Jul 12

Tail-Wagging Tips: Advice for Travelling with Your Dog on Holiday

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Taking your dog on holiday can be a wonderful experience, but it can require some careful planning to ensure their safety and comfort. Whether you're embarking on a road trip or exploring a new destination, these tips will help make your dog's holiday a tail wagging success.

Car Travel

Follow these tips for car travel and creating a comfortable and safe environment for your furry friend, making the journey an enjoyable part of your adventure together.

Familiarise Your Dog

If your dog isn’t used to car travel, you’ll need to introduce the car to them before your trip. Start off by letting them hang out in the car with a stuffed KONG or long lasting chew without actually travelling anywhere to pair the car with positive experiences. Once they are happy in the car, go on short car rides to help them become accustomed to the motion.

Comfort and Calm

It’s likely that your dog is going to be spending longer in the car than they are used to so it’s important to ensure that they’re comfortable. You could provide some cushioned bedding for them to relax on and think about using pheromone sprays to help keep them calm during the journey.

When packing up your car, ensure there is good air-flow to the area where your dog will be. This is especially important in hot weather where it can get pretty toasty if you aren’t directly in front of the cooling air-conditioning.

Safety First

Invest in a quality dog seat belt or crate to secure your dog while they’re in the car. Not only is this important for both your and your dog’s safety, but it’s also part of the Highway Code. 
Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.

Frequent Breaks

Plan regular breaks during long drives to allow your dog to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and have a drink of water.

Packing Essentials

To ensure your dog's comfort and well-being during the holiday, here are some essential items for you to add to your packing list.

Comfy bed

Bring your dog's bed to provide them with a sense of familiarity and security wherever you stay. If your dog is crate trained, taking their crate on holiday with you can provide your dog with an instant safe place to rest and relax.

Food and Water

Bring an ample supply of your dog's regular food to avoid sudden changes in their diet. And pack more water than you think you’ll need for your journey in case you can’t fill up your water bottle, or get delayed. Don’t forget food and water bowls too!

Medications and First Aid Kit

Pack any normal medications your dog requires, along with a basic first aid kit.  Mine includes items such as bandages, saline solution, antiseptic, a tick remover tool and nail clippers. I also never go on holiday without some A-OK9 Rescue-K9 in case one of my dogs has an upset stomach whilst we’re away.


Holidays are often made up of full, fun-packed days which mean your dog isn’t getting as much rest as normal, which can lead to them getting a full bucket. To help them relax, provide them with some calm enrichment such as a stuffed KONG, long lasting chew or lickmat.
Want to know more about your dog's bucket?
Check out this blog post, "Your dog’s bucket and how it affects training."


Ensure your dog wears a collar with an up-to-date ID tag that includes your contact information. In the UK it’s a legal requirement for your dog’s ID tag to have your surname and address on, but it's also a good idea to have your telephone number so that you can be contacted if someone finds your dog.

Look Up the Local Vet

Before you travel, find out about veterinary clinics in the area you'll be visiting. Make a note of their information including telephone number, address and opening hours. 

Also find out where the nearest 24hr emergency vet is, just so you have their details saved, although hopefully you’ll never need them!
Taking your dog on holiday can be a rewarding experience, but it requires a bit of planning and preparation. By following these tips for car travel, packing essentials and looking up the local vet, you'll be set up for a safe and enjoyable trip for both you and your furry friend.

Happy travels!
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