As the days are getting longer, many of us are already planning our summer holidays, and starting to get excited. However, this can be a bittersweet time for many dog owners, as the prospect of leaving their beloved companion in kennels while they are away can be distressing.
However, it can be possible to avoid this, by working your dog into your holiday plans. However, there are a few points to bear in mind when making the decision, which we’ll go into below.
Since the UK is part of the European Union, if you have a European pet passport for your dog, it can travel freely with you throughout all other member states. It will also allow you to re-enter the EU from outside countries without going through quarantine procedures. The passport can be obtained from your vet.
However, taking your pet outside the EU for a relatively short holiday can be challenging, as many countries will require quarantine periods in order to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases such as rabies. The times involved are often far longer than the average holiday, so in these cases it may be best to leave your dog behind.
This is very general advice, so you should always check with your destination country about any medical concerns or the practicalities of bringing your dog along for the ride.
If this seems like a lot of hassle, you can also consider taking a holiday in another part of the UK - not only is it cheaper, but you can avoid tiring international flights and jet lag, which should leave you with more time to enjoy your destination.
If you’re driving to your holiday destination, it is generally easy to manage the journey with your pet. However, you’ll need to make sure that there is enough space in the boot of your car for your furry friend. If you’re worried about suitcases and other holiday essentials taking up too much room, then a roof box can really help fit everything in.
Once you’re ready to set off, make sure your pet’s space is comfy by putting down a dog bed like the Addicare Antibacterial/Antiodour Dog Bed, and popping in any favourite soft toys. If you’ve got kids in the car as well, encourage them to leave your pup alone, as the least stressful way for them to travel is to relax and go to sleep.
Other than this, be sure to schedule in regular breaks so that you and your dog can get out and stretch your legs, go to the toilet and get some refreshments. When you’re travelling in the summer, make sure that you’ve always got water with you for your pet, as they can easily overheat.
Planes can be a little more difficult, as regulations vary between different airlines. Some will let small dogs into the cabin with their owners, whereas others insist on sending them as cargo on separate flights, along with cats and ferrets (the other animals that can hold pet passports). Of course, assistance dogs should always be allowed on flights with their human owners.
Letting your dog fly separately may sound scary, but they will actually catch a dedicated service where staff will make sure that your pup is OK, so there’s really nothing to worry about.
Whichever route you take, remember that a plane can be a strange and possibly alarming place for your pup, so it can really help if you bring along their favourite toy, or possibly a chew toy like the Kong Extreme Goodie Bone.
Written by: Hannah Dyball