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Ten Tips for a Happy Holiday with your Dog

If you are taking your dog on a UK holiday it's important that you are well prepared for your trip. Just a few minutes planning for your vacation will ensure that you and your dog enjoy your travels. Follow our top tips for a safe and happy holiday with your pooch.

1. The most important thing is to make sure is that you and your dog enjoy your holiday! If your dog suffers from travel sickness or is likely to disturb other guests it may be better not to bring them. Once you have decided to bring your canine companion and found some suitable holiday accommodation make sure that you do some research on www.roverrecommended.com to find lots of dog friendly pubs, attractions and beaches near to where you are staying. The site can also be used to plan a local dog walk and there is a handy mobile version to use on your travels to find the nearest dog friendly places.

2. Make sure that your dog is properly secured in your car, either by using a harness, travel crate or dog guard. Ensure that your dog has a comfortable place to lie down and is not squashed by your luggage. Dogs die in hot cars every year so be vigilant of the temperature at all times when your four-legged friend is in the car.

3. Ensure that your dog has an ID tag with your mobile phone number or the telephone number of your accommodation. Dogs are more likely to get lost in unfamiliar surroundings so it makes sense to get them micro chipped before you go away or if they are already chipped make sure that your contact details are up to date on the relevant online database.

4. Take a travel bowl, such as a light plastic container, and a water bottle for your dog so that you can give them a drink when you break your journey and on days out.

5. Plan stop offs on your journey to give your dog chance to stretch their legs, have a drink and go to the toilet.

6. Remember to pack essential doggy items for your trip. Your dog will need water and food bowls, lead, dog food, your dog's bed or blanket, poo bags, chews, treats and toys. Some people find a corkscrew stake useful for tying your dog to when eating outside. If you can't guarantee that your dog won't climb on the furniture at your holiday accommodation, take a couple of old sheets to cover the sofa.

7. Dry dog food is easier to decant into small portion size bags, creates less mess when your dog eats and is easier to store on holiday. However, do not introduce a new food on holiday in case your dog does not like it or it causes stomach upset.

8. You may not think that grooming your dog will be a priority on your holiday but make sure that you take a jug or bucket to wash your dog, dog shampoo, a brush or comb and a doggy towel. My dog rolled in fox poo just before we were due to arrive at a B&B and needed an emergency bath. She also got spiky seed cases embedded all over her coat when we took her on a walk and we had to buy an emergency comb so that we could get them out to prevent her from trying to pull them out herself and choking on the spikes. It took us 2 hours to comb them all out!

9. Find out where the nearest veterinary surgery is in relation to your holiday accommodation and their phone number. Ensure that your dog's vaccinations are up to date before you set off.

10. You may want to plan a day or half day without your dog if you have your heart set on visiting an attraction that is not dog friendly. Leaving your dog unattended in strange surroundings is not usually a good idea as the most placid of dogs can become destructive. Plan ahead by finding local kennels near to your holiday accommodation that offer day boarding for dogs. Remember to pack your dog's vaccination certificate as any decent kennel will want to check that your dog's vaccinations are up to date before looking after your dog. Another alternative is to book holiday accommodation with its own kennel or if your dog is happy to be left in a cage for short periods of time bring it with you.

Taking your dog on holiday with you requires some organisation, but with a little planning will be a really rewarding and enjoyable experience for you and your dog.

Louise Dolan
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Plan the perfect dog friendly holiday or day out at www.roverrecommended.com.