The Dog Friendly Retreats Packing Guide
There’s so much to remember when planning a dog friendly holiday, from booking accommodation and travel, planning an itinerary and ensuring everyone is ready and raring to go. Despite our best intentions, we often leave packing to the last minute. With families and friends to organise, it’s easy to be distracted and forget about our four legged friends. We thought we’d make things a little easier for you by creating our comprehensive Dog Friendly Retreats Packing Guide. It’s jam packed with recommendations and things to remember for your dog. Simply refer back to our guide next time you’re planning a dog friendly trip to ensure you have all the essentials.
Unlike humans, dogs may not understand the concept of a holiday at first. Spending time away from their usual environment can make them a little upset or nervous. The trick is to help your dog feel as ‘at home’ as possible. Bringing along some of their favourite and familiar belongings will help them settle. Our packing guide is designed with your dog in mind, with everything they need to enjoy their holiday with you.
Microchip and ID Tags
Let’s start with the most important items on our packing guide. Before you leave, be sure to check your dog’s Microchip and ID tags are up to date. By law, dogs in the UK must be microchipped and their details kept up to date. They also must wear an appropriate ID tag whenever they’re in a public place. It’s worth considering using an additional temporary ID tag with your holiday accommodation details on just in case.
Another important factor to consider, is how your dog will be travelling while you’re away. In the UK, dogs must be appropriately restrained when travelling by car. This could be via a dog guard in the boot, suitable dog carrier or using harness and pet seatbelt. Your dog shouldn’t be able to distract you while you’re driving, nor should they come to harm if you suddenly have to brake. If you’re planning on using rental vehicles while you’re away, double check their requirements and policies when it comes to dogs.
Towels and Drying Coats
Your dog is inevitably going to get wet and muddy while on holiday. You’ve got so many new walks, beaches and woodlands to explore together! Remember to think about how you’ll dry your dog after the adventure is over. You don’t want your wet dog running amok in your holiday cottage! Towels are a must have on our packing guide to keep your dog (and accommodation) lovely and clean.
Alternatively, dog drying coats are another great option. Simply pop them on after your walk and the fleece will dry your dog. You can also use them on walks to keep the mud away if you prefer and simply remove the suit before entering your accommodation. Either way, they help keep mud, sand and water at bay, ensuring you don’t have any extra cleaning to do while you’re away.
Bedding and Blankets
Bringing your dog’s usual bedding is another great way to help them settle in your holiday accommodation. Familiar smells will help calm your dog and their normal bed will give them their own space to retreat to, should they feel tired or overwhelmed. If your dog is used to sleeping on your bed, remember to bring plenty of blankets to cover sofas and other furniture. It’s important to be mindful of other guests, as well as the owners of your holiday accommodation. Nobody wants muddy paws or dog hair on their comfy sofa!
Travel beds are another great option. They’re often easier to roll up and carry. So, if your usual bed is too big, or your dog copes well in new environments, they’re a great alternative. They’re also perfect for taken to local pubs and restaurants, to provide a space for your dog to settle quietly under the table with you. You can train your dog before your trip to lie down on their travel bed on command, helping associate the bed or mat with being quiet and calm.
Plenty of Food
Next on our packing guide is plenty of dog food. Be sure to pack enough to last the whole holiday! You want to make sure your dog has all the fuel and nutrients it needs. It will help keep your dog in their familiar routine while you’re away. Be sure to pack their usual portions, plus a little bit more to account for any extra adventures you have planned.
If your dog is raw fed, you’ll also need to check your accommodation has enough fridge and freezer space to store it. Remember, not all pet shops stock the same food brands, so it may be worth checking with local suppliers beforehand, particularly if you need to restock during longer trips.
Treats and Toys
Treats are another must have for any dog friendly packing guide. We recommend bringing a variety of treats to help in different settings. Natural chews are a great way to keep your dog occupied while at local pubs, cafés and restaurants, helping you enjoy your meal in peace. Smaller treats are great for training and rewards while out adventuring on walks and who doesn’t love a tasty biscuit before bed? Packing a few of your dog’s favourite treats will help them stay their best behaviour while you’re away.
Whether it’s a tennis ball, floating dummy or teddy bear, most dogs have a favourite toy! Puzzles and brain games are another great way to keep your dog occupied while you’re out and about. Remember to bring a selection of toys for your dog to play with while you’re away.
Grooming and Healthcare
Be sure to check your dog’s flea and worm treatments are up to date before you travel. Remember to also pack any additional medication they may need while you’re away. Some basic grooming products will also help keep your dog in tip top condition. Shampoo, tweezers and a brush are all handy in case your dog rolls in something nasty or picks up an unwanted ‘friend’ while you’re exploring.
Finally, a dog friendly packing guide isn’t complete without poo bags. They’re vital for ensuring you explore on holiday responsibly. Local authorities have varying rules when it comes to dog fouling, however the general consensus is to pick up your dog’s business. Poo bags are easily forgotten, so be sure to stuff your pockets, suitcases and car with them!
What are your packing essentials when travelling with your dog?