With almost 40% of Australian families owning a pet dog, going on a holiday often means leaving your dog at home, to be fed by a neighbour or friend, or at a boarding kennel. But it does not have to be that way. Rather than leaving your beloved pooch behind, why not consider taking them with you to share in all the holiday fun?
“But most places don’t allow dogs” I here you say. Well, that may be true. However, according to the 10th edition of the Holidaying with Dogs guide, there are over 2000 dog friendly places to stay in Australia. Ranging from budget accommodation, such as camping grounds, to fancy B&Bs, motels and holiday houses, the options are endless.
So, now that you have decided to holiday with your hound there are some steps you need to take to ensure smooth sailing. First and foremost, your dog needs to be well trained and under control at all times. An unruly dog has the potential to not only ruin your holiday but that of other holiday makers also. If your dog could learn a few manners, consider attending obedience training classes to ensure they make a trustworthy travel companion.
If driving to your holiday destinations it’s important that your dog travels well in the car. If not, you will need to start working on building a positive association with car travel. Start by feeding your dogs high value treats in the car with the engine turned off. Then gradually move through the following stages: engine running but door open, engine running with door closed, car ride around the block and finally, gradually increasing the distances travelled. Only progress to the next step if you dog is coping with the previous step. Always buckle your dog into the car using a car harness to keep you and your pooch safe.
Ensure you take regular breaks to allow your dog to stretch its legs, go to the toilet and have a drink of water. Make sure the car is well ventilated as dogs need fresh air to help cool them down. This is especially important on hot days.
You will also need a first aid kit for your dog to take with you, in case of any minor injuries. Is your dog on any medications? If so, ensure you take enough medication with you to last until you get home. It’s also a good idea to have the contact details of a vet in each area you are travelling to, in case of an emergency. Dogs like their creature comforts and so it’s important that they have some familiar things around them. Write a check-list of all your dog’s things you will need to take with you – their bed, food and water bowls, brush, lead and other equipment, toys, food, favourite treats and, of course, poo bags! (See our ‘Essential travel check-list’ article). A dog harness is a very important thing to take when your going on holiday. Indeed if your dog is a naughty pooch then a chew proof dog harness might be a good investment.
Flying with Fido
Finally, if you’re flying to your destination you will need to consider whether your pet is a good candidate for airline travel which can be very stressful for some dogs, especially those that are fearful or anxious. Jetpets is a company that specialises in pet airline travel and can help you with information and advice.
With the right information and preparation, travelling with your dog can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. So rather than dropping your dog at the boarding kennel on your way to your holiday destination, you can plan a holiday that includes the whole family, of the two and four legged variety!