Wagging Tails and Happy Trails: Planning Dog-Friendly Holidays

Posted by Jackie Ly on

A couple and their dog playing at the beach

People who love their dogs always want to take their dogs with them to trips, even short ones like to the local cafe. Much more on holidays. Having your pup hop into the car with you on your way to your next holiday adventure makes it a special event for the two of you.

Planning a dog-friendly holiday involves careful consideration. From choosing the perfect destination to making sure they’ve got basic training down pat, preparation is key to getting a paw-sitively perfect adventure!

Best dog-friendly holiday spots

  • The beach — Many beaches in Australia are dog-friendly or has designated dog-friendly areas where your furry friend can enjoy the sun and sand. Some even have activities you and your pup can enjoy together. Imagine them shredding some gnarly waves! Just make sure to put some life vests on them to ensure their safety.

  • For dogs who don’t enjoy being in the water, they can still frolick along the coast and dig to their hearts’ content.

  • Camping trips — Embrace the call of the wild by planning a camping adventure with your pup. After a long day of following trails and taking in gorgeous views, wind down at your campsite with good food, good stories, and a whole lot of cuddling with your canine companion.

  • Campervan road trips — Hit the open road with your dog by embarking on a housebus adventure. You set the pace of your travel, giving your pup as many opportunities to take a break from being in the car for long periods of time. You also have the freedom to travel anywhere, allowing you and your dog to explore various destinations and create memories along the way.

  • Lakes — Lakeside getaways are the perfect places for owners and dogs who enjoy both the water and the mountains. From tranquil settings to outdoor activities like swimming and hiking, it’s an ideal escape that combines the best of both worlds.

  • National parks — Nature lovers rejoice! Many national parks welcome dogs on designated trails. Enjoy breathtaking views and breezes through your hair—and your dog’s fur, too!
  • Tips for planning dog-friendly holidays

    1. Choose where to go. Ensure that every place on your itinerary welcomes pets; some locations have breed and size restrictions. A quick Google search will reveal pet-friendly accommodation options, restaurants, and other attractions in your chosen destination. It’s also important to find the nearest vet in the area for any unexpected health concerns.
    2. Decide how you’ll get there. Will you be travelling by car? By train? On your motorhome? Or will you be flying? Assess your dog’s tolerance for travel, especially for long distances, as most dogs do not like staying in a restrictive area for too long. If you’re flying to your destination, check with your airline’s policies on bringing dogs with you. Consider your dog’s reaction to travelling, too. Do they get carsick? Do they have their usual bladder and poop control? Some dogs get diarrhoea from anxiety. Ensure your vehicle is properly dog-proofed and ready for any unfortunate accidents. Or consider socialising your dog with your car first so trips are enjoyable all around.
    3. Check in with your vet. Pay your vet a visit before going on holiday with your dog. Make sure your dog is up to date with their vaccinations. If your dog isn’t already microchipped, consider doing so, so you’ll know how to track them if they ever get lost. Your vet is also where you get your dog’s health certificate, which is a requirement for some airlines.Take this opportunity to ask your vet for remedies to any health issues or problems that arise during travel, such as carsickness, diarrhoea, and vomiting. If your dog has anxiety or would likely have it during the trip, your vet can suggest medicating them. There’s usually a trial period before the trip for these meds so you can know what to expect.
    4. Pack for your dog. In addition to your own luggage, make sure to pack your dog’s essentials. Some of the items you need to bring include your dog’s vaccination records and other requirements from the airlines and hotels, as well as a leash, collar, and their identification tags.Bring portable food and water bowls and treats to reward your pup for good behaviour, especially while heading to your destination. Don’t forget to bring poop bags and other items to help you clean up after your dog. Add your dog’s medications and first-aid kits to your luggage to help with emergencies. Because travel can be quite stressful to dogs, even for the ones who apparently love it,   bring some of their toys or a blanket they curl up with at home. This can be a source of comfort and can keep them from getting bored during the ride.
    5. Make sure your dog knows their commands. Your dog should at least know basic commands like “sit”, “heel”, and “stay”, as well as the all-important recall command: knowing to come when they’re called. This reduces the chances of your dog running off and getting lost in a place you may be unfamiliar with.

    A dog-friendly holiday isn’t just about the destination. Beyond the scenic landscapes, your shared getaway is also about the shared experiences, the joy in the journey, and the bond that grows stronger with every step you and your pup will take.

    As you go through the planning process, remember that preparation is part of the adventure. Grab your leashes, pack the extra treats, and get ready to leave paw prints on the map and gather tail-wagging tales to tell.

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