Consider whether a holiday is the best thing for your companion animal
It’s the perfect time of year for planning a holiday and if you have a companion animal consider what would be the best thing to do for them. Most importantly, they need to feel safe, secure, comfortable and happy whether it's with you or if the stay at home.
Always think carefully about whether going away with your animal and leaving their home is the best thing for them, many people choose to leave them at home with a responsible and trusted family member or friend. Preparations in advance for their care and welfare is vital, why not discuss this with a veterinary expert.
Going on a holiday is also a great opportunity for you and your four-legged friend to spend some time together.
Considering whether to take your companion animal away with you all depends on them, their age and health. Is your holiday suitable for your dog? Some dogs may like visiting exciting new places and some may not, each canine is unique. If the weather is going to be hot, dogs can suffer in the heat and it can all be a bit too much for them.
There are more places now that are dog-friendly including pubs, so a little research will help you to identify those places and help you with your plans. Always call up in advance to check about their policies and whether the local area is suitable too.
Always speak to your vet to get some expert advice and information.
If you are thinking about going abroad, there are strict rules to be followed depending on the country you visit. Contacting the Pet Travel Scheme helpline on 0370 241 1710 will help you plan a trip away.
Preparing for your trip is the best way to ensuring a stress-free holiday for you and your canine. It's vital to organise for their care and welfare, speak to a veterinary expert for expert advice on things like vaccinations, microchipping and being fit to travel.
Taking your four-legged friend along with you can be stressful, both for you and the animal.
If you choose to travel with them, always think about their safety, having animals loose in the car can cause stress both for them, the passengers and the driver! According to the Highway Code, dogs and all other animals need to be suitably restrained so they don’t distract or interfere with the driver of the vehicle. Always make sure you never let a dog out onto the road on its own, especially when you are travelling.
Choosing a seat belt with a secure harness would be the best way to keep your dog safe and secure during the journey. Smaller animals are best in a carrier or travel cage, always ensure the cage is secure and safe. It’s always advisable to research the best carrier/cage for your trip to make sure they are robust, correct size, well tested and comes recommended.
Depending on the duration of your journey, consider their comfort, safety, and welfare at all times. Check that they are safe, have plenty of room and ventilation at all times, and access to fresh water. Regular stops to let your four-legged friend stretch their legs will also help and the other passengers. Never leave a dog on its own in a hot car, temperatures can soar quickly and this can be fatal for a dog and animals.
Make regular stops along the way to allow them some exercise, and never leave a dog on its own in a hot car, even for a short time with windows down, the temperatures inside a vehicle can soar within minutes and this can have major consequences, even be fatal.
Your dog must never be allowed to lean out of the car window when you're driving along, this is really dangerous for them, the passengers and the driver, keep them as safe and secure when driving.
Here are some tips when out and about:
- Keep everyone in the car safe, ensure your canine is in a secure restrained seat – always make sure it’s the correct size for your animal, always ask the experts they can help you.
- Never let your canine lean out the window – this is super dangerous and can be a huge distraction for the driver and passengers
- When you are away, always make sure you have contact details for the nearest vets should you need it
- Never leave a dog in a hot car, even with the windows down– temperatures inside a vehicle can soar and cause major problems for the animal’s health and even have fatal consequences
- Try to keep food times and meals like when you are at home
- Bring their bed/toys along to help them feel safe and secure
- Never leave them alone, they could become distressed
- Always keep them on a lead unless you are sure it is safe to let them off
- If you are both out on a walk and it's late - wear high-vis to ensure people can see you and the dog
- Always check with your vet to ensure your companion is fit to travel and has all the up-to-date vaccinations
- Make sure they are microchipped, this provides the best chance of being reunited with their guardians should they become lost
- Animals must always have access to fresh water and have regular toilet breaks - which also gives them time to stretch their legs and get some exercise frequently