Taking your Dog on Holidays with you

By Dr Eloise Bright 7 Min Read

Can’t imagine leaving your pooch behind while you go on holiday?  With just a little planning, you can bring all members of your family along on your next getaway, including your beloved dog.

Do you feel that your dog is a genuine part of the family?  Chances are your pet feels the same way.  They are pack animals after all.  Which is why it is unsettling for animals to be left behind when you go away on holiday.

Not so long ago, you had little choice but to place your beloved animal in a kennel or arrange for a dog walker while you were away.  While these are still valid choices, they are costly and simply not suitable for some owners or their pets.

Fortunately, more and more destinations are willing to accommodate people holidaying with their pets.  So with just a little extra planning, you can enjoy taking your furry best friend on your next trip away.


Train, plane or automobile?  Whether you are taking a driving holiday or flying to your destination, you will need the right restraints to keep your dog safe.

For driving, a safety harness or a barricade across the backseat is important.  Also make sure there is good ventilation.  If your best friend is travelling in the back of a ute, take care with an ample size cage and don’t forget about shade.

For those taking to the skies, check with your airline as they will have strict rules about dog carriers and even dog breeds.  For instance, Qantas allows small to medium dogs but has some exceptions relating to dangerous breeds and puppies less than 8 weeks old.  Excess baggage fees may also apply so do your homework in advance.

You will also need an authorised crate or carrier to fly on a plane.  Luckily, there is no need to invest in purchasing an expensive carrier just for a one off holiday.  You can easily hire one from places such as Jet Pets which are specifically designed for air travel.


Head off on your Aussie road trip with a water bowl, treats, food tray and the leash for your dog.  Keep plenty of bottled water on hand in case tap water isn’t available.  You don’t want a thirsty hound on your hands.

Make sure you allow extra travel time for toilet and exercise breaks when planning your drive.  It’s nicest, and safest, to take rest stops at a park or playground so you and your pooch can have a run around.

Dogs easily suffer heat stress, so never leave your pet in the car unattended.  Also consider buying shade screens for the windows if the dog will be travelling in the back of your car.


The internet is your best friend when it comes to finding pet friendly accommodation.  This can range from farm stays (dogs love running in all that open space) to dog-friendly B & B’s, camping and caravan parks.

Before you book, it is important to check the in-house rules.  Do they allow animals matching your pet’s size?  Do you need to bring your pet’s bedding?  Are dogs allowed inside or outside only?  Is there a fenced area for your dog to relax? It is best to pick accommodation which allows a close match with your dog’s usual routine.

Best of all, you are no longer stuck with the outskirts of town.  If you want to enjoy a city-escape, you can now stay in an inner-city Melbourne or Sydney hotel and not compromise on lifestyle. For instance, right on Woollahra near Centennial Park, The Hughenden hotel offers pet-friendly hotel packages so why not let pooch enjoy a bit of pampering while you are away?


Although we hope it never happens, anyone can get sick on holidays, including Fido.  So before heading off, find out where the local vet or pet hospital is.  This is particularly important if you are going camping or heading somewhere remote.  Also don’t forget to pack any pet medication you may need and take enough for the whole time you are away.


Once you are on your fabulous holiday, what do you do if you want to check out that fantastic new show or gourmet restaurant up the road?  If you think you will want some time without pooch in tow, enquire about a dog sitter.  Check with your accommodation first.  Do they offer this service?  If not, are there any reliable sitters in the area?  Will they come to you or do you take the dog to them?  Just look into this before you go ahead and book your accommodation so you will not be disappointed.


It’s great to be able to include pets in our family fun.  Although a little extra planning is needed, taking the dog with you on holidays is a rewarding experience for you and your pet.  By choosing the right accommodation, taking the dogs favourite toy, familiar bedding and paying attention to details for your dog’s health and safety while on the move, your holiday can be fun and a stress free for everyone.

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Dr Eloise is a Clinical Lead at Love That Pet and one of our resident pet care experts. She also curates the select range of vet recommended and approved products which feature on our site.
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