Holiday fun for all the family

by Janine Brownlees // August 2017

What does the holiday season mean for your dog?

So it’s holiday season but what does that mean for your dog? Will he go with you or stay at home?

The ‘stay at home’ usually has two options – someone comes to look after him at your house (probably the nicest option) or some type of boarding kennels is required. If it is the latter it is worthwhile taking time to find one you are really happy with, find out their daily exercise routines and take a few visits to get to know the owners. Take your dog along for a meet and greet and when you do need to leave him bring some bedding from home so he has a comforting scent while you are away. Also supply his own food to avoid upsetting his tummy with a new diet and make sure his vaccinations are up to date.

Maybe you are going abroad - but this no longer means you dog can’t come!  Since the introduction of the ‘pet passport’ it has become quite easy to take them along especially if Europe is the destination.  A chat with you vet will organise the correct time schedule for rabies vaccinations, worm and flea treatments and then the transport needs arranged – usually with the appropriate ferry company.  Remember to consider the needs of your pet though, will he cope with the hot weather and the part of the journey that he may be separated from you? Check out the Dogs Trust website for tips on helping your dog stay cool in hot weather and crate training for travel.

But if you’re like me you will holiday at home and take your pets too. It can be hard in this part of the country to find pet-friendly accommodation, many places that advertise as such tend to set limits to one or two small dogs.  No good if you have a slightly larger doggy family!  A few years ago I made it my mission to find somewhere within comfortable driving distance that would allow a few of us along with all our pets and we hit the jackpot with one of our closest counties over the border....Donegal! Only 2 hours drive away it not only offered various options for accommodation for us all but also many, many deserted beaches to explore. If you ever do travel to the area I can highly recommend Culdaff beach, Tremone bay, Pollen bay, Kinnegoe bay and Tullagh strand, located on the Innishowen Peninsula. The pubs were equally as friendly, welcoming us and the dogs with their usual Irish charm. We have spent quite a few happy holidays here now so maybe next year we will venture further into Southern Ireland, after all once our dogs have learned to ‘settle’ like we teach in class, the world really is our oyster!