Does the thought of going on a staycation with your dog in tow fill you with dread? Is it a nightmare to settle down your dog when you arrive somewhere new? Well, this handy guide will give you the rundown on how to stop the stress and keep your dog’s tail wagging!
Things to think about before you arrive
1. Plan your trip with your dog in mind
Take the time to find a place that’s not only good for you, but that’s also good for your dog. This way, they’ll be able to settle in much sooner once you arrive. Pick out a place with a garden or outside space, or one that has no stairs if your dog struggles to climb them!
You should also spend some time researching the area to discover a range of dog-friendly restaurants, pubs or cafés before you go. We have a whole guide filled with our favourite dog-friendly pub walks, or check out our list on the best dog beaches in the UK.
2. Visit the vet
If your pup has any pre-existing conditions, your vet will be able to prescribe enough medication for the entire trip. Plus, a general check-up will ensure your dog is healthy enough for travel. But remember to keep your pet insurance up to date – just in case you need it while you’re away!
3. Make a list of essential items
Just like you would for yourself, it’s good to make an inventory of all the things your pup will need. All of these things will help your dog feel safe and secure. Your list might include:
- A food and water bowl
- A collar with an ID tag and a leash
- Poop bags
- A dog bed
- Doggy shampoo and an old towel
- Enough dog food for the entire trip
4. Make travelling more comfortable
The smoother the journey, the more likely your dog will be able to settle down once you arrive. If you’re travelling by car to your destination, you’ll need to make sure that your dog’s comfortable and secure.
Take regular breaks. This way, you and your dog can stretch your legs and go to the toilet. Fresh water is vital to prevent dehydration in your dog. For more travelling tips, take a look at our guide on safe car travel for dogs.
Things to do once you’ve arrived
5. Secure the garden
If you’re staying in a place with a garden or outdoor space (which we really recommend), you should ensure the garden is safe and secure before you let your dog roam about.
Once you know the garden is safe, it’s a good idea to let them outside for a tinkle. This way, they’ll know where they should be going to the toilet. And it’ll hopefully stop them from doing it inside!
6. Let your dog sniff out the place
One of the first things your dog will probably do is sniff around. Dogs can really sense scents. In fact, their sense of smell is 40 times better than ours! They’ll definitely be able to smell any previous dogs that might have stayed the week before. So, by letting them explore at their own pace, they’ll be able to get the lay of the land.
Plus, if you bring things that belong to your dog – like their bed, blankets and toys – they’ll be able to settle down much quicker. This is because it's familiar to them and smells like home!
7. Stay inside – at first!
It may be tempting to go out and explore straight away, but this might confuse your dog. Stay with them and give them time to settle down in the strange surroundings. Cuddles, attention and treats will really come in handy at this stage! Or opt for some playtime with their favourite toys as this will help them to relax.
Once they seem relaxed and comfortable in their new environment, you should aim to take your dog out for a long walk. This way, they can stretch their legs and get in some much-needed exercise. It'll be just what they need after a long car journey. A walk will also help to de-stress them and will tire them out – which means you’re likely to get a peaceful first night!
8. Be mindful of big events
A holiday is the ideal time to let loose and have some fun, which likely means loud noises, music, singing – maybe even fireworks! Although these are great fun, you should be mindful that loud noises and lots of people can stress your dog out. Here’s a few of our top-tips to keep your dog calm when it’s noisy:
- Create a calm and safe space for your dog. They’ll likely find somewhere quiet to hide away from all the noise. If they do, let them! But make sure you keep all internal doors open, this way they won’t feel trapped in their safe space.
- Distract your dog by giving them regular attention. Play with their favourite toys, offer them lots of tasty treats, and – of course – give them a good cuddle or two.
- Play some calming music. The sudden bang of a firework or the smash of a prosecco glass can be drowned out with music or by the TV.
9. Stick to the same diet
Holiday stress can lead to some sensitive doggy digestion. By sticking to your dog’s regular diet and feeding schedule, he or she will be much less likely to suffer from a poorly tummy.
If your dog is prone to a sensitive stomach, they might benefit from our YuMOVE Digestive Care tablets. They’ve been specifically made to support your dog’s digestive health and increase ‘good’ bacteria in the gut.
10. Try a natural pet calming product
If all of the above fails, you might benefit from trying our all-natural YuMove Calming Care for Dogs tablets. They’re packed with natural, scientifically proven ingredients to help your dog cope with stress.
Remember to take your individual dog into consideration. Confident dogs are more likely to adjust quickly without too much stress. Whereas more anxious dogs can take a while to settle down in a new place. We recommend never leaving your dog alone in the first 24 hours. Even if they seem fine when you’re around, being alone in a strangle place could really unnerve them.