Dogs need holidays too
If your dog is part of the family, it makes sense that you’d like him or her to join in the fun of a family holiday. South Africa has become more and more pet-friendly, and there are now plenty of places you can take your pet to where they will receive a warm welcome.
Getting ready to go
- A crate can help to make your dog feel safer when travelling. Make sure it is well ventilated and large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in.
- Exercise your dog well before putting him or her in the crate.
- Make sure there’s nothing in the crate that can harm your dog, like a loose leash or collar.
- Let your dog explore his/her crate in its own time and on its own terms.
- When he/she is inside, you can then shut the door.
- Secure the crate in your car so that it can’t move around.
Driving with your dog
- Crate your dog when driving, it avoids distraction and protects your dog in case of an accident.
- Don’t feed your dog too much before a car trip, especially if he/she gets car sick.
- Don’t feed your dog in the car.
- Take a break every 2 hours for a pit stop, ensure that your dog gets some exercise and feed him/her a small, high protein snack.
- Never leave your dog in a parked car.
- Don’t let your dog ride with his/her head outside the window.
- If your dog is prone to panic, consider asking your vet for a herbal remedy, such as rescue remedy. Be sure to read the instructions on the label.
Taking your dog on a plane
- Check with the airline about their pet travel policies.
- Crate your dog before you arrive at the airport.
- Don’t feed your dog too much before the flight.
- Make sure your dog has access to water during the flight, not too much, but enough to keep hydrated.
At your destination
- Take a long walk to burn off any energy.
- Enter your accommodation first and then allow your dog inside.
- Keep your dog on a leash and restrained while you unpack.
- Your scent needs to be all over the room for your dog to be able to relax.
Pack a pet suitcase
- Pet travel papers, vaccination card and record.
- Pet first aid kit.
- Feeding supplies, including bottled water.
- Necessities, including a leash, waste scoops, waste bags and grooming supplies.
- Any medication your dog may currently be taking.
- Favourite toys, blanket, etc.
Safety and security
- It is a good idea to microchip your pet in case he or she gets lost.
- Use a flat collar with an ID tag.
- Attach a temporary travel ID tag.
Where to go
Check out these links for booking, accommodation and destination ideas throughout South Africa.