Holidays are exciting for everyone, so why leave your pets behind? Dogs are just as much a part of the family as anybody else, and they enjoy exploring new places as much too, so if you’re planning a trip or you’re hitting the road for a while, it’s worth looking into the practicalities of taking your pets with you.  This is especially true if you’re going away on your own, as dogs can provide comfort, security, and the motivation to go out every day and explore the area. While it may also cause some issues – we wouldn’t recommend taking a pet with you on a city break, where they may not be allowed in most restaurants and museums – a walking holiday or an extended period of travelling is the perfect way to get away with your pet.

It can take a while to get your pet ready for the journey, so we’ve put together some tips to make sure they’re comfortable. Don’t forget to take out a pet insurance policy before you go – Pets at Home Insurance has a great policy which covers overseas vet bills, ideal to give you that extra peace of mind.

Travelling by car

If you’re planning on taking off in the car, you’ll probably want to pick up a good-sized dog cage – large enough for your pet to stand up, sit up and lie down comfortably. Dogs can get a little restless in cars, so it’s a good idea to have some practice runs in the weeks leading up to your trip, so that your dog is used to it when you finally set off. You can also get dedicated dog seats and harnesses, which might be a better option for smaller dogs to keep them from losing their balance. Don’t keep them in the front seat – make sure they’re in the back, and keep them away from windows!

Travelling by plane

Again, you’ll need to invest in a carrier, but this time you want to train your dog to use it as a bed or kennel. Don’t use this as somewhere to be sent if your dog does something bad, though – you want them to associate the space with feeling comfortable and content, not scolded. Keep a few of their favourite toys in there, and get them to use it as much as possible in the months leading up to the flight. If you’ve a fairly small pet, you may even be able to travel with them in-cabin – give the airline a call and ask, so you can spend as much of the journey as possible with them!