Pets are playing an increasingly important role in our lives, with cafes, day care services and hotels springing up to meet their needs. If you are travelling with your dog, it is important to plan ahead – preparing your pet for the experience may take some time. Use these handy hints to make your pet travel story a positive one.
Build up to the trip
It would be unwise and unfair to expect your dog to be comfortable on a long road, bus or train trip if they are not used to travelling. Vets recommend building up to the journey, allowing time to observe and deal with any problems.
Prepare your dog
It can be helpful to have your dog groomed before leaving, particularly in warm or hot conditions. The groomer will check for any insect bites or similar that could cause problems while you are away, trim their nails and fur, and generally leave your dog feeling the most comfortable he or she can be.
Find a local service by typing a simple phrase and area location into Google, such as ‘dog grooming in Cheltenham’, and a list of services such as http://www.blossoms-pet-care.co.uk/dog-grooming/dog-grooming-cheltenham.aspx will show up. Usually something within a reasonable distance will appear in the results.
Don’t forget that last toilet break, then simply secure your pet with a special safety harness and you are ready to go.
Pack the essentials
Don’t forget fresh water, food and treats, and perhaps your dog’s favourite blanket. You will also need bags to scoop poop and a spare lead in case of an emergency. It is also wise to make a note of local veterinary surgeries offering both regular and emergency services and to take any pet insurance paperwork with you – it is better safe than sorry.
Book pet-friendly accommodation
There is a huge difference between a hotel or guest house that tolerates pets and one that welcomes them. The latter often provides bedding, a space for exercising and perhaps even food, while the former can be riddled with unreasonable rules and restrictions that will make the stay miserable for you both.
Travelling with your pet is an amazing experience and dogs make wonderful companions as long as their basic needs are met. Prepare, then relax and enjoy.