Bags packed and we’re off!
The things Fido mustn’t forget in his bag
For most people, it’s the most wonderful time of the year – and they want to share it with their beloved four-legged friends. Many holidaymakers take their dog along when they go on a journey. They choose a dog-friendly hotel where Fido is welcome and opt for a destination where they can walk, relax or bathe together. So, time to get the bags packed! But Fido will need a few travel items, too, so you should proceed with caution in case you forget something.
Exactly what you need to bring depends on the destination you’ve chosen. If you’re going abroad, the one thing you mustn’t forget is his European Pet passport. In it the vet writes a precise record of vaccinations. You need this despite the Schengen Agreement if you are crossing borders within Europe itself. Your dog also has to be chipped or, still valid for the time being, tattooed. In countries such as Sweden or the UK entry regulations are far more complicated, so make sure you ask your vet in good time what conditions you must fulfil. As a rule of thumb, you should start planning at least six months before travelling to these countries! This also applies if you want to visit countries outside Europe. The vet can inform you on sicknesses and diseases prevalent in the place you’re headed. In some countries you will have to take special preventative medicines for dangers such as sand flies, (risk of leishmanisis), heart worms or forest ticks (ehrlichiosis and babesiosis). Speak to your vet about any necessary tick or fly prophylaxis. Are the people at your holiday destination and along the journey aware that you are travelling with a dog? It is recommended that you have written confirmation from the holiday residence, ferry service etc. Do you want to swap over to dry food instead of wet food during your holiday? Start using this food one week before the trip so that digestion problems do not occur on holiday.
Remember your pooch’s medicine
You should also ask your vet about a travelling medical bag. It makes a lot of sense to get a small kit made up for the holiday trip containing an ointment for cuts, a diarrhoeic medicine and some Bach flower emergency essence. The expert will advise you on what else you need. Go there in good time, anti-tick and sand fly medicines have to be applied a few days before the journey in order to develop their full effectiveness. Another clever thing to pack is a small set of gauze bandages, sterile dressings and adhesive plasters. In this handy-bag, also pack also a robust pair of tick pliers, part of the “basic hardware” for the holiday.
Don’t forget Fido’s food!
You need pet food, treats and possibly something to chew if it’s what Fido’s used to. Ensure you bring enough dog food for the duration of your trip. Many of our four-legged friends react with diarrhoea when on holiday because their masters have to “improvise” by buying another type of feed when their own runs out. Always better to take too much than too little. Don’t forget the bowls and a water bottle so you can also refresh your dog with drinking water during the long car journey. . Do you want to swap over to dry food instead of wet food during your holiday? Start using this food one week before the trip so that digestion problems do not occur on holiday.
Collar, harness, lead(s)
Whatever you normally use at home, must also go in the travel bag. Important: fix an address tube onto the collar. These are available at your local Maxi Zoo store, and consist of a small tube in which a rolled up piece of paper can be placed. Write down your mobile phone number on this piece of paper (don’t forget the country code abroad!) and the address of your holiday location, that way you can be found if Fido runs off.
Beds and toys
If your dog sleeps in a “security blanket” or has a favourite bed, then it makes sense to offer him his “nest” on holiday too. He’ll feel at home straight away, even in a strange environment. Oh, and don’t forget his favourite toy, either! A squeaky ball for frisky fun behind the hotel, an aqua toy for serious action on the beach or just that good old cuddly toy that Fido likes to drag around with him at home – offer it to him on holiday, as well.
Fully kitted out, it’s going to be a fantastic holiday for you and your dog!
The following items belong in your luggage:
c EU-vet ID with vaccination records and other certifications
c The number of your dog’s liability insurance policy
c Collar and lead and a muzzle if necessary (is mandatory in some areas)
c An address mark (usually attached to the collar) with home address and holiday address
c Water and food bowls
c Enough food for all days (it can be very expensive abroad)
c Treats and chewy bones
c Toothbrush and toothpaste if required
c Brush, comb
c Tin opener, food fork or spoon (for wet food)
c A well-known (favourite) toy
c A dog basket or blanket
c Hand towels for drying or cooling off
c Poop bags, shovel or paper
If you are travelling with the car, remember to take enough water in a canister, a thermos flask or a water bottle! Keep the water bowl within reaching distance.
To be taken in your medicine case:
c Diahorrea tablets
c Disinfectant for wounds
c Eye and ear drops
c Tick forceps
c Tablets for travel sickness if required
c Sufficient quantities of medication which is regularly administered; note down the ingredients and their quantities in order to be able to buy medication abroad in an emergency.