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