More than two thirds of dog owners take their dog on holiday with them. If you are staying in a B&B, hotel or cottage, even if it is advertised as “dog-friendly,” you might find that you want to do a little dog-proofing when you arrive, especially if you are planning on spending your days on the beach, in the river, or on long muddy walks. Don’t underestimate your dog’s ability to get mucky when let of the lead!
Dog proofing is very similar to baby-proofing – safety on holiday is paramount, even with furry members of the family. It is important that there is nothing in your holiday home that will harm your dog, preventing them from making a mess is secondary. When you arrive at your holiday home, before you let your dog off the lead, go round each room and make sure that there is nothing that your dog will take, eat or chew that will cause them harm. Put any bottles of chemical cleaners safely out of reach. If you have a medium or large breed dog that likes to counter-surf, make sure that there is nothing on kitchen work surfaces or tables that they can grab, like sharp objects.
Looking after your accommodation
When you come home from holiday, the last thing you want is to receive an extra bill because your dog left paw prints all over the sofa and chewed through the wires of the television. If you have a dog that is prone to mischief, or a young puppy, this behaviour will not change just because you’re on holiday. Therefore, it is important that you prepare for it. Take extra towels and blankets to lay over furniture, put any tempting soft furnishings like cushions away in a cupboard and make sure that you bring the dog shampoo.
Keeping your dog confined
It may be that the owners of your holiday accommodation ask you to keep your dog out of certain areas, for instance, it is common for you to be asked not to let your dog upstairs, or in the bedrooms. If this is the case, it helps to be prepared before you leave. If your dog is happy sleeping in a crate, or will stay in his own bed, make sure that you take this with you. The owners may ask you to keep your dog downstairs. It is worth asking if there is a stairgate available to help with this.
Covid-19 and social distancing
There have been cases of dogs contracting Covid-19, but these are extremely rare. However, dogs can carry the virus on their fur, just like any other surface. While you are on holiday, don’t let anyone else touch or pet your dog. If you are in a busy area, then make sure that you keep your dog on a lead and adhere to social distancing rules. Keep your dog a safe distance away from other people and their dogs. Make sure that you wash your hands regularly. If you need to take your dog to the vet whilst you are on holiday, you will probably find that they will also have social distancing guidelines in place.
Your dog will love going on holiday as much as you. A little dog-proofing means that you can enjoy your adventures, without worrying about the accommodation.