Travelling with your pet

Are you planning the ultimate family trip in the UK to make the most of the fantastic summer we are enjoying? Or maybe you are even considering travelling further afield to sample the cultural delights of our nearest continental neighbours? Either way, if you are taking your furry friends along for the ride then follow our top tips to help make your travelling experience, and theirs, a little easier (and don’t worry if they are having a separate holiday to you, we have that covered as well)


If you are planning an extended trip by car with your furry family friend then preparation ahead of time is essential; from planning pet friendly rest stops to ensuring you always have help on hand in a medical emergency just follow our handy check list to ensure that the only memories you will be making this summer are picture perfect ones;

The safety stuff:

By law when driving in the UK you are required to ensure that all animals are appropriately restrained. Suitable restraints include a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard! To make this process more enjoyable and less stressful (for all involved) you should acclimatize your pet slowly to new restraint methods and allow plenty of time in advance for training. If you have a pet that is very nervous when travelling then speak to your vet for advice about calming products and more specific methods of training that will help your pet to travel with confidence.

Home comforts:

Visiting new places can be exciting but we all like a touch of our home comforts with us when travelling. The same goes for your pet so remember to pack their favourite toys and blankets/beds to provide a familiar and calming environment when the excitement of the trip gets a little too much!

Time for a pit stop:

When planning your route you need to ensure that any break stops you have are at pet friendly places. NEVER leave dogs or cats alone in cars on warm days. Even if it’s cloudy, you have the windows open and are parked in a shady area; the temperature inside your car can reach dangerously high levels in just a few minutes!

Take frequent breaks, carry a good supply of poop bags to make sure you are never caught short and always ensure you have enough water on board to keep your furry friend fully hydrated – pets travelling in cars can become dehydrated very quickly; especially as they often don’t have constant access to water in a moving vehicle.

Tummy trouble:

Our pets can get travel sick just like us! You can help reduce the risk of tummy issues by ensuring you have enough of your pet’s regular food for the duration of your trip. Although you and the human members of your family will likely be savouring the local cuisine, enjoying family picnics or cooking up a storm at the barbeque, just remember that a sudden change in diet or feeding your pet unfamiliar foods and treats may result in diarrhoea and sickness.

Scavenging is another top cause of pet tummy trouble so make sure you keep a close eye on your pet whilst out roaming the countryside and beaches – what may seem disgusting to us can seem like a tasty treat to your pet!

If your pet is prone to tummy troubles whilst travelling you can speak to your vet about possible medications and supplements that may help: these can include anti-sickness medications and probiotics/prebiotics to help support your pet’s normal gut function.


Check the paper work:

If you are travelling outside of the UK with your pet then they will need a valid Pet Passport (or other documentation if not visiting a Pet Passport approved country), up to date vaccinations and a working microchip. In addition, many countries have their own specific rules regarding extra vaccinations and parasite treatments that will be necessary before travel. Arranging all the correct treatments and paperwork for your pet to travel abroad can take a long time (sometimes even several months!). If you are unsure what your pet may need to travel abroad then speak to your vet for advice. And don’t forget that you’ll need to arrange a vet visit before you will be allowed to travel back to the UK with your furry friend!

If travelling by sea or air with your pet you will likely need extra documentation and even a specialist transport service to handle your pet’s care during transport. As with all of the important paperwork, remember to check specific requirements with your travel provider as well as ensuring you have all documentation, vaccinations and passports up to date for border control at your destination country.


Whilst we hope that your holiday with your furry friend will run smoothly and be filled with fun it’s important to be prepared for emergencies. Wherever you are travelling this summer, be sure to have contact details for a veterinary surgeon near your destination, just in case!

Leaving your pet behind this summer? Take a look at our quick guide to Kennels and Catteries

24th July 2018

Back to news