If you’re heading off on your summer holiday, you may want to consider bringing your furry pal with you instead of leaving him or her at home. Taking your pet with you on holiday is easier than you think, and can be a cheaper alternative to leaving them with a house sitter or in a kennel or cattery.

Before you set off, there are a few things to consider, especially if you are travelling abroad, to ensure your pet is kept safe, happy and healthy.

Ensure your pet’s medical records are up to date.
If you’re travelling abroad with your pet it’s mandatory that your pet has a rabies injection and dogs must have tapeworm treatment. The government also requires that your pet is issued with a pet passport and is microchipped too.

Make sure that the details on your pet’s microchip is up to date too. Pets are more likely to get lost in a new environment, so ensuring the details on the microchip are in order will mean it’s more likely that the pet can be traced back to you. Even if you’re not travelling abroad, getting your pet microchipped is a great precaution to take.

Plan your mode of transport
If you’re travelling in the UK, then all train companies allow pets on board, as long as dogs are kept on leads and other animals are kept in a cage. If your pet takes up a seat on a train, you may be asked to pay for an additional ticket.

If you’re travelling by car make sure that there is enough room for your pet to travel comfortably and that your car is in working order. Making sure you’ve got breakdown cover and giving your car a once over before you set off will ensure that you won’t be stranded with your pet in tow.

When travelling abroad, you have a few options on how to transport your pet. The cheapest and most convenient way of getting your pet to your holiday destination is to travel by car and ferry across the Channel. Taking your pet on board a ferry can cost as little as £15 and if you opt to take the ferry for a longer journey, there are often special areas on board larger ships where you can exercise your dog. If driving isn’t an option for you, you can still go on the ferry as a foot passenger with your pet and then take a train when you get to the other side. Unfortunately pets aren’t allowed on the Eurostar.

You can also consider freighting your pet by aeroplane, although this is a lot more costly and your pet may have to remain in quarantine depending on the country you visit. Many specialist companies have been set up that handle all the paperwork and transportation of your pet, so you don’t have to.

Keep your pet amused
Don’t forget that your pet will get bored on a long journey. Take some of its favourite toys, plus something from home that is familiar to them, like a blanket or pet bed. Keep a supply of water for them too, and don’t forget to bring some pet food for them too! Depending on where you’re going it may be difficult to find the type of food they like and it can be more convenient to simply take a supply of pet food with you.