Pets, Passports and Paradise…

Pets, Passports and Paradise…

1.    Research, research, research….

Going on holiday with a furry friend has never been easier. With an increasing number of hotels and B&Bs offering animal-friendly accommodation, the dawn of pet passports and an assortment of travel products available, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t book sooner! Travelling with pets does not come cheap! If you’re planning to travel on a plane, it is important to make sure you look around before filling with excitement and clicking ‘book’. Different airlines offer different prices and assistance, so it is worth shopping around beforehand. There are many different regulations and some have limits on how many pets you can take.  Make sure you research travel restrictions and quarantine laws pre-holiday. Also remember, it can be extremely stressful for animals to travel in cargo, so it is important to consider their health and wellbeing.

2.    Visit the vet

The Pet Travel Scheme allows pet owners to take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other countries in the European Union and some non-EU countries (there’s about 50 of them – from Andorra to Vanuatu including the US, Australia, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates), and return to the UK without the need for quarantine.  If you’re travelling outside of these areas, it is very important to make sure you comply with the rules and regulations of that place. Your pet may need vaccinations or blood tests, so it is crucial to liaise with the vet well in advance!

3.    On the road?

The Eurotunnel allows customers to take their pets with them for the short 35 minute journey to France, and prices start at just £17 per animal. Whilst this is a bargain, of course it limits your travel due to being in a car. But who doesn’t love a road trip?! Although driving is less risky for companion animals than flying is, there are, of course, some precautions to take. Never keave your animal in a hot car, and always make sure they are getting enough food, water and exercise. If you do want to drive to your dream destination, make sure you allow for regular stops not just for your pet, but for you, too!

4.    There’s no place like home..

As UK residents, we are so lucky to be home to many pet-friendly holiday locations. All you have to do is type ‘pet-friendly holidays’ into Google and within seconds, there’s an endless list of cottages, holiday parks, campsites and many more fun-filled destinations on offer. Even though the British weather may not deliver all the time, there’s so many options available that you start considering to ditch the tan, and pick up the walking boots. Britain is beautiful, and we should embrace that. Your pets will feel a lot more at ease with the short amount of travelling, and that will help you to relax and know they’re content.

5.    Just me, myself and…pet?

Some people just want to getaway by themselves, I mean if you can’t enjoy your own company, who’s can you enjoy? Your pets? Correct! And what better idea than to take them with you on the lone-ranger travels. So how about signing up for a group-walking holiday with your dog? Ramblers Holidays runs a Paws on Tour programme in which dogs can join their owners on guided group walks from dog-friendly hotels. It has a five-night trip walking the Dales of Co Durham In August. Accommodation is at dog-friendly location and dinner and breakfast at the hotel are included in the cost, check www.ramblersholidays.co.uk for prices and more info.
For something less structured, Explore by Paw (meetup.com/Explore-by-Paw-dog-walking-weekends) has weekend group dog walks and provides details of dog-friendly accommodation nearby.

If you’re still in two minds about whether you want to go ahead with the adventure of a lifetime, the RSPCA offers excellent advice whether you are taking your pet by road, rail, sea or aircraft. If you have any doubt about your pet’s fitness to travel then seek advice from a vet.

Happy holidaying, to you and the pets!

Jessica Barratt

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