Summer is fast approaching and if you haven’t already started thinking about where you’re going to go then you’d better start! Whether you are heading for sun, sea, mountains or the city we should think about our four-legged friends too. Are you planning on travelling with your Fido or feline? With so many restrictions on airlines, in hotels and in public areas the major question remains, where to go?
It happens every year when holiday time rolls around. You start to pack your bags and their ears prick up. The car is packed and their ears prick up. They want to come but you’ve arranged for them to stay in a kennel instead. You may think it’s not easy to travel with pets, either cats or dogs, but with a little research about where to go, what to do and where to stay, it can really be a lot of fun!
Many airline companies allow small dogs and cats to be stored in the cabin for an extra fee. All other larger dogs must be stowed away as cargo or checked luggage. Each airline unfortunately has different pet-carrying rules and regulations so if you’re going to travel with your pet, call ahead and ask what your options are before booking your flight tickets. You will have to buy an animal carrier that is certified for air travel and have your dogs most up-to-date vaccinations (especially rabies) and papers with you if you are crossing borders. Almost all pets travelling from the UK to EU and non-EU countries are required to be micro-chipped or tattooed. Ask your vet about shots and paper work needed for travel. For more specific information about pet regulations and travel visit defra.gov.uk
More are more hotels are beginning to open up to the world of travellers with pets. If a hotel is pet-friendly, chances are they may also offer dog-sitting or dog-walking services that you can take advantage of during your stay. If you are looking for hotel accommodation that is pet-friendly simply launch a hotel search on liligo.com. Once your search results appear on the site, choose pets allowed from the list of possible amenities on the left-hand side of the screen. This will then filter out all of the hotels that allow pets in the city you’ve searched for. I know, easy!
Never leave a dog unattended in a hotel room.
- Carry a good supply of dog food for the journey. You can buy a bag of food once you arrive but you don’t want your pup going hungry while in transit. If you know you will not be able to find the same brand while abroad, bring enough for the whole trip. If you must change brands as it is inconvenient to bring enough food for the whole trip, slowly introduce your animal to their new food over the course of 3-4 days. Make sure they have enough water for the journey.
- Always keep your pet leashed outside of the hotel and car. Ask the tourism office where there are dog parks in the city or if they can recommend some areas where dogs are allowed off their leads.
- Have a supply of doggie bags with you at all times and always clean up after your pet. Many grocery stores sell small plastic bags which are cheap and perfect to use for this purpose!
- If your dog isn’t comfortable around strange people, children and other dogs consider taking an obedience lesson before leaving on your holiday or hiring a trainer.
- Consider getting a tag made up with your hotel or accommodations contact number on it for your pet’s collar just in case they get lost, someone will have a number to get in touch with you.
- Before flying make sure your pet is accustomed to the carrier. If your animal has never been transported in a carrier, it will make the trip tiring and also frightening for them. Introduce them to it before the trip gradually and they should be okay.
- When it comes to choosing a destination think about what would be most comfortable for your pet: long walks through mountain trails and forests, lazing in the shade of an umbrella on a beach, taking short excursions through the city? Evaluate your pet’s fitness level and plan your trip accordingly.
- Pack some of their favourite toys and treats. It may take them a little time to adjust to a new environment and having familiar things around them will definitely help. Try to keep the same schedule as you would at home.
For some more four-legged travel inspiration, check out the blog 12legstravel, the travel stories of a girl and a guy and their two dogs travelling by car across and around the USA. Do you have any travel tips of your own for dogs or cats? What have your experiences been? Leave us a note below!
Image source: bravoinsd / flickr cc