The summer weather is well & truly here and at last the kids are on holidays. What a fabulous time of year this is; a time to try to relax and catch up on things but also a time for holidays. But what happens with your pets whilst you go on holiday?
Perhaps the cat goes to a cattery or stays at home with a neighbour coming in to feed and fuss them. We did take our cat on holiday many years ago which worked out fine but I’m sure this wouldn’t be right for many cats who’d be far happier staying at home.
Now the dog is a different matter. We’ve discovered, like many people, that going on holiday without the dog is like leaving one of the kids behind. Many dogs are good travellers in the car and they can also be very relaxed about new environments and people.
For those that go abroad, travel to Europe with a dog is very straightforward these days. The passport scheme is much simpler than it used to be and the ports are geared up for travelling canines.
Here are my top tips for taking your dog on holidays:
Get your passport early – there’s a 3 week delay between getting your rabies vaccination and passport before you can leave the UK. Remember that they must be micro-chipped first.
Get some advice about parasites and hazards – there are a number of parasitic infections in warmer regions which can be transmitted by insect bites. In certain areas sandflies, mosquitoes or ticks can harbour serious diseases so your dog needs to be protected. Ask your vet for advice.
Allow extra time in your journey for leg stretching, toileting and a drink. Remember it’s their holiday too!
Be aware of how hot it is in the car. Watch for signs of heat stress as it could be much hotter in the back of the car than it is where you’re sitting. Ensure that cool air can circulate right through the vehicle.
Remember to secure your dog in the car either in a crate, behind a dog guard or with a harness and seat belt.
Remember that you must go and see a Vet before you return – they will give a tapeworm treatment and sign this off in your dog’s passport.
Above all enjoy your holidays, be it with or without your pets.
Vet Helen Walton-Collett has recently completed an extra qualification in small animal ophthalmology
Concerns have been raised about Alabama rot disease in dogs being picked up in muddy and wooded areas
We have been making a significant effort to ensure your pet’s visit to Bicester Vets is as enjoyable as possible