Hints for a holiday with your dog

Some hints for a holiday with your dog

The summer holidays lie ahead and more and more dog owners want to take their best friend on holiday! Here are some tips on how to make the journey with your dog enjoyable and how to avoid trouble:

Considerations before the journey

The first and most important decision is the choice of the holiday destination. The needs of your dog should be definitely borne in mind. Are there nearby walks? How is the climate? How to get there? Are dogs allowed and which requirements have to be complied with (for example at the beach or in restaurant)? Is there a risk of contagious illnesses or dangerous parasites?

Local accommodation

Furthermore it is absolutely necessary that dogs are accepted in the accommodation. It should be checked in advance, if dogs are allowed in hotels, cottages or on camping sites. Pay attention to special regulations for lead and muzzles? Is there a special “dog beach” for free running?

The journey

The easiest and in most cases also the cheapest way of travelling is in the own car. There is enough space for all the stuff and the legs and breaks can be flexibly set. Dogs that are not used to driving in a car should be acquainted to it long before the holiday. It is recommendable to do many short trips to nice destinations. The dog will associate this with driving and will be happy in doing so.

Most dogs are excited or at least patient assistant drivers, but you should nevertheless include sufficient breaks and walks so that the ride to your destination does not become a nightmare for your dog. Draught over a long period should be avoided. It can harm the dog’s eyes badly.

The best place for dogs inside the car is behind a grid or net in the boot or belted on the rear seat. Small dogs can also be placed in transport boxes, after they get used to them at home.

Don’t forget to take enough water along. There is always a high risk of traffic jams especially in the holiday season and with rising temperatures inside the car, also the demand of water increases. While you should take a sufficient supply of water, food should be given in small amounts or omitted.

Never leave the dog alone in the car! The interior of the car will heat up extremely within few minutes and only a slightly opened window will not provide enough ventilation.

If travelling by train, check the rules of each network before travelling and consider introducing your dog to trains with short journeys initially, so that they can get used to the new sensations before taking a long trip. Don’t forget: Put a lead on the dog inside the train and the station and check if there are any regulations for wearing muzzles. It is also very important to keep in mind that the dog has to wait a long time for the next walk. For this reason it is advisable to walk the dog every two hours before the trip and don’t feed it 12 hours in advance.

You should think twice about taking a dog on a flight! Some airlines allow dogs up to 5 kg inside the cabin, but only in a special transport bag which must not exceed the size of usual hand luggage. The dog is not allowed to leave the bag during the flight and has to stay under the seats all the time. Staying in the box should be practiced well in advance before the flight. Dogs with a higher weight will have to stay in special transport boxes in the cargo area. Make sure that the dog can stand up, sit and turn inside the box. Even if placed in a comfortable box, a flight will always mean a high level of stress for the dog and therefore it should be an exceptional choice.

The right food

If possible sufficient amount of the familiar food should be taken from home. You never know if your dog food is available at your resort and most dogs are sensitive to a change of food. This could be diarrhoea, obstipation, pasty faeces, anorexic or intolerances – you don’t want that in the holiday - the best time of the year!

Is a booster needed?

Never forget: the vaccination! Every country has its own rules and regulations to follow. Ask your vet about the vaccination and renewals. For travels abroad all required documents should be in English language.

First aid-kit

At least also in holiday the most important things should be within easy reach. These are:

  • If necessary the usual medicine
  • Remedy for travel sickness / tranquiliser
  • Remedy for diarrhoea (charcoal tablet)
  • Disinfectant
  • Bandaging material
  • Eye drops and eye pads for their cleaning
  • Ear drops
  • Flea and tick collar
  • Tick tweezers

Don’t forget

In the following a small guideline of things one should remember:

  • Lead and muzzle
  • EU pet passport
  • Mobile water bowl
  • Dog first aid kit
  • Accustomed blanket and toy
  • Towels
  • Sun protection (parasol) for the beach
  • Accustomed food and food bowl
  • Dog poop bag

Last but not least:

Finally if there is the wish to go on holiday without the dog – one is not necessary a bad dog owner. Depending on the destination it is not always fun for dogs! If the dog has to stay at home the best place is with friends or relatives the dog knows and respects and who are able to handle with it. In this case it will be a pretty good time for all involved!

Have a great holiday!


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