Thousands of British people take their pets on holiday with them each and every year. Maybe they can’t afford to pay for boarding fees whilst they’re away, or maybe they can’t stand the idea of leaving their furry friend behind – whatever the reason, one thing is clear. People in the UK love their pets and they love to holiday with them. Fortunately, there are many pet friendly holiday cottages, resorts, campsites and beaches dotted throughout the country. As long as you always make sure to ask the owners of a cottage or resort for permission first – you and your dog or cat should be fine to holiday together, say experts at the KennelClub.org.uk.
However, like anything, taking your pet on holiday with you has its pitfalls. It can be very difficult to take care of an animal whilst driving long distances and there’s no guarantee that when you do get to your destination, your dog or cat won’t panic and run off. More often than not, holidays shared with pets come off without a hitch but it is important to realise the risks involved. Here’s a guide to the pitfalls associated with taking your four legged friend way to a pet friendly holiday cottage.
Just because you’re not putting your pet on a plane, doesn’t mean the journey is going to be easy for him or her. If your dog or cat isn’t used to car travel, a long distance journey could really stress them out – that’s why it’s so important to follow certain guidelines when travelling with your animal. You are advised to travel with another passenger if possible. That way, your pet isn’t without attention for the length of the journey and there’s somebody else present who can step in, in the event of bad behaviour. You must take regular breaks and allow your pet to stretch his or legs, says Chudleys.com. Never leave an animal alone in a car for more than twenty minutes and never travel without adequate supplies of food and water. When you arrive at your destination, do be sure to give your pet lots of love and treats – don’t forget, they’ve been on a strange and stressful journey.
Though the owners of a holiday cottage may very well welcome pets, that doesn’t mean that they want animals running wild inside their property. If you are going to take your dog on holiday with you, you must be prepared to follow the rules and behave respectfully. For example, do avoid letting your pet climb on furniture and bedding. If your dog usually sleeps in a pet bed or a basket – take it with you. Don’t just assume that it’s okay to let an animal sleep in a bed with you, particularly if that bed doesn’t belong to you. You absolutely MUST clean up after your dog at all times and if you are sharing the property or the area with others – you should probably exercise your pet away from your holiday accomodation.
No matter where it is you take your pet on holiday – you won’t always be able to experience everything together. There will be sites and attractions that don’t welcome pets and there’s not a great deal you can do about that. There are some beaches that don’t allow pets and zoos and farms are obviously no go areas for dogs, as are most museums, exhibitions and theatres. Whatever you do, don’t get into any disputes about where you can or cannot take your pet – the rules are the rules, unfortunately. As long as your pet is fully wormed and vaccinated, it should be safe to take him or her for long walks in the country or for visits to public parks and gardens. If your dog likes to swim – do make sure that you check the safety of the water before you let him jump in tail first, advises AnimalDiscovery.com journalist Jessica Kolich.
There’s little you can do to alleviate your pet if it’s extremely upset or stressed. Your only option is to give him or her a lot of love and attention. It also helps to keep their routine as constant as possible. Don’t over or under feed your pet just because you’re on holiday and try not to change the times at which they go out for exercise and a toilet break. Keeping things as close to normal as possible will help your pet adjust to their new environment much faster.