Lots of dogs have had a pretty nice pandemic.

Their owners have been home, not even leaving the house to go to work, and the only activity allowed for a large portion of the year was going on a walk – ideal.

Another bonus for dogs has been the lack of international travel. Which means they get the chance to come on a jolly staycation with their family, rather than spending a week at the kennels.

So, if you’ve decided not to risk a trip overseas (and the dreaded amber list risk), and are planning a UK break this summer, why not think about going to a dog-friendly location to keep your furriest family member happy.

Taking your dog on holiday with you can have so many benefits – from reducing the cost of having to pay for kennels to the worry of leaving them behind. However, it’s important to remember the needs of your pooch when planning your trip to ensure you can all enjoy the break – stress-free.

‘Although it’s nice to take your beloved family pet on holiday with you, changes in routine and their environment can lead to stress,’ says Korina Stephens, a registered veterinary nurse at nutravet. 

‘It’s important to plan ahead to ensure the journey to your destination and the holiday itself goes smoothly and is stress free for you and your dog.

‘To make sure they’re comfortable, remember to pack essentials, such as their favourite bedding, food bowl and any medication to help them settle on holiday.

Here are Korina’s other top tips for holidaying with your dog in the UK:

Research where to stay

Look into destinations and accommodation before you book to make sure they are dog-friendly.

Any holiday home sites will state when booking if they allow pets and the facilities they offer, such as water bowls. You don’t want to arrive to find extra charges added on for pets, or that they don’t allow dogs at all.

Plan an itinerary

Be sure that there are plenty of dog-friendly things to do whilst you are away.

There would be nothing worse than bringing your pup on vacay only to leave them at the accommodation alone, so be sure to do some research on local attractions and restaurants that allow animals. If your dog spends most of the holiday stuck in a room on their own, they would have been better in kennels where they get plenty of care and exercise.

If you are going on a beach holiday, be sure to check the beach is dog-friendly before taking them on a walk in the sand.

Visit the vet beforehand

Take your dog for a health check up before your holiday. This will enable you to ensure they are up to date with their vaccinations, as well as worm and flea treatment.

Depending on your dog’s age, it’s also important to check they are healthy and safe to travel. 

Check your pet’s microchip details

Make sure that your dog is microchipped before you depart and your contact details are correct. This will help to return them quickly should they get lost, while you are away.

Also, take your pet’s insurance documents and make sure they are up to date, should anything happen during your holiday.

Plan your travel

When travelling to your holiday destination, make sure that your dog is safe and secure. If it’s a long journey in the car, take pit stops to let your dog stretch their legs and go to the toilet.

Make sure they also have plenty of fresh water during the journey.

Pack the essentials

Ensure you take everything with you that your dog will need. If your accommodation is dog-friendly, they may have the basics such as water and food bowls but be sure to check before you go.

Pack your dog’s favourite toys and blanket to make them feel less anxious in an unfamiliar location.

Routine

While you are on holiday be sure to keep the same routine as you would at home. For example, with walking and feeding, as this will help your dog to settle and reduce any stress they may have. 

Walk your dog when you arrive

When you reach your destination take your pup for a walk to help familiarise them with their new surroundings, as well as releasing any excess energy if the car journey was long.

Keep them on the lead though, in case they get nervous and run off. 

Consider their safety

It’s important that while you are on holiday you keep an eye on your dog and ensure they remain safe at all times. Be aware of all doors and windows that they could escape from and when out and about walk them on the lead around in new and unfamiliar areas. 

Don’t leave your dog alone in your holiday accommodation or in the car while on days out. And be sure to supervise your dog at the beach near water.

Plan for an emergency

Be sure you know where the nearest vet practice is in case of an emergency and you know how to get there.

Print off a route plan before you go, just in case. 

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