We all love the feeling of the wind blowing in our hair as we’re cruising down a wide open road on holiday, and you better believe your pup loves it too. Head out the window, coat rippling, mouth open and tongue panting; it’s pure joy. So if you’re itching to hit the open road again, we can bet your four-legged friend is looking forward to it just as much as you are.
And the good news is: there’s never been a better time to explore your own backyard with your best mate by your side.
Planning your pet’s trip
Long gone are the days when you used to have to smuggle your pooch into a beach house without the owner knowing, or make sure they didn’t bark when you snuck them through the hotel lobby. With more people taking their best mates on holiday with them, more places are opening their doors to furry travellers. This means it's never been easier to find a pet-friendly holiday spot, with most travel websites offering a ‘pet filter’, making the whole booking process a breeze.
Caravan parks were initially on the forefront of this growing trend, now other holiday accommodation offer dog-friendly cabins, hotel rooms and holiday houses. But spots go fast – so you should make reservations well in advance, as they are often in short supply.
Tip: While some accommodation options welcome pets with open paws, others are still newbies to this service and may have stricter conditions. That’s why it’s a good idea to check the terms and conditions or speak directly to the manager to get the lowdown on what your pup can and can’t do.
Essentials for the road
They may not need swimmers and a passport like you, but there’s nothing worse than turning around halfway because you forgot one of your pup’s essentials.
A good rule of paw is whatever your dog needs at home, they’ll need on the road.
Think about the everyday items, such as food, leads, doggy poo bags, and they’re favourite toys and treats While some accommodation providers may supply bowls and treats, others won’t, so it’s best to pack all of your best friend’s necessities, just in case.
A portable water bowl is also a travel must-have for four-legged adventurers, as is a car travel harness to ensure they’re safe and secure while on the road. Lastly, ensure your dog’s vaccinations and microchip details are up-to-date, with any documentation on hand as proof should you need it.
While some dogs love the feeling of wind in their fur, tunes on the stereo and the exciting new sights passing by out the car window, others may be more nervous travellers. This may be due to motion sickness or anxiety as a result of being in an unfamiliar place, far from their usual comforts.
There are specific products that have been designed to help alleviate anxiety in our four-legged friends, however, you can also try and gradually build up their travel tolerance with shorter trips ahead of time. This way, the real deal might not be as overwhelming for them.
There’s nothing quite like an un-paw-gettable (see what we did here?) family holiday to strengthen the relationship between you and your furry companion where you can create memories to treasure forever.
To ensure your road trip is stress-free for everyone involved, take the time to plan ahead while keeping in mind your pet’s individual needs and sensitivities.