(enjoy the photos of various members dogs on holidays!)
Has dog ownership meant that you have had to decrease (or cease) your travel because you don’t trust anyone with your best friend or because your best friend has anxiety and isn’t happy away from you? Or maybe you want to travel but you just can’t afford the additional pet minding costs?
Here are some basic tips to get you underway with travelling with your dogs.
When you are planning your trip the first thing you need to do, obviously, is research, research and more research. Taking a pet on a holiday can be challenging.
What sort of holiday do you want?
Consider if your dog is an appropriate age to enjoy this holiday. Will there be lots of walking, climbing or other activities and can your dog manage these things? Also think about how your dog will manage if you are staying in a tent or caravan. If you plan to stay in an Airbnb make sure the fencing is appropriate and if your dog is an indoor dog, are they allowed indoors. Jarita Rettiganti, Doggie Dates member states, “We have done long road trips with Indy. After every 2-3 hours we give her a drink and a walk to stretch out her legs and look out for areas where we can let her off leash for a bit. We plan our itinerary in a way where we plan activities and places to visit that don’ t include dogs on a day and book with a local doggie date care then pick her up again in the evening. All cafes with outdoor seating generally allow dogs. We start our day taking her to off leash areas then go to places where she is required to be on her leash. Indy is happier that way and is better behaved on the lead.
You will need additional items such as booties in case you are in rough areas, led light touch for their neck/collar, handsfree leash, collapsible bowls, a pack for your dog to carry (if they are big enough), spare collars in case they get broken (we recommend a spare collar regardless). Make sure the areas you are staying are suitable for dogs if you are camping.
Pet friendly Airbnb:
Always follow the rules of the pet friendly Airbnb. If it says no dogs on furniture or no dogs indoors, respect this and choose one that suits your family and dog best. It is essential to be sure before booking that the fencing is appropriate. We have learned that usually the photos don’t show the broken fences. A phone call to the real estate is essential. With Airbnb listings try and get photos of the fence. Lindsey Kus, Doggie Dates member said, ‘ A few places we stayed at said they were pet friendly and secure, but it was just rural fencing. We are lucky Benji is too much of a mummy’s boy to stray but if we had our girl with us then she would have taken off as soon as she was put in the yard.’
Also think about things such as stairs. If your dog is not used to stairs, an Airbnb with stairs may not be suitable for example. Always bring extra cleaning products as you must clean up after your pet. Be respectful of the location, if it is in a set of flats or villas and you have a dog that is noisy, rethink your accommodation.
It is not safe to allow your pet to travel separately in your caravan while driving. I know someone who put their two dogs in the caravan when driving from W.A to NSW. In the last leg of the journey one of the dogs ate the interior of the caravan (which was hired). You should always make room for your dog in your car. Make sure the places you plan to stay with your caravan are suitable for dogs. Often caravan parks or camping grounds do not allow dogs.
Ensure that your dog has enough room in your car and is not squished between items and cases. Test it and make sure you can all fit. Your dog needs to be able to stretch out their legs. Make sure you have a suitable safety belt or harness for your dog. In all car trips with your dog, they should be safe. Tayla Lupica, from Doggie Dates said, “Mine always love to travel in the car and I always have them buckled and a harness on for safety reasons. I never allow them in the passenger seat because if you crash the airbag will kill them instantly.” Lindsey Kus, Doggie dates member states, “We have taken our Benji down to Victoria a few times and even a road trip to Tasmania. We had a station wagon, so his bed, water and bowl were in the back with him, and he was tethered to an anchor point and all our stuff was in the pod. I highly recommend a horse lunge lead so you can have ‘off leash’ walks whilst still being on a lead.
*Remember to never leave your dog in your car unattended.*
Where do you want to go?
Will this be a holiday where your dog can be included? Are you planning on just doing outdoor, doggie things or do you want to catch up with people, go to events or shows and go out to dinner. This will determine whether your holiday is suitable.
What additional things will you need to bring your pooch?
It is easy to remember to pack the food but is the food suitable to take with you. If you raw feed, this is something you need to consider. Useful items include a crate, collars, leads, tag for collar and a spare, bed, bowls, food, medication, fav toy/s), brush, nail clippers or grooming items, towels, pet first aid kit). Depending on your holiday, a tracking device may be suitable, and you can find them online at very reasonable prices.
Does your pooch enjoy long trips?
Even if they suffer from car sickness, this does not mean you can not take them away on a trip. There are different options and medications for pets who get car sick so be sure to visit your vet. We recommend you do some test drives first ie a day trip.
Are there any places on your trip that you can not take your dog? Ie National Parks
Make sure you investigate alternative options for these events so that your dog is safe and enjoys this time away from you. Some of the options can include pet minders, day-care, kennels or resorts for your dog.
Should I research pet minders for my destination in case I need to leave my pet?
We recommend you look on aps such as Mad Paws or Pawshake as you can search in any postcode in Australia. Contact a suitable pet minder, carefully checking out reviews and their information to see if they would be a good fit.
Things that you need to do:
- Book or organise accommodation that is suitable and safe for your pet
- Pack everything your dog needs
- Plan rest stops where your dog can go to the toilet and stretch their legs
- Ensure your dog has their collar and a tag well attached with your details
- Make sure your dog is tick and flea treated
- Know where the local vets are in the area you are staying
- Always have a pet first aid kit and your dogs regular food (different foods can cause tummy upsets
- Make sure your dogs microchip is up to date and that you have spare collars and tags in case their one is lost.
Additional articles you may find useful to read: