Home, Garden & Lifestyle Moments

Dogs On Vacation

It’s nearly the holidays again and if you are a pet owner you may want to consider the option of taking your furry friend (or friends) with you. Here are some tips based on personal experience.

Our happy dog Buddy (or Budd-oh as he is affectionately known) was on holiday with us in this photo.

Pros & Cons

The Good

  • Save on kennel or home based pet minding fees.
  • No expectations on family or friends to step in while you’re away.
  • Not worrying about them.
  • It’s FUN! especially if travelling alone.

The Bad

  • Having your pet with you can restrict the activities you can do while away.
  • Bringing along extra paraphernalia to care for your pet.
  • Limitations on where you can stay. Which brings me to the next topic . . .

Dog Friendly Accommodation

Here are a few sites I checked out. In particular I can recommend Stayz. Past experience with Stayz, saw a fast and easy booking process and in our case a confirmation in less than 24 hours. It’s also a very easy website to use. Here are the links:

Before You Leave

  • Make sure your dog has their collar, ID and lead.
  • Is registered and micro-chipped.
  • Has all their vaccinations etc. up to date.
  • Check with the owners of the holiday rental on whether the dog can sleep inside or out; if they are allowed on furniture or not; and the rules regarding dog toileting areas and disposal of doggy-dos!

Travel Notes (Regardless of trip duration):

  • Remember to take a bowl and a bottle of water for rest breaks.
  • Make sure you have your dog safely and comfortably restrained in the car for the journey with a harness or car divider so that both driver and passengers aren’t distracted.
  • Do take breaks, at least every 2-3 hours.

Destination Notes

  • Bring some of your pets favourite things with you for settling them into the holiday accommodation. Our dog has a favourite old fabric bath mat for sleeping on, as well as a few chew toys.
  • Don’t forget balls; tug toys and Frisbees for playtime!
  • If visiting cold or snowy areas, you may need doggy coats, if visiting wet or sandy areas, read on.

Other Practical Tips

  • There isn’t always a suitable outdoor tap or hose to rinse dogs with, so take along either a big enough plastic tub &/or plastic jug or watering can, and don’t forget the doggy shampoo for the day when a rinse isn’t enough anymore. Remember it could be a long trip home with a big smelly pup in a confined space. Oh, and a sandy dog is an itchy dog! So be fair, they need a rinse as much as you do after playing in the sand and/or sea.
  • If it’s a beach trip, remember to bring lots of towels for drying your pooch, and something waterproof for in the car that will protect seats etc. from your wet dog with sandy paws. We turned our rubber backed picnic rug upside down in the back of our small station wagon for return trips from inlet swims. A small tarp would also work.
  • If you are planning on going camping with your dogs, all parks in different states have different rules. To help with this (rather than looking for each park through the various government websites) check out this great website Camping With Your Dogs, which has a lot of helpful advice and links for camping in all Australian states with your best mates. Kristy and Geoff can also be contacted if you have any specific questions.
  • On occasion it may be necessary to tether your dog when you need to use both hands and in cases where the dog may stray, for e.g. if you may need to pack a car, take a toilet break, erect a tent or beach sun shelter, which is why it’s helpful to have a portable ground stake for this purpose to tie the lead to.

Important Note: Last but by no means least, to ensure a happy vacation for all, never leave your animal tethered without shade or water or for long periods of time, and never leave your pet in a car. Besides being cruel it is against the law. I can’t stress this enough after once having to rescue a dog in this situation who was left in a car in the street outside my home when it’s owners unbelievably left him there and went Christmas shopping for hours!

For more information on taking dogs on road trips click on this link to the RSPCA, and happy holidays!

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