Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to take your dogs abroad, as it can be an uncomfortable experience for them.
However, if you do plan on taking your four-legged friend on holiday with you, here’s a quick guide to the risks and how you can minimise them.
Risks and Issues
The first thing to take note of is that there is a lot of paperwork to be filled out before you’re allowed to take a pet away with you.
Firstly, you’ll need a pet passport or potentially an official veterinary certificate if travelling outside of the EU, as well as a statement from your vet confirming that the dog is fit to travel.
There’s also the cost of vaccinations to take into account (they’ll need to be vaccinated for rabies and treated for tapeworm) and these need to be regularly renewed.
Once you arrive on holiday, there’s the issue of the heat to take into account. This isn’t such an issue in Northern European countries which have a similar climate to the UK, but further, south, in places such as Spain, dogs can get very uncomfortable, as their fur has been grown to protect them from UK temperatures, and they simply won’t have time to adjust during your short break.
It’s also worth knowing that laws on taking your dog to the beach are a lot more stringent in many countries, so you might not even be able to have your dog with you for a lot of your holiday.
You should also have a good chat with your vet to make sure that your dog is in a fit state to travel.
They’ll give them a full check over and their rabies vaccination, then you’ll have to wait 21 days before they can travel.
When you’re returning, you’ll also need tapeworm treatment between one and five days before your scheduled arrival in the UK.
Of course, all these regulations are subject to change, so the best thing to do is consult with your vet.
While You’re Away
There are a few steps to take while you’re away to help make your dog feel a little bit more comfortable.
Firstly, try to take as much of their bedding and toys with them, as well as lots of food and drink.
If you’re travelling by car, make sure that there’s lots of room and ventilation. You might want to use window blinds like the ones used for children to keep them cool.
You should also be sure to take regular rest stops if driving with a dog to allow them to get out and stretch their legs and have a drink.
Check whether your UK pet insurance will cover the dog while you’re abroad, but if they don’t, then you should be able to pick up short-term cover fairly cheaply.
As we said, it’s advisable not to take your dog on holiday, but if you have to, be sure to follow these guidelines, and most importantly, consult with your vet before doing so.
The best solution is to leave your dog with somebody back home that you can trust, or find a reputable boarding kennel to look after them.