More and more pet owners are taking their four-legged friends along with them on their holiday and although it is becoming increasingly common to do so, it is not as simple as packing a suitcase and jetting off to a desired destination.
Many animals find the change in routine and environment quite stressful, so it is important that if you have chosen to take your pet with you on holiday, you put their welfare first.
So, whether you are visiting somewhere local or venturing further afield, take a read through our tips to ensure that you’ve got everything covered before, during and after your travels.
First thing’s first – is your pet healthy and safe to travel? Check with your local vet to confirm that your furry friend can actually travel with you. If they need medication, ensure you have plenty of stock for the duration of your holiday and check your pet’s vaccinations, flea and worming treatments are up to date.
Have you considered your dog’s needs as well as your own when it comes to where you will be staying? Double check with your accommodation provider that pets are definitely welcome and whether there are any restrictions on the size, breed and number of pets you can bring. It would also be good to check whether there are any additional costs involved for taking pets with you.
Ensure you take a water bowl and plenty of water for the journey. Plan in plenty of comfort breaks to allow time for your pet to stretch their legs and go to the toilet.
Take your pet’s blanket for them to snooze on and their favourite toy to keep them amused throughout the journey.
Travel sickness is not uncommon amongst animals and it can be a bit of a burden on your journey but there are things that you can do to combat it. Your local vet will be able to provide you with information and advice.
You are legally obliged to ensure your pet is wearing an ID collar when they are out and about in public places. However, if your pet goes missing and manages to escape its collar, then the ID tag is no use. From April 2016 it will become a legal requirement to microchip your pet. This will be your best friend if your pet becomes stressed in their new surrounding and manages to escape.
Plan ahead and search for pet-friendly places that you can visit with your companion. Not all beaches welcome pets, so it would be useful to know where you can and can’t go ahead of your holiday. It would dampen your holiday spirit if you had no option other than to leave your pet at the place where you are temporarily staying.
Local tourist information offices will be able to advise you on the best places to visit to ensure you and your pet make the most of your holiday together. You can also research the area you are visiting on the Internet before your arrival so that you turn up prepared.
Find out where your nearest vet is in the area you are visiting and make a note of their number and address. Print off directions and a map so that you know exactly who to call and where to go in the event of an emergency.
There are certain rules and regulations to follow when taking a dog, cat or ferret abroad which vary depending on the country you’re visiting. For example, if you are visiting the EU or a listed country, your pet will require a vaccination against rabies. The rules regarding taking pets abroad change on a regular basis, so it is best to check the DEFRA website for the most up to date information, or speak to your local vet for further help and advice.
Your pet will require a pet passport when travelling abroad. This is certification that identifies your pet and confirms that your vet verifies your pet is healthy. Use our online practice finder to call or visit your local Medivet practice to enquire about pet passports.
If you decide to take your pet abroad, it is best research several months in advance as the paperwork can take a while, depending on the destination you are visiting.
Avoid last minute detours and compose a list of all the items that you need to take with you. This way, you can check off the items as and when you pack them so that you don’t miss a thing. Our handy checklist will help you get started…
Posted July 28, 2015 in Seasonal Care