With all that’s been going on over the last few months, many of us are keen to get away and have a change of scene even if it’s just for a night or two. As a nation of animal lovers, we often like to make sure that the family dog is part of the fun as well. Here’s our guide to taking your dog away in the UK.

Planning and packing

If your usual idea of packing is to throw everything in a suitcase the night before and end up with three bikinis and no coat, then it’s definitely worth making a list when you’re taking your dog! You’ll need to take his usual lead and a spare, as well as a collar with a name tag displaying your mobile phone number. Take his usual bedding, or if you’re treating him to a new bed then let him use it for a week or so beforehand to get his scent on it. Pack a couple of familiar toys, as well – this and the bedding will help your dog settle in to a new environment. If you’re planning lots of walks, then you’ll also need a ‘dog towel’ or two, some pet-friendly sunscreen and a travel water bottle. Depending on whether you’re going there may be unfamiliar local hazards such as ticks, so check online before you go and take any necessary precautions.

Coniston waterproof car boot dog bed, DogCo

Coniston waterproof car boot dog bed, DogCo

This clever product combines a dog bed with a boot liner. Handmade in Coniston Green it’s made from robust, 600 denier waterproof fabric with anti-bacterial qualities and designed for easy cleaning care. It helps keep your car clean and protected from muddy or sandy paws and has a slip-in dog bed that you can remove to act as your pet’s main bed during your stay. From £89, available from Dog Co.

Faux-fur fleece dog comforter, Charley Chau

Faux-fur fleece dog comforter, Charley Chau

This cosy blanket is ideal for adding an extra layer of comfort in the car or as a travel mat when you’re out and about. It comes in various different colours and designs and costs £40 from Charley Chau.

Getting there

Just like people, a lot of dogs can get sick in the car. If your pooch is already a seasoned traveller then he or she should be fine, but if he’s young or new to travelling then you’ll need to start planning early. Some dogs can get scared, particularly if they associate the car with not feeling well. Acclimatise him gradually with short journeys and don’t feed immediately before you get in the car. If you’re planning a long journey, factor in lots of time extra time for breaks, drinks and loo stops for your dog – depending on age he’ll need to get out and stretch his legs every couple of hours or so.

Watermelon blue dog collar, Pet Pooch Boutique

Watermelon blue dog collar, Pet Pooch Boutique

Give your dog a cool holiday vibe with his collar with this design of watermelon slices on a powder blue cotton base. It has a D ring to allow attachment of name tags and lead and is handmade in the UK. Prices start at £10, available from Pet Pooch Boutique. 

Settling in

Dogs are just like people – while some are stimulated by lots of new experiences, others find it scary and stressful. Remember not to let your pooch out on his own as soon as you arrive at your destination – even if he seems happy it’s best to keep him on the lead until he finds his feet. Let him learn whether everything is and orientate himself before you let him explore on his own, and keep an eye out for hazards that he may not understand such as deep water or steep cliffs. Keep feeding and walk times as near to normal as possible as most dogs like their routine and some can find it hard to adapt.

Enjoy yourself

Finally, have a wonderful time! Taking a dog on holiday involves a certain amount of planning, but it’s well worth it to see your pooch running on the sands or chilling after a long day in the hills.

Main image (c) 2021 Pixabay

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