Last updated 15/08/2023
Summer is the perfect time to embark on new adventures with your four-legged friend. Before you hit the road though, make sure you’ve done your research, as taking a pet on your travels does take some planning and preparation. We have some top tips to ensure you all have a blast – whether you’re exploring the UK, or further afield. We want to make your summer travel with pets as smooth as possible!
We know it’s hard to believe, but pets aren’t always welcome so make sure you investigate pet-friendly accommodation and things to do before you leave. From beaches to parks to big attractions in the area – ensure your pooch can tag along before you arrive, as leaving them in the car just isn’t an option! If you’ve identified a place to go that won’t let you take your trusty companion, then there may be a local doggy-daycare option.
It is also always a good idea to have the number of a local vet handy – hopefully, if you have it, you won’t need it!
This is a key step to ensuring your pet enjoys the trip as much as you do! Ensure they are used to travelling before you go. If your pet is an anxious traveller, speak to your vet for advice on how to ease this.
Use a comfy bed, keep the vehicle well ventilated and stop regularly to offer water, stretch your pet’s legs and give them the chance to go to the toilet. Always adhere to local legislation on how to restrain your pet in the car. For other modes of transport, it might be a good idea to speak to the provider for advice before you leave to see if they have any special requirements.
Eugh, packing – the dreaded part of any trip away but unfortunately a necessary step to getting on the road. Picking a few key items, such as toys or bedding that your pet loves, will help them feel safe and settled in new environments, and taking their normal food and treats will help avoid any upset tums from sudden diet changes. If you’re travelling abroad, you’ll need the appropriate paperwork (see below) and you also need to think about any medications your pet is on, and whether or not additional documentation is required for this.
ID tags with up-to-date contact details are essential and thinking about the climate where you are going is also advisable. Collapsible water bowls are always a good idea to keep your canine pal well hydrated and a cooling mat can be a real treat in warm climates.
It’s always a good idea to visit your vet before you travel – and essential if going abroad (as pets need a ‘passport’ too – see below). Your vet will be able to advise on the risks to your pet, especially regarding parasites, which can be very different in different regions, even within the UK, but especially abroad.
Heartworm can be deadly for dogs, ticks can transmit nasty diseases to you and your pet and there are a whole host of other parasites to think about which can be prevented or easily treated with the right product.
See our parasite treatment products here.
The Animal Health Certificate replaced the pet passport from January 2021 – it is a travel document that allows your pet to enter or return to the UK without the need for quarantine (from EU and some other countries). It is only valid for a single trip and you must use your AHC within 10 days of it being issued – once you’re outside the UK it is valid for four months (unless your rabies vaccine expires before this).
It contains essential information about your pet such as their identification details, vaccination records and parasite treatment. AHCs need to be issued by a vet with ‘Official Veterinarian’ status and require the following:
This is vital to identify your pet.
Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies and have a valid certificate. There is a required waiting period of 21 days after the primary vaccination course before travel, so keep this in mind when planning your trip.
Your dog will require a tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before arriving back in the UK (there are a few exceptions). This must be given by a vet, and you’ll need the necessary paperwork to prove that it has been done. The treatment must contain praziquantel and cover for Echinococcus tapeworm, such as Prazitel Plus.
For countries outside of the EU, you’ll need to look into the requirements and plan accordingly.
So, with all this in mind, we hope you have a great, fun-filled summer with your four-legged friend by your side – wherever you go.