So you’re thinking of getting a dog?! Congratulations! Do it. Do it now. It’s the BEST THING EVER.

Getting my beloved dog, Ben is, without a doubt, one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I got him when I was 16. He’s now 11 and a half years old and feels like he’s been by my side forever. And, when I say by my side, I really do mean by my side. He follows me everywhere (he even chills in the bathroom while I’m having a bath or shower!) and is my best companion.

But, getting a dog is a big responsibility. Dogs change so much about your life. You have to walk them, feed them, look after them, take them for vaccinations and check-ups and so much more. One biggest things is that you have to think about how they’ll impact how you travel.

Travelling with a dog

travelling with a dog
I absolutely adore travelling with Ben within the UK and take him away for trips regularly. He’s been all the way to the South Downs National Park in Hampshire, explored dozens of beaches on the east coast of Scotland and stayed in quite a few lovely hotels and lodges around the country. He’s a well-travelled pup!

The first thing to do is ensure the place you’re going is dog-friendly. Many hotels, cottages, apartments and other forms of accommodation are dog-friendly, but will usually charge an extra fee for this. This covers the extra cleaning they have to do to remove fur from their carpets etc. 

Then, you’ll need to think about all the things your dog needs. Bowls, food, toys, bed, blanket etc etc. Take everything your dog likes to have when he’s at home and this will help him be happy and comfortable when he’s travelling.

You’ll also need to take into account how long your journey is. If it’s a few hours by car that’s perfect but if it’s any longer than that you’ll need to schedule in stops for walkies and water breaks. If your dog isn’t used to travelling by car (or train or whatever form of transport you’re using), try to get them used to this before your trip. The last thing you want is to kick your travels off with your dog vomitting in the car because he’s not used to it! 

It’s also really useful to research how dog-friendly the place you’re travelling to is. A quick google search will show if there are dog-friendly beaches, pubs, restaurants etc in your destination. It’s definitely important to take this into account after all, what’s the point of travelling with your dog if you’re going to leave him behind most day while you go out for activities, lunches, dinners and drinks?

When I’m travelling with Ben I don’t like leaving him in a hotel or place he isn’t used to for more than a couple of hours. Whenever I do leave him, I make sure he’s tired out after a busy day of walkies and exploring so I know he’ll spend the time I’m away asleep.

If you’re planning to take your pet out of the UK (or whatever country you live in), you’ll need to look into getting a doggie passport. I’ve never done this myself as I know Ben is too scared to go on a plane, but I know lots of people who have. The process can take a while, so be sure to leave plenty time before your trip to get it all organised.

Travelling without your dog

travelling with a  dog
As I’ve said, I don’t take Ben abroad with me, so whenever I go abroad or somewhere within The UK that isn’t dog-friendly I have to leave him behind. Leaving your pet somewhere whilst you go on holiday is one of the major things people often don’t consider before they get a dog.

Luckily for my sanity, I have the most amazing woman who looks after Ben when I go off on my frequent travels. She first met Ben when he was about 12 weeks old and used to take him for walks before I began working from home.

Ben goes to stay at her house with her husband and their own 5 little dogs. She treats Ben as one of the family and he has the most amazing time when he visits. If I mention her name and Ben hears he immediately gets excited thinking he’s going to stay with her. It’s so cute! I’m so thankful to have her because it means I don’t have to worry about him at all whilst I’m away as she’s spoiling him rotten and treating him like a total king.

There are loads of people who will look after your dog in their own home or yours when you travel. Kennels are also another option, but not one I personally would go for. I know Ben would hate being in a kennel (he even hates doors being closed), but many dogs don’t have a problem with it.

My biggest piece of advice would be to thoroughly research the place and person you’re leaving your dog with. Make sure they’re insured and are experienced with dogs and that your dog will get plenty love, attention and exercise whilst you’re gone. If possible, visit the person who’ll be looking after your dog before you leave to ensure you and your dog both like them and they place they’re staying. These things will make all the difference to how you feel leaving your pup behind and stop you from worrying while you’re gone.

What are your thoughts on travelling with a dog or leaving your dog behind when you travel?