Travelling is a liberating, eye-opening adventure. Nothing compares to experiencing new places and cultures with the freedom of going where you want and when you want to. Some prefer travelling as part of a group, whereas some prefer going solo.
Some people even like to travel as part of a pack, with their dog. Who better to share these new experiences with, than your furry friend. A dog is the perfect travel buddy. They’re loyal, go with you wherever you want, and they’re a great way to socialise and meet new people on your travels.
It’s not easy though. Travelling can be a dangerous experience. The unknown when it comes to travelling is part of the thrill, however being unprepared in new surroundings can also be dangerous. If you plan on bringing your dog travelling with you, it’s important you’re prepared for both of you. Bringing your dog travelling enhances the experience, yet it requires lots of responsibility and preparation. For that reason, we here at Kennelstore wanted to run through everything you need to consider when taking your dog travelling.
Consider the climate
Most dogs are fairly adaptable and can handle most climates. There are some mismatches, however. You wouldn’t want to take a dachshund to the Arctic, they’d be lost in the snow as soon as you hop in the plane! Also, a Siberian husky would be out of place and very uncomfortable on a tropical island.
There are ways you can make your pooch more suitable and comfortable in unfamiliar environments though. If you have a dog more suited to colder climates and they have lots of fur, it may be worth looking into having their fur trimmed if you plan on taking them to a hot environment. Vice versa, if you have a dog with a thin coat who would get cold easily, there are coats you can buy to fit your dog and keep them warm.
Legalities and treatment
Be sure to look into the country you’re travelling to’s policies and laws on dogs entering the country beforehand. The last thing you want is for your dog to be taken away from you.
Australia, for example, is very strict when it comes to foreign animals entering their land. You will require an import permit, veterinary certificates and rabies blood tests. Without these, your dog could be taken off you and locked up for 10 days where you can’t see them. Taking your dog to Australia is a very lengthy and costly process.
It’s always good to make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date for its own health, however, this will certainly come in handy when it comes to bringing your dog to a new country.
You’ll require proof of vaccinations such as rabies, as well as for your dog to have been micro-chipped, which is important anyway in case it goes missing. These are enough for the majority of European countries, assuming you’re coming from a rabies-free destination. Some exceptions are the UK, Republic of Ireland, Malta, Finland and Norway, who have stricter regulations.
Dogs are allowed on the majority of transport modes, however, some are less complicated than others. Travelling by car would be the most ideal for your dog, yet for most trips having access to a car for the entire experience isn’t realistic.
Travelling by plane is likely to be a common mode of transport for your pooch. It is important to prepare a few things. First of all, ensure their travelling cage is big enough for them. They need to be able to stand up straight without their ears touching the top and they must be able to turn around easily and comfortably. Not only will this be more comfortable for them, but they also won’t be able to fly otherwise.
A good trick also is to put a few worn clothing items of yours in the cage with them, this will calm them as they’ll be able to pick up your scent, as well as become familiar with the cage before you travel. Also if the journey is expected to take longer than 18 hours, it may be worth looking into a cargo company who specialises in pet travel, as this will be more comfortable for your dog. However bear in mind, they will arrive at your destination to a different time to you, so you will need to make arrangements to meet them.
Some places like the UK or the Republic of Ireland, a professional cargo company would be the only flying option for your pooch anyway, so if this were the case travelling by boat would be a good option. Not only would you be on the same mode of transport as them, but they also have kennels on board.
Also, be sure to take your pooch for long a walk before journeys. Not only will this tire them and help them sleep through the journey, but it will encourage them to relieve themselves beforehand.
Where are you staying?
As well as travel arrangements, it’s important to be proactive when it comes to your accommodation.
As travelling with your dog is becoming more and more popular, a growing number of hotels and hostels are becoming more dog-friendly when it comes to their guests. It’s easier than ever to find suitable accommodation for both of you. There are even websites which contain information on accommodation in over 100 countries.
This is all the more reason you should be able to sort a place quickly and easily for you and your dog. There’s no worse feeling than trekking around endless hostels, after a long, tiresome journey and being turned away, with your dog and all of your belongings.
There you have it. Travelling is a wonderful experience, but having your dog beside you makes the experience 10 times better. Rather than leaving them at home for a few months wondering where you are and when you’re coming back, bringing them along is the better option. It may not be the easiest, however with enough organisation and preparation, you and your pooch could share the best trip of your lives together.