Updated: Jan 16
When deciding on a vacation trip, we often can't imagine traveling without our pet. Beloved pets for many of us are like members of the family. However, such a trip together should be well planned to avoid trouble and unnecessary stress. Pet food brand 77 Petfood reminds you of the most important tips for traveling with pets, so that they feel truly royally cared for!
Dog passport and identification
If you are planning a vacation abroad - one of the most important issues will be to get your pet a passport. This will enable you to travel comfortably in the countries of Europe, Asia or America. A passport is required for dogs, cats and ferrets. This document will be issued by an authorized veterinarian.
In order for our four-legged friend to receive a passport - it must have a current vaccination against rabies (immunity is acquired by the animal after 21 days from the date of vaccination) and a subcutaneous transponder (chip), allowing its identification. In the passport, the veterinarian enters the data of the owner and the pet - name, sex, age, coat and special marks. Before leaving, it is additionally worth checking the laws of the country, as some areas also require a fresh deworming of the dog or cat.
If you are traveling in Poland and your pet does not have a chip - it is still worth taking care of its easy identification in case it gets lost. The dog's collar should have a tag with the pet's name, the owner's name and phone number, as well as proof of rabies vaccination.
Health and safety
In addition to getting the pet a passport - the veterinarian should also check the dog for any health contraindications to travel. Airlines require a health certificate. The animal must have up-to-date vaccinations.
When traveling by car, small and medium-sized dogs and cats can be fastened with special seat belts or transported in a dedicated carrier placed in the back seat. The cage should be properly secured so that it does not move in case of sudden braking. Putting it between the seats is not a good idea - it can be crushed in case of an accident! The carrier should be made of strong, durable material and have the right dimensions: be spacious enough to allow the dog to change position freely, but not too large - to avoid inertial movement of the pet, for example, when changing direction. Larger dogs are transported in a suitable cage in the trunk, where the trunk space is connected to the cabin. Such conditions are met by station wagons, vans or SUVs. The animal must have access to fresh air, so make sure the vehicle is properly ventilated. You can put a comfortable mat and your dog's favorite toy in the cage.
Before a long trip, it's a good idea to get the dog used to the car by going for short rides. The pet should travel with an empty stomach - this reduces the risk of nausea and vomiting. Instead, he should be given breaks en route and access to water, with the purchase of collapsible bowls, which work well during such stops.
It's a bad idea to let your dog stick his head out the window while driving - this can lead to eye injuries. It can be equally fatal to leave your pet in a closed car, especially in summer.
Airlines allow you to carry your pet in the passenger cabin, provided that its weight including the cage does not exceed 8 kg. Only cats and small dogs are usually allowed to travel on board. Larger animals are placed in a special cage in the cargo hold. On each flight there are restrictions on the number of four-legged animals on board, so it is worth making a reservation in advance, as the first-come, first-served rule applies.
Before you book the hotel you want - make sure it will allow your pet. Many pet-friendly establishments have size or breed restrictions. It's also worth finding out if the hotel requires additional fees for your dog or cat (per day or flat rate), if there are restrictions on floors or if you can leave your pet alone in the room.
And once we have accommodated our pet - let's take care not only of its comfort, but also of other hotel guests. If on a daily basis your dog tends to bark at people passing by the house - you can ask for a room on a higher floor. When the animal gets nervous in the elevators - it is worth choosing a lodging on a lower level and climbing the stairs. Another simple but useful solution is to turn on the TV before leaving the room, so that the dog does not hear people walking down the corridor and does not react nervously. However, it is best not to leave your pet unattended. Stressed by unfamiliar territory, they may bark or destroy property.
Hotels are happy to indicate a list of nearby restaurants that accept pets. Usually, too, part of the hotel's bar or restaurant allows pets. Most establishments with gardens don't mind the presence of dogs, as long as they are on a leash. In case of rainy weather, it's a good idea to have a backup plan, such as eating out.
Polish law does not prohibit dogs on beaches, but each municipality has the right to enact its own regulations in this regard. Different areas of the country have different regulations. Some places ban pets completely, in others a dog on the beach must be on a leash and muzzled, and in still others it is allowed to run and bathe freely. Some dog beaches are open year-round, while some are only open outside the summer or spring-summer season (for example, in Sopot, beaches are closed to dogs from May 1 to September 30). Some beaches also have daily restrictions. Breaking the ban on bringing pets to the beach, which is in force in many seaside towns, will result in a fine of up to PLN 500.
Wanting to enjoy the charms of sunbathing with a pet abroad - it is worth carefully checking the rules in force in a particular country and choose the pet-friendly ones. In some countries (such as Croatian Crikvenica) there are beaches specially designated for dogs and their guardians. Snack boxes for four-legged favorites can be a pleasant surprise.
Despite the undoubted joy we will cause our pets while playing on the beach - do not expose your pets to the sun for too long. This puts them at risk of overheating and dehydration. Make sure they have access to clean water and the opportunity to rest in the shade, under an umbrella. The dog should not drink seawater due to its high salinity - this can result in diarrhea. Hot sand, on the other hand, can steam a dog's paws. It is a good idea to protect the paws with allantan or wear special protectors in the form of shoes or socks (available for purchase in pet stores). It is mandatory to carry a shovel and waste bags to clean up after your dog. After returning from the beach, it's a good idea to rinse salt and sand from your pet's coat in the shower.
What else should you keep in mind when vacationing with your dog?
Since you are planning to explore nature together with your pet - it is definitely worth taking care of tick protection. There are preparations available on the market in the form of drops, tablets or special collars. It's a good idea to bring along a collapsible water bowl, an extra leash, a travel crib, pee pads and favorite toys. Both during the trip itself and at the destination - it's also a good idea to have your pet's favorite snacks and treats with you.