There are pros and cons for travelling with pets, but many owners think of their animals as part of the family – and if the family is on holiday then that means the pets come too. Here are some helpful hints and tips on making the most of taking your pet on holiday.
Dogs on Hols
If a holiday wouldn’t feel right without your pet along for the fun, then renting a holiday home is a good option. You can identify the houses and cottages that are happy to take pets, by checking on their websites. Most rental homes that allow pets have a few rules – but no more than you probably have at home. Don’t let dogs on the furniture, clear up any pet mess and try to ensure your dog minds its manners during the visit. There is often a small charge per pet to cover the extra cleaning required. There are quite a number of specialist websites that offer nationwide listings of B&B’s, pubs and hotels that welcome animals such as www.weacceptpets.co.uk or www.dogpeople.co.uk.
To the Manor Born
This Isle of Wight property is just one from a selection by BlueChip Holidays that offers pet friendly holiday homes for weekend breaks or longer, all based in the glorious West Country. Many of these pet-welcoming properties are within easy walks or drives of beaches, good footpath networks or national parks. This provides plenty of scope for holiday fun everyone in the family, four-legged or otherwise!
Travelling with pets
If you are taking you pet travelling with you, it’s important to consider their safety. The Blue Cross has a good tick list of safety considerations. Ideally, pets in cars should travel in a cage or properly designed carrier that can be secured safely in the car. It is not safe for the pet, driver or passenger to have an unsecured pet in the car. An alternative to a cage or carrier is a secure harness that can act as a safety belt and stop the pet being hurt, or hurting anyone else in an accident. Remember to break the trip regularly and ensure your pet gets access to fresh water. Preferably, never leave the pet in a car but if you have to, ensure there is shade and ventilation. Your vet can also be a source of good travel advice.
Neat tricks to keep hosts happy
If you are taking pets on house visits to friends and family, then its diplomatic to try and avoid making too much pet related mess in someone else’s home. The neatest trick is to travel with a tool such as the Oster 5 in 1 Paw Cleaner. It has an option for every situation, since the micro-fibre action will dry up dampness and stop that ‘wet pet’ smell which isn’t popular with anyone. The handle detaches and acts as a brush which will pick up loose hairs and help you keep upholstery or carpets tidy. The mitt can be used to clean up water bowl spills and of course when fitted to the paw channel it can help you stop your dog padding damp paw marks through your hosts’ home.
Home from Home
If you are leaving your pet at a kennel, cattery or professional pet-sitter, it is still best to try for them to maintain a normal regime as far as possible. Many animals settle happily in their ‘staycation’ quarters, especially if they can eat their own food, are groomed with their own kit, have their own bedding and are able to have some familiar toys with them. If you have a specific time when you walk and feed your pet, always let the team know. For fussy eaters, it can help to bag up individual portions of food in advance so you get continuity not only in the diet but the amount served. Always provide a couple of extra days spare rations in case of emergencies. If you have two or more pets, used to being in each other’s company, it’s worth seeing if they can be kept and exercised together. Many owners find that leaving their pets with professionals is an ideal chance for them to have a top to tail grooming session and even a refresher training course too.