How to Travel with Your Dog
Tip 1: Transportation
Whether your journey includes a train, plane or automobile, here’s a doggy travel checklist:
Traveling with your dog in a Car
- Before embarking on a long car journey, take your dog on several short trips to ensure they are happy and comfortable with car travel.
- Keep your dog safe and carsick free in a comfy crate or harness in the backseat. Fetch has several options.
Traveling with your dog on a Train
- Up to 2 dogs/person are allowed on UK trains free of charge.
- Dogs must be kept on lead or in a blanket or carrier.
- Review full train details.
Traveling with your dog on a Plane
- Individual airlines determine if your dog can fly in-cabin or in the cargo hold depending on a variety of reasons, such as size, breed, destination and time of year.
- Regardless of where your dog flies within the plane, they will need a safe and comfortable IATA approved carrier during the flight.
- Depending on your destination, you may be required to provide health certificates, additional vaccinations or a Pet Passport. Make sure to check immigration guidelines prior to travel.
- Check with your airline directly to confirm their dog policies.
- Helpful Travel Advice
Tip 2: Stay Hydrated/Eating
- Feed your dog up to two hours prior to a long journey to ensure he’s satisfied, but not too full when traveling
- Make sure you always have water available for your dog. Because they aren’t able to cool down as quickly as humans, they’re more vulnerable to heatstroke and dehydration.
Tip 3: Keeping Busy
- Dogs can get restless during longer journey, so pack a familiar toy to keep them entertained and stress-free.
Tip 4: Dog-Friendly Accommodations
- Dogs can get restless during longer journey, so pack a familiar toy to keep them entertained and stress-free.
- Even if your accommodations are pet-friendly, confirm details ahead of check-in for peace of mind.
- From seaside holidays and outdoor adventures to city breaks and rural escapes, we’ve got a list of dog-loving hotels, B&Bs and cottages to fit any UK destination.
Before you go
Travelling abroad or Northern Ireland?
It’s always best to contact your vet at least a month before you’re heading abroad as your dog will need an Animal Health Certificate and also they’ll need to be vaccinated for rabies 21 days before travel.
They will also check they are up to date with any other vaccines and ensure their microchips have your current contact info. If you are travelling anywhere in the EU, it is required they have a rabies vaccination before travelling. This is also a good opportunity to check the general health and fitness of your dog to ensure they are in the best shape to travel with you.
If you are travelling to Northern Ireland, Finland, Malta or Norway your pup will need tapeworm treatment. This will need to be administered between 5 days and 24 hours before you leave for your trip. Additionally, while it’s no longer 'required', we recommend flea and tick treatment before travelling to mainland Europe. You can also discuss this further with your own vet.
Pet passports are no longer valid for trips into the EU. You will now need a new Animal Health Certificate and you must have a new one for each journey made. You can get these from an official veterinarian and costs can vary from practice to practice. This will prove that your dog’s health is good and their vaccinations are up to date.
Now you know what’s required to travel and you’re ready to book. What’s next? Training of course!
Time to brush up on your training?
In preparation for walking in unfamiliar and new areas you should ensure their recall is excellent, or make sure you keep them on their lead if it’s not. This is so you can prevent any accidents when you come across creeks, cliffs or wildlife while you’re away.
It is also a good idea to get your dog used to car journeys if they aren’t already. If you are travelling a long distance they will need to sit still for prolonged periods of time without distracting the driver. We will get more into travelling with your pet shortly.
Lastly, you need to consider whether your dog is up for a holiday or would they prefer to stay home? If they are good with new places and adjusting to them then that’s great! You both would benefit from a holiday together. However, if you think your dog might get stressed, they may be better off staying at home where they are most comfortable.
So you have decided on a location and a date for your holiday and booked in the vet appointments beforehand. What else is there to consider?
Before you arrive at your destination, it is a great idea to have a list of dog-friendly places in the area. Find out what local bars, cafes and tourist attractions allow dogs so you have less to worry about and more time to enjoy your holiday with your pooch able to join in on the fun.
It is also recommended that you check the accommodation you are staying in is secure for dogs. If there is a garden, are there fences, gates or any open spots they could run from? If you know that you are staying on a main road or next to a car park, you will be more prepared and can keep your dog safe.
You should also find a local vet that you can contact in case of an emergency. Save their number and address so that it is easy to access if your dog was to fall ill or obtain an injury. Additionally, if you are travelling abroad, your dog may tapeworm treatment before returning to the UK, so they may need a trip to the vets there.
It is finally time to leave for your holiday and you may have a long car journey ahead of you. Make sure there are plenty of stops along the way to allow humans and dogs alike to stretch their legs and use the bathroom. It is important you take more frequent stops than you might if it was just adults as your dog may get restless and need a brief walk around. Stopping will also provide an opportunity for your dog to have a drink.
Make sure you have treats, toys and a portable water bowl accessible to you on the journey to keep your dog entertained and happy.
