Are you planning to take your dog with you when you travel this year, either in the UK or overseas? With post-covid overseas travel rules very hit and miss, and the situation still unpredictable, many of us are discovering some beautiful locations and great dog-friendly holidays available in the UK. Equally, it has never been easier for your pets to accompany you overseas, and many of us are still opting to travel abroad with our pets.
Whether you are staying in the UK or going further afield, make travelling with your dog less stressful for them—and you—just follow our tips.
Prepare for Travelling with Your Dog
Whatever your mode of travel will be, your dog will need:
- His usual lead or harness, and a collar with an identification tag that includes your mobile contact details. Some locations will provide collar tags with the address of the holiday location, which is a great idea. Unusual sights, sounds and smells may make your dog curious or alarmed, and more likely to run off to explore. If they’re not already microchipped (required by law), seriously consider this before you travel.
- Always travel with a plentiful supply of bottled water.
- Don’t forget the poo bags!
- Comfortable, clean bedding for the journey and for use in your accommodation.
- Cleaning equipment in case your dog is travel sick during the journey or has any toileting “accidents” in the accommodation.
- An adequate supply of any medications they need.
- Your pets food, including a few days’ extra supply in case you stay later than planned.
- Blankets, throws and towels are great for ensuring that your pet is dry and clean, and for protecting holiday accommodation furniture, carpets and upholstery.
- If your dog or puppy is a chewer or likely to be stressed by being in an unfamiliar location, then a large foldable crate is ideal for ensuring that they are contained overnight and can’t damage the property. When dogs are familiar with their crate, and crate trained properly, then the crate can provide an ideal home-from-home safe haven for your dog. This gives them somewhere with which they are familiar and know they will be safe if the stress of being in a strange location becomes a bit too much. Never disturb dogs in their safe haven – it needs to be a space in which they feel confident they can relax and be safe.
If your pet suffers from travel sickness, ask your vet for advice before you travel. They may be able to prescribe medication to help. It’s always best to avoid feeding your dog for a few hours beforehand.
It’s a good idea for your pet to have a health check-up before a long trip, and you should always ensure you find the number of an emergency vet near your destination.
Travelling abroad? Then make sure your pet has all the permissions, identification documents and health certifications they need, and that they have had all the necessary vaccinations.
Tips for Flying with Your Dog
Some destinations and flights may not be suitable for your dog, as they may expose them to temperatures that are too high or too low. You may need to present a certificate of health to your airline in advance, as well as vaccination certificates. There may also be quarantine periods in some countries. Always check before you book your holiday.
Don’t forget to make a reservation for your dog. Reservations for pets are limited, and sometimes your dog nay need to take a separate flight. If you have a puppy, be aware that airlines won’t accept very young dogs; minimum age limits on the day of flight are usually 8 or 12 weeks depending on the airline.
Unless your dog is a service dog, they will usually have to travel in the hold in a crate. Even those airlines that allow dogs in the cabin often require them to be crated (and may have size or weight restrictions that preclude your dog). Some airlines supply crates or offer crate hire; some have a maximum allowed crate size; others insist that the crate is large enough for your pet to fully stand and turn around in (this should be your standard for your dog’s crate anyway). A good-quality crate should be strong and well-ventilated, with sturdy carrying handles. Check the regulations of the company you’re flying with carefully, including any labelling requirements for the crate.
Tips for Travelling by Train, Bus or Boat with Your Dog
Always check if your dog is allowed on the buses or trains you need to catch, and whether they can travel with you in the carriage or by your seat. Dogs are allowed on the majority of European rail services, but not on Eurostar services (unless they’re service dogs). However, you can take the Eurotunnel car shuttle service and keep your dog in the car with you (although you’ll need to pay a charge).
Some ferries will allow dogs, although sometimes this option is only available for car boardings, and your dog may have to stay in the car. As for traditional cruises, only Cunard’s transatlantic cruises on the Queen Mary 2 allows dogs (berthed separately, with designated visiting times). However, there are a few humbler cruise trips, such as river cruises, that will let your dog come along for the ride.
Tips for Travelling with Your Dog in the Car
By UK law, dogs should be restrained while travelling in your vehicle. A crash tested dog crate is by far the safest way to transport your dog. Our MIMsafe crates undergo – and pass – the most comprehensive crash testing of any crates currently available on the market, making them the safest option for your dog and your passengers. If you prefer a dog car harness then we also design and manufacture these, but our own and other manufacturer tests demonstrate that crates are always the safest option for dogs and humans.
MIMSafe’s crates are tested in conditions that monitor both the safety of the dog as well as passengers, ensuring you can travel with confidence.
Just like humans, dogs need regular breaks to stretch their legs and go to the toilet on a long trip—and if you need to leave your dog in the car, try to leave someone with them. Dog theft is still rife, so make sure the crate is locked, offering a second level of protection. If leaving them alone is unavoidable, make it brief, and NEVER leave them alone in a hot car.
Short Of Space In Your Vehicle?
MIMsafe Carrier Roof Box
If your car is crammed full of passengers, dog crate and luggage, don’t forget that a roof box can give you the extra luggage space that you may need. Our new Carrier Roof Box is the safest product to hit the roof box market and is in a class of its own. Our roof box is crash tested at a speed of 50 km/h at a crash pulse in accordance with the ECE R17 standard. The test showed that the roof box can withstand a force of up to 26g, meaning that the roof box can hold up in a frontal collision with loads of 75kg at 50 km/hr. The roof box is easily fastened to the roof rack thanks to the “Quick Grip” function and sensor lights ensure that you can always see inside the box while searching for items, whatever the time of day. The box can be opened from both sides and is fully lockable, meaning that you can leave your vehicle safe in the knowledge that your luggage is safely stowed. The box is equipped with carpet and load loops to ensure that the contents don’t slip about during transport and the box has passed rigorous climatic wind tunnel tests. The Carrier roof box is an ideal investment to ensure that you have extra space for your luggage, enabling you to travel more safely and more comfortably.
Always ensure you’ve booked accommodation that allows dogs, and that it’s suitable for your pet (a holiday cottage with lots of fragile ornaments about may not be the best environment for your large, long-tailed dog!).
When you arrive, check over the accommodation and ensure there’s nothing within your dog’s reach that could pose a safety risk if chewed, especially if you have a puppy. Avoid leaving your dog in your holiday accommodation, as they may be unsettled, meaning they may bark when left or cause damage to furnishings.
Keeping your pet occupied
Take lots of toys, games and chews that will keep your dog occupied while at your accommodation, giving you the chance to relax and enjoy your break without having to worry about your dog being bored, or finding other things to chew or with which to entertain themselves. Some pet-friendly destinations are great for providing toys and chews, while others provide nothing but notices warning you about the consequences of your dog damaging any of the furniture or upholstery.
JR Pet Products supply great natural, long-lasting chews and treats, and Green & Wilds supply high quality eco-friendly toys and chews that will keep your dog entertained while you relax. Kong has one of the best ranges of safe treat-dispensing toys that are another great option.
Enjoy Your Holiday with Your Pet
If you are well prepared, then travelling and holidaying with your dog should be stress-free and a positive experience. So do the groundwork, ensure your dog is well-fed, watered and entertained on the trip, and enjoy your holiday with your them.