With summer fast approaching, it is important to plan your holidays in such a way as to satisfy the needs of both you and your pet. Many dogs and cats owners cannot or do not want to leave their pets in the city and, therefore, they look for hotels that welcome pets.
You must be wondering: “What are these facilities? They are defined pet friendly, and this “label” refers to hotels, beaches or restaurants that welcome pets. Often these kind of facilities have a list where they specify which pets are allowed and which are not, which helps owners better plan their holidays in advance.
Unfortunately, sometimes the lack of these kind of facilities encourages some people to abandon their pets, thing which not only is deplorable, but is also punishable by law. Another solution may be to entrust your pet – for a limited period of time – to an animal house kennel where a professional staff will take care of him.
However, let us see how to choose the perfect hotel for you and the most suitable means of transport for your pet – always keeping in mind his size – and how best to organize your summer holidays together.
Pet Friendly Hotels
If you belong to 50% of the families that decide to travel with their pets, then one of the first problems you will find yourself facing regards the choice of the hotel. Do not forget to check on the hotel’s website which pets are allowed and which are not. You will easily find this information on their website, alongside other services they offer.
When you find yourself choosing a pet friendly hotel, you should make sure that the it offers at least some of the following services:
- Veterinary assistance: people used to traveling with their pets know very well how important it is to have a veterinarian nearby that may promptly intervene in case your puppy falls ill;
- Outdoor space: make sure that there is an outdoor space where your pet may run and have fun with you, especially if your traveling companion is big in size;
- Bowl in the room: although you may have packed your pet’s favourite bowl in your suitcase, pet friendly hotels often make sure there is a bowl in your room to welcome your pet. Moreover, in some hotels free pet games are put at your disposal to help your pet get used to his holiday home;
- Pet sitter: people who choose to go on holidays with their dogs or cats, do so because they want to spend time with them. However, it is absolutely normal to want to set aside a few hours just for yourself or maybe to have a romantic dinner with a loved one. In this kind of situation being able to take advantage of the pet sitter offered by the hotel can make a real difference;
- Pet grooming: some hotels which welcome pets offer pet grooming services. You should not underestimate this kind of service, mostly if you are in a seaside resort, since you may need to clean your pet from sand or salt.
In any case, before booking the hotel you have chosen, it is essential to make sure that the structure is really a pet friendly hotel. Both in Italy and abroad, it is enough to send an email explaining your situation or requesting the list of the pets that they allow.
Pet Friendly Beaches
One of the most popular summer destinations is the seaside, especially for people who want to spend time with their pets. If you have a dog, you will be looking forward to taking him for a swim in the open sea, mostly if he is big in size.
Dogs are perfect swimmers and it is important to get them used to water from an early age. Of course, unless they’re a lifeguard dogs, in which case, it’s a whole different story!
However, before taking your pet to the beach, remember that private beaches often do not allow pets (some of them allow pets only early in the morning, before 8 am). Public beaches are a whole different thing! It is enough for you to follow their rules to be able to experience unforgettable emotions with your four-legged friend. To take full advantage of a pet friendly beach, do not forget to bring with you these objects:
- A bowl and water: dogs, as well as humans, need fresh water to hydrate properly during the day, especially if they do sports (for example, swimming) or if they expose themselves to the sun for a long time. It is therefore advisable to always have with you a water bottle rack and a bowl;
- Towel and umbrella: in the summer, dogs run the risk of having a heat strokes and, therefore, it is important to protect them, perhaps by making sure they have a towel in the shade where to rest;
- Waste bags: the beach is a place you share with other people and, therefore, you must pay particular attention to collecting your dog’s organic waste.
And anyway, do not worry, ours is a particularly pet friendly country. Italian beaches and hidden shores will welcome your four-legged friend with open arms.
Travelling with your Pet
Choosing a pet friendly hotel for your holiday with your pet is nothing compared to the amount of planning you have to do if you want to manage travelling with him.
Regulations and restrictions change considerably in relation to the kind of pet you are travelling with – dog or cat – and to his size. Therefore, consult the airlines’ and trains’ guidelines to decide on the means of transportation which better suit you and your pet.
An alternative to these two means of transportation is, of course, the car. It is definitely an advantageous solution, especially for dog owners, since most likely their pets are already used to it. However, do not forget to take some breaks along the way and allow your pet to stretch his legs and drink from his bowl. Unfortunately, the same does not work for cats. Perhaps because they are less used to being moved around, cats often suffer from motion sickness, i.e. car sickness. And do not forget that, by law, cats must travel inside a carrier or a cage.
For longer-distance routes, you may have to travel with your pet by train or plane. Travelling with animals by train is easy: you have to get a 70x30x50 pet carrier and be ready to keep it on your lap during the trip. Remember to bring a spare absorbent mat with you, so you can change it during the trip.
If you want to travel with a dog on a train, you have two possibilities: you could transport him like you would transport a cat (i.e. in a carrier or a cage), otherwise – mostly if your dog is big in size – you will have to keep him on a leash and make him wear a muzzle.
If you decide to travel by train, you should first check the cost of the ticket for traveling animals on trains. The cost of a train ticket for a pet often corresponds to 30% of the full price of the ticket. However, prices vary depending on the type of train.
If you are travelling with a pet on an airplane, remember that you must purchase an IATA-approved carrier that will allow you to board your dog or cat in the hold.
It does not matter where you are travelling to, it is important for you to plan adequately for your trip and to be fully aware of what it takes to travel with a pet. If you want to have a relaxing holiday, it is important to have all the necessary documents your pet requires. Better to make your pet undergo a veterinary examination before leaving. This will allow you to make sure that your pet is correctly covered by the necessary vaccinations. Do not forget to bring your pet’s health card with you. Thus, if you have to go to a vet during your holiday, with the information regarding your pet’s clinical picture, it will be easier to proceed with any treatment.
If you are planning a trip abroad, your pet will need a Pet Passport. Ask your vet about it, he will be able to give you all the information you need.
In conclusion, remember that caution is never enough when travelling with your four-legged friend. There is a high risk – especially when travelling with a dog – for your pet to be disoriented by the new environment and by its smells, which may cause him to run away. To avoid such kind of situations, you could buy a Kippy’s GPS for Dogs and Cats, which will allow you to track down your four-legged friend wherever he is.