Tips & Advice

Travelling with Dogs

Piper travels most places with me, so she’s quite used to settling somewhere new. Here’s a few tips we’ve learned along the way:


Packing

  1. Food- always take a day or two extra than what you plan to need, you never know if you’re going to get delayed and you don’t want pooch going hungry! I find it’s better to measure out what you need, rather than just guessing, then you don’t end up with too little or too much (you don’t want to be carrying around more than you’ll need!) These collapsible bowls are super useful when traveling as they fold away flat.
  2. Collar, Lead & Harness- I pack a spare collar & lead, just in case! These are pretty essential so you don’t want to be left without.
  3. Grooming- being a long-haired dog, Piper often gets dirty. I take a small shampoo bar  as well as a microfibre towel, these don’t take up much & it means I can bath her if needs be. She also needs to brushed daily so her slicker & comb come with us too.
  4. Sleeping arrangements- this depends on how we’re travelling. If it’s by public transport, I take Piper’s blanket. If we’re going in the car, I take her bed as we aren’t so restricted on how much we can take. Either way, it’s important that the dog has their own space as well as somewhere that ‘smells’ like home, this will help them settle.
  5. Coats & Jumpers- an Equafleece or two always comes with us when we’re travelling. Piper really feels the cold so they’re good for keeping her warm, but also really useful at drying her off if she gets wet.
  6. Toys- something that will keep you dog occupied if needed. This ball is a favourite of Piper’s at the moment. It’s light weight & can be squashed down so doesn’t take up much room. You can also play fetch with it, or push some treats in to keep your dog busy for a while (works just like a kong!).
  7. ID Tag- I have a different ID tag for Piper when we are travelling, more information on this can be found here. It’s always a good idea to have one made up with the details on of where you’re staying, e.g address & a phone number of someone local (hotel reception, holiday cottage owner etc).
  8. Poo bags- sounds stupid but they’re easily forgotten!

Public Transport
If your dog isn’t a frequent traveller, public transport can be quite an intimidating experience for them. There are lots of new smells, sounds & people for them to take in. At the same time though, it can be an easy & convenient way to travel.

  1. Introduce public transport to your dog in small doses, taking a short journey on a bus for example. Train stations can be loud places, so bear that in mind if you have a noise sensitive dog. Once they are familiar with the experience it should be less stressful for everyone.
  2. Try and choose a ‘quieter’ seat. Not everyone is a dog lover so I always try to find a seat out of the way. It usually gives Piper a bit more space to lay down as well.
  3. Make sure your dog has been to the toilet before hand! It could be 3/4 hours until the next opportunity for a toilet break arises!
  4. Not all dogs are suited to public transport. Teddy, for example, would hate it. He’s too big to fit behind the seat & wouldn’t settle properly. You have to make the decision as to whether your dog is right for the experience. A stressed dog isn’t going to be any fun for you either!

Virgin Trains East Coast
Whenever I travel by train, we use Virgin Trains East Coast. They’re super pet friendly, you can find out more here about their pet travel policy. Up to 2 Pets can travel free of charge, then you have to pay for any additional. Check out a cute photo of their furry passengers, here. Dogs are welcome in standard & 1st class, and if you’re travelling to/from a station which has one of VTEC’s first class lounges, dogs are welcome in there too. The train staff are always so accommodating and welcoming to Piper.

The final destination
Always check out the rules regarding pets where you’re staying. We’ve been fortunate enough, that in the last few places we’ve stayed they’ve been super relaxed & there hasn’t really been any rules. If this is the case, Piper sleeps on the bed with me like she would at home. However, if we go somewhere where there’s a “no dog on the furniture” rule, she either sleeps in her bed, or in my suitcase with her blanket (she quite often chooses to sleep on a pile of my clothes at home- strange dog!). Some places are happy for the dog to be left alone in the room/property, others are not. So always familiarise yourself with what the owners are & aren’t happy with!

Carriers
When we go somewhere really busy, like London  for example, Piper will travel in her carrier. It’s just too busy for her to be walking alongside me in some places & it can be quite intimidating for her. She enjoys being in it- I wouldn’t make her if she didn’t. If your dog is small enough, I’d highly recommend looking into getting one.

Thank you for reading & I hope we’ve been able to offer you a tip or too!
E & P x

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