Your pet is a special part of your family, and it’s only natural you’d want him or her to accompany you on a family holiday. While taking a pet away with you certainly has its challenges, with some careful planning, it can also be very achievable and rewarding. If you’re planning a holiday with your pet, these eight tips will help:
1. Plan your dog’s diet in advance
While humans usually love to eat new things and indulge while on holiday, the same isn’t true for dogs. Dogs needs to be introduced new food gradually, as their digestive systems may not respond well to new and unfamiliar treats.
For this reason, it’s wise to stock up on your dog’s usual food and take it with you, so you don’t run the risk of finding that a remote supermarket doesn’t offer your dog’s favourite products. It’s also sensible to stick to dry dog food throughout your holiday, as it doesn’t require refrigeration but also offers your pet complete and balanced nutrition.
2. Choose pet-friendly accommodation
It goes without saying that you’ll need to choose accommodation that’s pet-friendly, and today, there are plenty of options. On airbnb.com, you can tick the ‘pets allowed’ filter, and even the Big 4 Holiday Parks offer specific pet-friendly options all over Australia.
Be sure to read reviews for anywhere you choose, and check that your specific requirements are catered for. Also, double check that the place is most definitely pet friendly before you arrive (and before you pay your deposit).
3. Prep for the car ride
If you’re travelling by car, it’s important to ensure your dog is going to last the distance. Practice by taking short drives with your pet in the lead up to your trip. You don’t want to get an hour into a four hour roadtrip to find out your dog gets car sick. Speak to your vet about potential medication for your dog if car sickness is likely to be a problem.
To prevent car sickness, some experts suggest feeding your pet around three to four hours before leaving, and ensure he or she isn’t dehydrated.
4. Pack their bedding
If room permits in the car, it may be worth packing your pet’s usual bedding - to ensure he or she is able to feel familiar with the new holiday surroundings.
5. Don’t give ice-creams!
Human ice-cream isn’t good for dogs. As well as being high in sugar, which dogs simply don’t need, the dairy isn’t good for their digestive systems. As cute as it can be to see your pet licking on a delicious-looking ice-cream, avoid the temptation to indulge along with the rest of the family. You may wish to pack some dog-friendly treats - such as Farmers Market Meaty Bars - instead.
6. Make plenty of rest stops
Dogs aren’t particularly good at being cooped up for a long period of time - especially when it’s the back of a moving vehicle. When travelling with a pet, you’ll need to factor in regular stops to give your furry friend the chance to run around, have a drink and answer nature’s call.
7. Keep up the activity
We all like to relax and take it easy on holiday, but dogs need exercise every day, so be sure to keep up your daily walk or play routine while you’re away. You don’t want your dog getting restless on the trip, as his or her behaviour may suffer as a result.
8. Talk to your vet
If you’re unsure about taking your dog on a trip, or have any questions about your dog’s ability to travel in a car or his or her holiday diet, be sure to chat with your vet.