You have decided to take your dog on holiday with you and have ensured that your holiday accommodation is canine-friendly and your holiday destination offers adequate opportunities for you to exercise your dog? Great! Then you should start thinking about how you are going to travel and how you can make the journey as pleasant as possible for your dog:
travelling by car is generally less demanding on your dog than a journey by train, boat or plane, as this is a far more flexible means of travel and you can make adjustments en route to fit in with your dog’s needs. Make sure that you take plenty of breaks to allow your dog to do his business or have a drink. Decide beforehand where your dog is going to travel in the car. The safest place for dogs is in the rear of a hatchback or estate car; small dogs may also travel in the back seat of the car. Regardless of where you decide, your dog must always be secured. For example, use a mesh or tubular dog guard to separate the rear luggage space from the rest of the car, or secure your dog’s carrier in the back seat using purpose-made straps. It is vital neither that the driver is distracted by the dog nor that the dog is at risk of being injured in any way. Have you already taken your dog on a car journey? If not, you should see how he reacts before you go on your trip. Get him used to travelling in the car gradually: first, sit him in the car, stroke him and then start by taking him on short trips. It is advisable not to feed your dog before going on long journeys, as this reduces the chance of his being sick. When travelling by train, boat or plane, you should ask the respective transport operator about the conditions for taking your dog along. It is recommended that you buy a specially designed dog carrier transport box. It should be big enough to take your dog and allow him sufficient room to move around, whilst being well ventilated and completely secure so that it is impossible for your dog to break out of it. Make sure that the material and the manner of construction are dog-friendly and that he cannot hurt himself on the box during the journey. Should it not be possible for you to accompany your dog during the journey, you should enquire as to whether you need to provide food and water for your dog.
- If you are travelling by car, make sure that your dog cannot jump out of an open car door unrestrained, as otherwise he could end up putting himself and other car drivers at risk.
- Never leave your dog unattended in the car. Especially in the summer, a car quickly becomes an oven, which can cause serious damage your dog’s health and even lead to death!
- During the journey, will you have to cope with large differences in altitude? If so, your dog may have difficulty equalising the pressure and he may start to yawn frequently and to pant. Give him something to chew, such as an 8in1 Delights chew bone, to help release the pressure in his ears.
- Medication for travel sickness should be given only on the advice of a vet.
- When travelling abroad, you should enquire about the existing legal framework: What papers do you need to take with you? Which vaccinations are your dog legally required to have and which ones are recommended for his own protection?