10 Top Tips for Travelling with Small Dogs

Travelling with Small Dogs

Getting away from it all with our dogs is simply the best experience. There’s no way we’d leave our fur babies at home and we’d rather not fork out the kennel costs either! 

Fortunately, dog-friendly holiday accommodation is far more common these days so there is no excuse not to take our pups away with us. However, look out for the holiday cottages that claim to be dog friendly but place extra restrictions and add extra charges per dog or request damage deposits.

Traveling with a puppy isn’t always an easy ride and can take a bit of preparation and planning. Before you pack up and set off, remember to think about how you’re going to secure your four-legged passenger, whether they suffer from motion sickness and require any medication, and how you’re going to entertain them along the way. Trust us, they’ll thank you in the long run and you’ll save yourself an awful lot of stress.

With a bit of planning, and following our ten top tips, you’re sure to have an enjoyable and comfortable journey, human or dog. When dogs bring us so much joy, they’re worth a few minutes extra preparation, and then some.

Consider how to Travel with Small Dogs

Travel with Small Dogs

Depending on how far you are traveling, have you considered the pros and cons of flying versus driving with your dog?

Flying is usually faster than driving (considering check-in times and luggage collection as well), but there may be restrictions for traveling with puppies, as well as additional costs like pet check-in fees and requirements such as vaccinations. 

Luckily, with smaller dogs, there are more options available when flying, especially the likelihood of having your dog with you in the cabin rather than in the hold with the rest of your luggage.

On the other hand, taking your dog in the car offers more flexibility for when and where you go, and there’s no worrying about airline rules and fees. But, depending on the distance, it could take much longer to get to your destination than flying – not ideal if you’re under time pressure, but great if you love a road trip and enjoy the changing scenery.

Pack the Doggy Essentials

Packing your bag is one thing but don’t forget everything your dog needs or you could find yourself in a desperate poo bag situation mid-journey! Make a list before you leave off everything your dog needs and would like to make their trip more comfortable. Here are our suggestions:

  • Water and travel water bowls
  • Dog food and treats
  • Doggy towels and wipes (in case of accidents)
  • Collar or harness and lead
  • Medication
  • Dog toys
  • Poo bags
  • Doggy documents (if you’re flying)

Check Your Dog is in Good Health

Even if your dog seems well, it’s always worth taking a trip to the vet for a quick once-over. We’d rather not risk them being sick away from their usual vet! Puppies must be fully vaccinated before they’re allowed to go on holiday with you and it is also now a legal requirement that every dog is microchipped, in case the worst happens and they run off in a strange and unfamiliar place. Better safe than sorry.

Prepare Your Car for Happy Travels

Set out in the Highways Code, another mandatory obligation is that all dogs must be suitably restrained while traveling in the car. Your usual options are a harness, crate, or carrier and your local pet shop should be able to advise which is best for your dog.

But, whichever option you choose, ensure it is securely fastened and made nice and comfy for your pooch with plenty of snuggly blankets. If they’re riding shotgun with you in the passenger seat, always remember to turn off airbags for their safety. 

And if you’re traveling in summer, you could always try an electric fan to keep your pups cool. We’d also highly recommend using window shades to protect your dogs from direct sunlight. At this rate, everyone’s going to be so relaxed they won’t want to get out of the car at the other end!

Take a Few Practice Car Rides

For the inexperienced or travel sickness-prone furry traveler, a few short car trips leading up to the big one could be helpful. Make it an enjoyable experience with lots of treats, fuss, and exciting destinations to visit full of fun walks and interesting smells. 

Then, when it comes to your long car journey, your dog should feel completely at ease getting into the car and enjoying the ride. A bit of practice could save you a stressful or disastrous road trip.

Plan Time for Frequent Toilet Breaks

It’s so easy to sometimes forget that our furry passengers may not be able to hold their bladders as long as us. Try to schedule plenty of stops along your route and enjoy the excuse for a drink and snack as well as the opportunity to stretch your legs. You could be saving yourself a small disaster and a lot of cleaning up.

Dog Safety During the Ride

As much as our dogs love sticking their head out the window and catching the wind through their fur, it’s not particularly safe, especially for smaller pups who can easily fall out if they’re not secured or manage to escape their restraints. 

A small gap at the top of the window should be plenty to get enough fresh air without risking the worst. Assure your doggy they can stick their head out the window at your holiday cottage instead.

Keep Your Dogs Entertained

Make sure you have a dog chew or favorite toy on hand. A food toy such as a Kong filled with some tasty palm-oil-free peanut butter should keep them busy and out of trouble for a while. You could also consider giving them safe and natural dog CBD by Honest Paws, ensuring a calm and stress-free travel experience for your beloved pet. However, if your dog suffers from motion sickness, maybe avoid food treats. Pop on the radio or download some dog-calming music for stressed pooches. A bit of Beethoven or Tchai-dogsky or even some Linkin Bark could be a winner!

Research Pet-Friendly Cafes, Restaurants, and Pubs

Before you get to your destination, take the time to research local dog-friendly restaurants, cafes, and pubs as it can sometimes be difficult to find somewhere that allows dogs.

Browse online reviews and Facebook pages to find which restaurants, cafes, and pubs are more welcoming and always call ahead and ask about pet policies to avoid any surprises when you arrive.

When you book a dog-friendly holiday with Pack Holidays, they will save you the hassle and have done all the research for you. Even if you don’t book with them, they’ll be happy to provide all the local info on nearby dog-friendly restaurants, cafes, and pubs.

Find your Dog-Friendly Accommodation

Not every holiday destination warmly welcomes pets and the ones that do may charge extra for the privilege. 

At Pack Holidays, they’re all about puppies! A carefully selected range of dog-friendly cottages is available for you and your dogs. With no extra charge for furry visitors, no matter the size of your pack, their cottages specially cater to puppies.

You’ll be welcomed with thoughtful touches such as doggy bedding, crates, towels, throws for furniture (as dogs are allowed everywhere in the cottages), and of course, doggy treats. On the website, you can find helpful information about fence height and reactive ratings so you can be sure to choose the best cottage for all of you. 

With a choice of dog-friendly activities, pubs, cafes, and more nearby as well as fun dog-walking beaches and long countryside walks within easy reach, you’re sure to have the paw-feet dog-friendly holiday.

Related Posts's