Whatever time of the year, more and more pet owners are deciding to take the 'Ruff with the Smooth' and bring their pets with them on their holidays. And often with successful outcomes. With many more holiday destinations catering for pets - and dogs especially - vacationing with your pet need not be so difficult. But it is wise to bear in mind the type of pet, their temperament, their size and their unique likes and dislikes when you are planning that trip!
Our top ten tips
Make a trial run with a day trip out to a beach, a lake or other interesting destination to gauge how successful a longer trip will be.
When planning the trip, consider these questions first: Does your dog like adventure and excitement or would she be happier with a calm, quiet experience? Is your dog a seasoned traveler or will this experience be all new? Does your dog enjoy people and/or other dogs? Does your dog have any special needs or physical limitations that might affect her enjoyment of a trip?
Your answers to these questions will help you to decide on the type of accommodation to suit both you and your pet - hotel, self-catering, camping and more.
Then do your homework by checking where dogs are welcome and can be accommodated. This is essential whether you’re staying with family or friends, at a hotel, or at a campground. It is also wise to check on national and other parks, walking trails and anywhere else that you are planning to visiting with your pet while on vacation.
Travel essentials for the journey should include: A travel crate; seat cover; wipes and paper towels; window shade; food and water bowls along with a large bottle of bottle and some light treats; a basic pet first aid kit for such essentials as a tick remover, dressings and a natural remedy for car sickness and/or anxiety.
Documentation for those unexpected times: Pet insurance; the contact details for your own vet as well as a local vet at your destination; and has your dog or cat been micro-chipped?
Don't forget to pack the basics for your pet's happiness and welfare: Basket/bedding; leash and collar complete with your cell phone as well as your vacation address; food as well as water and food bowls; a mat to catch any food bits that your pet tends to let fly out of their bowl; biodegradable poop bags, pet toys; any medications needed; treats; and lint roller for hair removal.
Planning any after dark excursions? Then a high-vis collar or a LED leash are a good idea.
Don’t stress about your dog! They will most likely not have the same eating, drinking, and sleeping habits as when at home - just as you also adapt. The important thing to remember is that if you are happy, then there is a very good chance that your pet will be happy too
Learn to know about boundaries with your pet. If you are going on a extra long hike or if you know your pet gets overwhelmed with too many young children around, make allowances and adjust accordingly so that everyone is relaxed.
With some extra planning beforehand, you can all have a wonderful vacation together!
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.