Easter is just around the corner and what could be better than taking the dog for a short or long break. There is really nothing like a holiday with your four-legged best friend.
However to have a stress free time, planning and preparation are essential.
Choose a destination that provides entertainment and adventure for you and your dog. Beach holidays are great if there are dog friendly beaches to go to. Most dogs will love to run and play. Or the country side with space to walk and discover wineries or natural sight is another option. If you choose a city holiday, make sure your dog is a city ‘person’.
Even if a hotel or apartment is advertised as ‘pet friendly’ call and ask the right questions. Is there a fenced area? Are the dogs allowed inside and/or on furniture? Are there restrictions on size or numbers of dogs allowed? Are there any additional fees? Are there any dog friendly sights or places nearby? The last question is important as it shows if the person you are talking to is really interested in your dog. If they do not know anything about dog friendly places maybe their place is not really dog friendly either.
Your dog should also be up to date with vaccinations and worming. Make sure the microchip details are up to date, too. ID with a number you can actually be reached on is a must. Your home phone number will not be helpful.
It might be worth while checking that your insurance covers your dog when on holidays.
Dogs who like their crates are an advantage when travelling. While there are still limited choices here in Australia a lot of holiday homes will allow dogs if they are well behaved and crate trained. A crate is also a home away from home for the dog and makes settling in less stressful. It is also the only really safe way if you have to leave them for short periods of time while away.
Follow common sense and courtesy when out and about. Keep your dog on leash in new areas and outdoors. Do not let them chase wildlife. Clean up out side and the place you were staying this will give dog owners a good reputation and might result in more dog friendly places for us to go to.
Try to stick to a routine which will make you dog feel more secure. If they get a lot of exercise they will also be tired and quiet. Tired dog happy owner and happy fellow travellers. Dogs might be a bit more alert and more likely to bark at strangers or not quite their usual social self. Despite having fun, holidays are also a little bit stressful.
During the car ride make sure your dog is secured with a travelling harness or a crate. Never leave your dog in a hot car and don’t rush. Take plenty of breaks, a coffee for you and a stroll and a drink for your dog.
Packing for your dog
- Poop bags
- Collar with ID (holiday details)
- Grooming equipment
- Tick and flea treatment
- First Aid kit
- Familiar fluffy toys to help them feel at home
- Contact details of the local vet
And if you are into apps:
My personal tip? Find a place you really like and go there on a regular basis once or twice a year for short breaks. You and your dogs know what to expect and it is a bit like a home away from home. No stress, just pure relaxation.
If you are in Australia, try Mudgee in rural NSW. There are plenty of dog friendly places, great food, historic sites and parks.