Holidays with dogs

Holiday with dog

Holidays with dogs

A holiday offers a wonderful opportunity for you and your dog to experience unforgettable moments together.

Are you planning a holiday with your four-legged friend? Our guide will help you to ensure that your dog enjoys a relaxed and safe journey.

It’s important to remember that every dog is unique. Whether your dog enjoys the holiday as much as you do depends on various factors, such as its age, state of health and your planned activities.

Important considerations before planning your trip

Before you plan your trip, take some time to check whether your plans are suitable for your holidays with dog.

  • Check the weather conditions
    Check the weather forecast for the period and location you are travelling to. Dogs can suffer from heat and are prone to heatstroke. If you plan to take your dog with you in hot weather, make sure you can take steps to keep them safe, cool and protected from the heat.
  • Seek veterinary advice
    Consult your vet before booking to make sure your dog is fit and healthy for travelling. This is especially important if you are planning an active and adventurous holiday.
  • Consider your dog’s well-being
    It’s not only important that your dog is physically fit and healthy, but also that they feel comfortable and relaxed. Many dogs cope well with visiting new places, meeting new people and changing their routine. However, some dogs find this stressful. If you suspect your dog may be anxious or stressed on holiday, it may be better to leave him at home with a responsible person who will look after him.

If, after these considerations, you come to the conclusion that it is in your dog’s best interest to stay at home, read our information on pet safety while you are away.

Preparation

Thorough preparation and planning are essential for a stress-free holiday with your dog.

Optimum health

  • Make sure that your dog’s vaccinations and flea and worming treatments are up to date.
  • If your dog needs regular medication, make sure you have enough with you for the entire duration of your holiday.
  • Don’t forget the natural remedies your dog is used to.
  • In an emergency, it is advisable to look up the contact details of a veterinary practice in your holiday area, including information on their emergency service.

Dog-friendly accommodation

Make sure that your accommodation is dog-friendly and inform the provider in advance if you are bringing your dog with you.

Find out what facilities are available for pets, such as dog beds, nearby dog toilets and dog-friendly walks

Also consider what activities you and your family are planning during your stay – can your dog take part? Research nearby dog-friendly restaurants, cafés, parks and beaches to be well prepared.

What you should take with you

Leave enough space in your luggage for the things your dog will need on holiday. This includes:

  • Chest harness and/or collar and identification tag
  • Dog leads depending on activities (trailing lead, short lead, stretchy dog lead)
  • Comfortable dog bed
  • Favourite toy
  • Chews and chew toys
  • Bag for dog faeces
  • Familiar object, e.g. a blanket from home
  • Remedies against vermin and ticks
  • Food for the entire holiday
  • Treats as a reward
  • Towel for dirty paws
  • Warning clothing for darkness or low light, e.g. an LED collar
  • Any medication your dog needs (possibly something to calm him down)
  • Microchip details and database contact information

Travelling

Make sure your pet travels safely and stress-free. You can find more information in our tips on transporting your pet in travelling with dogs.

Don’t forget!

It is a legal requirement that your dog is microchipped and that its details are up to date.

Microchip identification is the most reliable method of identifying your pet and offers the best chance of finding it if it gets lost – especially important if this happens away from home.

Getting acclimatised

A holiday brings many changes and new experiences for your dog. Therefore, take the necessary time to make him feel comfortable and safe.

  • Maintain routine
    Try to maintain your dog’s usual routine as far as possible. Feeding, exercise, sleeping and toilet breaks should take place at roughly the same time. This consistency can help him to feel more secure.
  • Diet
    A sudden change in diet can cause stomach problems. Therefore, stick to the usual food.
  • Familiar odour
    Place the familiar blanket or pillow you brought with you in your dog’s bed or in a place where he spends a lot of time. A familiar smell can help him feel safe.
  • Explore at your own pace
    Give your dog the opportunity to discover new places and people at his own pace.
  • Do not leave your dog alone
    Never leave your dog alone for too long to avoid insecurity.
  • Rest periods
    Holidays can be hectic and exciting. Make sure your dog has enough time to rest undisturbed in a quiet, comfortable and draught-free place.

Ensure safety

Make sure your dog stays safe on holiday.

  • Leash requirement
    Keep your dog on a leash unless you are absolutely sure that it is safe to let him run free. In a new place, you may not be aware of all potential hazards such as roads or other risks.
  • Visibility in the dark
    If you are walking in the dark or in low light, your dog should wear an LED collar or light so that he is highly visible. Wear a high visibility waistcoat for your own safety.
  • Behavioural observation
    Pay attention to your dog’s behaviour. Changes in behaviour may indicate that he is bored, stressed (is your dog suddenly pulling on leash?) or ill.
  • No risky situations
    Never leave your dog in situations that could endanger him, e.g. tied up in front of a shop or in a place where it could get too hot for him.

We hope that this article has given you some helpful tips for planning a holiday with your dog. A holiday should be a positive experience for the whole family, including your dog.

Careful preparation is the key. Stay flexible, adapt to your dog’s pace and enjoy a great holiday together.