There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t take your older dog on holiday with you, but when you’re planning a trip with your senior pooch, there are a few things that you should think about before you set off to make sure you travel safely.
Here’s a quick checklist to help make sure your older hound has a happy holiday:
Be realistic about how far to go
You know your dog better than anyone, so be realistic about how far you think they’ll be comfortable travelling. If they’re used to a thirty-minute drive to the shops once a week, don’t assume they’ll be fine with a six-hour trek to the other end of the country!
Do a mini-practice run
If your dog is out of practice in the car, try doing a mini-practice run to get them used to the idea – they might surprise you and absolutely love their newfound sense of adventure!
If not, don’t despair. Try building their time in the car up gradually, with frequent short trips to let them get used to it, with plenty of praise and encouragement each time. Alternatively, try having someone sit with them on each journey, giving them their full and undivided attention while you’re driving.
Check-in with your vet
Before you set off, be sure to take your four-legged friend for a quick once over at the vet’s – it’s much better to find out about any problems ahead of time than for them to make themselves known when you’re miles away from home.
If your dog has a pre-existing condition, make sure to ask your vet for enough of any medication they take so that you have spare supplies if you need them. Remember, it is vitally important to insure pets with medical conditions, especially if you’re going away and won’t be able to go to your usual vet if an emergency occurs.
As well as picking up any medication that you already know your dog needs, ask your vet for advice on packing a doggy first-aid kit too. It doesn’t need to be extensive, and hopefully, you won’t even need it, but in the event of an accident, having a small supply of bandages, non-adhesive dressings, blunt-ended scissors and perhaps an inflatable collar can help soothe your dog until you can get them to an emergency vet.
On the day
Make sure your dog is safely secured in the car, give them a favorite toy for comfort, and ideally, have someone sitting next to them to offer reassuring belly rubs during the journey!
Make sure to take plenty of rest stops so that your dog can stretch their legs, stay hydrated and answer any calls from nature.
Remember, your dog will pick up on how you’re feeling, so addressing any anxieties you have about traveling with your older pet ahead of time will help you feel calmer so that you can both have a great time.