Five tips for taking your dog with you on a summer holiday

Summer holidays can be fun for the whole family, especially if you decide to take your dogs along on your adventures. To ensure you get the best out of your trip with your furry friends, Dr. Sarah Machell, Medical Director for Vetster, has shared her top five top tips to ensure that your trip goes as smooth as possible.

Vetster, a digital platform that connects licensed vets with pet owners virtually, with 24/7 online appointments, launches in the UK this summer.


  1. Do a practice run 

If you’re planning a road trip and your dog isn’t used to being in the car, do a test run to allow you to see the type of challenges you may face on a longer ride. For example, some dogs may suffer from car sickness or anxiety. A practice run will also allow your pet to get used to the car ride itself and any special car seats or harnesses you decide to use.

  1. Check with your vet before you go

Check in with your vet at least several weeks before your trip to address any issues that may arise. Paperwork requirements for international travel can take months to complete, so plan ahead. Even if you are travelling within the UK, ensure you speak with your vet ahead of your trip to ensure your dog is in a healthy condition to be away from home. Travelling can take a toll on both the body and mind for humans, and this can be the same for dogs. If you notice that your dog is acting different or doesn’t seem comfortable, book an online consultation with a licensed vet from Vetster, which is available 24/7.

  1. Plan ahead, every step of the way

Whether you’re driving, flying, or even sailing to your holiday destination, it’s important to plan ahead and stay organised. Airlines have several regulations when travelling with dogs and not all Airbnb’s, hotels and resorts accept pets. The last thing you want on your holiday is to find out that your accommodation is not dog-friendly. Additionally, make sure you have all the correct documents required for your dog before booking a plane ticket or driving. Even while on holiday, consider researching the activities and restaurants to ensure that they are dog friendly. Planning ahead will help you avoid disappointment and allow you and your dog to have a great trip together.


  1. Never leave your dog alone in a hot car

Even with the best plan, your dog may not be able to join you on all of your activities. Make sure your canine companion has a suitable place to wait for your return, and never leave your dog alone in a hot car. While the car may seem safe and cool enough when parked in a shaded area with the windows open, temperatures inside a car can rise quickly and put your dog at risk for life-threatening heatstroke. If your dog can’t come along with you, see if your accommodation can organise a dog sitter to watch them.


  1. Plan in case you get separated

When bringing your dog to an unfamiliar place, it’s important to have a plan in case of separation. Therefore, when traveling abroad, ensure your dog is wearing clearly visible identification including your name, home address and local contact details. Secondly, all dogs in the UK must be microchipped, which will be beneficial to locate your pet if you get separated at any point. Before leaving town, ensure that your dog’s microchip registration information and visible ID are up to date with contact information that will work during your trip. For holiday purposes, it may be helpful to include contact information for where you are staying while away and to let others be aware of your dog’s presence, such as staff at a resort or hotel.

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