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Planning a dog-friendly holiday : Taking your pet pooch on the road

Planning a dog-friendly holiday : Taking your pet pooch on the road

If your dog is an inseparable member of your family then you’ll no doubt want to include them in your next big holiday. While this can be loads of fun, it can also lead to many problems without careful planning beforehand.

Firstly you’ll need to consider whether you choose the destination based on where you can take your canine friend or if you need to find a way to include them in your existing plans.

If your plans are open then start by brainstorming activities that you like to do with your dog such as hiking or playing on a beach. Is your dog highly active or would they be equally happy snoozing by a fireside or cafe table? Then think about the places you want to visit and the climate in those areas. If you go camping in an area with high rainfall you probably won’t have much fun stuck in a small tent with a big dog. Also consider the native wildlife and if your dog is likely to want to go hunting.

But what if you are staying in a city and want to do some day tours or shopping? While some may think it too hard to bring their dog along there are a surprising number of pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and attractions around. It really pays to do your homework to make sure you have all the current information.

Things to check when planning your accommodation
Is there a charge for having pets at your hotel, cottage or campsite?
What are the restrictions? For example, dog breed or size.
Who supplies the food and bedding? What can you bring with you?
Is there a pet-minding or dog walking service available?
Can your pet be left alone for a few hours if they are constrained?
Is your pooch well behaved and toilet trained?
Taking your dog to an attraction or event
Are there ‘leash free’ areas?
Must your dog be on a leash at all times?
How does your dog react in crowds?
How will you feed them and clean up after them?

Other considerations

Include regular toilet and exercise breaks on your road trip and bring your dogs favorite toys and bedding. Also be sure that they are suitably restrained inside the car. Some travel crates can be used inside a hotel room.

When planning your trip you will also need to check that your dog’s immunizations and ID are up to date. Get a vet check and bring any medications and records with you in case you need them. Find out how you can reach a vet in an emergency and if your insurance covers pets.
Remember that your dog is your legal responsibility at all times so if they hurt someone or cause any damage you will be liable and will probably have to pay a fine. Your dog may even be impounded and that it the last thing you’d want.

So think ahead, plan carefully and then enjoy your time away with your four- legged friend.

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