If you’re a dog owner, you know the hassle (and heartache) of leaving your fur-babies behind when you go on holiday. So it’s great when you find a place you can pack your pooch; like one of our dog-friendly holiday parks, for example.
But don’t just put the dogs in the car and hit the road. Preparation is key. You need to pack for your four-legged friends as well as yourself. But what to bring?
For advice we turned to dog-whisperer Chris de Aboitiz, owner and operator of SUPDogOz. Chris is a former world champion tandem surfer who has been training dogs for over 20 years, so he knows a thing or two about travelling with some tail-waggers in tow.
Chris doesn’t just teach dogs how to stand-up paddle board (as awesome as that is!). He also provides advice for dog-owners on how to understand and communicate with their four-legged mates.
“I love to teach and watch people learn how to give their dog leadership, exercise, structure and be confident to know when and how to reward good dog behaviour,” says Chris.
Here are the top five things Chris packs when hitting the road with his furry friends.
1. Doggy manners
OK, so it’s not a ‘thing’, but it may be the most important and can make all the difference to the quality of your holiday.
“Taking your dogs to holiday parks means they need to know their manners. After all, you don’t want to be the owner of the dog that barks at every person who wanders past the campsite,” said Chris.
Concerned dog-owners should check out Chris’s online introduction course to behaviour training. It highlights some common mistakes and will help you teach your dog its place in the family hierarchy.
Next on the packing list: a spot for your dog to sleep.
“It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A rolled-up towel or blanket on the floor will do the trick. But it helps if it smells like home, so your dog understands it’s their space to relax,” said Chris.
3.Water bowls and food
All that swimming and running around is sure to make your dog extra thirsty. Always have plenty of fresh water available, and perhaps a portable dog-water dispenser for those long beach walks.
And don’t forget to pack extra supplies of their regular food, in case it’s not available where you’re staying. No-one (especially your pooch) wants an upset stomach to ruin their holiday fun.
4.Car harness and lead
As much as your dog may like sticking its head out the car window, or to climb on your lap, it’s against the law for dogs to travel unrestrained in motor vehicles.
And when it comes to leads, Chris prefers to pack ones that aren’t too long.
“Dogs need to know who’s in charge, and shorter leads give you better control,” he says.
5. Play time gear
Chris loves taking his dogs out on the stand-up paddle board, or to go for a skate with a dog or two leading the way. But if your dog isn’t up to such shenanigans, there’s plenty of alternatives.
“The important thing is to get out there and have some fun with your best mate. Even if it’s just throwing them a tennis ball on the beach. It’s what holidays are all about,” he says.
Preparation is vital when it comes to travelling with dogs, so don’t forget to pack these essentials.
Then head to your favourite Dog-Friendly Reflections Holiday Park for some fun with ALL the family. Especially your precious canine companions.