Hi, I’m Harry, a fun-loving and lively six year old with an adventurous spirit. I like holidays, long walks, sticks of any size and I have a particular obsession with balls. Especially squeaky ones. Anyway, this isn’t Tinder for dogs; this is my ten top tips for the perfect pet-friendly holiday. Straight from the dog’s mouth, as they say.
If you haven’t guessed already I’m a springer spaniel and I live with my humans, Jo and David. They are pretty lucky to have me around. Who else would warn them about the postman, the milkman and the bin lorry at 6.30am every morning? They don’t reward me enough, quite frankly, for my outstandingly alert ears.
Anyway, I digress. Going away with your pet? Here’s my top holiday guide for dogs.
I can always sense when we are planning a trip. The suitcases are loaded in the hall and there’s a sudden sense of frantic activity. Jo starts shouting a lot. I worry about the thought of lying in a car for hours on end, feeling slightly sick. However the humans have recently discovered Travel Sickness Pills for Dogs, the herbal type. I am now inelegantly forced to swallow a couple half an hour before travelling but this seems to stop me dribbling and throwing up during the journey.
They don’t feed me either on the day of travel until we arrive at our destination. A bit mean, but they did get rather cross the last time I spewed up my breakfast all over the car.
Pack my toys
Ensure you have a good sniff round all your stuff to make sure the important stuff is packed. The last time we went away I hid my favourite toy under the sofa and my humans couldn’t find it so I had to do without it for a week. I was not happy. I like my Max the Mouse toy; it comforts me when I’m in a new place.
Anyway, just make sure you have (in order of necessity):
- Food (usual brand please, I don’t appreciate change)
- Food bowl
- Water bowl
- Balls (lots)
- Ball thrower
- Spare lead
- Travel water container and bowl
- Sickness pills for the return journey
- Those little bags you humans have an unhealthy obsession with for collecting poo.
Chips & photos
My humans sometimes insist on taking me to the VET. Be careful of the VET. They pretend to be nice, but then they inject you with micro-chips and other scary things. The micro-chip will help me if I get lost apparently and to be honest I’ve now completely forgotten about it. My neurotic human Jo also packs extra documents including photos of me in case I get really lost. As if!
There’s also something called insurance. I’m insured for accidents and illness and for third party liability. I’m proud to be called a ‘bloomin’ liability’ sometimes, so apparently the humans ‘take no chances’.
Because I get travelsick I tend not to move in the car. I prefer to lie in my bed and look pathetically sad so my humans feel sorry for me. However if you have a lively dog you may want to consider doggy seatbelts or a cage for the boot. This will keep them extra safe in case of emergency stops or the man human who has a habit of being too hard on the breaks…
Don’t leave me this way…
Lots of stops on route please. I like to stretch my legs and have a good sniff around. Don’t leave me in the car by myself if it’s a warm day, within minutes the car gets really hot, even if you leave the windows open. My humans generally take turns in taking me for a sniff around whilst they buy endless amounts of the magic restoring drink they call coffee.
Take the lead
Much to my dismay, when we get to our holiday destination, my humans always put me on a lead. This has something to do with chasing everything that moves and barking a lot apparently, but I’m just checking things out. Another thing they don’t appreciate.
I like all types of holiday that involve outdoors activity. Walking, running, swimming (although I get told off for that quite a bit). It’s a good job I’m fit, but I can imagine for other dogs that don’t have my super stamina it can all come as a bit of a shock. Maybe some doggy training is in order to build up your fitness before you go away.
Canal boat breaks in the UK make for pretty good pet-friendly holidays, with all the walks along the tow paths and days full of fresh air. Here’s some advice based on experience:
- Try not to let your pet chase ducks into the water. I can’t get out of the canal by myself sometimes and my humans have to lie on the side of the canal bank and drag me out. That’s when they tend to swear a lot.
- If you think your pet may end up in the water a lot then invest in a dog harness – a lot easier to pull your pets out of the canal.
- Don’t bark at swans. They are mean.
- Be aware that the boat stops on different sides of the bank. Just because it moored up on the left hand bank for one night, doesn’t mean that the following day when you moor up again that you automatically jump off the left side again. You could end up in the canal.
- Put your pet on the lead at the locks. Or close them inside the cabin. Humans tend to worry at a lock. At lot.
- Take a couple of toys for your pet. They help keep us occupied at times when we are closed in the cabin.