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Taking your dog on holiday
Advice For Taking Your Dog On Holiday
Taking your dog away on holiday with you and your family can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, regardless of whether you are planning a relaxing holiday in the countryside or an activity packed visit to the seaside. Chudleys have compiled the following information to provide you with useful tips and guidelines to help you and your dog have a safe and pleasant holiday!
Packing for your dog
Just as you need to remember to pack those essential holiday items for yourself, it is equally important that you take everything that your dog will need to have an enjoyable holiday. The following recommended packing list should help you remember those essential doggy items:-
- Always take plenty of water for the journey, as well as making sure you have some suitable containers for water for while you are out and about when you're away
- Water & food bowls
- Lead and collar
- Bed and/or blanket
- Poo bags
- Toys and chews
- Towel, brush, shampoo and other cleaning products
- Food – take enough to last the duration of the holiday
- Anchor and tie out – may be useful for outside your accommodation and at the beach
Remember to check that your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date.
Travelling with your dog
If you are going on holiday in the UK then it is more than likely that you will be travelling to your destination by car. Before you book your holiday and embark on your journey consider how well your dog travels by car and be realistic about the distance you want to travel with your dog.
- Make sure your dog is properly secured in your car, either by using a harness, travel crate or dog guard. A
dog that is not secured may act as a distraction while you are driving and if you are unfortunate to be
involved in an accident could easily be sent through the windscreen or injure passengers in the car.
- Plan your route and make sure you know where there are placed for you to stop with your dog. This will give you both a rest from travelling and ensure that your dog has a more comfortable journey. NEVER STOP ON THE HARD SHOULDER OF A MOTORWAY UNLESS YOU HAVE A REAL EMERGENCY. IF YOU DO HAVE TO STOP, THEN ENSURE THAT YOUR DOG IS KEPT UNDER CONTROL AT ALL TIMES!
- If you break down and have to call a recover service, make sure that you advise them that you have a dog travelling with you, so that they can make arrangements to transport you and your dog in required. In a break down situation it is important to keep your dog under control, especially if you break down on a busy road.
- Always take a supply of water with you in the car, just in case water in not available when you stop for a break.
- Keep your window open slightly so your dog has fresh air at all times, however if you are using air conditioning this will keep you dog cool and the windows can remain closed. If you have the heating on, don’t have the temperature too high, as this may dehydrate your dog.
- If you dog is travelling in the back of the car i.e. estate or hatchback, make sure you provide a blanket or bed
for your dog to lie on to make his journey as comfortable as possible. Also ensure that if you are also using
the area for luggage that your dog has sufficient space to move around.
At your accommodation
Once your reach your holiday destination you and your dog will need to settle in and adjust to you temporary environment. It is important to respect the pet policy of the accommodation you are staying in. Most have a standard policy for allowing dogs to stay in the accommodation, which normally includes:
- Do not allow your dog to lie on bedding or furniture, you must provide bedding for your dog.
- Never leave your dog unattended in the accommodation.
- Respect the immediate are outside of you accommodation and where possible exercise your dog away from the accommodation. ALWAYS CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG.
Whilst you are away on holiday you may be tempted to change your dog’s diet or feed more titbits than usual, however it is important not to change your dog’s routine too drastically. Ensure that you take enough of your dog’s normal food on holiday with you; in different areas of the country you may not be able to buy your usual brand and changing your dog’s diet suddenly may cause digestive problems and lead to an upset stomach. You don’t have to take a large sack of food, simply measure out the amount you need to last for the duration of your holiday and put it in an airtight container. Some manufacturer’s like Chudleys produce smaller bags of food, so you could buy a small bag for your holiday. If you are going away for a long holiday, then contact the manufacturer before you leave and find out where the nearest stockist is you your holiday destination. Don’t forget you can also purchase your Chudleys food from the online store, simply visit www.dodsonandhorrellpetfood.com Resist the temptation to feed your dog the customary holiday food, fish and chips and ice creams are not ideal for your dog and again could lead to stomach upset and sickness.
Whilst you are away, always ensure your dog has access to clean, fresh water and if you are out in the car or walking that you have a supply with you.
Be safe and courteous
Where possible do not leave your dog unattended in the car, especially on very hot or cold days, it only takes a short period of time for your dog to overheat or to freeze. If you do have to leave your dog then make sure that a window is left open, that you are in a shady position or have provided sun shades and that you are not away from the car for a long period of time.
- When out walking with your dog, keep him under close control and if you are unsure about the area then keep you dog on a lead, this is particularly important if you know that there is livestock in the area. Observe the Countryside Code at all times.
- Always clean up after your dog, so make sure you have plenty of poo bags and dispose of the bag in an appropriate place.
- Observe local ‘no dogs allowed’ areas; this is particularly important at beach resorts where the local council may be running a dog free beach.
- It is always nice to see you dog swimming but it is advisable to check with locals that the water is safe for your dog to swim in and not contaminated, and if at the sea, assess the condition and tides before allowing your dog to go in. If your dog appears to be in trouble then do not be tempted to go into the water and rescue him, in most cases your dog will be able to swim to safety. There have been a number of incidents where owners have attempted to save their dog resulting in the loss of their own life.
- Be prepared, take a dog first aid kit with you so that you can deal with any minor injuries and also get the telephone number of a local vet just in case there is an emergency.
- Make sure your dog has an identity tag. It is advisable to have a tag made especially for your holiday, with either a mobile number or details of where you are staying: this should ensure that your dog is returned to you more quickly. You may also want to consider micro chipping as this is a highly effective way of identifying your dog. Take some recent pictures of your dog in the event of him becoming lost and remember that you have a legal obligation to make sure your dog has a collar and identity tag.
- Consider insuring your dog for your holiday. Many holiday companies offer insurance for your dog which is normally a minimal charge but gives you extra reassurance.
Without your dog
What if you can’t take your dog with you? There are many reasons why you may not be able to take your dog on holiday with you and in this situation it is important that you make suitable arrangements for the care of your dog whilst you are away.
You may be able to leave your dog with friends or family but if you are unable to do this then there are a couple of options open to you, either booking your dog in to a boarding kennel or employing a specialist pet care service, which looks after your dog at home.
With both options it is important to check that you are happy with the standard of care your dog will receive. If you decide to book your dog into a boarding kennel, then go and check the facilities on offer and make sure that you are happy with where you are leaving your dog. Make sure you provide your dog with everything he needs for his stay in kennels i.e. food and that you let the kennels have any relevant information relating to his care. It is hard to leave your dog behind but a reputable boarding kennel is an ideal solution and gives you reassurance that your dog is being cared for adequately.
If you decide to employ a specialist pet care company to stay at your home or visit your home during the day, then make sure you check that the company is reputable. Ask to speak to other owners or request that they provide references, word of mouth is always the best endorsement. Give clear instructions on how to care for your dog and where possible ask a neighbour, friend or relative to check your dog is receiving the care expected from the company while you are away.
Out of the country
It has always been possible to take your dog to the Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands but it is now possible to take your dog to Europe using the Pet Passport Scheme