Holidays With Your Pet

by Will Sennitt

by Will Sennitt, Ryedale Vets

As COVID restrictions begin to subside, many of us are considering on taking a holiday with our pets this year. Our vet, Will Sennitt talks about how to make a getaway with your pet a success.

Going on a holiday adventure with your dog can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The UK has so much natural beauty to explore—with Ryedale and the North York Moors being a prime example! However, if you are planning to go a little further afield with your furry family member there a few pointers that can help make your trip one for the memory book rather than a disastrous anecdote!

As always, planning ahead is vital. When booking your place to stay, make sure they can accommodate pets and check for any specific rules to take them. Some places may ask for additional fees to cover the cost of extra cleaning. Many camp sites are dog-friendly but it is always prudent to ensure you have the means to keep your dog within your pitch (not every happy camper enjoys waking up to a slobbery lick to the face!). There are stakes that go in the ground designed for leads to be attached to. If using these, you should always make sure your dog has plenty of access to shade and water. They should also never be left tied up unattended.

If we are lucky enough to see some sunshine this summer, you must always have provisions to protect your dog from overheating. You should always carry a bottle of water dedicated for your thirsty pooch to drink from. Dogs cannot sweat to cool themselves down, their tongue swells to draw in more blood and they pant to pass air over it. This evaporates saliva from the tongue and cools their blood. Because of this, dogs that become dehydrated can quickly overheat and become hyperthermic. Having a high temperature for too long can cause seizures and multiple organ failure which can sadly be fatal.

Unfortunately, there is rarely a summer that goes by without us seeing a hyperthermic dog for emergency treatment at the practice. Dogs with shorter noses are at higher risk of hyperthermia because of the anatomy of their upper airway. It is for these same reasons that we warn every summer to never leave dogs in hot cars.

If you are travelling far with your furry family member, it would be wise to research where the nearest vets are in case of emergency situations. All vets should provide information of their out-of-hours emergency provision. If your pet has an ongoing condition that requires medication or treatment, you may find contacting a local vet before you leave can help them prepare for any potential visits.

Being in new surroundings can be stressful for some dogs and it may be difficult for them to settle. Taking something along that is familiar, such as their crate or a blanket that smells like home, may make the change less stressful. There are also a variety of stress-relieving remedies available to try—our vets and nurses can advise on the best to suit your needs.

Travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland with a dog, cat or ferret requires even more preparation, as they now require an Animal Health Certificate alongside the usual rabies vaccination. This is a 10 page certificate that will be checked at the border of the first country you enter. Because of the detailed nature of the certificate and rabies vaccination requirements, it is best to let your vet know 1–2 months in advance of your planned travel date. This will help ensure your travel abroad will go without a hiccup!

So if you are hoping to make your summer holiday with your dog a relaxing break, planning ahead is key. If you have any questions about caring for your dog whilst you’re away from home, just give us a call or send us an email. We wish everyone glorious summer and a bon voyage!

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