You’ll need to make all the right preparations beforehand to ensure they stay happy and healthy while you’re away. A holiday with a dog in tow can be a fun experience for the whole family and one you’ll no doubt remember for years to come. From sun protection to exercise, here’s some handy advice on how to prepare your four-legged friend for that next big trip.
It may be hot at your chosen holiday destination but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should clip your dog’s coat before you go. Clipping is very much breed specific and regular grooming is the best way to maintain a healthy coat and skin. A dog’s coat has many functions and, as well as keeping them warm in the winter, it also keeps their skin protected from the sun in the hotter months too.
If your dog’s hair has to be cut short for any reason, you should get them a T-shirt to wear that will protect their skin from burning, or use a sun-protection product specifically formulated for pets. Remember that just like us humans; fairer-skinned dogs are more likely to suffer from sunburn so you’ll need to take this into consideration. White coated breeds or those with single coats are susceptible to sunburn if not protected. Don’t forget to cover the tips of the ears and nose as well.
Finally, you should always provide your pet with somewhere shady to sit and never leave them in the car where they can quickly become hot and dehydrated.
You’ll need to keep up regular walks with your pet when you go on holiday, however we recommend in hot weather than you walk your dog in the early mornings and the evenings when it’s cooler, avoiding the hottest times of the day (generally between 12 noon and 3pm), particularly if you’re on holiday in a very hot place.
If the temperatures are high, you should also make sure you don’t make your pet walk or stand on hot pavements or concrete as it can easily burn their sensitive paw pads.
Most dogs love to visit the beach but it can sometimes be uncomfortable for them, especially in hot weather when they have to maintain their body temperature through by panting. Sand, in particular, gets hot and is abrasive to the surface of a dog’s paw pads so it’s important that you never force them to walk on sand if you’re taking your dog to the beach. If they have been walking on sand, rinse your dog’s paws thoroughly afterwards to wash out any stuck salt and sand that could cause itchiness and other skin problems.
Try to only walk them on cool surfaces such as grass and, if your dog seeks shelter, allow them to take it. If walking them on a hot surface is unavoidable, protect their paw pads with all-weather boots. They usually feature waterproof leather soles that are salt and heat-resistant.
If your dog refuses to wear boots, you can apply a paw wax which will form a dense, breathable barrier on your dog’s paws. This helps to protect them from hot weather and rough, sandy terrain as well as wintertime paw perils such as salt, chemicals, ice and snow. As a regular part of your dog’s paw care routine, you can also moisturise your dog’s foot pads with a soothing wax to help heal cracked or dry pads, cuts and hot spots. You should still always rinse your dog’s paws off even when you’re using these products to ensure they don’t lick it off their paws.
It’s very easy for a dog to overheat, even on cooler days and particularly on very active walks. Whether you’re traveling with dogs abroad or even just taking them for a walk in familiar territory near home, it’s essential that you always take some bottled water with you especially if the weather is hot. Take a bowl to pour it into to or invest in a handy water bottle that has a lapping tray attached. Drinking water allows your dog to cool down if they overheat, and providing fresh water for them means they’re less likely to seek it elsewhere. This is especially true if you’re walking them on a beach as they might be tempted to drink sea water, something which can cause dehydration and even vomiting. As a pet owner, your dog’s health and safety should always be paramount wherever you take them. If you follow these simple steps though, your pet should have just as good a time on holiday as you! Always ensure ahead of a holiday both home and away that your dog has had all the relevant vaccinations, an up-to-date pet passport, their flea and worm treatment is being kept on top of.
The first step is to do your research. Not all destinations are created equal when it comes to accommodating dogs. Some hotels and Airbnb’s may not allow pets, while others may charge extra fees. Once you’ve found a pet-friendly destination, take some time to research the area. Are there any off-leash parks nearby? What about restaurants that allow dogs? Knowing the lay of the land will help you keep your dog safe while on holiday.
Just like you need to pack your own clothes and toiletries, you’ll need to pack for your dog as well. Make sure to bring along food, water, toys, leashes, collars, and anything else your dog might need while on holiday. It’s also a good idea to bring along copies of your dog’s vaccination records in case of an emergency
One of the most important things you can do to keep your dog safe while on holiday is to never leave them alone in unfamiliar surroundings. Dogs can get anxious in new environments, which can lead to them barking or destroying property. If you need to leave your dog alone for any period of time, make sure they are in a safe space where they can’t hurt themselves or escape.
Going on holiday with your dog can be a great experience for both of you—but only if you take the necessary precautions. By doing your research ahead of time, packing everything your dog needs, and never leaving them alone in unfamiliar surroundings, you can ensure that both you and your furry friend have a safe and enjoyable holiday.