5 Tips for Taking Your Dog on Holiday

Taking your dog on holiday can be fun for everyone – after all, things just aren’t the same without the whole family there!  

The key to a successful trip with your pooch is preparation. So, with that in mind, here are some tips to ensure your pets remain happy and stress-free throughout the holiday season.

1. Stock up on supplies

  • Regular food and treats
  • Water bowl and bottle so fresh water (in case you can’t find tap)
  • Crate or bed to sleep in
  • Crate or bed to sleep in
  • Familiar smelling toys or blankets
  • Collar/harness and lead
  • Poo bags
  • Supply of regular medication.

2. Plan the journey

  • If travelling by car, get your dog comfortable with short rides first and watch out for motion sickness!  
  • Consider using a harness or crate for the safety of both your dog and other passengers.  
  • On longer trips, factor in plenty of time to stop so they can stretch their legs, go to the toilet, and have a sniff around.  
  • Keep your dog on a leash when in a new area so that they are secure if they startle at unfamiliar sights or sounds.  
  • Never leave your dog unattended in a car – this can lead to heat stress even in mild weather. 

Other modes of travel can also be pet friendly – dogs can be checked in to an air-conditioned section of the hold on Air NZ flights, and both Interislander and Bluebridge ferries have kennels on board that can be booked  ahead of time 

3. Book accommodation in advance

From pet-friendly motels to campgrounds and campervan rentals, there is sure to be something that fits your budget and holiday style. Although the number of pet-friendly accommodation and travel options are increasing, these are often the first to book out. So start organising your accommodation well in advance to avoid spending an uncomfortable night in the car. 

4. Prep your dog’s itinerary too

Research local dog-friendly activities as well as places destinations and venues like pubs and cafes. 

The app Paw Planet has plenty of suggestions ranging from pet-friendly restaurants to dog parks, and is an easy way to see what is around in a new area.

5. Get a health check

Visit your vet to make sure your dog is up to date with vaccinations and flea/worm treatments. Also check:

  • Your dog is microchipped and double check your details are up-to-date on the national register. Also attach a tag with your name and contact details so that if they get lost in a strange place you can be reunited as soon as possible.  
  • If your pet is on any regular medications ensure that you have enough to last the trip. 
  • Have the number of the closest vet clinic handy, in case of emergency. 

Keep in mind that for many pups the change in routine that comes with travel can be stressful, so the more you can plan ahead to make sure your dog is safe and comfortable, the more you can all relax and enjoy your holiday!