Travelling with Your Pet

by Will Sennitt
Published: Updated:

by William Sennitt MRCVS, Ryedale Vets

Going on a holiday adventure with your dog can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, if you are planning to go a little further afield with your furry family member, there are 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’s always prudent to ensure you have the means to keep your dog within your pitch. You can buy stakes that go in the ground designed for leads to be attached – if using these, you should always make sure your dog has plenty of access to shade and water. Dogs should also never be left tied up unattended.

If you are travelling far with your pet, 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

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 dog to drink from. Dogs cannot sweat to cool themselves down, their tongue swells to draw in more blood and they can’t 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 the practice 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.

Travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland with a dog, cat or ferret requires even more preparation as they require and Animal Health Certificate alongside a rabies vaccination. An Animal Health Certificate is a 10 page document that will be checked at the border of the first EU 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 trip abroad will go without a hiccup!

Being in new surroundings can be stressful for some dogs and it may be difficult for them to settle initially. 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.

So if you are hoping to make your summer holiday with your pet a relaxing break – planning ahead is key. If you have any questions about caring for your pet whilst you’re away from home, just give us a call on 01751 472204 or 01439 771166, or send us an email.

Book now on this link.

Will Sennitt
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