5 Tips for Stress-free Travel with your Dog

5 Tips for Stress-free Travel with your Dog

The good news for dog owners is that venturing out with your canine companion is becoming easier than ever.

Recent years have seen a surge in dog-friendly holidays and travel options across the UK. From dedicated cottages to pubs with water bowls and walking routes, there's a world of exploration waiting for you and your furry friend.

But before you hit the road, a little planning goes a long way in ensuring a stress-free experience for both of you. Here are five top tips to make your travels with your dog as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Research and plan

Preparation is key! Not all destinations are created equal when it comes to dogs. Before booking, do your research. Luckily, there are plenty of resources at your fingertips. Websites like the Dogs Trust and VisitEngland offer extensive lists of dog-friendly accommodation, attractions, and walking trails.

Think about your dog's temperament and needs. If they're a nervous soul, avoid bustling city breaks. Opt for peaceful countryside retreats with plenty of space to explore.

Pack wisely

Packing for your dog is just as important as packing for yourself. Bring along a familiar bed, their favourite toys, and a good supply of their usual food. Opting for sensitive dog food can help avoid tummy upsets caused by unfamiliar water or changes in routine.

Don't forget the essentials: poop bags, a sturdy lead, a water bowl, and any medication they require. A collapsible water bowl and travel-sized food containers can help save space. Consider a cooling mat for hot weather and a reflective jacket for added visibility during night walks.

Maintain a routine

Dogs thrive on consistency. As much as possible, try to stick to their regular feeding times and walking schedule while traveling. This will help them feel more settled in unfamiliar surroundings.

If you're staying in a hotel or rental property, bring along familiar items like a blanket or crate to create a safe space for your dog. You can even pack a recording of calming music or white noise to mask unfamiliar sounds.

Plenty of exercise

A tired dog is a happy dog (and a less stressed dog owner!). Factor in plenty of exercise opportunities throughout your trip. Research dog-friendly walks and hikes near your destination. Plan your travel route with regular breaks for your dog to stretch their legs and relieve themselves.

Remember, some dogs require more exercise than others. Consider your dog's breed and age when planning activities. A good sniff around a new park or a game of fetch in the garden is just as beneficial as a long hike.

Be flexible and patient

Things don't always go to plan, and that's okay. Be prepared to adapt to your dog's needs. If they seem nervous in a new environment, give them time to adjust. Take plenty of breaks and avoid rushing them into anything they're uncomfortable with.

Remember, patience is key. Unexpected situations might arise, like traffic delays or a noisy restaurant. Stay calm and reassuring to your dog, and they'll likely follow your lead.