The ultimate guide to travelling with your pet

Dogs love holidays too. 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 or unwell animal, as it will be distressing for the both of you. Start with short car journeys.
  • Keep your dog safe in a moving car with either a pet car harness, seat belt or keep them in a pet carrier, which should also be well secured – not just placed on the seat.
  • 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, hydration 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 dog-friendly hotel.

 Dog friendly holidays - dog in a car

Travelling by train

Dogs can travel free of charge on British domestic trains and you can bring up to two pets per passenger. They must be kept on the lead during the journeys and must be well behaved around fellow passengers.

Be mindful of the time you plan to travel as travelling during peak busy hours could cause your animal to become anxious or distressed if they’re not used to train travel. If this is your dog’s first experience of train travel, some advise going on a trial ride beforehand to familiarise them before embarking on a long journey.

A good way to ease your canine companion into train travel is to pack their favourite treats to keep them distracted. Make sure you also pack water for them as it’s important for them to stay hydrated, especially when the trains get quite warm in the Summer months.

Travelling by air

Travelling with your pet requires careful planning and can still be 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.

  • 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.

Our dog-friendly hotels can often provide goodie bags, treats and dog beds for your four-legged friend, so it may not be essential to take everything with you. Check what the hotel has on offer before you arrive to make sure you have the essentials to hand!

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