Despite the world slowly returning to normal and travel restrictions being lifted, for many the thought of vaccination passports and long queues at the airport is not appealing, with UK staycations expected to remain popular amongst holidaymakers in 2022.
One major benefit of choosing a staycation over a holiday abroad, is that your four-legged friends don’t need to miss out on the action, as you can take them with you!
Here are our top tips for planning a dog friendly staycation in the UK this summer.
Location, Location, Location
It may seem obvious, but the first thing you need to decide is where exactly you want to go. The choices are endless, so it’s good to do some research in advance to help narrow down the options. Whether it’s glamping in the Peak District or a castle retreat in the Scottish highlands, the UK has something to get everyone’s tail wagging. Regardless of where you choose, do your research and make sure that there are plenty of doggy-friendly activities and places to eat, so that your pooch doesn’t feel left out.
Getting There and Back
You’re more than likely to be travelling by car, so it’s a good idea to invest in a harness and seatbelt to keep your dog safe. Alternatively you could use a crate or a boot guard, however these won’t protect your pet in the event of an accident. It’s a legal requirement in the UK for your pet to be restrained when travelling so make sure to find a solution that’s right for you.
Travelling in a car can also be stressful for some dogs, so consider investing in a calming product to help them settle and break up the journey to give them plenty of attention and reassurance.
Just like humans, dogs will get bored on a long drive, so plan plenty of stops into your route, allowing your dog (and yourself!) to stretch their legs, go to the toilet and have something to drink. This final point is extremely important for dogs during warmer weather.
Top Tip: Cars can quickly heat up, so if you’re travelling a fair distance, consider leaving earlier in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
Pack The Essentials
One of the best ways to ensure you don’t forget anything when you go on holiday is to make a list. This is no different for a dog friendly staycation and you should look to include everything that both you and your dog will need whilst you’re away. Some of the essentials you will need to pack are:
- Food (enough to ensure you don’t run out)
- Food and water bowls
- Poo bags
- Toys (don’t forget indoor boredom busters to keep them occupied)
- Your dog’s bed
- A spare lead
- Any medication they may be taking
Top Tip: Consider investing in a collapsible water bowl or a doggy water bottle if you’re planning on being out and about for long periods of time.
Be Prepared for Pesky Parasites
As we move into summer the warmer weather can unfortunately bring with it some unwanted hazards for our four-legged friends in the shape of fleas and ticks.
There are precautions you can take, however unfortunately it’s all too easy for these pesky parasites to hitch a ride on your pet’s fur, especially if they’re spending more time outdoors. Ticks, in particular, lurk in long grass and attach to your pet using barbed blood-sucking mouthparts, so will not simply drop off when disturbed and must be removed carefully.
Just like ticks, fleas are more prevalent in the warmer months too and are just itching to hop on board your canine companion given half a chance. These pesky little critters can lay up to 60 eggs a day, meaning that even one flea on your pet could lead to a nasty infestation in no time.
Check your dog regularly by thoroughly combing through their fur in both directions. Pay particular attention to their armpits, groin, ears and neck areas. Don’t forget to check between their toes and other tricky to reach spots.
Top Tip: Help ensure your pet is protected by treating them regularly for fleas and ticks. We recommend using a preventative easy to apply spot-on treatment as part of their regular healthcare routine. These spot-ons can be found in all major supermarkets and pet specialists, meaning that it couldn’t be easier to pick one up next time you’re doing the weekly shop.
Whilst it’s impossible to watch your dog all the time, it is important to keep an eye on anything they may be sniffing (or eating) whilst exploring the great outdoors. It’s likely that your staycation destination will bring with it a veritable smorgasbord of new sights and smells that your four-legged friend will want to investigate and sometimes the temptation will be just too much to resist.
Be as vigilant as possible if you have a dog that likes to scavenge, as they may pick up parasites from the carcasses of dead animals such as birds and rabbits. Your dog may also accidentally (on purpose) eat something that has been contaminated with worm eggs. Roundworm eggs for example are shed in the faeces of infected animals and can easily contaminate the grass and soil your pet comes into direct contact with.
Even slugs and snails can get infected by parasites, which can then develop into worms which live in the heart and arteries of your pet’s lungs. Larvae that are passed out in your dog’s faeces are then eaten by other slugs and snails, continuing the vicious cycle.
Top Tip: When your pet goes to the toilet, make sure you get rid of their faeces immediately and carefully. It’s also worth avoiding areas with faeces from other dogs, cats or wild animals.
The British weather is predictably unpredictable, so make sure you check the local weather forecast before you go and plan the right dog friendly activities. On warmer days you should ensure that your dog has plenty of access to shade and fresh water throughout the day.
You should also never leave your dog in the car and take extra precautions if leaving them behind in your hotel room or other accommodation. Ensure the room is well ventilated and your dog is safely stowed away in their crate where they cannot do any damage to the room or themselves. Consider a boredom-busting toy to keep them occupied if you do have to leave them for any significant period of time.
Also ensure that your dog’s microchip details are up-to-date and that they always wear a collar and tag with your contact details on should they get a little overexcited and wander off. When arriving at your dog friendly staycation, it may also be worth looking-up local vet practices, ensuring that you know where to take your dog if (heaven forbid) there’s an emergency.
As pet lovers ourselves since 1892, we know that when pets are healthy and happy, their owners are happy too.
What Are Your Dog Friendly Staycation Tips?
Are you going on a dog friendly staycation this year? For more helpful advice on caring for your pet’s healthcare needs, head over to bobmartin.co.uk