We all love holidays and when it comes to planning a break away, it’s important to find a trip that the whole family will enjoy – including our pets.
Luckily, there are more dog-friendly holidays than ever to choose from, but how do you go about preparing to take your pooch abroad? Follow our dog friendly travel guide to get clued up on all you need to know for a barking good holiday for all!
Finding your dog friendly holiday
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Once you’ve found somewhere, find out if there will be any restrictions in place during your stay or whether there will be other dogs there.
Speak to your vet about your chosen destination to establish whether there are any ticks, parasites or other diseases you should be aware of.
Planning dog friendly travel
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Wherever you are heading, transport is a huge consideration: what type of journey can your dog cope with? How familiar are they with the mode of transport you are planning to use?
Air travel can be an expensive option. Major airlines, including British Airways, will insist you use a pet travel agent – who will typically charge you £250 to £350 to take care of documentation, drop your pet off at the cargo centre and arrange for a carrying crate for them to travel in, in the hold.
Be warned though, some airlines are reluctant to take flat-nosed or pug-faced dogs because they don’t cope well with altitude.
Ferries offer a more dog friendly travel option and most have kennels and dog walking areas. You will usually face a surcharge for this on top of your usual car price; this should be less than £100, but always ask about different options when booking your trip.
Pet passports are essential
For any travel within the EU you will need a pet passport detailing your dog’s vaccination record, verifying it is rabies-free and has been recently vaccinated against tapeworm.
You can get a pet passport from your vet and the governement has provided full details about what’s required.
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Failure to carry the correct documentation may result in your animal being quarantined, so it’s really important that you’re prepared.
During your holiday
By law (from 6th April 2016) your dog must be microchipped, and it’s also a great way to ensure they’ll be safe and secure abroad, as you can track them down if they happen to go walkabout.
The procedure is speedy, relatively painless and with many charities – including the Blue Cross and the Dogs Trust – offering the service for free, it’s an inexpensive option too.
If you’re driving or using public transport, make sure you allow extra time for toilet and walk breaks and be aware of the weather – dogs can overheat very easily. Carry plenty of plastic bags, wipes and water.
Anxiety / travel sickness tablets can also help your pet settle, especially on a longer drive – ask your vet about the best kind for your breed of dog.
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Pooch etiquette on parc
Even in dog-friendly accommodation, you will still need to keep an eye on your dog and its behaviour and be mindful of the needs of other guests.
Parc etiquette at Eurocamp – and many other sites – usually includes keeping your dog on a lead (rather than running loose), always cleaning up after them and trying your best to keep noise to a minimum.
It’s compulsory that your dog is checked by a vet and declared fit before you re-enter the UK. Rates will vary according to the country you are visiting – within the EU it should usually be less than €100.