Dogs are much-loved members of the family and there’s usually no reason to leave them behind when holidaying in the UK, especially if you’re staying in self-catering accommodation with lots of space, both inside and out. We’ve put our heads together to bring you our top advice for those travelling with dogs.
- Plan ahead. Before you book a property, check that it is genuinely pet-friendly (online reviews can be a good start) and also that it doesn’t have any restrictions regarding the size and breed of dog accepted. Ensure also that the property is suited to your dog’s own particular needs, and ask about any rules to do with dogs within properties – such as rooms that they shouldn’t go in.
- Choose a dog-friendly location – not just in terms of beaches to play on and/or walks to take, but one with plenty of restaurants, cafés and pubs that welcome dogs.
- Get your dog micro-chipped at the vet if you haven’t already done so. At the same time, think about getting them a general health check-up and in particular making sure they are up to date with their flea treatment.
- Make a packing list of your dog’s essential items, which will include some or all of following: enough of their normal food to last the trip (in case their usual brand is not available locally), food and water bowls, their lead, collar and ID tag, their bed or usual blankets, old towels, dog shampoo, dog-waste bags, treats, favourite toys and any medication that your dog is on.
- If you’re driving far, make sure that your dog gets used to travelling by car, starting with shorter journeys and gradually building up to longer ones. Either crating them or harnessing them is essential for their and your safety. Try to stop every two hours so they can stretch their legs and relieve themselves if necessary.
- When you arrive at your holiday destination, take your dog on a long walk to get used to their unfamiliar surroundings. This will also have the benefit of tiring them out and relaxing them after they’ve been sitting still in the car for a while.
- Don’t leave your dog alone for too long at your new destination, in case this confuses and unsettles them.
- Try to keep to the dog’s home routine when it comes to meal, walk and sleep times.
- Take care when walking in areas you and the dog don't know well, and/or where there are hazards such as busy roads, cliffs or other animals. Keep them on the lead if you’re at all uncertain.