Planning a holiday away with your dog takes a bit of organising whether you want to go on a camping trip or stay in a lovely area of the country in a rented cottage. The key to finding the right place is to make sure you take into account your pet's needs as well as your own like that you both get to enjoy your time away.
The more you plan ahead the better so when you arrive at your chosen holiday destination, you’re already familiar with all the lovely local walks and other activities the area has to offer which includes knowing which pubs, cafes and restaurants are dog-friendly.
Although more places around the country are pet-friendly than ever before, it still pays to book your holiday as early as you can to avoid disappointment. If you leave it to the last minute you may find that the place you like best is fully booked for the month of August. It might also be worth asking if there are any restrictions and the cost of having your dog with you because some places charge whereas others do not.
If you are planning on a self-catering holiday or a camping one, then when and where you feed your pet would not be an issue. However, if you're thinking more bed and breakfast, you would need to sort out where to feed them because they would not be able to go with you in any dining areas for health and safety reasons and hygiene regulations would not permit it either. If you can eat outdoors or the B & B offers room service, there wouldn't be too much of a problem. However, if neither of these options is available, you would have to sort something out.
To avoid your dog getting an upset tummy while you're away, make sure you take plenty of their usual food because you may not be able to buy where you are staying.
It's important to take out pet insurance because you would be covered should your dog fall ill or be injured while you are away. However, it's also a very good idea to include third party liability in your policy making sure it covers you for damage to property.
Although some people don’t mind when a dog jumps up at them to say “hello” it's one of the behaviours that's best discouraged because not everyone appreciates it. You should go back to basics and train your dog not to jump up so when they are away with you they are their best behaviour around other guests and people.
It is a legal requirement for all dogs to have an ID tag on their collar or be micro-chipped when they are in public areas. It helps reunite lost dogs with their owner which often happens when a dog finds themselves in unfamiliar places.
You also need to know where you would be able to leave your dog should you want to spend a morning or afternoon shopping or sightseeing when you’re holiday. It's a good idea to find out if there are any dog sitting services you can use or a doggy day-care centre in the area which means your pet would be safely looked after while you're off doing things that you want to do and where a dog would not be allowed to go. Remember, you must never leave your dog in the car, no matter how cool it might be on a particular day because they could suffer and may even suffer heatstroke on the inside of a boiling car!
You need to be extra careful when you're out walking your dog in unfamiliar places and this doesn't just mean knowing about the most obvious hazards like deep water lakes or cliff edges. It's best to keep your pet on a lead and ideally this needs to one that offers maximum control. It would be a mistake to let them off the lead if their recall is not that good when you’re in unfamiliar places.
It's also very important to find out where the local vet is located and to get all their contact details before you leave home. Like this should anything happen to your dog when you are on holiday, you won't have to find out where the vet is at a time when you might be stressed out with an injured pet. Once you arrive at the holiday destination ask the owners the quickest way to get to the vet's surgery, just in case you need to get your dog there as a matter of urgency.
It would be a mistake to think that you can take your pet everywhere with you when you are on holiday. If you're near a beach, make sure dogs are allowed before you venture out onto it. Always follow the “country code” especially when you are walking with your dog where you're bound to come across farm animals and wildlife.
Always pick up your dogs poop, no matter where you happen to be which means ensuring you always have plenty of poop bags with you when you're out on a walk in the countryside, along a beach or through a forest.
It's never a good idea to let your pet jump on the furniture or beds when you are staying at a pet-friendly place. It's just good manners not to let them do jump on them which means taking their own dog bed along with you. The bonus being your pet will feel more settled if they have their own familiar bed to sleep in when they are in unfamiliar surroundings.
Going on holiday with your dog takes a bit of organising, but the effort is well worth it because being on vacation with a canine companion is a lot of fun. With this said, the chances are your dog will get a whole lot more in the way of exercise which is why you have to be a little bit careful and not tire them out too much during the first few days. It's best to keep a close eye on them especially if they are allowed to run up and down a beach. They will be excited and although a young dog might be able to cope with all the extra enthusiasm, an older dog might not cope quite so well.