A customer guide to taking pets on holiday

With 80% of pet owners describing their furry friend as a part of the family*, it makes sense that we all want them to be part of our family holidays, too. Most of us own a cat or dog, but there are a few things customers need to consider when thinking about taking their pet away, so it can be stress-free, fun and memorable.

Deciding where to go

There are some things to be aware of when travelling in the UK and further afield. If customers are taking their dog or cat outside the UK, they’ll need a pet passport (for Europe or another country that accepts one).

Before travel

It’s a good idea to check vaccinations are up-to-date and any flea and/or worming treatment has been completed. If there is a current medical condition, make sure there is enough medicine from the vet for the whole trip. Depending on the destination it would be worth stocking up on favourite food as well.

Travelling

Travelling can be stressful for some animals, especially if they’re not used to it. If using a mode of transport they’ve not been on before, like a bus or train, it’s a good idea to do a trial run on a short journey to familiarise them with the noises and movement.

If travelling on a ferry, depending on how long the journey is, they may have to be left in the car. And if they’re flying, they’re likely to need to go in a crate in the hold, as there aren’t many UK flight providers that allow them in the cabin, unless they’re assistance dogs.

Most likely, they’ll be in the car. Make sure they feed no more than 2 hours before departure. They need to be secure and comfortable, have access to water and take regular walk and toilet breaks along the road. Remember, cars can get hot, especially outside the UK.

Accommodation

There’s a growing number of hotels, B&Bs and campsites that allow pets. While most of us take our dog, there are still many that accept cats. Depending on the accommodation booked, it’s also wise to check whether they’re allowed to do the same things they are at home, like jumping on sofas – or not!

Make sure they have a comfortable spot for their bed, an accessible place to eat and drink, and outside space for toilet breaks.

Day’s out together

Dogs might demand more than a walk or hike up a mountain, and there are many activities that can be experienced together, from visiting a local attraction or a dog-friendly beach, to sitting by the fire in a pub. In the UK The National Trust have lots of fun things to do with dogs, including different activities and friendly places to visit.

Routine and stability

Pets have their own specific needs at home and are often creatures of habit. It’s good to try and make sure these same needs are met on holiday, from their place to sleep and how long they sleep for, their diet and eating times, exercise and general chill-out times.

In case of emergency

Lastly, check insurance before you go, especially if venturing outside the UK, to see if you need any additional cover.

(*Source MORE TH>N pet ownership report)