With lockdown easing, we are now able to take our faithful canine companions on holiday with us to various locations around the UK. Here are some of our tips and what to look out for in various holiday spots…
Finding somewhere dog friendly to stay
Luckily there are more and more places opening up to letting your pup stay with you from Air B and B to Travel Lodge, and all the places in between. Here are some of our favourite places to search:
- Hand-picked hotels – has now created a list of dog-friendly hotels
- Canine Cottages – These are a gorgeous selection of cottages all over the country from the Lake District to the Brecon Beacons
- Pets Pyjamas – Offer a selection of hotels and cottages
- Forest Holidays – Offer pet-friendly cabins and forest holidays:
Getting settled in the car
Step 1: Planning where your pup is going to travel
There are so many ways to travel your dog in the car but it is important to ensure that they are restrained at all times as an unrestrained pet can invalidate your car and pet insurance if you are in an accident.
Here are some ways to restrain your pet:
- Use of a crate – You can use a crate in the boot or back seat, it is best to get a crate that fits tightly into the space or that you can secure with a seat belt. Using collapsible crates can be helpful as you can use them wherever you’re staying.
- Use of a seat belt – There are a variety of dog harnesses that have a seat belt attachment but if you choose to use a seat belt lead we would recommend using a harness instead of a collar to connect it to.
- Use of a boot separator – This is great for large dogs where you can turn the boot space into your dog’s travelling space and prevent your dog from jumping into the back seat.
Step 2: Creating a calm environment
- Using some of your dog’s bedding can help make them feel at home as well as placing a favourite toy in with them.
- Reggae music is one of the most calming types of music for dogs.
- Use of calming sprays – There are various calming sprays on the market such as Pet Remedy which uses a variety of herbs including valerian to help calm your pup or Adaptil which uses the nursing mother pheromone to reassure your dog.
- Calming supplements – If your dog struggles with travel there are lots of different supplements we can discuss to find the one that works best for your dog. Please pop on to our app PetsApp and speak to one of our nursing team.
- Practice – if your pup gets stressed in the car, prepare them by taking them for lots of short journeys (10-15 mins) in the car and rewarding them once you finish your drive with a fuss and snacks.
- Feeding – When the day of your big trip arrives it can help your pet to feel less nauseous to not have too much food in their tummy, so it’s a good idea to break up their breakfast into a few small meals to give them at your rest stops along the way.
Step 3: Planning breaks
- Taking breaks where you can walk your pup is vital on a long journey.
- The National Trust has some great rest stops at which you can take your dog for a walk.
- Most motorway services have dog water bowls outside and an outside area to walk your pup.
- We recommend packing some water bottles and a bowl for your pup and keeping them in a shady place in the car to help keep it cool ready for your breaks.
What to pack for your pup
- Food – Ensuring you have enough food for your trip and if you are making a stop overnight it can help to have your dog’s meals prepared in bags to save you having to measure it out on the move.
- Collar/lead/harness – There are some amazing hiking leads which include a stretchy lead and a belt to attach to your waist.
- Food/Water dishes
- Bed/crate/sleeping arrangements
- Medication and supplements – if applicable
- First aid kit – essential for pup days out!
What to pack in a pup first aid kit
- Scissors – for cutting tape and bandage materials
- Dressings – a selection to cover any cuts or wounds
- Microporous tape – for attaching dressings
- Cohesive bandage – to hold dressings in place, keep the wound clean, and apply pressure to any bleeding areas
- Cotton wool – for cleaning and using as a middle layer between the dressing and cohesive bandage
- Saline – The best one to use out and about are the single-use vials. These are great for flushing wounds and scrapes
- Your vet’s number – to call for advice
- Reflective blanket – to cover your pet if they are experiencing shock, these blankets work by reflecting any heat from your pet back to their skin to warm them up
The summer sun is wonderful but here are a few things to keep in mind when out and about at the beach this summer
- Sun protection – ensuring you choose a spot with shade for your pup and if you have a pup with white ears or a pink nose that you have some pet-friendly sunscreen to prevent them from getting burnt
- Accidental eats – There are lots of things to watch out for your pup eating such as sand, seawater, and pebbles. If your dog eats too much sand or pebbles it can block your pet’s gastrointestinal tract and make them feel poorly. Too much saltwater can cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhoea if this happens your pet can become dehydrated
Long walks with your dog are amazing but here are a few things to think about before heading off on your wanderings:
- First aid kit – it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit in your bag for you and your pup just in case you have slips and trips whilst hiking
- Water and a collapsible bowl – Collapsible bowls save space in your rucksack and allow your pup to have a good deep drink
- Knowing your dog’s limits – it’s important to keep an eye on your dog on a walk for signs of tiredness such as hanging back and excessive panting. If you think your pup is tired it’s best to stop and have a rest or choose a walk that doesn’t allow your dog to over-do it
- Watch out for livestock – it’s important to have your dog on a lead around livestock because as prey animals livestock can become panicked and stressed. There are some great flexible leads on the market that attach to a belt and can make this easier
Woodland days out
Nothing quite like the sun-dappled forest on summer days and the sound of birdsong. Here are some of our tips on what to look out for on a woodland walk.
- Lakes and ponds – Prevent your pup from drinking lake and pond water and look out for blue/green algae
- Irritation to paws – Swimming in ponds and walking through wet leaves can sometimes irritate your dog’s paws so it’s worth giving them a wash once your walk is finished or a wipe with a microfibre towel.
- Sticks – It’s best to not throw sticks for your pet as they can cause injury