After COVID all we want to do is get away and enjoy ourselves, but what do we do with the dog? Here's some tips and info on holidays.

Don't jump the gun...

Very timid Romanian rescues will take much longer to settle into the home, at this point you must not try anything extra with them - if they are not comfortable in the home, walking on a lead or being handled they should not be accompanying you on holiday. You can still enjoy your holidays, however, you will have to arrange care for your dog.

Doggy Holidays

Doggy holidays have become really popular over the past few years and everyone is out looking for the best places to take their dog. 

Only consider taking your dog on holiday with you if:

  • They can confidently walk on  a lead
  • Have practiced travelling in the car
  • They can be handled by you (eg. lifting into the car)
  • They have been given at least a fair few months to settle in to the home properly
  • Are ready to do so...

As mentioned above, some Rommies will not be able to cope with going on a doggy holiday; some dogs will never be ready, some may really dislike the car, others may be very timid outside of the home. 

Think about where you're going: 

Could your dog cope with sitting in a pub, walking on busy streets and passing other dogs? If not you will need to look for somewhere that is more quiet or a holiday home that is happy with the dog being left in the cottage/caravan etc whilst you go out. You must ensure that you dog is comfortable being left alone and do not cry or become destructive if they are left.

There are lots of holiday providers that will allow dogs but some will not allow the dog in the bedrooms so ensure to check before booking.

Don't feel guilty for not taking the dog along...

Lots of places do not allow dogs and there will be times that you want to have a holiday without the dog - this is completely fine, you shouldn't feel guilty. All you need to ensure is that the dog is being cared for correctly in your absence.

There are a few different care routes that you can take, you just need to ensure that the dog is comfortable and confident ennough for the care you choose:

Friends/Family staying over to care for the dog

  • The easiest solution with a timid dog that cannot walk or travel. Having a family member stay in at the house prevents the dog from going through unnecessary stress, however, the dog must be introduced to the fmaily member multiple times prior to you going away. You must use the visitor process with the dog until they are as comfortable with them as they are with you.
  • Ensure your visitor knows the dog's bourandry and will not cross them. If your dog is still getting used to being handled and is still timid in the home space, speak to them and make them aware of their limitations. Bites can happen very easily if boundaries are pushed.
  • If your holiday care wants to bring people round whilst you're on holiday they must be introduced to the dog a good amount of time before you go away with the visitor process and this must be repeated. Your holiday care person must use the visitor process when this guest arrives at the home, as the dog will already be stressed with the change of usual routine allowing someone they don't really know to enter their space or approach them will be extremely risky.
  • Ensure the holiday care person does not leave the dog alone for longer than 5 hours a day or overnight. If you dog cannot be left for 5hrs you need to discuss this with your holiday care-giver so they understand.

Dog Boarding Kennels

  • Boarding kennels can be an option for you if you do not have anyone that can come and stay in with the dog, their facilities differ from place to place but most will walk the dog, feed them twice a day and try to provide 1-2-1 attention for the dog.
  • If your dog cannot wlak on a lead this is not the option for you.
  • If your dog is not people friendly this is not the option for you as they will come into contact with unknown people.
  • You need to be confident that your dog can cope in a kennel environment - not all rescue dogs cope well with going back into a kennel environment. If your dog is bouncy and happy-go-lucky this could be an option, however, if your dog is more nervous this could worry them.
  • If you decide boarding kennels is the right option for yourselves, research kennels in your area and ensure you're happy with the service they provide. Please do not just pick one at last minute. Any good kennels will allow you to see any certifications you ask for, they will also give you a tour of the kennels or provide a video tour.

Pet Boarder/ Pet Hotel

  • Similar to boarding kennels in that the dog will need to leave the house to be looked after, so ensure that your dog is comfortable doing this and can walk on a lead.
  • These are usually home-run so there are less dogs and people involved but your dog will still come into contact with unknown people.
  • Again, do your research, a qualified boarder will show you any certificates or awards you request, they will likely have a portfolio and website too, along with a business address and customer reviews. Always ask for a tour or guided video tour of the premises before booking in with them.
  • Discuss your dog's limitations with them - many boarders may not have housed a Rommie before and so could easily overstep boundaries if they are not made aware of them.

Pet Sitter

  • These are professionals that will attend your home to care for the dog. Your dog does not have to be able to walk for you to be able to use this service, however depending on the sitter it could be a little more expensive. You can explain to the sitter that your dog will not go for walks yet and they need someone to let them out to toilet and spend time with them. 
  • If you have a dog walker already they may provide a pet sitting service so speak to them about it.
  • Your dog must be introduced to the pet sitter well in advance and needs to have multiple meeds using the visitor process. A good pet sitter will be fine with this and will advise this anyway. If the pet sitter you have spoken to does not want to meet the dog before caring for them use somebody else.
  • Do you research; almost anyone can obtain a sitting or dog walker qualification over the internet so you must ensure that you are happy with their services. Professional sitters and walkers will likely have websites with their services listed, most display their qualifications on their website but you can also request them in person, a business address, a social media page and customer reviews. 
  • Ensure that your dog is not getting left all day - some sitters are busy so will have multiple appointments booked throughout the day.

Kennel Cough Vaccine

Most professional care services will require an up-to-date kennel cough vaccination. Your dog will have had a KC vaccination and this will be logged in your passport. If you need to get this renewed understand that it is a live vaccine. Once the dog has the vaccine they need to be kept away from all other dogs for 3 weeks as they shed a bit of the virus in that time period.

You will need to ensure that you book ahead and ensure that your dog does not go straight into professional care services straight after their vaccine. Please note that having the KC vaccine does not make them immune to KC; there are many different strains of KC which means that your dog could pick up a different strain if they do come into contact with a dog that has caught a different strain; this can even happen on a walk - it is not isolated to kennel environments.