A dog is man’s best friend and those of us who have pooches as companions know the struggle of planning vacations away from our furry friends. There’s a lot to consider when leaving our friends behind such as where will I leave them, will they be in good hands, and what if something happens while I’m gone? What if you could just take your dog with you on holiday?
A lot of dog owners choose to take their pets on vacation with them but there’s still a lot to consider when thinking about taking your dog along on your travels. You’ll need to think about what type of travel you plan on doing; finding pet-friendly hotels, how your dog will remain entertained, and more.
Travelling alone can be stressful, so imagine how stressful it could be for your pooch. Still, if you want to bring your dog on vacation with you, then our guide will walk you through the steps and considerations you need to take before committing to having your dog be your travel buddy.
How Will You Travel?
Many dog owners love to take their furry friends with them on holiday, and there are a few things you can do to make the experience as smooth as possible. First, make sure your accommodation is dog-friendly – many hotels and Airbnbs will welcome four-legged guests, but it’s always best to check in advance. Once you’re all sorted on the accommodation front, it’s time to start planning your dog-friendly itinerary.
Many cities have dog parks where your pup can stretch their legs, and many hiking trails are also open to dog walkers. Just be sure to research any activity in advance to check if dogs are allowed. And finally, don’t forget the basics like food, water and dog bowls – you’ll want to be prepared for anything when you’re out and about with your furry friend. By following these simple tips, you can make sure both you and your dog have a wonderful time on your next holiday together.
Travelling by Car
Travelling by car is by far the easiest option when taking your dog with you on vacation. However, a car can only get you so far. You can travel around the country in your car and visit different places, or you can travel to adjacent countries.
For example, if you’re living in the United States, you could travel to Canada or Mexico by car, as long as you have a passport to do so.
Travelling by Plane
Travelling by plane is a bit more complicated. You’ll first need to visit your veterinarian and get a certificate of health. This certificate must be provided to the airline within 10 days of receiving it. Your dog will need to be vaccinated and will need to be at least 8 weeks old to travel by plane.
Also, there are regulations that prohibit animals from being carried as excess baggage or as cargo. If temperatures are below 45 or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit and your trip is more than four hours, you will not be able to travel with your dog.
You’ll also want to take into consideration that each airline has its own rules and requirements, so be sure to check with your airline of choice to ensure that you and your dog meet all their specific regulations.
Other Travel Arrangements
You may also be considering travelling by train, bus, or boat. Unfortunately, however, many trains prohibit dogs who are more than 20 pounds from travelling, so you likely won’t be travelling with your German Shepherd or Golden Retriever.
However, if you have a smaller breed such as a Chihuahua, Italian Greyhound, or Pug, then you should be okay. Medium-sized dogs such as Scotties and French Bulldogs will need to be weighed before you consider travelling with them by train since these dogs can weigh more than 20 pounds.
Buses generally do not accept dogs as travelling companions unless they are service animals, so you’ll have to make other arrangements if you plan on bringing your dog with you.
As for travelling by boat, each cruise line will have its own policies, rules, and regulations, so you’ll need to check with each cruise line before determining whether or not you’ll be taking Fido on a cruise with you.
Where Will You Travel?
Where you plan on travelling should be another concern as each country may have its own regulations when it comes to bringing an animal along.
Where Will You Stay?
It’s always stressful to figure out where you will be staying during your travels, but it’ll be even more stressful if you’re taking your dog with you. Not all hotels are pet-friendly, so you’ll want to make sure that you book pet-friendly accommodations to ensure that your dog will be allowed to stay with you.
Depending on where you travel to will depend on which hotel is pet-friendly. In the United States, these hotels include the Marriott, Hampton Inn, Four Seasons, and Motel 6. Keep in mind that each hotel will have its own regulations for pets and may charge an additional fee.
If you’re travelling somewhere like the Maldives, you may find your options limited, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still pet-friendly hotels. You’ll just have to make sure you do enough research to figure out which hotels are pet-friendly and what their regulations are.
Keeping the Dog Entertained
Travelling with your furry companion can create a boring environment for him so you’ll want to ensure that you bring along some entertainment for your pup.
To keep your dog entertained, try bringing along some interactive games and toys, or even let him watch nature videos on the TV or on your tablet or phone.
Another great way to keep a dog entertained is to bring along bones and chews such as bully sticks or antlers.
Is it Cruel to Travel with a Dog?
Travelling with your dog can be cruel, especially if done by aeroplane. Unfortunately, flying can be incredibly stressful on your pet, especially if they’re a larger breed and will have to ride in cargo.
Stress isn’t the only issue, though. Because of the unstable conditions in the cargo, which can include fluctuating temperatures, it can be quite dangerous to bring your dog along on an aeroplane, too.
Sadly, sometimes pets who are brought aboard an aeroplane and are put in cargo die. In fact, over 250 animals have died between 2010 and 2020 during or immediately after travelling by plane.
Does My Dog Need a Passport?
If you’re travelling out of the country, then yes, your pet will require a passport. However, a pet passport is different from ours and will mostly include documents and records of vaccinations and treatments, as well as proof of being microchipped.
Still, some airlines and countries will have different requirements on what they will need on their pet passport, so be sure to check with the airline and country you plan on travelling to before you arrive at the airport.
Can you go on holiday and leave your dog at home?
While you may not like the idea of leaving your dog behind while you go on vacation, unfortunately, sometimes it is best to do so.
There are several alternatives to bringing your dog with you on your travels. These include:
- Boarding your dog in a kennel or pet hotel
- Asking a close friend or neighbour to pet sit at your home
- Leaving your dog with a family member at their home
- Hiring a professional dog sitter
Each of these solutions will have its own advantages and disadvantages but, for the most part, will be safer for your pet than travelling with them by aeroplane.
Will my dog be okay without me for a week?
It’s only natural to want to include your furry friend in every aspect of your life, including taking them on vacation with you. However, sometimes it’s not possible to bring your dog along, and you may have to leave them behind for a week or more.
Don’t worry – as long as you make arrangements for their care, your dog will be just fine without you. The most important thing is to find a trustworthy pet sitter who can provide food, water, exercise, and love while you’re away.
It’s also a good idea to leave behind some of your own belongings, like an old shirt or blanket, so that your dog has something familiar to comfort them. With a little preparation, you can rest assured knowing that your dog will be in good hands – and waiting eagerly for your return.
Do dogs miss us when we’re gone?
If you regularly take your dog on holiday with you, they may not miss you as much as a dog who never leaves the house. This is because they’re used to being away from you for periods of time and know that you’ll eventually come back.
Similarly, if your dog is used to being left alone for long periods during the day, they may not necessarily miss you more when you’re gone for a week. On the other hand, if your dog is very attached to you and accustomed to having you around all the time, they might miss you more when you’re not there.
So, ultimately, it depends on the individual dog. Some may miss us more than others, but chances are they all appreciate our company – even if they don’t show it in the same way we do!
Taking a dog on holiday or vacation can be stressful not just for you but for your dog, too. While it may be fun to take them along and make memories with them, it’s not always a good idea. If you plan on travelling by car, it should be fine to take Fido along with you, but travelling by plane can be risky for your furry friend and you should consider these risks before planning to travel with him.