Before making the decision to take your pet on holidays, it is important that they are healthy and fit to travel. Give your pet a quick once over and check for any signs that could make your pet unfit to travel.
Give your accommodation a call to double check that they do provide pet friendly accommodation for the time you are travelling. Some places may advertise that they allow pets, however there may be certain times of the year (such as Easter and Christmas) where they will not allow pets, so it's best to check before you hit the road. And remember pets are not allowed in areas such as National Parks, so do your research.
Make sure your dog is up-to-date with all their vaccinations as it is likely that your dog will be mixing with various other breeds. Dr Howard reminds us that it is important to remember to have an annual kennel cough vaccine, particularly if your vet administers the 3-year vaccine against other viruses.
Make sure your pet’s microchip details are up to date and if you are travelling interstate with your pet, that your pet is registered with the National Pet Registry (and not just your local council). Always have a collar that is in good condition on your pet with a pet tag attached containing your contact details.
What to pack
The most obvious necessity for every dog is dog food! Keeping their diet the same as what they eat at home (as much as practical) will help prevent an upset tummy which can ruin everyone’s holiday! Don’t forget to take food and water bowls as well as some fresh water for the car trip. And as some places require dogs be kept on a leash at all times, remember to pack the lead! It’s also a good idea to take some of their regular bedding so that your dog can feel at home during nap times.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is as essential for your dog as it is for us as you never know what nasties could affect them while travelling.
Dr Howard recommends including some basics such as:
- Tick remover
- Topical gel for bites & hotspots, such as PAW TriDerm Calming Gel®
- Bandaging material
- Cotton wool & gauze swab
- Antiseptic solution such as Betadine (avoid Dettol as it is too strong for animals)
If your pet does sustain an injury, bite or a tick whilst on holiday, it is essential to take them to the nearest vet clinic for assessment. Making sure you know where this is should be part of your travel preparations.
Travelling by car
If you're going to be travelling by car there are a few things you need to be aware of. Pets cannot be left in a hot car as their temperature will rise and this can be fatal. If you get out of the car, where ever possible, take your dog with you. If, however you must leave your pet in the car, try to park in the shade and make sure it is well ventilated by leaving as many windows open as possible. Also make sure lots of cold water is available for your pet to drink while you’re gone.
It is really important to take regular breaks, not just for us, but for your dog too. Just like everyone else, pets need to get out and stretch and walk around once in a while. So even if it’s just for a quick toilet run, take a break!
Lastly, as a responsible pet owner, be prepared to clean up after your pet at all times. Pack those poo bags!
Taking your pet with you on a holiday can make for a really special time together, so try to make the most of it and have fun!
If you would like more specific advice on travelling with pets, please consult with your local veterinarian.
PAW Complete Calm
Tasty kangaroo based chews that contains Tryptophan, B group vitamins and a blend of multivitamins and nutrients to support the general health and nervous function in dogs.