The summer holidays are approaching, and many people are thinking about going away for a break somewhere. This might be a relaxing trip to the beach, a rousing walking holiday in the mountains or a flight to somewhere exotic; all of which will be great experiences to share with the family.
However, there is one member of the family that might cause more of a problem when going away: your dog. Going on holiday means making an important choice. You can either go through the hassle of taking your dog with you, or have to face leaving them behind for weeks at a time.
Both options have their pros and cons. This is an important decision that should take a lot of time. You need to be sure you will be as happy as possible on your holiday, and if taking your dog with you will cause too much stress then it might be better to leave them somewhere they will be well looked-after. Here are some of the things you should consider.
Taking your dog with you
Whether this is feasible or not will depend entirely on where you are going. If you are travelling by car, this can be the best option. All you need to do is make sure your dog can be held securely. You should also take steps to try and avoid them getting car sick.
The latter is surprisingly easy - all you have to do is make sure they do not have anything to eat for about six hours before the journey. This should ensure they don't get nauseous. As for keeping them secured, this may mean investing in a travel crate for the. Make sure they also have access to plenty of water in a non-spill bowl.
However, if you are going abroad there are a few more things you'll need to think about. First, make sure wherever you are staying is okay with you taking a dog. Next, think about your method of transport, and check their regulations on travelling with pets. These will differ from company to company, so do your research.
If you are travelling to an EU country, there are a few things your pet needs. The first is a microchip, which will be useful anyway in case your dog gets lost. They will also need a vaccination against rabies, and tapeworm treatment. Finally, they will need a 'pet passport' or official third country veterinary certificate.
For countries outside the EU, check on the government's website for any specific regulations you will need to abide by. Remember, you will need to travel back into the UK afterwards, so make sure your pet meets the requirements for this as well.
Leaving your dog at home
This all sounds like a lot of work and expense, and you may be better off leaving your pet behind while you go on holiday. If you do so, you will need to make sure they are well looked-after.
The most obvious option is to take them to a kennel or 'pet hotel'. You can be sure they will be fed and exercised properly in one of these locations; however, they can be stressful for your pet. There may be a lot of other dogs there, and your pet might find this upsetting.
As such, you might want to look into other options. The easiest one is to get a friend or relative to stop by your house, feed them and take them for a walk. This means your pet will be able to see someone they know and like, and is also good if you want them to follow a specific diet, such as eating Arden Grange dog food.
However, looking after a dog is, in many ways, a full-time job and you might not know anyone that is available enough to give them the care and attention they need. If this is the case, you might be better off looking for a dog babysitter.
These have sprung up recently as a good outlet for people that would love to own a dog but cannot do so for one reason or another. Instead, they offer to look after other people's pets, and can be a great option for a week or two while you go away. Some don't even charge for the service, as looking after a dog is reward enough.
Written by: Hannah Dyball