The holidays are awesome. A change in scenery, a new place to explore, some relaxation time or adventure (whichever is your thing). But it can sometimes mean leaving our furry friends at home, and for the pet lovers out there, that’s not always so appealing. Especially as leaving them often means having to find either a kennel to board them at or a house sitter who’s willing to care for your animal as much as you do.
So why not bring your puppy along?
The benefits for everyone
For us, taking our puppies with us means there’s no anxiety about how they’re coping at home without us. We know they’re safe and sound and available for cuddles should we need them. But there are also benefits for the pups too.
Exposing the puppy to a new environment and new people while on holiday is great for his socialization skills. It helps them become more comfortable with new people and new places which is always a good thing. Puppy socialization goes a long way in your pup’s development and positive experiences he will have with you while on holiday will help increase his ability to socialize in a positive way. It also gives him the opportunity to learn how to behave in different environments and provides the behavioral tools necessary to deal with changes.
In terms of separation, taking your puppy along with you means you’ll both be better able to cope with separation anxiety. According to Totally Goldens, “Leaving your puppy at home can be daunting, especially as he’s still in his developmental phase. He’s learning a lot and with you gone, it may impact his ability to separate. Puppies don’t necessarily fully understand that you’ll come back. While going to and from work every day is necessary, he sees you every evening when you walk through the door. Prolonged separation at such a young age can be difficult and can lead to much bigger separation issues down the track.”
Things to consider
Almost 20% of dog owners take their pooches on holiday with them, however, this is not a decision that should be made lightly. Sure, having them with you can be fun, but there’s lots of preparation involved.
The main thing to consider is how you will be getting to your holiday destination and whether your puppy will cope with the travel. Do your research and ensure you’re up-to-date with the rules and regulations regarding pet travel, especially as every state has a different protocol.
Next, make sure your accommodation is pet-friendly. If you’re absolutely adamant that you’re taking your puppy with you, book a hotel, apartment or house that allows dogs. There are plenty around, it’s just about finding the right one for you.
The type of holiday you want may also influence whether you take your pup with you. If you’re heading off to sightsee and explore, taking your puppy may not be so practical. After all, he’s not going to be allowed to enter museums or art galleries. However, heading off for a hiking or biking holiday or some fun in the sun? Definitely the place for a pup.
Finally, consider the extra costs that may be involved. Pets don’t ride for free so you’ll need to buffer that into your travel expenses. There also may be some extra gear you need to buy to accommodate your pup while away and you may need to settle on more expensive accommodation because your first choice doesn’t accept pets.
Before you leave
If you’ve made the decision to take your pup along with you, there’s a list of things to do before you head off.
- Take your pup for a health check to make sure he is fit for travel and that all of his vaccinations are up-to-date.
- Give them a good clean, either professional or at home, to ensure they’re groomed nicely.
- Pack a go-to suitcase for your pup, including any blankets and toys he loves. This will make the transition to a new place easier.
- Make a list of the closest vets to your accommodation and make sure you have your own vet’s details handy as they may need to discuss treatment plans together.
- Ensure you have pet insurance just in case.
Leaving our beloved pups behind isn’t something any pet lover wants to think about. Taking your puppy alone for your holiday can be great for everyone – from increased socialization for your pup and comfort for you to helping with separation issues down the track.
However, there may be times when it’s simply not a viable option and we need to keep this in mind when planning our holiday. If that’s the case a family member or a good home away from home will keep your puppy happy until you return.