KAZOO KREW’S GUIDE TO TAKING YOUR HOUND ON HOWLIDAY
There’s no place like home. All my family, comfy beds, toys, familiar smells and yummy food just where I like ‘em and that's lucky for me because they've been there a lot lately!
Home is my happy place, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like trying my paw at something new.
Going on howlidays with my family can be a fangtastic opportunity for me to experience new sights and smells, bond with my hoomans, and get some great mental and physical stimulation outside of the home.
But before you decide to take me on your next vacation (which I've heard you fantasising about), there are a few considerations you should chew over to ensure your furmily (including me) all have the best possible time.
To help you make the right decision for your next howliday, the super-friendly krew at Kazoo have compiled a list of helpful questions, answers and tips to ensure that everyone’s tails are wagging from start to finish.
1. IS A HOWLIDAY RIGHT FOR YOUR DOG?
I’m not being selfish here, but ultimuttley the key to having a successful howliday with your pooch is to put their needs first. If I’m going to be stressed, then that’s going to stress the rest of the family and stop them having a good time.
So, before you make any plans, ask yourself the following questions.
Does he/she crave adventure and excitement? Or would he pre-fur a calm, quiet experience?
Are they a travel rookie or a seasoned traveller?
Do they enjoy being around new people or other dogs?
Do they have any special needs or physical limitations that might affect their enjoyment of a trip?
Remember: Some dogs are homebodies who thrive in a secure and stable family environment and routine. Rescue dogs, for example, can find going to new places very stressful and unsettling.
If you think your dog is a bit of a stay-at-home houndie, then it might be worth considering a stay-cation rather than taking him away. This can include day trips and fun family activities, but the dog will not be away from familiar haunts for long enough to get anxious or overwrought.
Tip: Travel can be hard on older dogs. They become set in their ways and can be a bit stiff and grumpy. So, if your dog is a bit long in the tooth, it might be worth considering a holiday nearer home.
2. IS YOUR TRIP DOG-FRIENDLY?
Maybe you’re planning a fishing trip or a camping holiday. Maybe you’re going on a climbing adventure or a hiking/biking trek? Or maybe you’re planning to hit the city and take in restaurants, shops, galleries, movies etc.
Whatever you’re deciding, you need to see if it is right for me as well. Try to pick destinations and activities where I can be fully included in all the action, not just left at home on my own in unfamiliar surroundings.
Tip: A bit of digging around on Google can unearth all sorts of great holiday oppawtunities for dog owners. You’ll be surprised at some of the great stuff you’ll find. Camping, hiking, boating, luxury hotels, restaurants, art galleries and stuff you’ve never even thought of.
3. BEFORE YOU TAKE A TRIP, TAKE A TRIP TO THE VET:
If you’re planning on a vacation with me, then a trip to the vet is the pawfect way to start.
They can help you with things like vaccinations, certificates, tick and flea medications etc. And tell you if your destination has any nasty diseases or critturs, (snakes, crocs etc) that could ruin my hols.
They’ll also be able to let you know if the rules and regulations are the same at your holiday destination.
Oh, and they’ll be able to microchip your hound if you haven’t already had it done. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt.)
We reckon this is a holiday must, as it allows me to be easily identified if I wander off and become lost.
4: IS YOUR DOG READY TO TRAVEL?
Not all dogs make great pawsengers. Hey, where do you think the expression sick as a dog came from? Some of us can get a bit queasy, or become restless or agitated.
So, it’s a good idea to make sure I’m happy to sit in the car on long drives.
It’s also important that I am trained in basic commands like come, sit, stay, heel etc. The last thing you want is to have me galloping off onto the motorway when you stop for a break.
Make sure I’ve been trained to poo/pee in new places. Otherwise, I might try and hold it till I get home. And if I’m not going to get home for 2 weeks, well, you get the picture.
Tip: Before you go on holiday, take your dog on a few short car trips, gradually extending the length of the journey until they are seasoned travellers. Then try staying away for one night etc.
5. PACK FOR YOUR POOCH
I may be away from home, but that doesn’t mean home needs to be away from me. Bringing some of my furvourite items, like my bed, some toys, usual food etc, can make a new destination feel just like home and help me settle in more quickly.
6. TRAVEL SAFELY
You hoomans all wear seatbelts in the car, and I reckon it’s only fur that I have one too.
Tip: Don’t let me put my head out the window while you’re driving. Things can fly in my eyes, or I could get hit by a passing car.
7. THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY
If 1 hooman year is 7 doggie years, then a 4-hour car trip is gonna feel like 28 hours to me.
So, make sure you stop frequently for pees, poos and so I can stretch my paws.
Also, remember to have plenty of water and some of my furvourite treats/food for the journey.
8. DOGS ALLOWED VS DOG FRIENDLY
Dog friendly accommodation has come a long way in the last ten years, and now you can find hotels, airbnbs, houses that don’t just tolerate me, but actively like having me around. Some even lay on special food menus, comfy doggie beds, even groom service. It’s a dog’s life I tell ya!
But remember, there is a world of difference between “dogs allowed” and “dog friendly.”
Dogs allowed basically means they will tolerate me as long as I am on my best behaviour.
Dog friendly, on the other paw, means just that. The hoomans are dog lovers and welcome me and all my exuberance, playfulness, curiosity, shedding and even the occasional accident. (Hey, I’m only canine.)
Always seek out dog friendly if you have the option. Dogs allowed will do for a night here or there, but for a longer holiday everyone’s going to be much happier in a place where I’m treated as well as the hoomans.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
Remember, no two destinations are going to be exactly the same, so we’ve compiled a few handy pawry questions you should check before you set off.
- Are dogs allowed in the hotel, motel, or campground?
- Are there size or breed restrictions?
- Are there restrictions on the number of dogs you can have?
- Is there an extra charge or a cleaning fee for dogs?
- Are dogs required to be on-leash?
- Are there dog-friendly parks in the area? What about off-leash parks or beaches?
- Are dogs allowed on walkways, paths, or trails? In city or downtown areas? In stores, galleries, wineries, or other local attractions?
KAZOO’S ULTIMUTT HOWLIDAY GUIDE:
So, there you have it people. Kazoo’s tips for a happy howliday. We hope it helps you and your pooch have a truly pawsome vacation.
Over the upcoming months, we're going to be putting together a guide to the best dog-friendly accommodation in Australia.
But we need your help.
Tell us about the pet friendly holidays you've been on. What got houndie’s tail wagging or what could have been done better? How many paws you gave it out of 5 etc.
Haven't been on a howliday yet but have plans to hit the road with your houndie? Tell us what you have planned and let us know how ya go.
We can't wait to see your postcards and learn how we can help make Australia a more dog-friendly country for all the 5 million of so mutts out there.