By Karen Cornish
If you are planning on taking your pet on a dog-friendly holiday, preparation is key. Use our dog travel checklist to make sure you have everything you need for a successful trip.
· A travel crate or seatbelt harness to secure your pet during travel. The Highway Code states that drivers should restrain dogs in vehicles. This is to prevent distractions or injuries to themselves or others in case the driver suddenly brakes.
· Collar and ID tag. The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that a dog must wear a collar and tag when in public. This tag must have the owner’s name and address on it, as well as their telephone number. Some owners use a temporary tag with their contact info when they're away from their holiday home.
· GPS Tracker. If you're concerned about your dog getting lost, it may be helpful to buy a GPS pet tracker. The top ones are light, waterproof, shock resistant, and can update a dog's location to your phone every few seconds. Pet trackers can be expensive (around £40-£50 for the device) and usually require a monthly subscription to use.
· Choice of leads. If you are used to letting your dog off lead when walking in familiar areas it might be safer to keep them on lead when you are holidaying in a new location. To give your dog more freedom, use a long training line or extending lead. They can roam further without getting lost.
· Coat/jacket. If you are holidaying in the UK you will need to be prepared for inclement weather – whatever the time of the year! If you have an elderly or thin coated dog who feels the cold or dislikes the wet, it is a good idea to pack a lightweight rain jacket. If it's cold, your dog may need extra protection from the weather, like a warmer coat or sweater.
· Day bag/rucksack. A dedicated day bag or rucksack allows you to conveniently carry your pet's essentials during outings. It should have enough room to hold items like food, water bowls, treats, toys, grooming supplies, and a first aid kit. Look for a bag that is comfortable to wear and has compartments or pockets to keep things organized.
· Food and water bowls. Portable and collapsible food and water bowls are essential for providing your pet with meals and hydration while on the go. These lightweight and compact bowls can be easily packed and are convenient for outdoor activities or dining in pet-friendly establishments.
· Water bottle and travel water bowl. Staying hydrated is crucial for your pet's well-being, especially during physical activities or when out and about. Carry a water bottle for yourself and a travel water bowl specifically designed for pets. These bowls are often collapsible, making them easy to carry and clean.
· Supply of water. It's essential to bring an ample supply of water for your pet, not only for the journey but also for day trips and the return journey home. Dogs can become dehydrated quickly, especially in warm weather or after physical exertion, so having enough water on hand is crucial for their health and well-being.
· Dog food. Pack enough of your dog’s regular food for the duration of your holiday plus some extra in case of delay.
· Favourite toys. Bringing your dog's favourite toys can help provide enrichment and make them feel more at home in the new environment. Choose toys that are durable and suitable for interactive play, ensuring they provide both mental and physical stimulation for your pet.
· An old towel. Packing an old towel is useful for drying off a wet dog after walks, trips to the beach, or unexpected rain showers. It's essential to keep your dog dry to prevent discomfort and potential health issues.
· Clean up kit. Be prepared to deal with any mess in your holiday accommodation. Pack stain remover, a pet hair roller, wet wipes, anti-bacterial hand gel and tissues just in case.
· A grooming kit. Keep your dog clean with a brush, shampoo, and pet grooming wipes as well as pet hair removal tools.
· Poo bags. Ensure you have an ample supply of poo bags for responsible waste disposal.
· First aid kit. It’s a good idea to take a pet first aid kit with you on trips in case of minor injuries. The contents of your first aid kit should include antiseptic wipes, antiseptic wound wash, a small torch, bandages, blunt-ended scissors, cotton wool, disposable gloves, dressings, foil emergency blanket, gauze, self-adhesive tape, syringes for oral use and eye washing, tick hook and tweezers.
· Pet-Friendly Sunscreen. Necessary if you have a light-skinned dog with a thin coat.
· Any current medication. If your dog is on any medication, ensure you bring an adequate supply for the duration of your holiday.
· Documentation. Vet details (your own and a vet local to where you are staying), your dog’s microchip number, travel insurance details and any emergency contact details. It is also a good idea to have a photo or two of your dog that shows any distinguishing markings they have. You can show them to people if your dog happens to go missing while you are away from home.
Before you travel with your dog, check that their microchip info is current and has your correct phone number. If you are unsure where your pet’s microchip details are held, visit www.check-a-chip.co.uk to find out.
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