Now your dog is fully grown and well behaved, it’s time to think about doggy travel and taking them on holiday.
Whether you’re visiting family and friends in the same country or heading abroad, there are a number of important things to consider before you go.
Travel crates come into their own when travelling, especially if your dog uses a crate at home. It should be big enough for them to stand up in, lie down, stretch out, and turn around. You should also include toys, bedding and treats they know and love to build a positive association with it. If you prefer not to use a crate, we recommend buying a mesh grill to go between the backseat and hatchback boot. This will keep your dog, passengers and driver safe. You can make the boot nice and cosy with a dog bed for extra comfort.
If you’re staying at someone’s house, check your dog will be welcome, and if there are other dogs that they will be welcoming too. Doggy dynamics can be tested in close confines under one roof!
If you’re booked into a dog-friendly hotel or holiday home, double-check their policy before you set off. Some have restrictions such as the maximum number of dogs per room/visit and caveats like dogs must not be left alone in the accommodation. If they’re not genuinely dog-friendly, best to avoid them.
If you’re travelling abroad there is much more to think about in advance. Make the most of specialist pet travel companies that can help – from handling paperwork to sourcing pet-friendly airlines. Ensure sure your pet has an up-to-date passport. Some countries, such as America, require a vet examination no more than 10 days before you go, with a letter from your vet saying your dog is fit to travel on a plane. And many countries require certain vaccinations such as rabies. The UK government website has lots of useful information.
If you decide not to take your hound on holiday there are other options available.
Here at Bruce’s Doggy Day Care we offer our long-term regular clients a home boarding service. This means your four-legged friend spends all day having fun at doggy day care as usual, and then lives with one of the team in their home overnight and at weekends. Many dogs struggle with being left behind when their family goes away, but they love boarding with us as it’s like a holiday for them.
Or you could use kennels but be sure to check them out first and visit the facilities to see for yourself. Word of mouth recommendations from friends and family are often best. And make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date as they will be exposed to lots of other unfamiliar dogs. Dog sitting companies who send people to your house are also useful, but again check them out first.
This blog is part of a series focusing on a dog’s life from puppy to pensioner! Read about how to look after your dog - from agility and grooming to neutering and zoning out.