If you want to take a road trip to the continent, we’re happy to arrange a Priory Rentals motorhome package to take you across the channel in style, however, if you’re taking your four legged friend with you on your grand tour, there are a few additional things you’ll need to consider to make sure your voyage goes swimmingly. Here are our tips for taking your dog abroad.
- Get your dog micro-chipped
You’ve probably already taken your faithful friend to have a microchip of his very own, but if you’ve not yet got round to it, now’s your chance. Since last April, it’s compulsory for dogs to have microchips, and for the time being, The Dogs Trust will implant one for free at any of its centres.
- Get a ‘Pet Passport’
Your vet will probably be able to arrange for a pet passport to be issued, if not, they’ll be able to point you in the direction of one who can. Either way, make sure you’ve kept the original details of any vaccinations so that these can be recorded on the new passport. You’ll need to be able to provide evidence of your dog’s identity and original documents evidencing any vaccinations or blood tests that may already have been carried out.
- Get all the right jabs
The United Kingdom is one of the few places in the World where rabies is widely classified as ‘no risk’ and in order to give us the best chance of staying that way, dogs (also cats and ferrets) must have a rabies vaccine before travelling abroad. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old in order to be vaccinated and ideally should have a microchip already implanted. You’ll also need to get treatment for tapeworm before leaving and after returning. If you’re taking your dog aboard for more than 5 days, you’ll need a tapeworm treatment before you return as well.
Different countries may have different risks for the globetrotting canine adventurer and more specific details about taking your pet abroad can be obtained from the Government’s own website. It’s probably best to discuss your travel plans with your vet to get the best advice for you and your dog specific to the places you’re visiting. One thing you’ll definitely need to do in all circumstances is to plan ahead. It’d be a shame to have to either cancel your trip or leave your faithful friend behind because there wasn’t time to get everything arranged.
Other things to consider;
- If your dog is a fussy eater, stock up on his favourite food – you may not be able to get it where you’re going.
- Dogs don’t sweat (the way we cool down when we’re warm) and are very prone to overheating. If your destination is much warmer than it is here, you’ll need to make allowances. Staying out of the mid-day sun, not making him walk on hot surfaces that might burn his paws, taking plenty of water with you and staying in the shade will help him keep his cool. Shorter snouted breeds can take longer to cool down. Longer haired breeds might benefit from a haircut.
- If you’re travelling by ferry, you may not be able to stay in your vehicle while on the water, so check with the operator beforehand on what their rules are regarding dogs.
- Similarly, check the local laws in the country or countries you’re travelling to or through regarding dogs in public. Some places are less pooch friendly than others – rules may differ depending on size, breed and even appearance. He may need to wear a muzzle in certain circumstances, or stay on a lead in others.
It may seem like a lot to consider, but we’re sure you’ll agree, that once you’ve done all the necessary preparations, an adventure with your four legged friend will be a unique experience that you’ll never forget. We’d love to hear about where your travels take you.