Dog Holidays

PETSMART in the US has heaps of products for dog holidays. Especially in the car area, in terms of protecting both your dog and your car. Excellent products for holidays with dogs. Harnesses, barriers, seat covers, steps, cleaners, carriers and water bottles.

Preparing your dog for holidays

About two weeks before going away on holiday, take your dog to the vet to check that their vaccinations and fitness are all in order. Check whether fleas and ticks are a known problem in the area you will be visiting.

A few days beforehand the holiday, get him fully-groomed, to avoid excessive shedding and clawing.

Your dog's holiday travel kit should include items such as: travel crate, spare collar, leash, tag, collapsible water bowl, food, flea treatment, first aid kit, his regular food and treats, a copy of his vaccination papers, poo bags, brush, and something to clean up messes.

Ensure he is microchipped, his collar and tag are secure, your neighbours know of your plans, and you have a picture, in case he goes missing on holidays.

Seasonal Differences

For summer dog holidays, give your dog lots of chances to cool down on his holiday. Make sure he has a shady area, and even a splash pool of his own. Walk him in the cooler parts of the day, and do a daily inspection of his coat for ticks and fleas.

For winter dog holidays, consider getting a warm dog coat. Your dog's paws may also become sensitive to the chemicals used to melt ice on sidewalks. Consider dog boots, and wipe his paws clean afterwards, rubbing oil into his pads if they become dry and cracked.

Dog Camps

Did you know there are dog holiday resorts specifically setup for you and your dog to have a great time? These are called dog camps, where you actually have to have a dog to attend. The best dog camps will include seminars, courses and special activities for you and your companion dog.

Check out a list of Dog Camps.

Choosing a Boarding Kennel

If you can't take your dog on holidays with you, a boarding kennel may be required. Boarding kennels can be plain and simple, or extremely luxurious. Obviously this will affect the final price.

Check with other dog owners, and your local vet, for personal recommendations.

Visit the boarding kennel beforehand to check out cleanliness, exercise, health checks, bedding, staff skills and special needs. Bring your dog with you on the preliminary check, to get him familiar with the place.

Your dog should be fully vaccinated, not in season (if female), familiar with a crate, and with basic obedience skills. Give staff details of the level of obedience your dog generally displays, contact details for you and your vet, and bring favourite toys and bedding as reassurance.

Drop your dog off the day before your holiday, so he is not over-excited by the preparations of the rest of your family.

Pet Sitting

If you can't bring your dog with you on holidays, and would like him to be able to stay at home, try pet sitting, where someone comes to your home to feed and walk your dog.

Or maybe you'd like to start your own business as a petsitter.

Worldwide Pet Sitting Directory is an interactive site matching pet owners and pet sitters worldwide.

Car Travel with dogs

Some dogs become over-stimulated during car travel. This commonly includes working dogs such as kelpies, cattle dogs and border collies. One solution is to block their view, by seating them down low, or having a dog cage with semi-solid sides.

Before taking them on a big dog holiday, get them used to small trips with a pleasant outcome. Our dog knows a car trip usually means a trip to a special dog park, so he loves it.

Medication from your vet is also an option for very nervous dogs.

Ensure your dog is correctly restrained during car travel. An unrestrained dog can bounce around inside a car with enough velocity to kill or maim a human. Use a body harness that allows a seatbelt to be threaded through it.

Dog Skiing

If you prefer active dog holidays, check out Skijoring Gear from YourActivePet. It is cross county skiing while attached to your dog's skijoring harness, who assists you in moving down the trail by pulling you from a waist belt while you ski along behind, attached to a shock cord tow line.

Dog-Friendly Holiday Resorts

Many holiday resorts will cater for you to bring your dog along with you. Hot Dog Holidays has suggestions for dog-friendly holiday resorts in Europe.

The best dog friendly holiday resorts will specifically cater for dogs. Look for small individually fenced cottages that don't require your dog to be on leash all the time. Make sure your dog enjoys his holidays too.