More and more pet owners want to share their holidays with their best friends and so dogs, cats, birds, and even guinea pigs are seeing more of Australia!
What must they be thinking the first time they feel the motion of a moving vehicle, see a truck drive past or, in the case of dogs, experience the beach for the first time!
Here are some handy tips so you can all enjoy the holiday season together!
Check out your accommodation.
The restrictions on pets at various accommodation places differ
Some restrictions include:
- not allowing pets during school holidays
- not letting your pets inside
- not providing an enclosed area outside
- not allowing your pets to be off leash on the property
Always contact the destination before departing to find out their restrictions and polices.
Don’t leave booking your pet-friendly accommodation too late. Although these venues are becoming more common, they still fill up quickly in busy periods.
Where are you going?
Always ensure that your pet has a collar at all times with an up-to-date ID tag with the animal’s name and a contact phone number on it.
- Remember pets are not allowed in any National Parks
- Some local authorities will have rules about on and off leash beaches. Check out where you can take your pet before you leave. http://www.discoverballina.com.au/visit/ballinashirebeaches
- Learn about the area you are travelling to – the potential risks such as ticks and ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date
- If you are travelling north, consider clipping long hair coats before you go
Packing for your pet
- Dogs and cats will need their lead or harness, bed, towels and toys.An extension lead is fantastic for picnics and sitting outside so that they can wander around without any risk of disappearing. To find out how to train a cat to walk on a lead, check out Keeping Cats
- A “poop bag holder” attached to the lead keeps them handy at all times
- a fold-up water bag means they can have a regular drink.
- dog-specific sunscreen is necessary for those with white-topped noses.
- Pack a pet first-aid kit, including very dilute antiseptic (betadine) and a clean bandage
In the car
- Make sure that they have adequate ventilation and, if possible, have a window down to allow some air flow. It’s not a good idea to let a pet poke its head out of the window as the rush of air may be harmful and he could be in danger of being hit by objects.
- Leave time between feeding the pet with a light meal and travelling to reduce the risk of an upset tummy and provide him with plenty of opportunities to take a break from the moving vehicle.
- A travel harness is ideal for dogs that sit on the back seat. These simply loop through or click into the existing seatbelt and prevent him from being thrown forward in the case of even a minor accident. Dogs that are carried on the back of a ute or a truck must be tethered.
- Rigid plastic pet crates are strong but light weight and easy to clean. They are well ventilated and leak proof and can double up nicely as a kennel.
- Never leave a dog alone in a car. It is not enough to wind the windows down a few centimetres or to leave a bowl of water and think that he is safe. Dogs are particularly susceptible to heat stroke and it takes just minutes for a car to heat up to an extent that causes immense stress, dehydration and even death. s-die-in-hot-cars
- For any pet that is travelling in a cage or a carrier, always make sure that they are not sitting in the sun coming through the window. Glass magnifies the sun’s heat and may cause great stress and even prove fatal.
- Provide all pets with plenty of exercise. Just like us, animals that don’t get enough exercise will become stiff in the joints or feel a bit agitated. Dogs need to get out and burn off some energy so several walks a day, perhaps a play at the beach and a few ball games will keep them healthy and bright. Cats are more easily amused with string, balls and other toys.
- Pack them some appropriate treats and carry them in the car or van so that they can also have a snack throughout the day.
Other pets can holiday too!
As well as dogs and cats, small animals such as guinea pigs, birds and even horses can all share your holiday. Just check out on line the kindest way to travel with them http://www.rspcaqld.org.au
Or talk to your pet friendly accommodation for their recommendations.