If you’re planning an active holiday with your dog, there are a number of options – for example with hiking, cycling or swimming. You know your dog and its individual preferences best. Nevertheless, there are a few things to consider on vacation.
- Don’t forget to bring a bowl, drinking water and possibly food. It’s also a good idea to have a towel to dry your dog off after a swim in case you want to go somewhere to eat or rest afterwards, such as an inn or a hut.
- When planning out longer hikes, your schedule should include time for breaks.
- Ideally, you should let your dog run free, or failing that, on a long leash – that way, it will be able to set the pace for itself.
- Always consider your dog’s health and general condition! As an owner, only you can determine how fit your own dog is and how much hiking it will be able to handle. If you’re unsure how much you can ask of it, consult your vet.
- When planning out a cycling tour, you should make sure your route does not include anyheavily travelled roads. If you can, stick to country lanes androads where the traffic is light.
- Don’t take your dog on cycling tours on hot summer days as doing this may lead to a heatstroke.
- Before setting out on a lengthy cycling tour, try a few rides with your dog and get in some practice well in advance.
- As ever, don’t forget to bring essentials like water, a bowl, a towel and a little food.
- Your schedule should include many breaks. When taking a dog on a cycling tour, set a rather slower tempo than usual!
- It is best to carry small dogs in a bicycle basket, even if you only do this for parts of the trip.
- Consider your dog’s health and general condition very carefully in order to avoid overstraining it.
- Your dog should always be on the side of you that faces away from the road.
With your dog by the sea
Many dogs love swimming in the sea and frolicking on a sandy beach. If properly planned, a seaside holiday can be terrific fun both for you and for your four-legged friend.
Be sure to factor in your dog’s needs when deciding when to travel. This is important partly because of the weather conditions and partly because during the off-season, it is much easier to find a beach where dogs are allowed to swim too. Some dogs will refuse to enter the water even when temperatures are high. Never force your dog into the water if it is afraid of taking a dip. Instead, look for other ways to cool your dog down: take it into the shade and carefully sprinkle its legs with cold water, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Placing a cold, damp cloth over your dog is also helpful, or for that matter putting a wet T-shirt on it.
- Drinking water and bowl, and possibly a little food
- Dog beaches: dogs are prohibited on some beaches. However, many bathing spots do have specially dedicated dog beaches where you and your best friend will not be disturbed.
- Other bathers: be considerate to other bathers. Please watch out for children in particular as they love to go running about on a beach, which can trigger the canine hunting instinct. You should also keep your dog away from stretches where other visitors are sunbathing, as these will often contain tasty treats not intended for it.
- Mid-day heat: dogs too are susceptible to sunstroke, and can even get sunburnt – so you should avoid spending time on the beach during the hottest time of the day.
- Shade: your dog must always have the option of seeking out a shady spot of its own accord!
- Fluids: always make sure your dog has enough drinking water available at the beach. Don’t let it drink any saltwater as this may lead to severe diarrhoea.
- Freshwater shower: after a swim in the sea, give your dog a shower in freshwater to get the salt out of its coat.
- Drying: if the weather is cold and windy, it is vital to dry your dog off after bathing to make sure it doesn’t catch a cold.
- Danger of injury: watch out for shells or broken glass lying in the sand as these may injure your dog.