This week my wife and I are holidaying by the beach. Living in Australia, we are very lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful beaches. Going back to early childhood, I can remember going on holidays with my folks to the beach, and even today they are still some of my fondest memories.
Something my parents didn’t have to worry too much about was going on holidays with pet’s. As a child we only had a budgie, and while he didn’t get a say in the matter, i’m sure he was quite happy to stay at my grandmothers house when we went away.
Since getting married about 4 years ago, my wife and I have increased our family to include Ricky (our dog), who my wife describes as our “fur baby”. We rescued Ricky as a puppy from the pound almost 3 years ago. We love our puppy dearly, but it turns out that it’s very difficult to go on holidays when you have a dog.
Ricky is our 3 year old Staffordshire Bullterrier Cross.
Unfortunately for Ricky, he has bad elbows. When he was just over 1 year old, we discovered that he had elbow dysplasia. That means that bits of cartilage in his knees were coming loose and causing him pain when walking.
Our vet recommended that we operate on Ricky’s knees and remove all the excess cartilage that was causing him pain. This was never going to cure him, but it would hopefully reduce the selling and inflammation in his joints.
It’s almost 2 years later and Ricky is very much improved 🙂 although he is still limited in what he is able to do. As an example – he is unable to go for long walks and he has a carprofen infection every 2 months to help reduce the swelling in his joints.
Many people put their dogs in kennels when they go away. Some kennel owners really spoil the dogs rotten, while others can leave your pooch feeling a bit neglected, and wanting to desperately return home.
The cost of some kennels can be almost as much as your own holiday! When we were looking into finding Ricky a kennel we saw prices varying from $10 a day through to $150 a day.
- Your dog can play with lots of other furry friends
- Can be cheap for budget dog accommodation (but you will get what you pay for)
- Can be expensive for good facilities
- Many don’t cater for special needs
- Dogs can pick up bad habits
- Limited to no control over diet
- Difficult to get booked in at peak school holiday times
- Your dog may stress being in a new environment without you
In the past I have asked my brother to look after Ricky when we go away. Normally this will involve him staying at our house with Ricky to help minimize any distress he might be feeling due to being separated from us.
- If a family member is looking after your pet then it doesn’t cost anything – other than a thank you carton of beer
- Less likelihood of distress for your dog
- Control over the dogs diet
- Your dog can still become distressed without you
- No one might be available to sit your dog when you are going on holidays
- Your dog might get away with more bad behaviour than normal, which you will have to deal with when you get home.
Dog friendly accommodation
I had never really looked into pet friendly accommodation before, but seeing as my brother was unavailable to look after Ricky, and I wasn’t comfortable putting him in a kennel, we decded to take a look at dog friendly accommodation.
- You have complete control over your pet’s diet.
- Any special needs can be catered for.
- Your dog is far less likely to become distressed if you bring them with you.
- There is no need to schedule your holiday around kennel boarding times.
- If you adore your pet like we do, then you get the advantage of having them with you all the time while on holiday.
- There are not many places that allow you to take your pets on holidays with you.
- The price for pet friendly accommodation is generally higher than non-pet friendly.
- Your choice of holiday destination is severely limited if you take a pet with you.
- Some places will only allow dogs of certain breeds and under certain weights.
What did we do?
After looking around at the prices of special needs kennels and having no one available to dog sit for us, we decided to go with pet friendly accommodation.
It turns out that there are actually quite a number of places available which will take dogs, although almost all of them came with a bit of a more expensive price tag.
The biggest issue we had in finding dog friendly accommodation was that many of the rules stipulated that the dog must be less than 15Kg (33 Pounds). Ricky is about 20Kg (44 Pounds) so this ended up being the main restriction that we faced.
The next obstacle that we encountered was that wherever we were going to go, we had to make sure Ricky was able to be transported there. This only posed an issue if we wanted to fly somewhere, or go interstate where they have restrictions on certain breeds of dog.
Fortunately for us, we live in one of the world’s best tourist destinations, so we were spoilt for choice when it came to deciding where we should venture.
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