A guide to taking your dog on your holiday
By Nick Jones
Not only do I work as a full time dog behaviourist, I am a proud dad to my lovely daughter and there's my better half Sara. Our daughter is now 13, and since her birth we have become firm advocates of holidaying within the UK with our dogs.
Most of our breaks are coastal, exploring Cornwall and Devon extensively as we live in land-bound Worcestershire. Holidaying with your dogs is great fun, but does bring fresh challenges that can be overcome with a little forethought. The following advice is aimed at providing a number of tips to ensure you leave any holiday experience with your head held high, and your dogs being ambassadors for the canine community.
- Accommodation. B&B / Hotel / Caravan / Tent.
Consider the individual needs of your dog when choosing holiday accommodation. If your dog is prone to be vocal, consider when staying on a camp or caravan site try to pre book a quieter pitch away from people regularly passing. It's important that your dog is not given the opportunity to become protective of your location. The use of an appropriate fixing point such as a long line to keep your dog contained on site, a comfortable place to rest and a chew or toy to keep them busy should help minimise the opportunity to be vocal towards passers-by. Provide shade and water, especially if hot. Placing the dog behind a windbreak may help if the dog is prone to constantly bark at passers-by.
- Dog behaviour in a public place.
It is essential to ensure that you always remove any faeces, and that you correctly dispose of it. Carry more poo bags than you think you need. Nothing worse than being caught short for a bag!
Consider researching the area you visit beforehand as a number of beaches are closed to dogs during the peak season. This has caught us out a few times and we now go prepared with a list. You can find good information on the internet for this.
- Environmental & Safety Factors.
Do ensure your dog has adequate identification. This could take the form of micro chipping, or at least ID on its collar.
Taking your dog away with you should enhance your holiday experience. They should be an ambassador to the canine community, and enhance your overall enjoyment and relationship.
A key point to remember is that the behaviour your dog is capable now will be the behaviour you see when on holiday. If you know you need to work on a particular area, seek the guidance of a reputable trainer to point you in the right direction.
Nick Jones MA. MCFBA