Camping with dog in tent

Paws And Listen: Tips For Travelling With Pets

Dreaming of a beautiful, busy, beach-side break? Or, maybe you’re keen for a relaxing road-trip that ends with you kicking back around the campfire. Like the two thirds of New Zealanders who own a pet, your furry best friend is a beloved member of your family… do you hate the thought of leaving them behind while on holiday?

The good news is, taking your pet on your next beach getaway, countryside camping session or multi-stop road trip is easier than you think. In this blog, we’ll give you the keys to making travelling with your pet fun and fuss-free.

If you’re keen to explore the ins and outs of travelling, overnight stays and more with some of the best-suited pets – dogs, cats and horses – then check out this blog post too.

Should you take your pet with you?

Furry, feathered or scaled, there’s no doubting we form emotional bonds with our pets. They’re loyal companions and trusted confidants. They motivate us to be healthier and more active, inspire us to appreciate the little things and teach us to see the world differently.

This can make them the perfect holiday companions!

If you’re feeling weighed down with the stresses of everyday life and work (we hear you), bringing your pet along for a well-earned break can help you relax and let go, and reward you with lots of love along the way.

Of course, it’s not for everyone. Some animals find travelling stressful, so when you’re deciding if your pet is suited to your next holiday here are a few things to consider.

How well does your pet travel?

When you’re travelling with pets, it’s worth remembering that animals rely heavily on their senses to make sense of their world. Different sights, smells and sounds can cause excitement or stress, and each animal responds differently depending on the environment and the length of time travelling.

Also, when it comes to travelling interisland or overseas, some exotic pets are restricted or require permits due to quarantine. This could mean your original travel plans need to change.

The most common travel companions are dogs, cats and horses. Pets like guinea pigs, rabbits or reptiles are best left with friend, neighbour or at a boarding house because they usually don’t travel well. Besides, how would you explain the loss of your pet rodent or snake in the holiday house. Travelling with a bird? Your pet budgie or cockatiel might be playful and happy at home, but the stress of travel can be fatal for them. Having said that, larger birds such as parrots, cockatoos and macaws can suffer from separation anxiety so a well-planned trip with you might be something they love.

The best approach? Arm yourself with knowledge to make the best decision for you and your friend. Whatever species they may be, it’s always best to ask advice from your vet beforehand and to have your pet’s health checked. Animals are their profession, after all.

Pet-friendly destinations

When deciding on a destination for you and your purrfect pal we recommend you balance your needs with those of your pet and other holiday goers.

It’s also important to note that pets are not permitted in New Zealand’s national parks due to the effects they have on the flora and fauna while you’re there (the only exception is assistance animals).

Some of the best places to venture together on that much needed break are:

  • Camping and caravaning
  • Regional beach holidays
  • Ranch and farm stays

Alternatively, you might want a city break. With research, that will work too – there are plenty of choices available these days.

Thanks to a plethora of pet-friendly accommodation options that cater for a wide range of pets, booking the right place is a cinch. Just remember to call ahead to double check what pets are accepted if it’s not clearly stated on the website.

Calm, comfortable car travel

The key to stress-free car travel with your furry BFF is planning and safety.

The first thing to remember is that animals can get motion sickness just like people. It’s a good idea to pack some travel sickness remedies just in case, along with any other medication they usually take.

As for safety, while there’s no law saying you need to secure your pet in the car, the law does say you are legally required to ensure occupants of your vehicle are safe.

Reducing driver distractions inside the car makes perfect sense. You don’t want your pup to be one of the many who are injured or killed each year after falling or jumping from a moving car, or become a projectile when you have to brake suddenly.

On the road essentials

Regardless of whether you’re travelling in winter, summer or somewhere in between, you need to avoid dehydration by planning to stop around every two hours or so. This allows your pet time to stretch their legs, use the toilet and have something to eat or drink.

Keep a close eye on them for travel sickness signs and tend to it as soon as you see it occurring. If you’ve ever been seasick and stuck out on the water you know how debilitating it can be and how much you just want to return home once it hits.

Importantly, never leave your pet in the car, even for just a few minutes. Our pets can’t regulate their body temperature like humans and a few short minutes in a hot car can be fatal.

Top tips to travelling with dogs, cats and horses

Taking your journey with a dog, cat or horse? Explore what to pack, where to stay, which checks to make before you leave and the five essentials of travel with each type of animal, in this blog post .

Holidays with all the creature comforts 

With our quick tips, you can see how easy it can be to travel with your pet. You’ll save yourself the expense of hiring a sitter, while enjoying some time with your furry/ feathery/hairy best friend. Have fun!

Over to you

Have you taken pet on holiday? Do you have any tips on travelling with your pet? Let us know.

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