Touring with pets
Hitting the road with your pooch? Follow these simple tips for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday with man’s best friend.
WORDS David Gilchrist
The car is fuelled, the caravan is loaded and you’re ready to go. The trouble is, knowing what to do with Winston the bulldog or Tash the tabby-cat…
We’ve got you covered with some simple points for successful travel with your pooch or moggy.
BEFORE YOU GO
- Several weeks before leaving, spend time teaching your dog or cat to accept a carry case or crate and to relax and be calm in it.
- Ensure your pet is fully vaccinated and up-to-date with its registration.
- Make sure your pet has a nametag and contact phone number on its collar.
- Pet-friendly parks all have different conditions for allowing pets, so make sure you confirm with management on the holiday park’s pet policy when you enquire.
- Check what pet-friendly public parks and beaches are close by your final destination.
- Ensure you have the proper equipment to transport your pet.
- Take a ‘pooper scooper’ or plastic bags to keep parklands clean.
- Pack a coat or blanket for your pet.
- Carsickness could be a problem. Talk to your vet about the need for anti-anxiety medications.
- Collect the contact details of their regular vet so that the vet way out at ‘Whoop Whoop’ can call your vet at home and discuss the animal’s history.
- Purchase pet insurance to cover you if you’re faced with unexpected vet bills.
- If your pet is on special medications or diet then make sure you have sufficient medication with you to last the entire trip.
- To be prepared for an emergency, it’s worthwhile ringing ahead to talk to local vets about the most common problems in their area to get a fix on whether you need to guard against heat exhaustion, tick paralysis, snake bite or something else.
ON THE ROAD
- Keep your pet on their regular pet food – it’s no time for a change of diet.
- Make sure you have your pet’s favourite blanket or a toy.
- Bring grooming equipment such as dog shampoo – you don’t want a smelly dog in a confined space.
- Remember a can opener for food.
- Make sure you take munchies and treats for your pet.
- Once travelling, take regular reviver stops every two-to-three hours. This is just as important for pooches as it is for people.
- When travelling, dogs should be restrained within the car, either with a grill behind the back seat, a carry case or body harness.
DURING YOUR STAY
- Respect the holiday park’s regulations and other campers and caravanners; don’t allow your pet to dominate the space. Other travellers may not find your pooch or parrot as good company as you do!
- Always pick up any dog droppings.
- Make sure you have complete control over your pet at all times, as much for their own safety as well as others around them.
Within the park, owners should use a tie-up chain that allows the dog to exercise without wandering