Going on holiday - tips on options for your dog

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24/04/2012
We are often asked advise on the options for your dog at holiday time. We all like to take a break and these days there are many hotels, guesthouses and holiday cottages that will let you bring your pets with you. The first piece of advise is to plan well in advance so that all the necessary arrangements can be made and you can have a relaxing, stress-free break together! The following gives more points to consider.

Taking your dog with you in the UK?   Some things to check ...

  • Contact the hotel to make sure they are happy to accept your dog and ask if he is allowed in the bedrooms and what other areas of the hotel has dog access.
  • Check there are no hidden charges for bringing your dog
  • Pack extra bedding, if not provided by the hotel
  • Find out if there is an area nearby for walking your dog
  • If you are heading for a seaside resort, check if your dog is allowed on the beach
  • Check to see where the nearest vet is and what out-of-hours cover they have

Taking your dog abroad?

 

The Pet Travel Scheme ("PETS) is a system which allows animals to travel easily between member countries, e.g. across Europe, without undergoing any quarantine.   The actual pet passport is a document that officially records information related to a specific animal.    The passport simplifies travel providing the regualtions are followed.   If you are considering this option ...

  • Give yourself plenty of time to prepare.   We can discuss all your requirements to help you understand the scheme and what is required for the country you want to travel to.
  • What to do in the event of an emergency while you are over there - is there a vet in the area that speaks English if you aren't fluent in the local dialet?
  • Do you know what to do and who to contact if you lost your dog while on holiday?
  • How well will your dog will cope with the mode of transport, a change of environment and possibly a change of climate?

Travelling in the car?

 

You will need to make sure you fulfil the legal requirements if your dog is travelling in the car and you are going on holiday outside the UK. Either way for the safety of the passengers in the car and your dog, he should be properly restrainined in the car, e.g. dog seatbelt or cage in the boot. Things to remember generally ...

  • Feed no later than 2 hours before you departure time, dogs often travel better without a full stomach
  • Carry sufficient water for the journey - have it available all the time or give regular opportunities to drink
  • Make sure you take plenty of breaks, about every two hours
  • If you are on a long journey take a break and give them a light meal, but give him time to digest it before starting again
  • Make sure the dog is kept cool and the car is well ventilatied 
  • Never leave them alone in the car, it can get very hot very quickly and your pet is at risk of dying in a hot car

Considering boarding arrangements?

 

Some holidays are not suitable for dogs, especially if you are planning to travel abroad.   Don't feel guilty about leaving your dog behind - thousands of people do this every year, and it doesn't make you a bad owner!   Dogs are usually happiest being looked after in their own home, by a family member or friend.   Pet sitters are also an option.   But if this isn't an option then you may have to consider using a boarding kennels.   Word of mouth is a really good way of finding a suitable boarding kennels / hotel (or pet sitter).   Some things to check ...

  • Visit the site and make sure you are happy where your dog is to be spending its holiday
  • Look at the facilities, are they clean / do the dogs look well cared for and happy?
  • Are they taken out for walks, how many times in the day and are they also played with?
  • How much do they want to know about your dog's own routine?
  • What vet do they use in a emergency, or are they happy to use your own vets
  • Do they ask about your dogs worming and flea treatments and their vaccination history?

Whatever method of transport and destination your dog should be well enough to be left in the care of someone else or travel.   If in doubt give us a ring and book an appointment for a check over before departure.

 

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