Everything You Need To Know When Taking Your Dog On Holiday | AD

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Your next holiday may be weeks or even months away, but it’s never too soon to start planning the logistics. Between finding accommodations, securing transportation, saving discretionary funds and planning itineraries, many considerations go into planning any trip away from home.

It’s difficult enough to plan for a major holiday when it’s just people involved, but those who bring their pets along have a world of other factors to consider. From how to handle travel to planning for the actual holiday stay, you’ll need to make a variety of additional plans.

To assist with this process, here are the tips and information you need to know when taking your dog on holiday.

Confirm Any Travel Requirements

It’s logistically challenging to travel to and from your holiday destination with any dog, especially larger ones. As such, you’ll need to confirm any travel requirements with one or more entities. These include the hire car company (if applicable) and your hotel or similar accommodations. If you are travelling to Europe, verify what procedures are required for your dog to board the ferry or train. This ensures you do not have a last-minute surprise that prevents you or your dog from going on holiday.

Evaluate Your Insurance Options

Whether you’re embarking on a short holiday excursion or travelling halfway around the world, your dog’s health should be a top priority. The last thing you want is for your dog to fall ill while on holiday in an unfamiliar place – but if it happens, being prepared is better than being unprepared. Dog insurance policies may provide some assistance with covering any unexpected healthcare costs for your dog in situations such as these but check what the policy covers, so you are prepared before you set off. Insurance providers such as Everypaw offer access to pet insurance for dogs through a variety of quotes and policy descriptions. A variety of different dog insurance coverage levels and options are available, including cover while abroad on holiday in countries that are a part of the Pet Travel Scheme.

Visit the Vet

Before travelling, you might decide to see a doctor to make sure you are well enough to travel and are up-to-date on any immunisations. Making similar considerations for your dog is only fair. Especially if you are travelling to countries where diseases such as rabies are still prevalent, it’s just sensible to see a vet to verify whether your pet needs any additional protection. Likewise, some countries require proof of immunisation before they will allow any pets to enter.  Make sure you are aware of any immunisation laws if your holiday crosses international lines to avoid any unexpected refusal of entry for your dog. If you are travelling to Europe, you’ll need a valid pet passport for your dog.

Dog sitting in the sun
Determine Vital Dog Items

Before you leave – or even enter the final stages of planning for your trip – it is imperative that you create a list of vital dog items that will be needed during the course of your holiday. Obvious considerations include food and water, along with food bowls. However, what else should you be considering for such a trip?

Any medicines that your dog needs should be filled ahead of your holiday if needed. Make sure the dog’s collar is with you upon departure. If your dog has a bed at home in which to sleep, bringing it along on holiday (assuming it’s feasible) may assist your dog to feel more at home. Additionally, any favourite dog toys, cleaning supplies (such as poo bags) and even photos of your dog in the event he or she gets lost while on holiday are worthwhile considerations.

If your dog is microchipped,  it is recommended to add the address you’re staying at to the database, just in case your pet goes missing while you are on holiday.

Incorporate Pet Routine Into Itinerary 

Dogs generally do well under reliable routines and can be less well behaved when those routines are broken. While everybody’s routine will by definition be disrupted during any holiday experience, keeping as much of your dog’s feeding, bathroom and sleep/walking schedules on a similar schedule compared to home may be preferable for your canine friend.

Remember that throughout your holiday, you may be visiting various locales, eating at restaurants and engaging in other activities where your dog is not allowed (click here to learn about the most dog-friendly countries in Europe). In these circumstances, it is important to plan around these events and ensure you will be able to feed and water your puppy, as well as provide daily exercise and restroom trips. The last thing you want is a dog in your hotel room starving and with nowhere to go poo!

If you incorporate your pet’s itinerary into your own, bring vital items, ensure your pet’s health is up to par and handle any travel concerns beforehand, both you and your pet can have an enjoyable holiday experience. These five sets of concerns can further complicate the planning of any holiday but is a small price to pay when compared to having your four-legged friend along for the journey.


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