With the return of staycations this month (May) and many pet parents not wanting to leave their beloved dog behind, Nature’s Variety, reveals its top tips on how to ensure your dog is kept safe and happy whilst away from home.
- Safe Travels: Everyone has fond memories of a family road trip from some point in their childhood, however they’re not quite as popular amongst our pets. To make sure their journey is as safe and comfortable as possible; keep your dog suitably restrained in the car, don’t let them hang their head out of the window (even though many are desperate for the scent buffet!) as this can result in foreign objects such as leaves, rocks and insects causing inflammation and damage to eyes, nose and ears. Also, fit sunshades, keep them hydrated and take regular stops for a bit of exercise whenever it is safe to do so.
- On-the-go: When packing the essentials for your holiday, don’t forget to also make a checklist for your dog! To help your pet feel at ease whilst on holiday and travelling, they’ll need a comfortable place to sleep, their favourite toy and, most importantly, a travel bowl for fresh water. This is particularly important for any new pups who may not be used to leaving the comfort of home during lockdown. Plenty of treats or a meal that’s convenient to feed on the go would also be most welcome by your furry friend, especially if there’s any delays en route!
- Do Your Homework: Assuming all holiday parks and hotels have dog-friendly facilities is an easy mistake to make, however this isn’t always the case! Before you embark on your summer staycation, make sure you read up on your chosen accommodation’s pet policy to avoid disappointment.
- Poisonous Plants: Even though you’re on holiday, your dog still needs to stick to their normal routine of going on a daily walk. Whilst out and about in the new area, make sure you keep an eye out for poisonous plants that are surprisingly harmful to dogs, including wisteria and tulip bulbs. Keep a handful of treats on hand to lure your dog away from chewing on any plants on your route.
- Seaside Dangers: Please don’t just assume your dog can swim or will love the water. Never force a dog to go into the sea – let them explore safely in their own time on a lead to start with. Some breeds are naturally strong swimmers, but other breeds, such as corgis and pugs, are not. Also be mindful that dogs can ingest sand by accident through digging or repeatedly picking up sandy balls and toys and if they swallow enough, it can cause a blockage in the intestine, called sand impaction. Signs of this serious condition, which requires urgent veterinary treatment, include vomiting, dehydration and abdominal pain.
- Overexertion: It might be your pup’s first holiday experience, so please be mindful that it could either be quite a stressful experience for them, or just very exciting! If your dog is overexerted, and/or exposed to the sun, it could lead to heat stroke – so take it slowly and be mindful of how much they are doing.
- Sun Protection: Whilst we might want to make the most of the rare British sunshine to top up our tan, we need to ensure that dogs aren’t in the sun for long periods of time. If you don’t have a parasol for protection, try to pick a shaded spot so that your precious pooch has somewhere to avoid the heat!
- Clean Up Your Pawprints: Before you head out of the door for your staycation, remember to stock up on poo bags, allowing you to clean up after your dog wherever you are!
- Fit to Travel: Most importantly, complete a quick health check for your dog before traveling, ensuring that they’re up to date with all injections and wormed, as well as prevented from attracting fleas and ticks. If you do have any reservations surrounding taking your dog on holiday, seek professional advice from your vet before departure.
- Vet Contact: Sometimes things go wrong, so you will need to know the number or address of a local vet. Make sure you have it written down, in case you can’t access the internet. Your dog might become unwell or injure themselves, so you need to know that you can get help quickly, should you need it.
Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager for Nature’s Variety, said: “Dogs are very much a part of the family and with 83% of new puppy owners saying they’re worried about leaving their dog home alone after lockdown*, there will be more people than ever before with a furry companion on their summer holiday! We want to make sure that our four-legged friends remain safe and have as much fun as their pet parents, and so we hope our staycation tips will put owners’ minds at ease and help them feel well-equipped.”
For more information on Natures Variety, or to arrange delivery direct to your holiday accommodation, visit: https://www.naturesvariety.co.uk