the world you can take your pet to what to do when you’re there.
Where to go with dogs on holiday
First things first, you’ll want to decide where to go. But that decision can’t be purely based on where you want to go, it’s where you can travel to with a dog.
Where can dogs travel to?
When it comes to taking your dog abroad with you, you should know that some countries have particular rules and regulations in place. It’s important that you check these with an official site before booking or travelling.
Below we list the countries that you can go to with your pet, inside and outside the European Union:
The countries in the European Union you can take your pet:
The countries outside the European Union you can take your pet:
As previously mentioned, these countries will have strict rules and regulations for families visiting with pets, which we will cover in more detail later on. If these overseas regulations are not met, your pet could end up in quarantine – so follow the rules!
Where you’re going with your dog on holiday is one thing, but where you’re staying is another. It’s worthwhile investigating your options for dog-friendly accommodation before making a final decision where you’re going. The last thing you want to be is limited when it comes to booking a nice place to stay with your family and your dog.
When investigating accommodation abroad and their dog policies, make sure you check more than just their website and reviews. It’s a good idea to ring ahead to check about their policies and to check if they have any restrictions that might affect you – on the size or number of dogs you can have, perhaps.
Your local area
Don’t forget to think about things you can do on holiday with your dog – and the things you can’t. Holidays tend to be full of activities and restaurant outings, but are these places dog-friendly? For example, not all beaches allow dogs. It’s important that the place you stay in caters for your needs, and your dog’s needs.
You can find out more about the local area when you call your hotel or accommodation owner. They might be able to recommend you dog-friendly places or nearby dog kennels for when your pooch can’t come along.
How to travel with your dog
Your next step is to think about how you’re going to travel to your destination with your dog. There are several options you can take for dog travel:
- Travelling with your dog via car
- Travelling with your dog via train
- Travelling with your dog via ferry
- Travelling with your dog via plane
When it comes to travelling with your pets, it’s good to assess all of your options. You will come across different policies on travelling abroad with dogs with different travel companies so you’ll need to take these into account. On top of this, you’ll want to consider factors such as time, cost, and most importantly, your pet’s comfort and safety.
Travelling can be traumatic for animals so comfort is key. For the ultimate comfort and safety, pet owners should invest in a quality, portable dog crate or dog carrier to suit your method of travel.
If you are worried about transporting or travelling with your dog, whether you are with them or not, you can get in touch with pet travel agencies who will be able to offer you their professional services, as well as advice on dog travel.
What to do before your dog holiday
There are a few things you need to tick off the to-do list before going abroad with your dog, otherwise, you might not be getting the holiday you’ve planned.
Prepare the essentials
We’ve got our own essentials for going abroad, don’t we? Passports, buy clomid online australia money, foreign currency, travel insurance documents, tickets or booking confirmations, and so on. Well, pets have holiday essentials too – especially if your dog is going abroad.
If you are taking your dog abroad, your pet packing checklist should include:
- A pet passport
- Pet travel insurance documents
- Travel documents, tickets and confirmations
- Any other necessities for check-in procedures (stated in travel company’s policies)
Yes, that’s right – a pet passport. Pet passports are essential for any dog travel so make sure you have one, or get one before you go. They provide important details including verification that your dog is rabies-free and that your dog is up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations for travel, including tapeworm. Leading us to our next point…
Vet: a word that might make your dog quiver, (even though he doesn’t seem to understand when you say to ‘Sit’ or ‘Stay’).
Planning in a trip to the vets before your holiday away is essential, not only if you’re going to a different country where they have specific regulations about pet travel, but also for benefit of enjoying your holiday free of worry.
Your pre-holiday vet trip should include:
- A general health check-up
- Tapeworm treatment
- Any other necessary boosters or vaccinations, eg. rabies jab
- Microchipping – if not already received
Your pet’s health and safety are of the utmost importance. A full vet trip will provide you with the requirements needed for you to travel with your dog including an officially signed document from a veterinary doctor or nurse, and the reassurance that your pet is fit and healthy. Fit it in as early as possible in preparation for your holiday.
Dog obedience for holiday
This is just another little thing that will give you peace of mind when you’re away. Training up your dog or refreshing their memories with basic commands will leave you feeling less anxious for your holiday with your pet.
It’s likely that you’ll be in an unfamiliar place for you and your dog, and some extra training will help to reassure you. It will help you to feel more in control of your pet, and relieve you the anxiety of your dog running off, for example.
How to plan for pet emergencies
Not to sound pessimistic, but you should plan for all emergencies when bringing your pet on holiday. It’s better to be prepared after all! We’ve already mentioned about pet travel and pet health insurance, but what else can you do to prepare for any unfortunate circumstances?
Know where the nearest vet is
Knowing about what there is to do and to see in your local area generally is one thing, but do ensure you know where your nearest vet is in case an emergency arises. Knowing where you have to go will cut down on time, which can be precious in certain situations.
Be aware of warning signs in dogs
Get clued up on health warning signs in dogs before going away – knowledge about pet health care is so important, especially when you’re in unfamiliar circumstances. For example, with the warmer climates abroad, overheating in dogs is common. Would you be able to recognise the warning signs?
Heatstroke or overheating is one of a few risks for dogs in hot weather or hot countries, and can become very serious if it’s not dealt with quickly and efficiently. Some signs of heatstroke in dogs include heavy panting or breathing, vomiting and general weakness. If you know what to look out for, it could make a real difference to the situation.
Have a plan
Have a basic plan for any potential pet emergency, from your dog running away on holiday to any medical or health problems. Preparation is key when it comes to dealing with these types of situations, but it will help to reduce your stress levels and enjoy your holiday more. The more time you spend worrying about what could happen, the less you will enjoy yourselves.
What to pack for your dog
We’ve already mentioned the essential items and documents that you’ll need for going on holiday with a dog, including that all-important pet passport, but what else do you need to keep in mind?
Our top tip for packing for your dog’s holiday: keep things as familiar as possible.
What do we mean by this? Well, travelling can cause stress and anxiety in dogs – that includes the travelling aspect, as well as being in a new and unknown place. By trying to keep things as familiar as possible, it will help them to feel comfortable and settled.
Of course, location can be a bit of a difficult one, however ensuring your dog has got his trusty dog toy or dog blanket on hand is easy enough.
Holidays are all about enjoying yourself and having a break from busy day-to-day life. You want to be stress-free, and in total holiday mode with your family, your friends… and your dog!
Before heading out exploring, down to your nearest beach or famous landmark, you should do a quick check of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for any dangers or hazards that could cause a less than happy holiday for you and your pooch. Again, it’s all about the preparation – if you know to steer clear of certain areas or to keep your dog on a lead near that busy road, you will save yourself a lot of worry and stress.
Now, use this guide to go enjoy yourselves on holiday – your dog included!