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Tips for travelling with your pet

Pet Parent tips from Pet Protect

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If you are planning a long journey with a pet that hasn’t travelled for a while, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration.

Taking your dog on holiday.

There’s nothing more exciting than going on holiday and bringing your dog with you.

Before going away you need to consider that not all dogs like the change and may not have as much fun as you think.

You may also need to consider your dog’s age and health before travelling, as sometimes it may be better for your dog to be looked after by someone whilst you’re away.

Things to think of before taking your dog on holiday.

To help you start your holiday the right way, you can plan ahead and follow these steps:

  • Pack their favourite toys, blanket and treats to help them settle into their new place to stay.
  • Check the weather and temperature, as dogs need to be protected from the heat. Make sure you pack suncream specially made for dogs.
  • Research dog-friendly places to visit, including pubs, cafes, and parks.
  • Let the hotel or place you’re staying know you’re bringing a dog so you can understand their pet policy.
  • Ensure your pet is microchipped and registration details are up to date.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with a name tag that’s engraved or printed with your name and contact details.
  • Take any prescription medications with you and give them to your pet as normal.
  • Check for vets where you’re travelling to, just in case of an emergency. Having these details to hand will make a stressful situation with sudden illness or injury easier to deal with.
  • If your pet has a complex medical history or chronic and ongoing condition, try to take a copy of your pet’s medical history with you to avoid any delay getting the records in case of an emergency.
  • Try to keep their same routine as much as possible. For example, same walk times, food, toilet breaks and sleep. This will reduce as much stress on your pet as possible.

Car safety, anxiety, and stress.

Your pet may be completely new to travelling in the car. We’ve put together some simple tips to help your pet get used to their trip in the car.

  • Build up the length of time your pet is in the car slowly and start by introducing them to it whilst stationary.
  • Encourage your pet into the car with the doors or boot open. Repeat this daily until they are comfortable with getting into the car and staying there for some time, whether that’s a fixed crate, a secure and ventilated boot area, or a back seat with a safety belt harness.
  • Try starting the engine, as some pets may be startled by the noise. Take the time to desensitise them to the engine before taking your first journey. Repeat and praise as required.
  • Start with short and slower journeys, building up the time spent in the car and not forgetting to give them the experience of a motorway or dual carriage way. Some pets who are very familiar with car journeys, can become unsettled when introduced to a motorway; the speed, the other vehicles and having windows closed can all be a trigger for anxiety, so remember to work this into your regime when building up this process. Only move up with timing, distance, and speed when your pet is comfortable.
  • Consider how you will safely restrain your pet. You can use a harness with a seat belt clip, a secured crate in the car, or the boot area with a travel divider. It is important to ensure your pet will be able to stand, sit and lie down comfortably in the chosen area, also making sure they are safe if there was an accident. It is now the law to have your pet restrained in the car (according to rule 57 of the Highway Code). This reduces the risk of injury to you and your pet in case of an accident and avoids driver distraction.
  • Make sure the car is well ventilated and never leave your pet in a hot car. They can very quickly develop heat stroke which can be fatal.
  • Taking a break for both you and your pet is important when travelling. This will give them time to stretch their legs and go to the toilet. Plan regular stops if you are taking a longer journey.
  • To avoid any accidents in the car, make sure you feed your pet a while before you start travelling. Plan for breaks to feed your pet if they need to be fed regularly. Water is also a priority and you should offer your pet water and a chance to drink regularly, especially in warmer weather.

Help to keep your dog safe on holiday.

  • Walk your dog on a lead unless you’re sure it’s safe to let them off and run freely.
  • Don’t leave your dog tied up on their own outside a shop, especially if it’s hot. Leaving your dog on their own may leave them more vulnerable to theft.
  • If you’re out walking later in the day, make sure to take a light or LED collar attached to your dog.

Most importantly have fun with your pet and enjoy your break together.


Pet advice when you need it the most.

If your pet is unwell our 24/7 advice service may help save you an unnecessary trip to the vet.

Speak to a vet or vet nurse by phone, chat, and video.

Our pet care service also offers behavioural and nutritional support, to help you take care of your pet.

Learn more about our petconnect service

Do you need pet insurance?

We understand being a pet parent can be tough, especially if your pet becomes ill or gets injured.

It’s important to consider pet insurance if you have a pet, as cover can help cover the cost of vet fees should your cat or dog need to visit the vet.

Compare our insurance plans and get a quote through our website using the following link.

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By Melissa Pickburn

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