Battersea Q&A: Should I take my dog on holiday with me?
(Q) I desperately want to get away from the British summer and go somewhere exotic. But what to do with Harvey, my dog? Kennels always seem such a mean option; dog-sitters are certainly more expensive but at least he'll be at home; or do I opt for something a little closer to home with a dog-friendly holiday?
(A) Battersea canine welfare trainer Nathalie Ingham says: It all depends on your dog and what you feel comfortable with. Most kennels will be happy for you to visit to check out the facilities and have a chat about their daily routine. Some will let you take your dog's bed or a blanket from home so that they have a familiar scent around them. If you have a young dog, get him used to going into kennels. Generally dog owners get more worked up than they need to, as their dogs happily trot off leaving them in tears at the gates! Remember, vaccinations need to be up to date.
For some dogs and owners the best option is to have a pet-sitter, or for a friend or relative to look after your dog while you are away. Check your pet-sitter's credentials and speak to other clients to find out how they got on. Make sure you do several introductions prior to going away so that your dog knows the person who will be looking after them.
For those of us who simply can't bear to be parted from our dogs there is the option of them coming with us. There are plenty of pet-friendly hotels, B&Bs, and camping and caravanning sites around Britain, or you could consider taking your pet further afield and venturing to the continent. If you decide to go abroad visit the Defra website to make sure you are fully aware of the pet passport criteria and any extra vaccinations that you should consider, as well as legislation regarding dogs in the country you are going to and any you may be travelling through.
You can find out more useful information about taking your dog on holiday with you, and search for your perfect dog-friendly holiday by visiting Your Dog Holidays.
It is also worth ensuring you have details of out-of-hours vets in the areas you will be going to in case of any emergencies. And brush up on any training prior to going so that your dog doesn't show you up.
Whatever you decide, make sure that all your microchip details are up to date as well as your dog's ID tag. Leave your contact details, as well as your insurance and vet's details.