Planning to Travel? Why Not Take Your Dog With You?

dog-on-the-beach

Travelling is a wonderful thing. We get to explore the world, relax and spend some quality time with friends and family. Sadly, if we’re invested in our dog, then it can be fairly stressful trying to find the right care for them and we can’t sleep properly at night knowing that our dog is lonely and probably misses us. However, there’s a simple solution that not enough people think about when they want to travel: take your dog with you!

Plan ahead if you want to take your dog

Much like any holiday, it’s important that you plan ahead before you take your dog abroad or on a trip with you. You can’t exactly book a trip and then leash your dog and bring them on the plane with you. There are rules for taking pets with you depending on the country you’re visiting, so it’s a good idea to do a quick Google search on animal rules when entering a country.

Prepare the right equipment

Planning ahead also means preparing the right equipment and even vaccines. For instance, if you don’t see yourself leashing your dog everywhere because there might be large crowds, then find the best backpack carrier for your dog and carry them on your back instead. This obviously doesn’t work if you have a larger dog, but there may be rules that forbid you to take large dogs as well.

Vaccinations

Then you need to think about vaccinations. All dogs have to be vaccinated against rabies before travelling to certain countries. There are rules and regulations to this but you have to take this step very seriously. They may even need a blood sample before the vaccination and there can be lengthy waits. Another step you’ll need to think about is getting a microchip installed. This is usually used for identification purposes and should be done before the vaccination step.

dog-on-a-paddle-board

Consider a carrier

Many people prefer to let their dogs travel in a carrier in the cargo area. This requires a bit of planning too because not every carrier is suited for air travel. All carriers that are suitable for cargo will be labelled as being airline approved, but always consult the seller before you invest in one. This may also add some additional costs to your travel fees, so ensure you can afford it financially.

Food and drink

While travelling, ensure that your dog has constant access to food and drink. You want to try and feed them as early as possible on the day of travel so that they’re less likely to get hungry or thirsty throughout the day. While on holiday, you might not find your dog’s preferred food, so make sure to carry some extra in your luggage and ensure that you have enough supply for the entire duration of your trip. Water usually isn’t an issue, but ensure that your dog has a water bowl to drink from while they are travelling as well, especially if it’s in the cargo of a plane.

Stuck in a tree…

Fire brigade saves bird in tree

Sometimes you get to see stuff that you would never imagine possible, and today I turned up to the surgery clinic to find the entire staff waiting outside. Now it was a beautiful sunny day, however this did not explain the two falconry club members sitting with them with only a single bird but two gloves.

Asking what was going on, the doctor pointed at the tree where in a branch 20ft or so from the ground was a shape moving. Now I’d just set my contact lenses to my eyes so my vision wasn’t great as they had yet to settle however being a tree I assumed it was a cat that had escaped being a vet school and all. This led to great laughter when I was informed none too kindly that it was in fact a bird.

A bird stuck in a tree?

My first question was why it couldn’t just fly down as it obviously flew up there…

And then the fire brigade arrived with flashing blue lights and an aerial platform. My day was made totally and completely. The fire service – “Hasici” in Slovak – had arrived to save a bird from a tree. I really couldn’t make it up if I tried.

So with some quick manoeuvring of the platform to the ground to allow one of the students on (tied into a harness) they raised the platform to the tree to save the bird and in a blink it was all over with the bird safely on the ground the fire brigade left.

Vet student rescues bird from tree with Slovak fire brigade

Apparently there are special jesses (strings for the legs of falcons) that should be used when flying them that had been neglected. Because of this the normal jesses had got tangled into the branch of the tree and so the bird needed to be rescued. So as I learnt something about falconry I guess this counts as part of my veterinary education.

The Slovak fire service were awesome with how fast they responded, how happy they were to help and how much more interesting they made my day.

Moral of the story though, is that flight jesses exist for a reason.