A weekend getaway can be a great way to relax and escape the stresses of everyday life. But a weekend escape often means having to leave your pet behind. But why should they have to miss out and all the fun? Taking your pooch away for an adventure can be a fantastic way for you all to spend time together, meaning nobody has to miss out on the fun.
Enjoy a trip to remember with these tips for planning the perfect weekend getaway with your dog.
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Work out how far you can travel
Different animals have different tolerances for travelling, and some dogs might not cope with travelling for too long in a car. It’s worth doing some practice drives to see what’s realistic when it comes to travelling so that you know your dog is happy and comfortable. Even if you can’t travel long distances with your dog, there are still some nearby spots you could enjoy for a change of scenery and the chance to get away for a bit.
Find somewhere suitable
The next step is for planning your weekend away is to find some suitable accommodation. You’ll find dog-friendly cottages all over the UK which provide luxury accommodation in some incredible locations. Choose somewhere with plenty of outdoor space that your dog can run around in and some great nearby locations for long walks.
Make sure they’re healthy
If your dog is in poor health, travelling and being away from home might not be in their best interest. Would you want to be on holiday while you’re unwell? Give your dog a check over to make sure there aren’t any issues that might make travel stressful. If they’re off their food, sleeping a lot or showing other signs of illness, make sure you get them to the vet for a more thorough check.
Get your car ready for travel
Everyone gets tired, agitated and grouchy when travelling, and your dog will be no exception. Making your car as comfortable as possible for your pet will make the journey smoother and help them to feel safe and at ease. You’ll want a specially designed crate or a seatbelt can keep your dog safe, which you can line with blankets, toys and other comforts to help them last the trip. Read some tips on safe car travel for pets to help make the journey easier and give you some ideas on keeping your pet happy on the road. If you’re renting a car you can check for pet friendly car hire here.
Pack enough food
While you might be able to eat in country pubs and restaurants, it’s unlikely that you’ll find somewhere that caters for your pooch too. Packing enough food (plus a little extra) to last the weekend will mean that your dog remains well-fed while you’re away. You could take some travel-friendly pet bowls with you so that they can eat by your side, or stop to take a break if you’re planning some long days of walking. Don’t forget to pack some treats to so that you can reward your dog for good behaviour while you’re away from home.
Carry plenty of water with you
A country escape is the perfect opportunity to explore nearby landscapes and do a lot of walking. Just as you would take enough water for you during a walk, you also need to consider the needs of your dog, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of exercise. A portable water bowl is a great idea to take with you and can easily be packed away in a backpack. Take plenty of bottles of water with you so that you can all stay hydrated during your walk.
Follow the rules of the country
Heading off somewhere for the weekend is a great opportunity to explore somewhere new, for both you and your dog. A new place with plenty of new smells and places to run around can make your dog extra excited, which can be a joy to watch. However, it’s important that you exercise caution when you’re in a new place, as there may be rules and regulations that you’re unfamiliar with. Beaches might have ‘no dog’ policies, or ‘no dogs off leads’, while you should always observe the countryside code when you’re in the country. Be respectful of the rules, they’re there to protect you, your dog and others from harm.
Help them to behave
When you’re staying somewhere that isn’t your home, you need to be extra cautious of your dog’s behaviour. Making sure that they don’t scratch or chew at the furniture is important if you want to have any security deposits returned! Keep them occupied with deer antler dog chews, which make a fitting gift for your trip. Don’t leave them alone in your accommodation – the whole point of bringing them on your trip is to spend time with them, so make sure you plan dog-friendly activities throughout the weekend.
Bring plenty of home comforts
While you might relish the idea of being away from home for the weekend, your dog might feel a bit homesick. Even though you’re by their side, it helps to have a few familiar items nearby that they can sniff and be comforted by. Pack things like toys, blankets, and even their bed if you can, so that they feel much happier in their surroundings and soon forget about home. You might even want to consider having them sleep in your room during your stay to help them feel more at ease.
Planning a weekend away with your dog is a good way to include them in all of your adventures. You can enjoy a range of experiences as a family that will help you create some excellent memories and help everyone to feel relaxed and refreshed. Make a wish list of places you’d like to visit and get planning! Want to venture a little further? Read some tips on taking your pet abroad and enjoy even more adventures across the globe.