With their cute little faces, soft furry bodies and endless love to give, it's no wonder that leaving our pets at home while we holiday fills us with guilt and sadness. Sometimes it's hard to find places that will even consider allowing pets inside, let alone at all. Whether you're travelling overseas, interstate or just heading away for a short weekend break, we've made a list of helpful information to include that other valuable member of the family. Your pet.....
Umm, where to start?: If you're heading off for a local short getaway, a great place to start looking for pet friendly accommodation is the internet... Websites like Stayz, Airbnb, HomeAway, Pet Friendly, Holidaying With Dogs and heaps of others will allow you to find properties and accommodation to suit ALL of your families needs. Also many hotels are now offering pet friendly rooms. Don't forget caravan parks and camping grounds, but don't forget to check for restrictions. Some properties will charge extra for your fur baby to stay and have a whole list of Do's and Dont's, others can be quite relaxed. It just takes some time and effort to see which property will be most suited for all involved.
Now, what to take?: Packing for yourself isn't the only packing you'll need to think of. Taking all the necessary bits and bobs for your furry friend is just as important. Food, bedding, toys, medication (if needed), water bowl, car harness and a leash are some of the necessary items that need to be added to your packing list. Oh and don't forget to make the car ride comfy with a padded seat, some water and a few snacks.
Take a break! No, make that a few: Remember when travelling (especially in the car) that it's important to take multiple breaks along the way. Pit stops for toilet breaks and a drink of water are imperative so that your pet doesn't get distressed and dehydrated. It'll also give them something to sniff and look at along the way.
Up, up and away: Booking flights for your pet for interstate and international travel is a little more complex. If you're travelling with your pet the suggestion is to book your pets flight first so you can get them an available slot and then do your own. Companies like Jetpets, AeroPets and Dogtainers can organise flights, travel containers, information you'll need regarding vaccinations and medication and heaps of other helpful info. Likewise your travel agent can help with all your concerns, questions and bookings. Remember that some countries and states (like Tasmania) require updated vaccination information and even specialised treatments before you can travel there. Please check with your vet and travel agent before you book.
Maybe find somewhere else: Some locations and areas around Australia are not suitable to take your pet to. This would include any national park Australia wide, areas that are of high risk of snake or tick bites (many bushy, coastal or tropical areas) and places that may distress your pet (public transport, loud and noisy areas and extreme heat or cold locations depending on your pets tolerance). There are many tick medications you can give your pet before you travel to high risk areas and always check over your pets skin for ticks after they have been in areas that may be infested. Also areas with livestock and native animals like kangaroos may be enticing to certain dog breeds so it may be best to avoid staying too close to areas with farm animals and native animals. This will ensure both your dog and the livestock and local fauna aren't injured, killed, lost or frightened in any way.
Always be responsible: Being a responsible pet owner isn't just about bringing all the right gear and snacks. You need to think outside the box and always think of how your pet will feel in the process. Take into account that your little fur baby may be frightened of loud noises and flashing lights so steering clear of things like fireworks and loud music concerts is always a kind first step. Likewise travelling on many types of transport (including boat, plane and car) can distress your pet. If this is the case it may be wise in chatting to your vet regarding mild sedating medication but it's never the best option. Never let your pet travel when it's sick or has been vomiting and it's always handy to know the closest vet and emergency hospitals just in case. Make sure your pets microchip details are up to date and current. Likewise a tag or disc on their collar is a fantastic idea just in case they get lost.
A happy fur baby makes for a happy holiday.
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