Many of us are already dreaming about our next vacation and are starting to look for a suitable travel destination. We would often like to take our dog with us but this can be complicated.
What do we have to take into account if we want to take our dog on holiday with us?
Means of transport: car journeys.
We must take into account some safety precautions just as we do for the rest of the family. Having a safety belt for your dog is certainly not a superfluous luxury. There are special harnesses that you can use to secure your dog to the safety belts in your vehicle. If the dog is travelling in the back of the car it is best to use a safety barrier or bench, so that the dog cannot be hurled forward in the car in the event of an accident.
When we think of the car and summer, we can never emphasize enough that you must never leave your dog in a parked car. The interior of a parked car can turn into an oven in warm weather!
Take a few breaks during a trip to stretch your own and your dog’s legs, to enjoy a drink and to allow the dog to relieve itself. A few pleasant stopovers make the journey more enjoyable for both the owner and the dog.
Always keep in mind that your dog must be kept safe during such a break, a parking lot next to a dangerous highway can be scary. It is always wise to teach your dog to wait when you open the car door!
The travel destination:
When you are looking for a suitable travel destination it is best to check in advance as to whether dogs are welcome with your pet and if there are restrictions.
Take into account the travel time, the means of transport, the weather conditions to be expected at your chosen destination and of course the condition of your dog, so that the holiday can also be as pleasant as possible for him.
Foreign legislation and restrictions need to be checked and can be breed related! The following links are useful when traveling with pet(s)
Movement of pets – Europe
Vaccinations: When traveling with your pet, it is also important to check if your dog in order with all of his vaccinations and has a European passport. The compulsory vaccinations can vary from country to country; you can also find them on the links provided with the import requirements of individual countries. Doing research or asking your veterinarian which animal diseases are more common per region can also be useful. The rabies vaccination is a requirement for most countries and even for a trip to our Belgian Ardennes!
What do we bring – Checklist: – European passport, vaccination booklet with the chip number. Document – pedigree papers – food and water bowl – water for the road – own food – first aid kit (including a device to remove ticks) – collar with address details (possibly including your holiday home) and telephone number – clear photo of your pet – extra leash and collar – possibly muzzle if required in certain regions – poo bags – possibly medicines – dog blanket or pillow – toys – care products (e.g. shampoo, brush)
When pets are not allowed to accompany you…
If after having done your research, it turns out that your dream destination is not suitable for your pet then you need to look for a suitable solution for your pet. This can be with family and friends or you can ask someone to come to your home to take care of your animals or you can put them in a reliable boarding kennels.
If you are looking for a kennel or cattery, keep in mind that these are often fully booked and you should arrange this well in advance. Opt for an accredited business (possibly an affiliation to the KaHoT professional association) and be sure to take a look yourself first. It goes without saying that you will feel more at ease when the owner is happy to give you a tour of their facilities and takes the time to answer all of your questions.
Check the terms and conditions of the establishment with regard to vaccinations, in season bitches and so on. You want to be sure that your pet is in safe hands and that there is no risk of infection from other animals.
Maybe you would prefer to opt for a pet sitter/ dog walking service? Check that the person has a recognized diploma, possibly an affiliation to the APBCT professional association. It never hurts to get acquainted well in advance and to check what all the conditions are; in this way both you and your animals can feel comfortable with this person. If you choose this option, it can also be reassuring if someone from your family or friends comes from time to time to check that all is well and can also serve as an emergency contact number that you can pass on to the pet sitter.
Talking in advance about what the animals are used to, their daily schedule and drawing up a list of their requirements and seeing that everything is ready for the pet sitter helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Are there any useful tips that you can think of when traveling with your four-legged friend, we would love to hear them?
Can you recommend travel destinations where dogs are welcome or a kennels or a pet sitter that you would recommend? It is always nice to share!