Many of us dream about our summer holidays and well beforehand we are busy looking for that perfect destination.
Our dogs are a part of our families and many of us want to share our holidays with our pets. However, this does require forethought and preparation.
What do we have to take into account if we want to take our dog with us on holiday?
Means of transport:
In general when we take our dogs with us we travel by car.
Safety is an issue, not just for the humans in the car but also for our pets, a seatbelt for your dog is not a luxury.
There are special harnesses available that you can snap on so that your dog is safe with the minimum of fuss.
If you are transporting your dog in the back of a car, you should use a dog car safety barrier or bench, so the dog can not be thrown forward if you are involved in an accident
We can never emphasize enough; never leave a dog in a car when the weather is likely to be warm.
Temperatures can rise suddenly and rapidly turn the inside of a car into an oven!
During a long car journey a few regular breaks to stretch the legs, enjoy a drink and take a toilet break make for a pleasant experience for both owner and dog.
Always ensure that your dog does not run off if you stop for a break. A dog that is running loose on a parking lot next to a busy highway is at risk.
Teaching your dog beforehand to wait when you open the car door and to only jump out when asked can come in handy in this situation!
When you are looking for a suitable destination find out in advance if you are welcome with your pet and what rules and conditions apply.
Also keep in mind the journey involved, the means of transport, the climate where you are going and of course to the condition of your dog so that the holidays can be enjoyable for him
Do not forget to check the legal requirements in the country you will be visiting.
Bear in mind that unfortunately these legal requirements may be different for certain breeds.
The following links may be useful:
- When traveling with your four-legged friend, it is important to check that all vaccinations are up to date and that the passport is valid.
- The vaccination requirements may vary from country to country; these can be found on the above links.
- Contact your veterinarian to check if any specific diseases are prevalent in the area you intend to visit.
- Vaccination against rabies is a requirement for most countries, and is even required for a trip to the Belgian Ardennes!
- In general vaccination against rabies once every 3 years is standard.
- What we need to take /Checklist:
- – Passport with a record of vaccinations and the registered micro-chip number
- – The dog’s pedigree papers
- – Bowls for food and water
- – Water for the journey
- – The dog food you use and trust.
- – First aid kit including a device for removing ticks.
- – Your dog should be wearing a collar with your address and telephone number and eventually your holiday address on it.
- – A clear photo of your pet
- – Extra collar and lead
- -A muzzle if required (mandatory in certain regions)
- – Bags for picking up dog excrement
- – Medication if required
- – Familiar blanket for the dog to sleep on
- -Grooming products (e.g. shampoo, brush)
Pets not allowed…
Having done your research you realize your dream destination is not suitable for your animal companion.
You have to look for a suitable solution or a place where your pet can stay!
This can be with family or friends or you can ask someone to come and look after your pet at your own home. An alternative is to send your dog to a boarding kennel.
If you opt for a boarding kennel bear in mind that these are often booked far in advance so you need to allow plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements and bookings.
Choose a recognized boarding kennel, some are affiliated to organizations such as the APBCT and definitely go and take a look first
It goes without saying that you must have a good feeling about the kennels and the person running them. They should allow you to visit the facilities and answer all of your questions to your satisfaction
Ask about the terms and conditions especially with regard to vaccinations, flea control etc so that you can be sure that your own dog will not be at risk of contracting a disease or picking up parasites from other dogs staying there.
If you opt for a dog walking service or a dog sitter in your own home it never hurts to meet in advance to explain your dog’s needs and to find out the terms and conditions of the agreement you will be making. In this way both you and your animal(s) will feel confident with this person. When looking for a dog walker or pet sitter choose someone who has appropriate credentials and is connected to a professional association such as the APBCT. On www.therapiedier.be you can look for someone in your area who offers these services.
If you choose this option, it can also be reassuring if family or friends drop in from time to time and they can also provide an emergency number that you can give to the pet sitter.
Agree in advance about the daily routine that is to be followed, make a list and see that everything is ready for the pet sitter; this will help to ensure that everything runs smoothly and your pet can relax in a familiar atmosphere.
If you have useful tips about going on holiday with your four-legged friend, we would like to hear them…
Can you suggest really great destinations to visit with your dog or boarding kennels or pet sitters that you would personally recommend? It is always fun and useful to share this kind of i