In the last couple of years many of us have had to change the way we take our holidays. The pandemic closely followed by the cost of living crisis has created continued uncertainties and chaos surrounding international travel. Great news for dogs since many owners are now seeking UK doggy friendly holidays instead. Whilst I’m a big advocate for taking your dog away, there are definitely some things you need to check out and prepare for to make sure you all have a great trip.
Here are my top tips to ensure you have a safe and stress free break with your dog.
- Plan, plan, plan! As with any holiday the key to a great break away is ensuring you have planned ahead, this is especially true if you are going away with your dog. Make sure you have checked your accommodation is dog friendly and that there are no hidden surcharges. You should also check out the surrounding area for dog friendly walks and beaches as not all will welcome dogs.
- Travel Savvy. Before you head off on your hols check the traffic and map out some stops en route for toilet and water breaks. This applies to public transport too, as delayed train or bus journeys can be really stressful for all, including our dogs.
- Weather Aware. We all know that the British weather can be unpredictable, but having a good idea on what weather to expect at your destination will help you to pack accordingly. Sunscreen for hot sunny days as well as plenty of water and towels to clean off salt and sand from the beach.
- Water Safe. If you are travelling to a UK beach destination always check information on currents and tides, even if your dog is a savvy swimmer. Also be aware of areas where there is still water, such as lakes or ponds. Look out for evidence of blue green algae as this can be fatal for dogs if ingested.
- Emergency Vets. Illness and accidents can happen anytime so I would always advise owners to investigate and have to hand, the details of a 24 hour vets in their chosen location. If you have a dog with ongoing health problems it would also be wise to ask your regular vet to print a copy of your pets recent history just in case.
- Cover for critters. Before your dog goes away it is important to ensure they are up to date with their parasite treatment. You may need to check that the destination you are travelling to doesn’t have a high prevalence of ticks or lungworm, though to be on the safe side, I would recommend covering for all internal and external parasites prior to going away.
Wishing you and your dog a happy and healthy holiday!
Dr Paul Manktelow is a vet who’s worked for almost 20 years on the front line in some of the UK’s busiest veterinary hospitals. As Chief Vet in the Charity Sector, he leads a team of vets and nurses that treat thousands of pets every year. Paul also appears regularly in the media as a TV and radio presenter, writer, public speaker and podcast producer.