If your holiday isn’t perfect without your pet by your side, here are some guidelines to ensure it goes smoothly
Everyone looks forward to escaping for a well-earned holiday, but where you go isn’t even half as important as the company you choose. A weekend cottage break or a seven-day decadent beach break is incomplete without our nearest and dearests. For a growing number of people, taking pets on holiday is becoming the norm, and a pet-centric holiday certainly has its advantages.
We’re a nation of animal lovers, and often the excitement we feel to get away and explore our country is dampened by having to find a kennel, a cattery, or a pet sitter. Part of our minds will always be wondering how our furry friends are doing, whether they miss us or if they’re homesick. When you take your beloved pet on holiday, you bypass all this concern, safe in the knowledge that your buddy is right beside you and doing well.
Before you set off on holiday, be sure that you have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure a happy, memorable and safe holiday for everyone involved.
Make sure your pet is okay to travel
Your pet might seem indestructible, but just to be safe, pay a visit to a vet when you’re considering a long car journey or a stay away from home. This will put your mind at ease that your pet is healthy and in good shape to travel. Your vet will be able to provide expert tips, such as recommending certain calming remedies that can be taken on the road to prevent anxiety.
Find a pet-friendly holiday cottage
These days, more places than ever are becoming accepting and welcoming to pets. There are a great many pet-friendly holiday cottages around the country who would be happy to accommodate you. Do your homework and find a place that is perfect for you and your pets’ needs. Your pet should be able to have access to all areas of the house, and if you’re taking a dog it’s important that they have room to roam outside. A large grassy lawn would be ideal.
If you can, take your pet out and about with you
Just as pet-friendly accommodation is increasingly becoming the norm, so too are dog-friendly restaurants, cafes, and beaches. While planning your holiday, always keep your four-legged friend in mind. Will they be able to come along or will they be trapped inside all day? Remember that during the summer months, your pet will need careful consideration. Animals can suffer from heat stroke in a matter of minutes. We all know that we shouldn’t leave our dogs alone in a car, even with the windows open, but we should also be wary of leaving them alone in a house all day. They need fresh air, so take them with you if you can.
Be prepared and organised
When you have finally decided where you are going and what you will be doing, sit down and make a list of what your pet will need during your time away. The internet is such a great resource and offers comprehensive lists of pet essentials for inspiration. Of course, not everything will seem necessary or applicable, but remember to pack leads, water, food bowls, food, spare collars, waste bags, medication, and pet shampoo. A great tip is to take a photograph of your pet with you in case they get lost and you need to share it around. This will greatly increase the likelihood of you finding them.
Locate the nearest vets
In case of emergency, find out exactly where the nearest vets will be to your holiday accommodation. Hopefully, you will not need the information, but if something unexpected happens you will be glad that you had the foresight to plan. While you’re looking, it is a good idea to locate any local pet-sitters just in case you’re eager to visit a place that doesn’t allow pets.
Tips for travelling with your pet
Travelling in a car with a pet can be dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions. Make sure your pet is secured using a carrier or a harness. Make sure that they have enough room and ventilation to keep them comfortable. As mentioned earlier, there are sprays and scents that can be bought to calm your pet on the journey, which is particularly important if they aren’t used to travelling.
If possible, travel in the afternoon to avoid the midday heat in the summertime. Consider buying screens for your car windows, which will offer your pets protection from the sunlight. If you’re travelling with a dog who isn’t accustomed to getting around in cars, we recommend taking them for several shorter trips before your holiday begins. Finally, if you’re planning on taking a long trip with your canine friend, take two-hour pit stops to allow them to stretch their legs and get some water.
Help your pet get accustomed to their new surroundings
If you’re holidaying with your dog, as soon as you arrive at your destination, take the time to walk with them to get them accustomed to their new surroundings. Not only will this give them the chance to get some well-earned exercise, but they will also have the opportunity to get used to all the new sights and smells, which will help to de-stress them.
It’s not just you that needs protecting from the sun
Interestingly, it’s not just us that needs sun protection. Pale-coloured cats and dogs can also experience sunburns. This can occur on sensitive spots, such as their noses and ears, or on any area that isn’t covered with thick fur. It is always a good idea to keep this in mind, as sun damage in pets can lead to cancer, surgery, and even amputation. Try to keep your pet inside and hydrated when the day is at its hottest, or purchase pet-specific sun block. Your vet will be in the best position to advise in this area.
There are a range of beautiful and diverse pet-friendly holiday cottages in the country. To find out what’s on offer, explore the BimbleBox website and make an offer now.