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6 Steps To Follow When Taking Your Dog On Holiday
Going on holiday with your dog can be broken down into 6 steps – 3 things to consider before you travel and 3 while you’re tanning.
1. What is best for your dog?
If you’re looking to vacation with your dog as part of the family, researching where to stay should be the highest of your priorities. Your dog’s happiness and well-being should be the focus of your vacation plans. All the “dog friendly” notices on the myriad of websites you come across may not always be indicative of the actual reality you will eventually find. It is important to always call before any booking to confirm their pet policy and if it really meets your requirements. You can talk about any questions you may have specifically related to your dog’s needs, which you can discuss with the hotel owner. You can get a feel for how “dog friendly” they really are before you commit. Do they have dogs themselves?
2. See the vet before you travel.
A complete health check of your dog is essential before going on holiday. In fact, it is recommended to do a repeat at least once a year. Securing this vet visit before a trip away is extremely important as your dog may come into contact with other dogs who may be carrying some form of parasite. Being up to date with your pet’s treatments and shots will go a long way in keeping them happy and healthy. Microchipping your dog (if not already done) is highly recommended. The cost is between £10 and £40 at a vets clinic or if you live near a Dogs Trust you can have the procedure done for free. Pet insurance is also another wise idea to consider. If your dog gets sick, unfortunately, you won’t be out of pocket.
3. Plan your itinerary in detail before departure
When you find dog-friendly accommodation, this is only the beginning of your quest. Then comes filling in the blanks to reveal the bigger picture. While you’re still sitting at your kitchen table, make a list of places you plan to visit and things you’re going to do. Research is key. Note down all the restaurants and cafes that cater to your canine friend. Here, internet resources are the key to make your life easier. Making a list of everything your dog will need is the next step. Necessary items you will need including: leash, food and water bowls, collar, dog waste bags, ID tags, bed, shampoo and an old towel – these are all obvious but worth writing down. It may not be the end of the world to buy the things you forget to pack, but there are a few things that are crucial not to forget. These will include a photo of your dog and any medication he may be taking. By writing all this in your agenda, you will be able to enjoy your vacation without worry. Preparation and organization will be the reason for your successful trip.
While on vacation with your dog
4. Traveling with your dog
Whether traveling by car or bus, make sure your dog is acclimated to the experience by the time you set off. If your dog is not used to long trips, take him on shorter trips to acclimate to the day of the trip. Safety is paramount in all cases. For your dog’s sake and your own, they should be insured. A crate can be a good, safe solution because it limits the dog’s movement and minimizes the driver’s distraction. Dog harnesses offer a further travel assistance solution. It is highly recommended that dogs be placed away from airbags in the event of an accident. A comfortable stop every two hours is recommended to allow your dog to stretch its legs. For those sensitive dogs who may suffer from motion sickness, it would be wise to keep the medication in the car. (this is another good item to write on your inventory list) and avoid feeding them close to travel time.
5. Home from home, for your dog
A familiarization ride is recommended once you arrive at your holiday destination. A nice long walk will allow your dog to get used to his/her new environment quickly. Exercising will help them combat stress and fatigue after a long car/bus journey. Try not to leave your dog alone for long periods of time. This can really upset the animals. If left alone, feelings of confusion may lead them to fear the worst. This can lead to frantic scratching and destruction of furniture, which could end up being costly.
6. Be mindful of your dog’s safety
Having arrived safely and started settling into your holiday, you’ve had time to unpack and your dog is fully acclimatised. It becomes very easy at this point to turn off these potential dangers in the corner as you begin to enter vacation mode. Constant vigilance regarding your dog’s safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. Remember, never be complacent or naive just because you’ve left normal life behind for a few weeks. Most dog breeds adapt extremely quickly to any new environment. The drastic change in routine can also have an unsettling effect. Your dog’s favorite toy or blanket can serve as a reminder of home and provide enough distraction to calm him down in unfamiliar surroundings. It is recommended to keep mealtimes around the same time as home.
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