When you Arrive
You’ve made it! After a long journey with plenty of stops, you have arrived at your destination and it’s time for some relaxation and fun. There are still a few things to bear in mind, however.
Try and keep their routine the same as at home or as similar as possible. This should help limit any stress and give them a sense of normality. Similarly, with diet, make sure you have enough of their normal food for the entirety of the trip to avoid any upset stomachs or a rushed trip to the local supermarket.
Give them time to explore and get familiar with their temporary home before exploring the wider area. Provide them with a cosy spot within the accommodation and set them up with their bed, toys and familiar smelling items. This will help them feel secure.
As the holiday continues, make sure they have plenty of time to rest and sleep undisturbed so they don’t get overwhelmed or exhausted. If it is hot or you are out all day, make sure they have a shady, cool spot to rest so they don’t get heatstroke.
Finally, keep an eye on them throughout the journey and holiday. Look for signs of illness, stress or unfamiliar behaviour.
This may seem like a lot of information and can be overwhelming to look at at first but once broken down into smaller steps it is definitely manageable and shouldn’t put you off taking your pup with you! Taking your dog on holiday is a wonderful experience and will create lasting memories for all involved.
More travel tips
Top tip #1 – read up before you go
Research your destination before you go so you can plan what you might get up to well in advance- this will also help you to know what facilities are available beforehand should you forget anything key.
Top tip #2 – get your pet to the vet
Book in for a quick check-up with the vet before travelling – especially if you’re venturing far from home to put your mind at ease before you set off on your adventures. You should also check where the nearest vets is to your holiday home. Don’t forget to pack any medicines that your dog may need.
Top tip #3 – protect your four-pawed pal
Make sure you have adequate pet insurance in place should anything go wrong whilst you are away. Taking a borrowed dog? Not to worry, all premium members are covered by Accident and Third Party Liability Insurance, so your mind can be put at ease.
Top tip #4 – on the road!
When travelling in the car, you must make sure they are properly restrained so that they cannot distract you and they certainly shouldn’t be in the front seat. Invest in a seat belt restraint, pet carrier or cage – as much for their safety as yours.
Top tip #5 – riding with Rover
If your pooch isn’t used to being in the car, make sure you get them used to it well in advance – you could start by simply allowing them to explore whilst the car is parked and the engine switched off before gradually building up to short, followed by longer journeys.
Top tip #6 – new surroundings
Don’t leave your dog alone in the car or in your new holiday home – the strange, new surroundings may make them feel uneasy. You can also invest in calming mists and sprays which can help reduce your dog’s anxiety as well as surrounding them with items from home.
Top tip #7 – keep them safe
Don’t forget it is now a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped; this coupled with the fact that you may be travelling to a brand-new destination means you have less to worry about should they wander off.
What to bring on holiday with your dog: packing for your pup
- Collar and name tag – essential if your pup should go wandering. You could even get an additional one engraved or print a small label with the name of your accommodation and mobile number so you can be reunited faster. Some of the Canine cottages even provide additional tags for you.
- Long and short leads – on holiday, your pup will need the freedom to roam the wide-open spaces, but there may also be times, on cliff-top walks or dog-friendly attractions where your dog needs to be under tighter control.
- Bed / basket along with a favourite blanket – even when the property is ultra dog-friendly, your canine pal will still need somewhere to sleep, and a bed brought from home will give that added sense of home.
- Food / water and bowl as well as travel bowl and treats – as well as their usual feeding bowls and mats if they are mucky pups, it’s also well worth investing in collapsible travelling water and food bowls and some bottled water for rehydration on the go.
- Dog poo bags – probably a no-brainer, as when your dog has got to go, they’ve got to go and it’s a dog owner’s (or borrower’s) duty to keep our beautiful outdoor spaces clean for everyone to enjoy.
- Dog toy – going on holiday without your dog’s favourite toy would be like forgetting baby’s favourite blanket. A collection of balls for those long walks in the country or on the beach is also crucial as is a chew toy to keep them entertained in more contained environments.
- Towels/old sheet – as you’re on holiday, you’ll no doubt spend much of your time exploring every puddle, lake, beach, field and woodland so you’ll need to be able to wipe down muddy fur or sandy paws before returning to your holiday cottage.
- Stain remover – always a good thing to have no matter how well trained your pet is – if in unfamiliar circumstances or on a long car trip, accidents can happen so it’s best to be prepared.
- Pet hair roller and brush – this is essential if you have a pet who sheds a lot of hair and it goes without saying that your pet will want to look his or her best on holiday and enjoy a bit of pampering – especially after a walk in the rain.
- Address book / contacts app – just in case, it’s always handy to keep some useful contacts when you’re away – not least, the number of the accommodation and a local vet.
Know someone who’d love this?
Want to hear about a different kind of dog care that both you and your dog will love?
Or perhaps you’re a dog lover who can’t have one of your own right now?
We have the pawfect solution, BorrowMyDoggy!