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Tips For Travelling With Dogs On Holiday
As pets are well and truly part of the family, why not take your dog away with you this summer? Whether you are just having a family fun day out, camping, glamping or staying in a swanky hotel your dog will have the time of their life! After all they deserve a holiday too, right? All that sleeping, playing and eating tasty treats can be very stressful for pooches...
Here's our Kennelgate top tips to make travelling with your dogs as stress free as possible, so all your time is spent having fun and enjoying a well-deserved break, and if your dogs are anything like mine watching them like hawks to stop them stealing ice creams, fish & chips, or rolling in random rotten things on the beach! *Note to self... remember to pack Animology Fox Poo shampoo
Tips for taking your dogs to the beach
If it's a beach holiday that you are going on, sandy noses and sandy toesies are all part of the fun. Make sure you check out dog control orders on local beaches in the area you are wanting to visit, some may only allow dogs at certain times of the year, and some not at all, *spoil sports*, so choose your holiday destination wisely and do your research before you book. If you're unsure of where to find dog friendly beaches, we recommend looking at TheBeachGuide.co.uk, they have lots of information on places to visit.
Travelling with dogs in the car
Plan your journey in advance. If you're making a car journey with your dog, ensure that you take a bowl, we love using the Dexas collapsible travel bowl, its small size is perfect for taking out and about, and don't forget plenty of fresh water.
Take plenty of stops (particularly if it is a hot day), you may want to consider using a Scruffs cooling mat for in the car to keep your dog more comfortable, the Scruffs Cool Mats are filled with a safe, non-toxic gel will be typically 5-10 degrees cooler than the car interior temperature and helps cool your pet down for up to one hour when in use! To reset the cooling mat simply leave it unused for around one hour - no need to freeze or refrigerate!
Make sure your dog can stretch their legs, go to the toilet and get some fresh air at regular intervals, always ensuring that you stop somewhere safe and away from the road. If your dog is not used to travelling it is a good idea to try them on some shorter car journeys beforehand, even just introducing them to the car while its on your driveway - get them playing with their favourite teddy or squeaky ball in the car, eating some tasty treats - anything they associate with positive rewards. If your dog is very new to travelling in the car slowly introduce turning on the engine and just letting in run while you are in the car with the dog, getting them used to the noises and movement, steadily working up towards short journeys around the block with lots of praise and rewards after.
How to keep your dog safe in the car
The Highway Code states that dogs should be suitably restrained when in a vehicle for the safety of the pet, driver and other passengers. Depending on the size of your dog or the number of dogs you have will possibly impact on what sort of solution that you use, if you are like me and have 4 dogs and an estate car - 4 crates wouldn't be an option, so I opt for a secure car guard where they can be safely contained within the boot space and not distracting me, as well as using a protective car boot non-slip mat so I don't need to remove a small beach from the boot when back home!
If you have space within your car to allow for a crate these are a great option, Kennelgate stock both fold flat metal crates - available in a range of colours and sizes which are easy to keep clean and store when not in use. Alternatively, Kennelgate stock the Henry Wagg fabric crates which are lightweight and again fold flat for easy storage when not in use, fabric dog crates are not suitable to dogs who have a tendency to chew or scratch.
The Ancol padded travel and exercise harnesses are perfect for keeping your dog secure in the car, the simple seat belt loop avoids any ill-fitting seat belt sockets and when fitted correctly, allows for ample movement and a comfortable sitting, laying or standing position for the dog.
Travel checklist for dogs
Don't run out of supplies! We go away with our 4 dogs every year, sometimes several times a year - always make a checklist of everything your dog might need before you set-off... here's my simple checklist that I use every year, hopefully you may find this helpful.
- Food - make sure you have plenty of extra dog food just in case you end up staying longer.
- Treats, treats and more treats - bribery is key when you are camping with 4 mischievous dogs and you need 10 minutes peace and quite to go and wash the pots or prepare dinner! Shop all our dog treats here!
- Any medication that your dog may need while you are away - again like food, always ensure you take plenty in case you stay longer.
- Poo bags - again take plenty! We recommended using the Ancol biodegradable poo bags
- Collar & lead - ensure your dog has an engraved tag containing your contact details - not forgetting to ensure that your dog's microchip details are correct and up to date.
Other items you may find useful:
- If you are planning on going to the beach or doing lots of walking in muddy areas the Henry Wag microfibre towel is perfect for wiping dogs down with it absorbs more water and dries more quickly than regular towels.
- If you are lucky enough to enjoy some sunshine on your holiday remember that dogs need sunscreen just like humans do, we always use the Petkin suncream for dogs.
- For those of you who have water babies, the Danish Design Towelling Robes are a must have item, the dog robe is excellent for absorbing water, so really comes in handy for long muddy walks, beach days or rainy British summer walks.
- Want to keep your dog safe near water? We always recommended using a dog life jacket, Kennelgate stock a wide range of dog life jackets that are perfect for keeping your dog safe in any watery situation; general swimming while out on a walk, boating holidays, fishing, kayaking, trips with your dog to the coast, anywhere really that your dog may be a risk from water.