10 Tips for a trouble-free dog holiday

With millions of people getting ready to pack up the car for a dog-friendly holiday this summer, you are likely to be mingling with A LOT of people and dogs at your destination. With this in mind, the dog-loving nursing team at Clent Hills Vets have come up with their top tips to help you and your pet have a trouble-free stay.  

Speaking of trouble, unplanned vet visits on holiday can be a right pain for your dog and can scupper your plans. Download our guide to avoiding these here:  

How to Avoid Vet Visits on Holiday

Dogs and holidays...  

Taking your dog on holiday can be a wonderful experience for the whole family. However, it is wise to remember that your dog will be presented with an abundance of new sights, sounds, smells, and experiences, which will likely affect their normal behaviour. Plus, new surroundings and a new routine can unsettle dogs; they might become anxious, more reactive, bark and pull on the lead more, and could even become over-protective of you or their pet pals.  

To help make sure your dog remains happy and calm so you can have a great holiday together, take a look at the top tips below from the Vet Nurses at Clent Hills Vets. 

10 tips to keep your pet happy & your holiday on track 

  1. Try to keep your dog’s feeding, walking, and bedtime routine as close to normal as possible – of course extra walks and fun are totally ok if your dog can handle them! 
  2. Avoid giving your dog human foods even though you’re “on holiday” if you want to avoid potential tummy troubles and changes in behaviour. If you are letting your dog try a ‘puppaccino’ or ‘pup ice-cream', our Bromsgrove Vet Nurses recommend giving small amounts as these could also cause stomach upsets. 
  3. Check beaches and attractions to ensure they are dog friendly and just because they are, consider whether your dog will be happy and comfortable there. 
  4. A retractable lead can be great on beaches and in the countryside as it will give your dog freedom to explore whilst giving you the ability to reign them in when needed. Going off-lead? Keep an eye on your dog in unfamiliar areas as they may run off to explore, and in picnic areas as they may help themselves! 
  5. Monitor your dog closely when they approach people and pets – even the most placid dogs can be unpredictable in new situations. If you have any doubts keep your dog on a short lead and ask people not to approach them. You can buy lead sleeves and other accessories that state your dog is nervous and should not be approached.  
  6. Take plenty of poop bags and be sure to clean up after your dog – have you heard of this fantastic invention – a bag you can put filled poop bags in that hides the smell
  7. Check your dog’s microchip details are up to date and their ID tag is still attached and correct – by law it should have your name and address on including the postcode. Your mobile phone number is useful too in case your dog gets separated from you on holiday. 
  8. Leaving your dog in your holiday accommodation alone is unwise - it's probably against your host’s rules and your dog may bark excessively or damage/soil their property. 
  9. You may want to consider using a calming pheromone plug-in at home for a week or two before your trip and whilst you are away – just ask our Bromsgrove team about these - contact us
  10. Bribery – yes, you heard it right! Most dogs will do anything for a high value treat or their favourite toy. Keep these with you at all times in case you need to distract your dog from a troublesome situation. 

We hope you found our tips useful and feel confident about your upcoming dog-friendly holiday. If you have any tried and tested tips of your own, pop over to our Facebook page to share them. 

And if you missed it at the start of this article you can download our bonus tips for avoiding vet visits on holiday here:  

Guide to Avoiding Vet Visits on Holiday