Taking your dog on holiday with you can be extremely rewarding, it can improve the bond that you have and your dogs perception of the world which of course helps with overall training and growing up, if it’s done right.
I've more often then not gone away with my dog(s), we have been camping, staying in hotels, chalets and ive even been luck enough to enjoy the odd spa. Many locations are becoming more dog friendly and if your ever in doubt just ask, ask the cafe, shop, accommodation or attraction and don't be afraid to friendly challenge the 'no dog' rule in some establishments, if more of us do this then more places will not just allow dogs but encourage them because of the business it brings.
Then try your best to not spoil it for everyone else by taking the proper precautions, and for that, your in the right place....
Imagine the holiday you want with your dog, all those snugly nights and days exploring, playing and just enjoying yourselves, having a dog that does as expected without even being told. Great.... now you have an end goal in mind.... to get there however.... there are some things to consider and the number one cardinal rule:
Don't assume your dog knows how to behave somewhere else just because they behave that way at home.
Go into each situation and location expecting to show your dog how to behave by correcting anything wrong instantly and setting them up for success by instructing them on where they should lay down, when they should come back to you, how far they can wonder away, who they can play with, what they can play with and eat, how they should tell you they want to go out to the toilet and where they can go safely? etc....
The saying goes: A holiday can make or break a friendship.
Visiting rural cottages that have walking routes right on their doorstep
Enjoy the companionship of your dog
Get away with all members of the family – including your pet
Save on kennel fees – if you have two dogs, it can double the price of your holiday!
As well as bringing plenty of food and necessary equipment – such as your dog’s lead, poo bags and a water bowl – it is important that you also bring home comforts with you to help your dog settle in to their new, temporary surroundings. You may wish to bring their bed, their blanket and their favourite toys.
dog bowl, water & food
extra towels & blankets
dog safe sun cream - brown and pink noses
coats for breeds that need them
toys inc the favourite
dog food for every day
bottled water for the car
black out blinds or sun visors for the car
car safety travel & comfort items
dog lead/collar/harness/training long line
If you are meeting somebody else and another dog at your accommodation take the time to introduce both dogs outside first by taking them for a short stroll giving them an opportunity to do their business sniff and greet each other this way both dogs are more likely to get along while living together.
you are meeting at a location with somebody else and their dog when you arrive take the time to introduce both dogs outside of your accommodation you are meeting at a location with somebody else and their dog when you arrive take the time to introduce both dogs outside of your accommodation
Let’s start by looking at the aspects you have to consider when booking your holiday and intending to take your dog with you.
firstly you need to consider what accommodation allows dogs and if you have more than one dog does the accommodation allow for multiple dogs.
Many hotels chalets B&B's and even campsites will not allow you to leave your dog attended on the premises for any length of time. this means you must be prepared to take your joke everywhere with you so that leads on to the next consideration.
Dog friendly attractions
More and more places are becoming dog friendly since the rise in dog owners. However there are still a lot of establishments that don’t allow dogs on their premises and in the warmer months you’ll be unable to leave your dog in your car for any length of time so it is worthwhile researching your chosen location and the number of dog friendly establishments.
While away with your dog, you will be able to go to pet-friendly pubs, take your dog on walking routes straight from your doorstep and enjoy pet-friendly beaches (please visit the destination’s local authority website to check which beaches are pet friendly).
you might like to spend some time taking your pup to cafes, shops and tearooms close to home so you know what areas need some work before you go away and when you will need to pay particular attention to what your dog is doing so you can reward for naturally good behavior and correct anything quickly before it causes a situation that could embarrass you.
These websites might be a good place to start your research:
If you’re going across seas does your dog need a passport? - https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroadhttps://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroadhttps://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroadhttps://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad
Are they dog friendly? at what times of year and in which areas of the beach? do they need to be kept on leads? is it safe? will the tide be coming in and most importantly has your dog got a reliable recall, an identification collar tag and have you got poo bags and water?
This one is rather hard to predict when you’re booking your holiday however it’s a massive consideration, if the weather is too hot the ground your dog walks on maybe too warm that day, so you will need to stick to places like woodland areas for shade and cooler walking. The sand on the beach can also get extremely hot! test the surfaces by using the back of your hand and holding it there for 10 seconds, if your hand hurts then the ground is too hot for your dog to walk on.
Rainy days are easier to combat by finding a dog friendly establishment and even going for lunch, most garden centers allow dogs in and some tea rooms restaurants and amusements.
Also remember your dog can still get heatstroke and sunburn from sitting in your car on long journeys, so be prepared with window sun-visors or even blankets and blackout blinds to place on the windows should you need to shield them from the Sun while traveling and never leave your dog in a car. Does your dog travel well? Take regular breaks and allow them to stretch their legs, sniff, drink some water and do their business. Depending on how well your dog travels depends on how frequently you will need to take breaks and stop.
You may need to spend some time getting your dog used to going in the car before you go on holiday this can be done by taking little journeys around the block frequently.
If while reading this you can think of a situation that your dog may not show you in the best light then spend time getting it right now so when you come to that situation its a case of reminding rather then full on teaching and even worse, correcting.
If your dog has issues that you would like to work on I highly suggest finding a local trainer or behaviourist like myself who can help you achieve your end goal. Think about how your dog will behave in a tea room , restaurant around other dogs, or children, around food, birds and other wildlife or on the beach? do you fancy problems the time to work on these problems is now don’t leave it until a couple of weeks before your holiday begin the work as soon as you for see the issue. Don't be fooled by what you see online and on the Tele, most behaviours take anything from weeks to years (more complex issues and behaviours) to correct or teach.