Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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How do I Prepare My Dog to go on a Vacation?


When it comes to planning a vacation, there are a lot of things to think about. For pet owners, one key question is how to prepare their furry friend for the trip. Whether you’re going across the country or just down the street, here are some tips on making sure your dog is ready for the journey.

Do you feel that your dog is a genuine part of the family?  Chances are your pet feels the same way.  They are pack animals after all.  Which is why it is unsettling for animals to be left behind when you go away on holiday.

Not so long ago, you had little choice but to place your beloved animal in a kennel or arrange for a dog walker while you were away.  While these are still valid choices, they are costly and simply not suitable for some owners or their pets.

Fortunately, more and more destinations are willing to accommodate people holidaying with their pets.  So with just a little extra planning, you can enjoy taking your furry best friend on your next trip away.


Train, plane or automobile?  Whether you are taking a driving holiday or flying to your destination, you will need the right restraints to keep your dog safe.

For driving, a safety harness or a barricade across the backseat is important.  Also make sure there is good ventilation.  If your best friend is travelling in the back of a truck, take care with an ample size cage and don’t forget about shade.  For more information about traveling in a car, we have a article dedicated to traveling with dogs in cars.

For those taking to the skies, check with your airline in advance as they will have strict rules about dog carriers and even dog breeds.  For instance, some airlines allow small to medium dogs but has some exceptions relating to dangerous breeds and puppies less than 8 weeks old.  Excess baggage fees may also apply so do your homework in advance.

You will also need an authorized crate or carrier to fly on a plane.  You can easily find one from places such as the Pet Travel Store which are specifically designed for air travel.


Head off on your Aussie road trip with a water bowl, treats, food tray and the leash for your dog.  Keep plenty of bottled water on hand in case tap water isn’t available.  You don’t want a thirsty hound on your hands.

Make sure you allow extra travel time for toilet and exercise breaks when planning your drive.  It’s nicest, and safest, to take rest stops at a park or playground so you and your pooch can have a run around.

Dogs easily suffer heat stress, so never leave your pet in the car unattended.  Also consider buying shade screens for the windows if the dog will be travelling in the back of your car.


The internet is your best friend when it comes to finding pet friendly accommodation.  This can range from farm stays (dogs love running in all that open space) to dog-friendly B & B’s, camping and caravan parks.

Before you book, it is important to check the in-house rules.  Do they allow animals matching your pet’s size?  Do you need to bring your pet’s bedding?  Are dogs allowed inside or outside only?  Is there a fenced area for your dog to relax? It is best to pick accommodation which allows a close match with your dog’s usual routine.

Best of all, you are no longer stuck with the outskirts of town.  If you want to enjoy a city-escape, you can now stay at a number of  not compromise on lifestyle.  However, it is important to check in advance before traveling.


Although we hope it never happens, anyone can get sick on holidays, including Fido.  So before heading off, find out where the local vet or pet hospital is.  This is particularly important if you are going camping or heading somewhere remote.  Also don’t forget to pack any pet medication you may need and take enough for the whole time you are away.


Once you are on your fabulous holiday, what do you do if you want to check out that fantastic new show or gourmet restaurant up the road?  If you think you will want some time without pooch in tow, enquire about a dog sitter.  Check with your accommodation first.  Do they offer this service?  If not, are there any reliable sitters in the area?  Will they come to you or do you take the dog to them?  Alternatively, you can use apps like Rover to help find a dog sitter wherever you are. Just look into this before you go ahead and book your accommodation so you will not be disappointed.


It’s great to be able to include pets in our family fun.  Although a little extra planning is needed, taking the dog with you on holidays is a rewarding experience for you and your pet.  By choosing the right accommodation, taking the dogs favourite toy, familiar bedding and paying attention to details for your dog’s health and safety while on the move, your holiday can be fun and a stress free for everyone.

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