The summer holidays are approaching. We notice that healthy nervousness that creeps in when we think about our travel plans. And we do not forget our dog! Traveling with him is one of the activities that we like the most. But be careful! Have we ever wondered if you are really going to enjoy the trip ?; It will not be the same to travel without a dog as with a dog, and our furry friend may feel that he is welcome or that, on the contrary, his presence is an effort for us. The decision to take it with us should be considered and prepared, in advance, to achieve a satisfactory experience for all those involved.
Before launching into organizing a trip with our dog, let’s stop for a moment and reflect on the quality of the experience for our pet and the benefit it will bring. Traveling is not only using a means of transport, it is also assuming routine changes, adapting to new circumstances, discovering new places, interacting with unfamiliar people and dogs, experiencing new smells and sounds, etc. We are the ones who know our dog best and who know where he is well and where he is not. If we believe that you are not yet prepared to face these changes, it will be convenient to practice it in advance by making short trips of a day or a weekend, which predispose the animal to leave its comfort environment and develop its adaptation mechanisms normally.
Tips for traveling with dogs
Once convinced of the convenience of traveling with it, it will be essential to undertake good planning that takes into account and monitors the following basic aspects:
- The destination and activities
- Accommodation and luggage
- Insurance and documentation
- Health and safety
Destinations for holidays with dogs
The choice of destination is usually the first of the concerns. It is convenient to condition this choice to the physical and behavioral characteristics of our pet, taking into consideration its size, its ease of relationship, its mood, its tolerance, its state of health, etc. Aspects such as distance (hours of travel, difficult access), climate (hot, cool, humid), the required means of transport (plane, train, ship, car), the environment (sea, mountain, urban), all They will indicate the most appropriate option to achieve a satisfactory experience and a happy memory that we want to repeat for years to come. A winning option is to find a destination that combines places of activity and fun with places of rest for the animal, avoiding exclusively human tourism.
Traveling with dogs by plane, train or car
The means of transport are multiple, but all of them have limitations and conditions that we must know in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises once the trip has started. We will have the greatest difficulties when traveling with an air, sea or railway company. All of them apply the regulations established by national and international associations on the transport of companion animals, which may be, in each case and country, either very specific or practically non-existent. Nowadays, all these regulations are easily consulted on the corresponding web pages of each transport company.. All of them specify the regulations that we must comply with in relation to the location of our pet during the trip (cabin, compartment, cellar), transport compartment (carrier, cage), restraint (strap, muzzle), accompaniment or visits, required documentation ( health card, European passport), and any other condition that the company considers.
Obviously, the simplest, and even comfortable, means will be the car. However, despite being our own vehicle, we must comply with the regulations established in Spain by the DGT or equivalent bodies in Europe. The car allows us to make rest stops as our dog needs, recommending one every 2 or 3 hours. The animal must always be well restrained according to its size and weight; using an approved harness with two hooks, inside a carrier placed behind the passenger seat, or in the boot separated from the cabin by a grid or mesh.
It is becoming easier to find accommodation, shops, restaurants or beaches that join the pet-friendly movement, and all of this is published in user -friendly and easy-to-consult web guides. When making any reservation, it will be convenient to anticipate and indicate that we are traveling with an animal, emphasizing that it is well educated and that we are responsible for any damages it may cause. This will help your admission and that of future pets. We can facilitate the stay in the accommodation we have chosen if we properly prepare the luggage. It might seem cumbersome, but it will help us get out of unforeseen situations and continue our journey smoothly. It is advisable to include in our luggage:
- Their usual food for the first days, in addition to informing us where to buy it at the destination.
- Water bowl, folding or fixed.
- A canine first aid kit for treating wounds and first care, and their usual medicines.
- Spare muzzle, collar, leash, and stool bags.
- Carrier for small dogs.
- Toys and clothes that you use regularly, which will help you miss the new environment less.
Dog insurance and identification
You don’t have to be afraid of traveling, but you have to be aware that a thousand things can happen! Therefore, we should not go on a trip without travel insurance that includes Civil Liability and that covers our dog in case of needing veterinary attention or repatriation from a foreign country. If we are going to move within the European Union, we must also obtain the European Passport for Companion Animals that our veterinarian can issue, after identifying the animal with its mandatory microchip and after confirming that it is vaccinated against rabies in the current year. . Additionally, in some transport companies and in some destination countries, we may require that we present the Dog Vaccination Card and the Veterinary Certificate that confirms that our pet is not a carrier of infectious diseases.
Sometimes we think that dogs can take it all, but they don’t. In anticipation of a trip that can mean a significant effort for our pet, we should check his health by visiting our veterinarian and requesting his prescription in case of traveling to a country with additional vaccination requirements. We must prevent any problems during the trip in advance, asking the veterinarian to prescribe antiemetic’s (for vomiting), tranquilizers or pheromones (for anxiety), and to deworm the animal both internally and externally. A convenient recommendation is to bring us the contact information of our veterinarian, in case we need to consult you during the trip, and complement it with the location of a veterinary emergency service at the destination. Do not forget the identification tag on the necklace including our name and an international telephone number to reach us!