If you are like me and want to take your dog on holidays with you, there are some things that may make it smoother for you and your family.
Skills that will help with taking your dog away with you are a good recall, heeling and focus work. These three exercises will get you out of most sticky situations. If you only have limited time to practice training your dog, these are the exercises you should focus on. Heeling will get your dog past a distraction with no fuss, and focus work will allow distractions to pass you without the need to physically restrain your dog. For more information on these skills please visit my blog doglifetraining.com.
Good preparation, like a couple of strong obedience skills, is a large part of making holidaying with your dog a success. Other practical things to think about include becoming familiar with the area you are traveling to. This means that you should have a good idea of the accommodation and area you are staying. Things like, can your dog be inside with you? Will it be fenced so your dog can be outside? Where is the local vet? And where are the off lead areas? Other considerations include, risks in the area such as ticks and snakes. Doing your homework before you leave will help avoid any surprises when you arrive. You might also like to update your dogs’ ID tags so they are clear and easy to read. Also, don’t forget to contact your microchip company to make sure your details are up to date.
Taking your dog on holidays also means packing their goods with them. Taking their mat or bed will ensures you can place their mat on the ground and move it around as you move within your accommodation area. Take some of your dogs’ toys with you as well as many interactive food toys and chew toys. Things like pigs ears, raw hide chews, and knot bones would be great. Stuffable food toys are also great boredom relievers.
Exercise will be a big part of keeping stress levels low while on holidays. Taking your dog for a walk each day, sometimes two, will mean that they will be calm and content when you get back to your accommodation. Allowing your dog to socialise and play with other dogs will also help tire your dog out. The more tired they are the less likely they will display unruly behaviour.
We are spoilt for choice in Australia with pet friendly accommodation. Life Be In It updates a book each year that displays the best places to visit with your dog. However, word of mouth is probably the best way to find a pet friendly destination. As a general rule, dogs are not allowed in National Parks, but are allowed in State Forests, so if camping is your thing, perhaps a visit to a State Forest would suit you.
Ensuring that you are prepared and are adequately exercising your dog while you are away, increases your chances of enjoying your break with your dog. It gives your dog a break from the same old, same old, and everyone will come home feeling content and well rested.