Travel tips for Dog Owners

Vet, Joann Bennett shares her top tips on making travel safe and hassle-free for dogs and their humans…

Jetting away with your pooch this summer? My Family Pet and Bridge Vet Centre vet Joann Bennett shares her top tips on making travel safe and hassle-free for dogs and their humans…

Dogs make fantastic travel companions, but taking them away on holiday does take a little extra planning, especially if you’re going abroad or getting on a plane.

The trick to travelling with your dog is to stay organised, to plan ahead and to take heed of a few simple tips.  

Heading abroad?

BorrowMyDoggy cockapoo on the beach
Doggy member Chester

In the midst of the Brexit negotiations, the travel requirements for dogs travelling in and out of the EU are subject to change. If you are taking your pet to a different country this summer, check the government’s website regularly.

Prior to any future changes, your dog will definitely need these things before they can go abroad:

  • A microchip
  • A vaccination against Rabies
  • A Pet Passport 
  • Tapeworm treatment (before coming back to the UK)

Get yourself along to the vets well in advance of your trip – they’ll help you with all of this but it will take a minimum of 3 weeks to get your dog travel-ready before 31st October. If you plan to travel in the EU with your dog from the 31st October 2019, it could take a minimum of 4 months for first-time travellers to get all the necessary documents, so there’s no such thing as too early!

Driving with your dog

Humans aren’t the only ones who can get carsick. Make sure you keep your pooch nice and comfortable on long journeys!

Make sure your dog is strapped into a doggy car seat, or suitably restrained

  • Don’t let them hang their head out of the window
  • Keep them in a shaded area if possible
  • Take plenty of water and toilet breaks
  • If your dog gets travel sick, avoid feeding them before taking a long journey
  • Ask your vet about pheromone sprays, supplements and calming aids for anxious travellers
  • Don’t leave your dog in the car alone, ever ever ever!

Travel safety: top tips

If you’re taking your pet on lots of long walks, remember to bring extra water with you – dogs get thirsty too! Regular shade breaks are also a great idea. 

If your dog is overly excitable, particularly around new people and in new environments, remember this might not be convenient for other people. Keeping them on the lead in really busy areas will also help to keep them safe.

It’s awful when your dog gets hurt, poorly or goes missing… But it’s even worse when it happens away from home. Make sure your pet is insured and microchipped before heading away, just in case the worst happens.

Make sure the activities you have planned are suitable for dogs. If you plan to sunbathe all day on the beach, bring lots of toys to keep your dog stimulated and be prepared to play games to keep them exercised. Read more about keeping your dog cool during the summer.

Dog-friendly activities

BorrowMyDoggy dog and owner hiking
Doggy member Benny

Outdoor activities will suit your dog best, especially if you’re staying in the UK or have gone somewhere the weather isn’t too hot. 

Your dog will enjoy long walks, boat trips – especially if they’re a natural swimmer – and camping. Remember to keep activities suitable for your dog’s age and behaviour.

Have a great holiday with your pooch! Don’t forget to start planning early if you’re heading abroad and to contact your vet if you have any concerns.”

Join BorrowMyDoggy

BorrowMyDoggy connects dog owners with local volunteer borrowers for walks, holiday care and dog sitting. It’s simple, affordable and safe.

All members take our safety checks before connecting and membership includes access to a 24/7 Vet line and accident and third-party liability insurance.

Learn more and get started