Holidays for your pet

Are you wanting to go on a holiday but aren’t sure what to do with your furry friend? It is important to choose the right option for your pet when going away for a period of time – whether this is taking them with you, using a pet boarding service or leaving them with a friend. This article will give you some tips for taking your dog on holiday with you, as well as some tricks when taking your cat to the cattery.

A lot of holiday destinations have now altered their policies to welcome your pet. There is a range of pet-friendly accommodation around, from bed and breakfasts to holiday parks, it’s just important to check policies prior to booking.

Some tips to keep in mind when taking your dog away with you on holiday are as follows:

Your pet’s health
A pre-departure health check is a good idea for your pet – regardless of their age. Doing this will allow them to get a full clinical examination as well as getting up to date with any vaccinations, worming or parasite control. Another recommendation is to bring your pet’s health records with you and take note of a local veterinarian in the area where you will be travelling.

Parasite control
Ensure your dog is up to date with their flea/tick control and heartworm prevention – depending on the region you are travelling in. If you are unsure around the needs for your pooch, talk to your vet who can help you decide on an appropriate parasite control plan.

Proper identification on your pet is a must. Alongside micro chipping your dog should have clearly marked pet tags on their collar. Some pet owners also find editable tags useful when travelling; this allows you to be able to update tags when changing locations. These steps will make it easier for you and your pet to be reunited if they decide to sneak off for an adventure in their new found holiday destination.

If you are driving to your destination a safety harness or barricade in your car is a must. Using these will keep your pet safe.  In hot weather it is important to provide good ventilation for your pet – remember it is hotter on the floor of the car or in the back of a wagon. Travel sickness is also a common occurrence in pets, if your pet suffers from this or you think that they might, please ask for advice from your vet.

Stretching and breaks
Just like us humans, your dog needs breaks from the car too. Take into account the number of toilet breaks your pet may need during the trip and allow extra travel time for this. Regular breaks for food, leg stretching, water and toileting will make the journey less stressful on both you and your pet. The ideal spot for a break is a park or playground so that you can play with your pet and burn some energy that has been saved up in the car.

What to bring with you
There are some must have items not to forget when taking your pet with you on holiday. These include food, bowls, leads, comfort toys and bedding, doggy waste bags, bottled water and towels. All of these things are common items, but if forgotten can jeopardise your pet’s comfort on your trip.

Here are some important tips for taking your cat to the cattery – these are also useful if you are taking your dog to a boarding kennel:

Visit the boarding facility
It is always a good idea to visit the boarding facilities that you have in mind. This will allow you to check out the cattery or kennel to make sure it is the right fit for your furry friend. Look out for activities for pet enrichment, cleanliness, boarding room size and if there are places to hide and sleep for your feline family members.

Your pet’s health
All good boarding facilities require your pet’s vaccination certificate as a condition of entry. This is for the safety of all cats and dogs that enter the accommodation. Another tip is to double-check that their worming, flea and tick protection is up to date. When visiting the cattery or kennel, discuss with the staff if a veterinarian is on site and what happens if there is a pet emergency whilst you are away.

When transporting your cat to the cattery, always ensure they are comfortable and safe. If your cat is anxious in the car this will only increase their stress levels when entering the boarding accommodation. Some tips for helping them feel more comfortable are to have one of their familiar toys in their cage with them, as well as a t-shirt or blanket that smells like home to comfort them. If your pet gets particularly anxious when travelling in the car, products like Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats can help reduce stress.

What to bring with you
There are a few crucial things to take with your pet when boarding them to make their experience more comfortable. Ensure to pack bedding, food, toys, food (if you’d like your pet on the same diet as home), an item of your clothing (to help them settle), vaccination certificates and health records, and any medications that your pet may be on.
Leaving your pet at a boarding facility can be a stressful time for both you and your pet, being organised, planning ahead and finding a facility that suits their needs will help make this experience an enjoyable one. Another note to mention is when holidaying with your dog, if you are visiting any national parks or gardens – always check council regulations in that area. Pets will always be a huge part of the family, through planning and organisation with your boarding facility or desired destination this process can be done with ease. Sit back, relax and enjoy your well deserved holiday