Britain is known as a nation of animal lovers, so it’s no surprise that some of us are so attached to our four-legged friends that we can’t bear the thought of holidaying without them. The holiday industry has picked up on our attachment to our canine companions, and as a result we’re seeing a growing trend for dog friendly holiday cottages and campsites, meaning that we can now take our pets away with us. If you decide to find a doggy-friendly holiday destination this year, here are some tips to make sure you have the perfect break.
Pack a Suitcase for Your Pooch
If you’re taking your dog away with you, there are a few things that he’s going to need. Dogs tend to get very thirsty when travelling, so take a container of water in the car with you and make sure you have a water bowl to pour it into. When you arrive, you’re going to need food bowls too. If you can fit it, pack your dog’s bed, as this will give him a familiar-smelling place to crash. If you’re going to struggle to pack it, take his favourite blanket instead. Other holiday essentials include poo bags, a lead and collar, and some toys to keep him occupied. You might also want to take some doggy cosmetics to clean off your four-legged friend when he gets covered in sand, dust and mud, and a towel so you don’t have to sacrifice one of your own. If you don’t have an ID tag already, now is the time to get one, so that you can be quickly reunited in the event of losing one another. This should include your dog’s name, your name, and your address and mobile number. Having your dog micro chipped is even better.
Check that vaccinations are up to date before you go, and take a specially prepared doggie first aid kit in case of scratches or scrapes. Don’t forget to jot down the phone number, address, emergency number and opening hours for your nearest vet in case of anything more serious – it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Your insurance should be up-to-date too.
If you’re planning a staycation in Britain, then you’re probably planning to drive to your destination. If you’re not sure how well your dog travels for long periods of time, make sure that you take him out and about in your vehicle a few times before you go to acclimatise him to the experience. Be sure to wind the window down a crack and turn on the air conditioning to keep him comfortable.
Plan the Route with Your Pet in Mind
Before you go, roll out a map and plan regular stops in spots safely away from motorways and busy roads for some doggie refreshment, comfort breaks and a spot of leg stretching.
When You Get There
Once you arrive, let your dog explore the holiday cottage or campsite for a few hours, so that they have the opportunity to settle in and begin to feel safe. You should never leave them alone in a strange place straight off the bat, so ensure that, for the first couple of days at least, you visit places where your canine companion can accompany you.
Whilst you’re away, try to stick to your usual routine, timing walks and feeding as you would at home. Don’t be tempted to change your pet’s diet just because you’re on holiday, as this could give them an upset tummy.
Do you have any tips of your own?