What do I need to know before I take a pet on holiday?

“While cats prefer familiar surroundings, it’s perfectly okay to take your dog on holiday with you. If you do, make sure you give them plenty of exercise and toilet breaks if travelling by car. And when you reach your destination, don’t let them wander around unsupervised as they’re likely to get themselves into trouble in unfamiliar surroundings.”


You don’t have to feel guilty! While cats are happier left in familiar surroundings, dogs enjoy adventures with their family.

 Your cat

Before dealing with the doggy traveller, let’s deal with the cat conundrum.

 You could board your cat in a cat kennel where it will not be particularly happy, but will be safe and well cared for; you could leave it at home where it would rather be and have someone come in regularly to feed and provide some attention; or you could board it with a friend.

 The best option is probably to leave your cat at home with a kind neighbour or family member coming in. It’s a bit hard on the person, but kinder to the cat. Chances are the cat will probably be quite happy even if it misses you. They don’t like new surroundings.

 Your dog

With Fido the sky’s the limit – literally! While it’s expensive to take your dog with you on a plane, this is perfectly possible. However, we’re talking domestic flights. While not impossible, overseas travel is a far more complicated exercise.

 However, taking your dog with you on holidays in Australia is easy. If you’re travelling by car, make sure your dog is comfortable: either in the back section of the car, with bedding, a toy and preferably a grill to prevent him from jumping onto the back seat, or in suitable restraining gear if on the seat. It’s better not to feed your dog just before you go and you will need to take regular stops to give the dog a drink, a walk and a toilet break. Try not to make the trip too long – most dogs have a maximum tolerance level of four hours.

 Choose your holiday destination carefully be researching dog-friendly accommodation and beaches. Always be well equipped with waste disposal bags and don’t allow your dog to roam around unsupervised. Most dogs are foragers and hunters and can get into trouble, particularly with creatures that live in the wild. And make sure to protect your dog against ticks.

 Camping is a delightful way to holiday with a dog and you can bring his kennel or doggy bed along to help him settle. For safety sake take him into the tent or van with you at night, or secure him with a leash so he doesn’t wander off to pursue temptation while you’re asleep. Here again, make sure you choose camping areas that accept dogs.

 The companionship your dog provides will enhance your holiday and boost your enjoyment. Dogs are plain and simple – huge fun. And you won’t have to worry about what your dog is doing while you’re away.

Remember, wherever you may go, as long as you are there, your dog will be happy. And so will you.

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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