Dogs are part of the family, so it’s only natural we want to bring them on holiday with us. Whether you’re staying in the UK or travelling abroad, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your dog stays happy and that you avoid any problems.
Staying inside the UK is easier when travelling with a pet and there are websites which can easily tell you which hotels and national parks welcome man’s best friend. We recommend being extra cautious and calling up your accommodation to check dogs are allowed and their specific rules (some places charge a supplement for dogs). Check there are places to walk your dog nearby (especially if your dog is very active), and maybe consider calling local restaurants to find out which are dog-friendly.
If you want to go abroad, consider the climate when picking a destination country. If you have a dog with a thicker coat, it’s best to avoid hot countries or to prepare to take measures to deal with this, such as staying somewhere with air conditioning and only walking them in the morning and evening when it is cooler.
Pet passports can be issued by most vets and are a record of your dog’s medical history, including any vaccinations. They are used by numerous EU and countries listed on the Pet Travel Scheme. Alternatively, you can bring a certificate to verify your pet has received the appropriate treatments before travelling.
Each country has its own entry requirements for pets, some which need to have been completed weeks or months before travelling, so check their embassy websites before booking your holiday.
If you are staying in the UK or travelling by car (via Eurotunnel or ferry) then make sure to make regular stops so your dog can get some fresh air, do its business, and have a break from being cooped up in the back seat.
Depending on the size of your dog and the airline you fly with, some dogs may be able to be brought into the cabin as carry-on in a cage, while others are transported in the hold. Flights can be stressful experiences for dogs, so consider if it is worth putting your dog through this. Some airlines won’t transport pets, too, so be certain yours will before you book tickets!
Travel slowly, take lots of breaks, and give your dog plenty of walks and attention so he or she knows they are safe. Try to keep meal and walk times the same as at home so there is some familiarity.
And another visit to the vet…
You will also need to meet certain requirements before going back to the UK if he or she is to avoid quarantine. Your dog must:
- Have been microchipped;
- Have had a rabies vaccination;
- Have had a blood sample taken at least 21 days after the rabies vaccination if travelling to/from an EU/listed country (30 days for unlisted countries). The test must have been conducted in an EU-approved laboratory.
- Have received tapeworm treatment (and recorded in the passport) 1-5 days before travelling.
Government guidance on this subject is continually evolving so it's important to check the government website for the latest guidance.
There may be other requirements depending on your holiday destination. Get everything booked and completed with plenty of time, so you return home side-by-side with your loveable companion after enjoying a wonderful holiday together.