Tips for travelling with your dog

Have you ever suffered the heartbreak of saying goodbye to your dog when you’re leaving for a holiday? Well, why not try a dog-friendly holiday next time?

Our pets are a huge part of our lives, and that doesn’t change when we go on holiday. It’s difficult to leave them with carers (or at the kennel) and quite often you’ll spend as much time worrying about your faithful friend as you do enjoying your time away. So why not take your furry friend with you?

Here are some essential pet-friendly travel tips to make travelling with your canine companion as much fun for your dog as it should be for you:

Prior to leaving

  • Check with your vet to ensure that your dog’s vaccinations and worming are up to date, as well as pick up some anti-nausea medicine in case you need it.
  • Make sure your accommodation is happy to have pets in rooms.
  • Research dog-friendly facilities at your holiday destination. Look for off-leash dog beaches and parks, and find out if the cafes in the area are okay with dogs on their property.
  • People love to try new foods when they travel – not so with dogs. A holiday is not the time to be experimenting with your dog’s dinner. So, try to take along the food with which your dog is familiar. It will save on upset tummies and days when you are more worried about your dog’s digestion than you are about holidaying.
  • Find out whether ticks and fleas are prevalent in the area you are staying. Paralysis ticks are especially nasty, and can usually be found along the East Coast of Australia. Make sure you take along some tick and flea preventative treatments, as well as clean bedding, just in case.
  • If your dog hasn’t travelled by car, it may be wise to get them accustomed to the car a few weeks before you leave for your holiday. As it is law for dogs to be restrained whilst in transit, it’s a good time to get them used to the dog seatbelt and harness or in a doggy carrier or crate.
  • Give your dog plenty of exercise before you hit the the road. It not only means that they can go to the toilet, but also it helps to tire them out so they’ll be more likely to relax on the journey.

On the way

  • As dogs can experience motion sickness, it’s best not to feed them too soon before you leave, so make sure they’ve eaten well before.
  • Ensure that your car windows are slightly down so they have plenty of air.
  • Make sure you stop for regular breaks, say, once per hour or so.

When you arrive

  • Dogs are creatures of habit, and they’re quite precious about their environment. When dogs arrive at an unfamiliar destination, they quite often run away. So, if your dog isn’t well trained, it’s best to keep them on a leash for a few days, just so they get used to their new surrounds.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient identification on your dog’s tags. Your home phone number is no good to you, so ensure that your dog’s ID includes your mobile number or the landline number of where you are staying.

Do you have any tips for travelling with pets? Why not share them with our members?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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