More and more people are taking their pet on holiday. In fact, one-third of British pet owners now refuse to leave their furry friend at home while they go travelling, with many even deciding to vacation in their own country for this very reason.
There’s no doubt that keeping a cat, dog, or other pet at home when you go away is hard, no matter how excited you are for that well-deserved break. He or she is part of your family, and your adventures just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Still, while travelling with your beloved pal is a terrific way to avoid guilt or reduce homesickness, it does take a little more preparation.
What can you do to make it easier? Join us as we explore five great tips for travelling with your pet.
Top Tips for Travelling with Your Pet
- Be prepared when taking a road trip
Heading out on the open road? Planning on spending a large portion of your holiday exploring narrow country lanes or expansive roads, cruising from one city to another?
It certainly saves money on planes and trains, but you need to bear your pet’s comfort in mind before committing. Cats and dogs react to travelling in vehicles differently. Some may relax and nap; others will be unnerved for the duration.
If you are not a car owner it may be a good idea to take your pet on short drives to acclimate them to vehicles. Take it slow and keep talking or petting them as often as you can, so they feel that familiar connection.
Putting him or her in their carrier or even a bed may help them to feel even more secure while on the road. Add their toys or snacks to reinforce that sense of comfort. If your pet shows signs of being able to relax during your test drives, they may be more likely to enjoy your holiday.
However, if they don’t take to it, don’t force them into long drives. You’re not doing them or the rest of your family any favours. Worst case scenario – your holiday is cancelled, with money paid for travel and accommodation lost.
- Use GPS tracking to stay in contact with your pet
Family GPS tracking is a common tool for staying safe on holiday.
You can use family GPS tracking apps or devices to keep tabs on your family members wherever you go, including your pet. You can buy collars for dogs and cats with GPS-tracking capabilities, which provide valuable peace of mind during your travels.
Some have corresponding mobile apps that let you monitor your pet’s location, with real-time performance and location histories. If you get separated from him or her, family GPS tracking technology will make it much easier to find them.
Anyone planning to travel with a pet or pets should invest in GPS tracking devices. They’re competitively-priced and easy to use.
- Research pet-friendly accommodation
When you’re looking for hotel rooms, apartments or homes to rent, ensure they’re welcoming to pets. This is one of the most important steps in preparing to take your little friend with you on holiday.
This will limit your options, but perhaps not as much as you might think. Even if they accommodate pets, you need to confirm there are facilities for you all to sleep and bath comfortably. You’ll want to shampoo your dog while you’re away, and your hotel must be okay with this.
It’s also a smart idea to factor in a few other places you might choose to stay on an impromptu basis. For example, if you’re taking a road trip, be aware that you may be too tired to keep driving to your original destination. You can save yourself a lot of time and energy if you look into potential pet-friendly stops in advance.
The same is true for restaurants you’ve picked out: give them a call or an email to check whether or not your pet will be welcome before you arrive.
- Plan activities your pet can enjoy safely
When planning fun things to do on your holiday choose activities that are safe and accessible for your pet.
This includes walking trails, tours, museums, and more. Get in touch with them to check your pet will be welcome and unlikely to encounter any obstacles. You’re bound to find some venues that are accommodating to pets and happy for you to bring your furry friend along.
Ideally, factor lots of leisurely walk into your holiday. This might include relaxed ambles through woods, hikes, and a walk along a river. Just make sure you keep them on their harness when near water and check their family GPS tracking device is safely attached.
If you find that the location you’re going to offers little in the way of pet-friendly activity, you may need to reconsider. After all, your pet deserves to have as much fun on their holiday as the rest of the family!
Like many people, you may find that staying in your home country is a more convenient option than heading abroad (and you’ll bypass long-distance travel, such as plane flights).
- Make plenty of time for your pet
Your pet may find being in a new, unfamiliar environment (or a number of them) unsettling. Even if they seem to be relaxed and behaving in their usual manner, you still need to make time to care for them as you normally do.
If you give them a thorough brush every evening, keep doing it. If you give them a handful of treats each morning, do that too. This routine will help them to feel more at ease and at home.
It’s crucial to keep your pet feeling part of your family at all times, and make sure you don’t get too caught up in the excitement of your holiday to give them the attention they need.
These five tips will help you plan and enjoy your pet-friendly holiday a little more easily! What advice can you offer fellow pet-owners when traveling?
Further Reading: Tips For Travelling Solo