Dog owners will all agree, our dogs are part of our family. As such, we often feel quite mean when we head off and have fun without them. But next time you head off your annual family holiday, why not take your pooch with you? That's right, you needn't banish your pup to kennels, instead you can take your beloved dog along on your adventures. In fact, more and more families are choosing to take their dog on holiday with them than ever before. Of course, travelling with your pup comes with it's own challenges, but with the right preparation, you and your four-legged best friend will be jetting off in no time!
One of the main reasons we love taking our dogs on holiday with us is that they keep us active! We love to relax when we're away, but sometimes we can spend a little bit too much time lounging around that could be spent exploring. When we have the dogs with us, we have the responsibility of making sure they get plenty of exercise, which usually ends up being an adventure for us all! When you take your dog out for a wander, you will find yourself exploring your new surroundings more, and you might just discover your new favourite place. Seeing your pup experience a new place for the first time is sure to make you excited to leave the confines of your hotel every day as you get to go on exciting adventures together.
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Being somewhere new means your dog will get to experience things that they may not be able to experience at home. Whether that's running along the beach, swimming in a lake, trekking through woodlands or climbing up a mountain, your pup is sure to lap up these new experiences. We also find that we feel much more adventurous when we have our dogs with us, so you may even find yourself doing something you never thought you would! Plus, seeing your beloved pet having the time of their lives is sure to bring a smile to your face and create wonderful memories that you'll treasure for years to come. Going away together means that your dog is much more likely to get your undivided attention - away from the stress and pressures of every day life. A holiday allows for real quality time, and you're sure to come home with a stronger bond than ever.
So, how can you make sure your canine companion is happy & healthy? Preparation is key! Make sure you do your research on the place you are visiting. Check things like whether your dog needs any vaccinations, whether they need a passport and if they will need to quarantine. Also ensure that your accommodation is dog friendly, and look into the local area to see whether there are any laws surrounding dogs that you should be aware of. Another key part of your preparation should be packing your dog a bag. In this should be everything they need, plus a little extra just in case. Here is what we pack for our pups, but it is im-paw-tent to think about your pup and what they might need.
- Food & Treats. The easiest option when travelling is to stick to dry kibble that your dog likes and is used to eating. Some pet food brands are available in lots of different countries whilst others are not. Also make sure to bring some of your dogs favourite treats to keep on hand.
- Bowls. Your pup will need bowls for eating and drinking. Something lightweight is best for travelling, or you can purchase collapsible bowls which you can also take with you on excursions so your pup can always have a drink.
- Harness, Collar, Lead & Muzzle. Of course, you will need to take your dogs collar / harness, lead and in some countries your dog may be required to wear a muzzle. Always ensure your dog is wearing an ID tag with your up to date details on it, just in case. A hands-free lead is ideal for travelling.
- Bedding. Who doesn't appreciate a little home comfort? If you're able to, brining your pooches bed and blankets from home is a great idea as it will ensure they are as comfortable as can be, wherever your journey may take you.
- Dog Carrier. Depending on the size of your pup, you will likely be needing a carrier if you plan on flying with your dog in the cabin of a plane or taking them on trains
- Dog Seatbelt. If you're planning on travelling in taxis or hiring a car whilst you're away, we highly recommend taking a dog seatbelt to keep your pup safe (and it's a legal requirement in some countries)
- Life Jacket. Whether your dog is a strong swimmer or not, a dog life jacket is a great idea if you're travelling anywhere near water. From paddling in the sea to coming along on kayaking excursions - a doggy life jacket is very paw-tent to keep your best friend safe.
- Medicine & Grooming. It is a good idea to take your dog's flea, worm and tick treatments with you if these will run out whilst you're away. Don't forget any daily medications and be sure to invest in a dog first aid kit incase of any accidents. Don't forget to take a brush and some wipes to keep your pup clean & tidy. For longer trips, shampoo and nail clippers are also a good idea.
- Poo Bags. An obvious one, but make sure to pack plenty of biodegradable poo bags so that you're not caught short! Keeping them tidy in a poo bag pouch is a good idea.