Whether you are thinking of taking your pooch to Peru or your cat to Cornwall, travelling with pets takes some planning. If you are planning a big move to somewhere across the globe, then things such as pet passports and quarantine regulations have to be taken into account to avoid the transmission of international animal diseases. If you are planning just a few days away in the UK with your pet however, then although airport and international regulations aren’t relevant, there are of course the practical things to consider. Where can you stay which allows pets? How are you going to get there? What do you need to bring? Make sure you and your cuddly companion are well prepared for your journey before setting off on your next adventure. To give you an idea of just how much our fur-babies affect our travel plans, take a look at our infographic below.
Taking Your Dog On a UK Break
Traveling to the Airport
If you are planning a trip within the UK and want to bring your pooch along with you, then there are plenty of options you can explore. Travel-wise, the easiest option (depending how far you are travelling of course) if often to drive to your location. Avoid the hassle of public transport, secure your pup in a comfy crate or harness and allow for some pit stops along the way, whilst taking everything you and your pet need for your much-needed break. Also ensure your pet is appropriately secured (as per the Highway Code for the transportation of animals) and is happy and healthy throughout the journey.
There are a variety of holiday homes, hotels and B&Bs in the UK which are pet friendly, and as the amount of people travelling with pets continues, more and more hotels are getting on board. Before booking, make sure you know what the regulations are surrounding pets, as some places have restrictions such as size of or number of dogs allowed. You can explore pet friendly places online, with sites such as Canine Cottages offering a range of holiday homes all over the UK including those by the beach, those with an enclosed garden and those near a pub. You can also explore popular sites such as LastMinute.com who offer a filter option to find holidays which are pet friendly.
Dog Friendly Locations
Finding the perfect location for you and your pooch is key to you all enjoying a fab holiday. Much like travelling with children, it is important that your dog has some stimulation during the holiday, with the opportunity to let loose and get some exercise. That’s why many holidays offered are located in the countryside or near a beach, with plenty of room for them to explore. However, if you want to explore the city then many dogs will enjoy an urban adventure too; just make sure to check there are dog friendly places to relax such as dog friendly pubs and cafes along the way.
Moving Abroad or Enjoying Pet Friendly International Travel
Getting To the Airport
Travelling to the airport by car is the best way, and with our airport parking it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Whether you are looking into cheap Aberdeen airport parking or bargain parking in Birmingham, you can book online in advance and get meet and greet, short or long stay parking at a bargain price. Using our comparison tool, you can find convenient airport parking so you and your pets don’t have to walk miles to catch your flight. Book affordable parking such as London Stansted Airport Parking Voucher Codes, and start off your holiday stress free, whilst not spending over the odds on bringing your animal abroad.
Airports and Flights
Different airlines have different regulations when it comes to travelling with animals, and therefore investigating beforehand is key; especially with the news over the past few years of airlines mishandling animals and causing sometimes fatal injuries. Seeing which airlines have good animal facilities and a good reputation is the best way to ensure the safety of your pet. Some airlines such as British Airways allow assistance dogs in the cabin and all other animals in the hold, with fees dependent on the animals size. Some airlines such as Ryanair however, don’t allow any pets on board at all unless they are an assistance dog.
There are also some regulations to consider when travelling abroad with your pet. According to EU regulations (which are subject to change due to Brexit) they will need to have an EU Pet Passport, which documents their vaccines and ensures they are up to date (particularly the rabies vaccine). They will also need to be microchipped, treated for common parasites such as tapeworms, have a physical check and a current photograph. Travelling to other areas of the world such as the UAE and US require different precautions, such as blood tests and travelling within certain temperatures, so researching your destination before leaving is vital.
What to Do Once you Get There
Some countries enforce a quarantine period (or require a blood test 3 months in advance) for all animals who come in from other countries. This is primarily to do with the spread of rabies, as this is a devastating and easily transferable zoonotic disease. Different countries list others as “rabies free”, “rabies controlled” and “high risk”, meaning that you will have to check the country you travelling from and to to establish the length of quarantine. This can range from no quarantine at all to 6 months.
Don’t Forget the Key Essentials Before you Go
No matter how far you travel, getting your pet microchipped is the best way to ensure they don’t get lost. If you are moving house either within the UK or abroad, then you can micro-chip your pet before you go either with your current address (and change it once you get to your new home) or with your new address already inputted in the system. Changing a micro-chipping address is easy, simply visit your vet and they can update the system in minutes. In some locations, micro-chipping is actually required by law, so making sure you’ve done so as soon as possible is essential.
Food, Water and Comfort
If you are hungry or thirsty, your animal probably is too. Make sure to pack food and water for your pet, making sure to make it available to them at regular intervals. This is especially important if the temperature is particularly hot, and if they are kept in a carrier or crate which could increase their body temperature even more. Check for signs of distress, dehydration or hunger, and keep an eye on your animal as much as possible during your journey. Increased stress levels can also cause animals to pant more, defecate or urinate, therefore comforting them and checking in on them regularly is key.
Small Animal Transportation
Travelling with small animals such as fish, reptiles or rodents might need extra consideration. Read up before you travel to find out what environment they need to be in e.g. fish who need to be kept in certain temperature of water and need a certain amount of oxygen in the transportation bag. Some animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs are also more prone to stress in new situations, therefore thinking about ways to reduce stress such as having hiding places in their cages or breaking the journey up into shorter segments is advisable.