Did you know 63% of all Australian households have a pet and of those people, nearly half own a dog?
Our animal companions are undoubtedly an integral part of our lives, and holidays are no exception. We don’t want to wave goodbye to our four-legged friends when we go away, leaving them for someone else to care for as we embark on adventure. We want them with us, enjoying the fun too!
Here are my top ten pet friendly travel tips for ensuring your dog has as much fun on holidays as the rest of the family:
- Prior to travel book a check up with your vet to make sure that your dog’s vaccinations and worming are up to date and address any questions you may have.
- Get your pet accustomed to car travel several weeks before you hit the road. It is law for dogs to be restrained when travelling in a car but it can take some time for them to get used to being restrained. Do lots of short trips with your pet wearing a harness or confined in their carrier or crate.
- Exercise your dog before you set off on a road trip so they are more likely to relax and chill out for the journey.
- Dogs can suffer from motion sickness, so it is best not to feed your dog before you start a road trip. Your vet can prescribe anti nausea medication to help. Make sure your car is well ventilated and the windows are down slightly for airflow and stop regularly for breaks.
- Pets often run away when they are taken to a new environment, so be careful! Make sure your dog has an ID tag with a contact number of where you are staying. Your home phone number is no good when you are not there and mobile reception can be poor in remote areas. When you arrive at your destination, be sure to keep your dog on a leash for the first few days whenever outdoors.
- For humans, trying new foods we don’t eat at home can be a highlight of the holiday experience, But, for our four-legged friends, a sudden change of diet can cause tummy upsets, so be sure to pack your dog’s regular food as you can never rely on being able to buy it at your holiday destination.
- One of the biggest mistakes people make when travelling with their dog is not researching whether or not paralysis ticks are prevalent in the area they are going to. This often happens when people live in a tick-free area and travel to a coastal destinations for their holiday. Paralysis ticks are found along the East Coast of Australia and it is essential that you use a preventative treatment and search your pets for ticks every day
- Fleas can also be a problem throughout Australia, so just because you have fleas under control in your own home, doesn’t mean they will not be a problem at your holiday destination. Make sure you use a flea preventative treatment – your vet can provide the best advice on the most appropriate option, and take your dog’s own clean bedding for them to sleep on as dirty bedding can harbour fleas.
- Don’t attempt to travel with your dog if he or she is not well- socialised or does not have basic obedience training – you don’t want your dog to be stressed, damage property or upset neighbours by barking all night!
- Finally, research your holiday destination in advance to be sure they offer adequate dog friendly facilities. Look for off leash dog beaches, parks and cafes.
**Remember, dogs are not allowed in National Parks.