Dog friendly holidays: How to Travel Safely

Whether you like to holiday in the UK or abroad, making travel plans for you and your four-legged friend and planning your dog friendly holiday doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are some guidelines and tips to ensure your pet’s journey is as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Travelling by car

The easiest way to transport your pet is by car as the rules are effectively your own, plus there is no fee! But before you head off on your dog friendly holidays, there are still some safety precautions you should bear in mind:

  • Before setting off, make sure that your pet can handle long journeys in the car. You don’t want to spend hours on the road with an agitated animal, as it will be distressing for the both of you.
  • If you have a dog, keep them safe in a moving car with either a pet car harness or keep them in a pet carrier, which should also be secured – not just placed on the seat.
  • For feline friends, a pet carrier is the best option. Put some of their favourite toys and treats with them to keep them comfortable.
  • Make sure you pack all your pet’s essentials – food, water, bowls, collar, lead – and as we’re in the winter months, a pet coat or blanket for your furry friend.
  • Stop for regular toilet and exercise breaks with your pet, especially if the journey is very long. If you will need to stay overnight whilst on the road, find a pet-friendly hotel.

 Dog friendly holidays - dog in a car

Travelling by air

Travelling with your pet by air is easier than ever before, however it is still a fairly lengthy process. Depending on which airline you’re travelling with, you’ll need to be fully aware of all their policies for pet travel.

SOME UK AIRLINE POLICIES:

British Airways – Pets are allowed to travel in the cargo hold with the cost dependent on the size of your pet. However, if you’re travelling via OpenSkies your dog or cat can travel in the cabin with you if they weigh under 6kg for £98 (125€).

Virgin Atlantic – Virgin Atlantic also allows pets to travel in the cargo hold with the cost dependent on the size of your pets travel box.

KLM – Cats and dogs weighing up to 6kg (including their pet carrier) may travel in the cabin with you – those heavier will have to go in cargo hold. Fees vary depending on whether you’re travelling within the EU or farther afield.

Lufthansa – Pets weighing up to 8kg may travel with you in the cabin for a small fee, or in the cargo hold if heavier.

cat in a cat carrier

  • Make sure your pet is healthy enough to travel by air – if you’re unsure, ask your vet.
  • Exercise your four-legged friend before you head to the airport – this will increase the chances of them falling asleep on the plane.
  • It’s best to use a harness when travelling with your pet as they are less likely to escape from it than if you were using a collar.
  • Be sure to properly ID your pet and their carrier including their name, your name, phone number, and where your furry friend is travelling to and from.
  • Ensure your pet meets all the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) which includes, having them micro-chipped, vaccinated for rabies 21 days before re-entering the UK, have relevant documentation (pet passport) and received tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before re-entering the UK.

Leaving your pet at home

If you think your pet may not be able to handle the travelling, then the least stressful option is to leave them at home with a friend or family member. You could also leave them with a pet sitter or book them into a pet hotel for the night.

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