Planning a Holiday with your Pet

Happy New Year everyone! We hope you all had an amazing holiday - but now that it’s over, it’s time to start planning your next one.

But wait - we’re pet owners! Is it that simple? It can be. Dog-friendly holidays are on the rise and it’s easy to see why, with record numbers of pet owners taking their four-legged friend away with them, and more and more people flat-out refusing to leave their dogs behind.

So, let’s break down the best ways to plan a holiday with your pet.


Firstly - and most importantly - you need to think about your four-legged best friend for a second. Make sure that going on holiday is something that they’ll be able to cope with. There’s absolutely no point in bringing them along if it’ll cause them anxiety or distress.

So: is your dog okay with new surroundings? How well do they adapt in these situations? How are you travelling - will you be able to maintain the health and happiness of your pooch both during the journey and upon arrival? Is your pup fit to travel?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, and the circumstances can’t be fully changed before you travel, leave your pet at home with a sitter.



dog on aeroplane with owner

Secondly, you’ve got to confirm that your dog is going to be welcome at your chosen destination, regardless of whether you’re in the UK or abroad.

Research the area and gage how dog-friendly it is. How many local attractions will you be visiting, and how well do they cater for pet parties? Leaving your dog alone for a long duration of time in an unfamiliar place may cause them distress, so try and find a lot of activities you can enjoy with them!

Beach holidays for example are super popular with pet owners, but can have huge restrictions on how dog-friendly they actually are. Try to find a dog-friendly beach and always check restrictions pre-travel.

small dog surfing with kid

Accommodation is important too; make certain you’re staying at a dog-friendly location and just how friendly it is. Is there space for your pup to run around and get some exercise? And be sure to enquire about what dog supplies are provided at your accommodation, in case you’re required to bring your own food and water bowls and bedding.

We all know a healthy pup is a happy pup. So do your research in this area, too. Suss out where the local vet is ‘just in case’ (you’ll be kicking yourself if the worst happens and you’re panicking), and perhaps research some good local walks that you can enjoy together.



The next step is preparation. If health isn’t an issue, then it’s time to ensure your dog is fully equipped to travel.

Regardless of where you’re going, the location will be unfamiliar to your pet. Check that your dog is microchipped if you want to avoid the ultimate holiday stress of losing your dog.

If you’re going abroad, then there are some extra important steps to be taken, such as providing your dog with all of the relevant vaccinations, as well as arranging pet insurance. Consider the climate of your location; hot environments will require avoiding dehydration and keeping cool for example.

Don’t forget to order your dog a pet passport with plenty of notice, and do some research to check that your pet’s method of travel will be as smooth and comfortable as possible.


So you’ve researched, booked, planned - now what? Packing, of course!

Double check you’ve got everything your dog needs. Even though you’re on holiday, it’s still best to maintain a similar-to-normal routine for your dog, including regular walks and meal times, to avoid them becoming unsettled. Here’s our handy checklist of items to bring to help you out: 

  • Bowls and bedding if your accommodation doesn’t provide them
  • Poop bags and scoopers
  • Their favourite toys
  • Leads and collars
  • Printed copies of pet insurance and other important documents

And of course, a plentiful supply of their favourite Barking Heads food and treats!


Have a paw-some time!

Whether you’re staying in the UK for the abundance of pet-friendly holiday options, or gallivanting abroad for something a little different with your pooch, we hope you both have an amazing time! As long as you’re looking after your pup well, there are some incredible memories you can make with your canine by your side.

Let us know your own petcation tips by tweeting @BarkingHeads or liking us on Facebook!


Is my dog overweight? Read our blog by Vet Dr Scott Miller and Barking Heads to find out more!


*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified pet health provider with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health*