Travelling on holiday with your dog
We are really pleased to see that pet-friendly hotels, campsites and holiday let cottages are on the increase. Pubs too are waking up to the fact that the real meaning of ‘family friendly’ should include provision for its four-legged members.
Best dog-friendly holiday destinations in the UK tend to be those that are surrounded by beautiful countryside and within National Parks – because if you’re going on a walking holiday, you’re going to want to take your dog with you.
Here are our top tips for holidaying with your dog:
Pack carefully and think about any potential hitches that may be set your travel plans. For example traffic jams in hot weather are not pleasant for any of us – but our furry friends are more prone to overheating.
A couple of good ideas to take advantage of include popping a bottle filled with water in the fridge overnight before you leave. Pack it into a cool bag with any picnic goodies. It will help keep the sandwiches even cooler – and stay sits refreshing best for your dog to enjoy on the journey.
It it’s really hot think about putting some iced water into a hot water bottle that you’ve found a spot for in the freezer overnight. Then just fill the bottle with your cold water, wrap it in an old towel and put it on the car seat next to your dog’s spot in the car. He’ll love you for it.
Don’t forget a bowl to pour your dog’s water into and some dried food for snacks along the way. And of course regular comfort breaks with a bit of a leg-stretch.
Remember too that your dog must be secured with a pet version of a seat belt – or sit behind a grill, or in a dog cage, in the boot area. It’s against the law to travel with an unsecured animal in the vehicle.
If you’re going to be doing plenty of walking you’ll need a couple of doggy towels in addition to his bedding.
If you’re staying in a holiday cottage, just make sure the garden is fully secure before letting your dog off the lead. It’s always good to check the fences, and, even if your dog’s recall is perfect, allow him to orientate himself in his new surroundings.
Once settled, arrange his bedding and show him where he will be sleeping, and where his water dish is.
It your dog will have access to a balcony he’s probably going to gravitate to it to watch the world pass by. Make sure he can seek out some shade – and if there isn’t any, then put up a parasol or secure a blanket across a corner to create some.
Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s useful to just note where the nearest veterinary surgery is, and jot down the number.
Remember too, however good your dog is, if you’re in open countryside there will likely be livestock. You don’t want to take a risk with your best friend – always keep him on a lead when walking near stock.