Top tips for a successful 'petcation'

A furry friend can be a great addition to your holiday. Photo / iStock
A furry friend can be a great addition to your holiday. Photo / iStock

More and more people are choosing to travel with their pets.

Australian man Richard East traded his corporate lifestyle to travel with his black rescue cat Willow, while Hamlet the 'emotional support' pig accompanies his owner on flights.

Willow and I having a chat as the sun sets.

A photo posted by Rich & Willow (@vancatmeow) on


If you've ever dreamed of taking your pet on holiday with you, it's entirely possible - but it's best to be well prepared for any pitfalls that might occur.

Read more:
Meet Gandalf, the travelling cat
The cat came back: An unexpected journey
Six of the best destinations for cat lovers

Aaron Waters, Country Manager of PETstock NZ has shared his expertise on this important topic with Herald Travel, and here are his top tips for a great 'petcation':

• As well as finding out if your accommodation is pet-friendly, also ask if your furry friends are allowed inside with you. Also check for nearby parks and walking tracks, so you'll know you can exercise your dog while away.

Do I get my wings too, now? #whenpigsfly

A photo posted by Hamlet The Beach Hog (@hamlet_the_beach_hog) on


• Be sure to be up-to-date with vaccinations and worming treatments and familiarise yourself with potential hazards and restrictions.

• Research where the nearest veterinary clinic is to be prepared for an emergency. Make sure your pet is wearing an engraved I.D. tag for clear identification and that their microchip details are up to date.

• Travel safety applies for dogs too - make sure you have a harness and attachable seatbelt clip. Account some extra travel time so your buddy can stretch their legs and go to the toilet.

As cute as this is, it's best to keep your cat in a large carry-cage. Photo / iStock
As cute as this is, it's best to keep your cat in a large carry-cage. Photo / iStock

• If you're travelling with a feline friend, make sure you have a large carrier or cage for them - spraying it with Feliway, an anti-anxiety spray, can help your cat relax.

• For pets that suffer from motion sickness, be sure to feed them a few hours before travel, so they're not travelling on a full stomach. It's handy to have a pet car seat cover just in case of accidents. If your buddy suffers badly from motion sickness it's best to visit your vet beforehand to discuss your treatment options.

• On arrival, give your pet a few familiar items like a blanket or toy. This will help them feel comfortable in a new environment.

• Cats might stress about being in a different environment, so open their carry cage in a quiet, semi-dark area. Limit them to this area until they feel comfortable exploring. A cat igloo can enable your cat to hide away if they need to feel secure.

Gandalf had quite the year 2015. He made his way from South Korea to the USA where he visited 9 different states from the midwest to the west coast. He is thankful for all of his new friends and fans and hopes to continue his travels indefinitely. Some of Gandalf's favorite memories include the camping in the Redwoods in Northern California and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Gandalf hopes to continue to inspire kitties around the world to explore and have their own adventures.?? 2016 may be a little slower for the Gandalf family since we will be starting the long immigration process back across the Pacific. Mum leaves in January to go get life started and make the path a little easier and less stressful for a kitty. There will be heaps of paperwork for Gandalf and it will take around 6 months for Dad to complete it. There will still be plenty of adventures, hiking, and travel for the boys through out the year but Gandalf will be land locked in the USA until his papers are in order. We hope to end 2016 with loads of camping in our new home, all together again.?????? #cat #cats #catsofinstagram #catstagram #instacat #instagood #nofilter #instatravel #travel #catsonleashes #campingwithcats #adventurecat #adventure #bestmeow #bestoftheday #petsofinstagram #pets #petstagram #pet #kitty #meow #caturday #2015bestnine #catlover #catting #explore #gandalf #cute #cuteness #weeklyfluff

A photo posted by Gandalf (@ganddygram) on


• A new environment to explore is exciting for any pet but it's important to keep them contained so they don't wander away. For small dogs, consider bringing along a play pen, or for bigger dogs, pack a tethering cable they can be safely secured.

• Be mindful of the weather. If you're travelling to a hot climate, be wary of the risks of dehydration and carry a portable bowl and water. Sun safety is important too - remember to apply sunscreen to the nose, ears and any white areas.

• If the climate is cold make sure you pack your pet's favourite blankets and a dog coat to keep them warm. In case of rain, have a brush and comb ready to avoid a matted coat.

• Whether you're travelling to the big smoke, to the beach or your favourite camping ground, remember to pack the following; poo bags, food, treats, food and water bowls, a leash, insect repellent, flea and tick prevention, bedding and, of course, toys!

With all of the above considered, you're sure to create some great memories on your next 'petcation'. Just remember to take lots of photos - your furry friend could be the next Instagram hit.

- nzherald.co.nz

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