For those of you that regularly travel with dogs, you are probably well versed in the whys and wherefores however, this year has seen many more opt for a ‘staycation’ rather than risking the unknown of traveling abroad during a pandemic. This means that you can quite feasibly take the dog/s with you. If you are planning to travel with your dog, here are a few things to consider:
Travelling in the Car
Dogs shouldn’t be allowed to roam around in the car as this can be a distraction to the driver, not to mention dangerous for the dog should there be an accident. Consider how they will travel. Do they need to go in a crate fitted in the boot, or do you have a dog guard so that they can sit comfortably in the boot of an estate or hatchback car?
When travelling with dogs by car, make sure they get plenty of rest stops to stretch their legs, go to the toilet and take on water. If you get out at the service station for a pit stop and a bite to eat, do not leave your dog alone in the car. Not only is it often too hot to leave dogs in cars, there is also the risk of dog theft.
Dog Friendly Accommodation
As an increasing number of people choose to travel with their dogs, more accommodation owners and rental companies, have adapted to allow dogs to stay as well as their human counterparts. Don’t assume that you won’t be able to travel with your dog. Instead, make sure you enquire about it before you book anywhere.
When choosing the accommodation, check out the grounds. Is it safe for your dog to roam around outside? Is there an enclosed garden for your dog to enjoy the freedom of being outdoors? What is the accommodation like – if you return from a walk with a muddy dog for example, is there a utility room where they can be contained? Check out the local amenities and if they are dog friendly too.
Take Copies of Your Pet’s Insurance etc.
If you have any documentation relating to your vet including pet insurance and dates of vaccinations, make sure that you take a copy with you. If your dog has health conditions, have copies of this to hand along with any medication allergies etc. Take a copy of your vet’s details too, should a local vet need to contact your vet for anything.
Try and take printed copies as well as virtual copies which you can store on your phone in the case of an emergency. For those travelling abroad, you may need ty provide further documentation – check this out before you go along with any quarantine requirements etc.
Food When Travelling with Dogs
With more and more dogs now being raw fed rather than kibble fed, travelling with dogs can often raise the question of how to feed your dog when away. If you are travelling within this country and you use a raw food supplier that delivers, you can often arrange a delivery to your holiday accommodation. If you can keep the food frozen for the journey, you may be able to pop it straight in the freezer when you get there (check there is a freezer). You can also check for local stockists of your dog’s preferred food.
It is important to ensure that they have a continuity when it comes to their diet and that you stick to feeding them what they are used to. You don’t want a dog with an upset stomach on your hands during your holidays. Advanced planning will make sure that you have enough food to last you the week to two weeks that you are away.
Where Will Your Dog Sleep
If you are packing up and moving to a cottage for a week then the chances are you can take your dog bed with you. If you are camping, you can also take their bed and you will know that they have somewhere comfortable to sleep. If you feel that their bed is a bit big to travel, consider a smaller one or invest in a dog pillow that they can snuggle into.
During the car journey and when you are going on days out, your dog will need access to fresh water. A collapsible dog feeding and water bowl is an excellent investment when travelling. It simply folds down and fits neatly in the boot. You can pop it up and fill it with water at regular stops on your journey or you can take it with you on days out folded up in your back pack.
This goes for food bowls too. Don’t forget to pack your dog’s food bowls or, if you feel they take up too much space, use a collapsible feeding bowl while you are away.
Planning for Hot Weather
If you are going away in summer (let’s face it, it’s hard to tell with the great British weather when this will be), you need to make provisions for your dog. The chances are, you aren’t going to want to stay indoors when it’s hot so how can you make sure your dog is protected? A Dog Cooling Mat is an excellent investment along with a Dog Cooling Jacket. A self-cooling option means you can take it with you and get it out when your dog needs to lie down on a cold surface. If you are going out for walks, you can simply pop their cooling jacket on.
Wet and Muddy Walks
Hot days can mean that your dog chooses to cool down in a stream or by having a swim in a river. That’s going to leave you with the issue of a wet dog! A drying towel and robe, is a great way to get them dry after a swim or a wet and muddy walk. Dry them off with the towel then wrap them up in the drying robe. You won’t feel so bad about them getting back in the boot of the car afterwards.
As long as you plan properly in advance there is no reason why you and your dog can’t have a wonderful holiday together. Be mindful that your dog will be in a strange and new location so exercise proper caution when socialising with other dogs, being off lead and exploring new territories.