Those of us who have pet dogs know all too well how much we miss them when we’re travelling. It doesn’t seem fair that we’re jetting off all over the world without our faithful companions by our side. If you’re considering taking your pup with you on your next trip, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you to prepare.
Do your research
Before you jump ahead and decide to take your dog with you on your next holiday, do a little research into the cost, practicalities and potential distress to your pup. If you’re flying halfway around the world, you may want to leave your dog at home rather than subject them to a gruelling flight in the cargo of the plane. However, if you’re travelling somewhere in your own country or are taking a train or boat to your final destination, bringing your pup should be pretty straight forward.
Organise their passport
There will be different rules for vaccinations and quarantines depending on the countries you are travelling to and from, but one thing that you need to prepare in advance is your dog’s passport. Take a trip to your local vets well ahead of your trip and ask their advice. They will be able to issue your dog’s passport and organise any injections they may need to have.
Make your dog comfortable
If you’re planning on travelling by car, make sure that your dog is comfortable for the trip. Use a pet carrier with plenty of blankets and their favourite toy. Make sure that you make regular stops so they can relieve themselves and get a little exercise. If your dog has never travelled long distances before, take a few practice runs prior to your trip to get them used to being in the car.
Double check your accommodation
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination with your pooch to be told that they don’t allow dogs. Always double check and phone or email prior to booking, to make sure that your chosen accommodation allows dogs and see if there are any surcharges or special rules.
Make your dog feel at home
Your pup may feel confused when you are travelling, so bring plenty of their favourite things to remind them of home. Always take their usual blankets, food and water bowls, and a selection of their favourite toys, so they have home comforts. Stick with the rules that you have at home, such as not allowing them on the furniture, or taking them for walks at their usual times.
Prepare in case your dog gets lost
It’s always best to be on the safe side, so be prepared in case your dog runs away. You’re going to be in a strange place, and they won’t know where to go. Always ensure your dog is microchipped prior to travelling and that your holiday address and phone number are added to their collar. Make sure you have recent photos of your pet, in case you need to show people to try to locate them.
Practice basic commands
Make sure that your dog understands and obeys basic commands such as sit, stay and come. It’s one thing to be chasing your pup around your local park, but you don’t want your dog to run off through a nature reserve, protected area or busy city street. Spend some time ahead of your trip teaching them basic obedience.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.