Nothing is more fun than celebrating vacations together with your pet. But the vacation should not only be fun for the owner, also for your dog. It is important that the trip is comfortable and that he/she can really enjoy the vacation. Luckily, with more and more pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities popping up in our favourite destinations, it's easier than ever to bring your dog along for the adventure. Let’s have a look at some important tips and tricks for your next furry vacation.
Choose your destination
Want to take your pet on vacation this year? Then your adventure begins with picking a pet-friendly destination. A city trip may not be a good idea with a dog, but a dog-friendly campsite in a wooded area can be a true paradise! Although some dogs don't mind traveling at all, a long trip can be very tiring and confusing for your dog. A destination close to home is therefore recommended. For example, choose a nice campsite where dogs are welcome or a cottage or hotel where dogs are allowed.
Preparing the trip
- Chipping: make sure your dog is chipped. In many countries, this is mandatory. Also, make sure the chip registration is up to date, and that your dog is wearing a token.
- Passport: Your dog needs a European pet passport in many countries. This is the passport that you also use for your visits to the vet.
- Vaccinations: For most destinations, your dog needs additional vaccinations against Rabies and in some country’s other diseases as well.
Import requirements can vary greatly from country to country. Some countries require additional documents, vaccinations or your dog may even have to spend a certain amount of time in quarantine. View all import requirements here.
Flying with a dog
Flying with the dog is quite a challenge, but it can be done. Make sure you register your pet with the airline on time. In general, small dogs can travel with you in the cabin, larger dogs travel with you in a special compartment in the hold.
You will need a suitable carrier for both options. The airline has certain requirements for the size of the basket, so check carefully what kind of carrier you need. Tip: The most convenient is to choose a carrier on wheels, for the long distances you travel at the airport, for example. Get your dog used to the carrier early on. Make sure it is a fun place. Just leave the basket in the house for a while, give your dog a treat in it every now and then and take it for a "test drive" so that your dog feels comfortable in the carrier during the trip.
Arriving by car
Going by car? Then buy a dog leash that allows you to secure your pet properly but comfortably. Is your dog not yet used to driving long distances? Then start with short test drives well before your trip.
Some dogs can get car sick. Medication for travel sickness is available at the vet. During the trip, make sure there is enough fresh air, a quiet driving style and stop in time for a break. Also, let your dog look outside, which will prevent him from getting nauseous.
During the trip
Go for a long walk with your dog shortly before you leave and make sure he has plenty of time to expend his energy. Make sure that there is enough drinking water available, even during the trip, but do not give him any food a few hours before departure to prevent nausea.
Are you traveling by car? Always keep the dog cool during the trip. Have your dog sit in the shade and stop frequently and offer water. Is your dog not much of a drinker? Ice cubes in a cooler offer the solution. They are fun to play with and provide some extra hydration. Stop frequently and take the dog for a walk. And we can't stress it enough: never leave your dog alone in a car. The temperature can rise at lightning speed, and this can be deadly.
A babysitter on the road
It can of course happen that you want to do something without your dog during your vacation. For example, if you are going to visit a city and want to enter museums or go to a nature park where dogs are not allowed. In many 'vacation countries' such as Germany, France, Italy, and England dog sitters are also active.
Handy! Packing list for your dog
It is better to bring too much than too little. In any case, make sure you have:
- Pet passport
- Collar, leash
- Travel basket
- Dry food, chew bars
- Favourite basket / pillow
- Favorite toy
- Poop bags
- Drinking bowl and water bottles
- A coil and long line to tie the dog down (at the campsite)
- Hand squeegee to remove hair from furniture and carpet (in hotels or vacation home)
- Medicine, first aid kit
- Tick pen
Does your dog prefer to stay at home?
Is your dog sick, old, pregnant, or just a little tense or anxious? Or do you find it very difficult to take your dog on a trip? Then just don't start. There are hundreds of sweet animal sitters ready to take care of your dog during your vacation. That way, you can rest assured that your dog will have a great time, just in his own environment or that of another familiar place if nobody is home.