Dogs on Holiday: Your Dog Travel Checklist

So, I’ve been thinking about taking my dogs on holiday.

As I sit here writing this blog post, I’ve just had a Sky News alert on my phone that the mercury has hit 31C and it’s officially the hottest day of the year so far! While this is great news for all of us sun-loving humans, it does throw up some extra concerns about travelling with dogs.

Have no fear, I have a checklist for you to download and tick off to make sure you and your dog have a happy and healthy holiday!

Where to take dogs on holiday?

Do you stay-cation? Go camping? Or maybe treat Fido to a sunny holiday abroad? The rules around travelling abroad with your dog can be a bit confusing, but whether you choose balmy Brussels or sunny Skegness, packing a few essentials will help your pooch feel settled on his doggy holiday.

1. Collars, Leads, ID, & Microchip

Ready to go? Wait a second, before you set off, make sure Fluffy has all the legal requirements!

You may need a pet passport, vaccine paperwork and other travel documents to take your dogs on holiday abroad. Is your pooch on medication? Make sure you have the right paperwork and extra supply for your holiday plus a few days. Also, make sure your dog is wearing a collar with up-to-date contact information. Consider getting a special tag with your holiday destination address.

In the UK, it is a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped. Before you go away, ask your vet to scan the chip to check that it’s still easily readable. Most vets will do this check for free. While you’re at it, it might be a good idea to get a list of local vets around your holiday destination, just in case.

2. Travel safe harness/crate/box

If you’re travelling abroad, make sure you check with the airline or ferry company about how your pet will travel. Will they be in the cabin? They may need a soft box. Will they be in the hold? They may need an approved travel crate. Does the ferry ask all dogs to be muzzled? Call and ask. Can you pack food or water with them? Best to check.

It’s always best to find out in advance, this makes travelling with your dog a lot easier. If you’re stay-cationing, make sure they have a safe method of travel. It’s preferred to put smaller dogs in a crate in the car, but bigger dogs may be secured with a travel-safe harness.

Remember: NEVER Leave your dog in a car. Ever. Dogs die in hot cars. Cracking a window is NOT enough.

3. Dog Food

This one may seem fairly obvious to those of you who are staying within the UK.

Sometimes a change of food can upset some dogs’ tums, if you can take his regular food with you it’s always better.

If you’re taking your dogs on holiday abroad, check your destination county’s rules about bringing food though, just in case.

4. Favourite toy and blanket

Finlay loved camping!

Does anyone else crave fish and chips or a decent cup of tea when they’re on holiday? No? Just me then…

Your dog may be feeling a little homesick if he’s away from his own bed for a while. Take a favourite toy and one of his blankets with you, it’s sure to make him feel a bit more at home!

5. Pet-safe Sunscreen and first aid supplies

Did you know that pets can get sunburn? This is especially more present in white dogs (and cats!). Not all human sunscreen can be used on pets, and some can be very harmful, so always check the ingredients.

This article has some great information on what to look out for. If you’re worried about getting the right one, check out Pets At Home for some special doggy-approved suncream.

Don’t forget to pack some medical supplies for your dogs on holiday too! Speak with your vet about the best medication and supplies to pack. A great place to start is this kit from Pets At Home.

6.Water and cooling methods

Hydration, hydration, hydration. We’ve heard it all the time for humans right? Well its just as important for dogs! When travelling with your dogs, make sure you count their water needs in with yours. If you’re not sure of the safety of local water, best to stick to bottled water for the both of you.

Worried about the environment with bottled water? Consider a Water-To-Go bottle or Sawyer Water Filter to make any non-salt water safe to drink for humans and pets.

Dogs are also not very good at regulating their own heat. Consider a wet bandanna to keep them cool, a cooling mat and -most importantly- shade. If the ground is too hot to hold your hand on for five seconds, it’s too hot for a dog’s paws. Stick to shady areas and don’t do any intense exercise (like fetch) in the hottest part of the day!

Holiday snaps

Well, those were my top tips for travelling with your dog this summer, do you have any extras? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Will you be getting some great snaps of your dogs on holiday? Check out this post about creative angles to get more out of your holiday pictures!

Dogs on holiday: Your Doggy Travel Checklist | Finlay Pet Photography
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