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Your Guide to Travelling with Pets in Australia

If you’re a pet owner who travels, you’re sure to feel at least a twinge of guilt, not to mention disappointment, when leaving your animal behind. Then there are all the pesky logistics to deal with, like organising who will take care of them or finding a trustworthy and affordable boarding company.

There is an easy solution of course, and that is to take them with you! As pet ownership rises across Australia, the destinations that welcome animals grow with it, not to mention all the innovative products that help making travelling with pets a breeze.

Get ready for your best holiday yet, furry friend by your side, with our guide on what to pack, how to prepare and where to stay as nominated by leaders in Australia’s pet industry.

What to Pack

We gathered advice from some of Australia’s pet experts to help you prepare for some of Australia’s best pet friendly holidays without the fuss. Don’t get caught out by forgetting any of these essential items when travelling with pets.

Details of a Local Vet: Vetwest Animal Hospitals

Vetwest Animal Hospital, which has been operating in Perth for more than 20 years, explains that seeing as accidents happen and pets can get ill, just like humans, it will take a weight off your mind if you’re ready for any eventuality.

‘With careful preparation pets make wonderful travel companions,’ says Vetwest Animal Hospitals. ‘You just need to find the places that are welcoming to both you and your four-legged friend!’

They recommend that you make sure to have a local veterinarian’s details on hand in case you need them, including an address, phone and directions from the places you will be staying at.

Carry your current vet's details with you too, so you can access your pet’s medical history. And don’t forget to pop their vaccination certificates in your luggage if you’re travelling abroad.

Travel Sickness Medication: Adelaide Animal Hospitals

As well as the usual products that will make your pet feel at home on their journey, Adelaide Animal Hospitals recommends considering options to prevent travel sickness. Medications can be prescribed by your vet to help with this 'because pets can become travel sick as well!' says AAH.

With three of the four hospitals in Adelaide having earned the ASAVA Hospital of Excellence accreditation, they offer more than a veterinary practice. They are a dentist, surgeon, pharmacist, radiologist, nutritionist and much more with excellent facilities available to help ensure the best care of your pet.

AAH also suggest that you avoid feeding your animal a big meal before travelling, which may reduce the likelihood of travel sickness. This will result in a less-stressed pet and owner when you finally arrive at your destination.

Portable Dog Bed: Alpha Dog Beds

‘Having a good or bad bed can make or break a holiday – and your pet is no different,’ says Alpha Dog Beds. To help ensure your pet has a good rest, the two products Alpha Dog Beds thinks are best for holidaying with dogs are their memory foam dog bed or lounger dog bed.

These two ultra-portable items are light and compact, as well as easy to clean. They’re also adaptable, so whether you’re taking a teeny kitten or an oversized Great Dane, they’re likely to fit.

If you’re bringing a whole menagerie, it’s surprising the number of pets these beds can accommodate.

Flea and Tick Medication: Inner South Veterinary Centre

Inner South Veterinary Centre recommends those travelling with pets know the appropriate medication to bring. Ask your vet about tick prevention tablets and stress-relieving remedies if your cats or canines become easily stressed.

The pet professionals at the Canberra-based clinic and boarding facility are familiar with pets who become nervous when moved out of their usual habitat, and say there are pheromone based-options you can use that help reduce anxiety.

It’s important to research the local risk factors for your pet in your holiday location. For example, paralysis ticks are rampant along Australia’s east coast. You’ll need to think about this in advance so you can administer the treatment before the vacation and protects your pooch for three months against fleas and ticks.

Dog Collar: Friendly Dog Collars 

Let other people know if your dog needs a bit of space with a Friendly Dog Collar. Whether you have a Labrador who’s the life and soul of the party or a poodle who picks and chooses his friends, this range helps the public – and other dog owners – know how to approach you and your four-legged friend in the most appropriate way.

A Friendly Dog Collar spells out the type of personality your dog has on the colour-coded harness-style garment. For example, a Golden Retriever with boundless energy might seem friendly, but if he can be a little territorial it’ll warn people to keep a bit of distance if they wear an red ‘caution’ collar. It will help keep your mind at ease, when holidaying with dogs.

Life Jacket: Lucky Pet Supplies

You'll be wearing a life jacket if you go out in a boat, so make sure your dog does too, says Lucky Pet Supplies. Whether you’re going on an extended cruise or simply heading out fishing on your favourite lake, having a life jacket on hand for your pup will ease your mind.

Outward Hound Life Vests feature a chin strap for comfort and a handle on top so you can easily scoop up your dog if the water gets a bit rough. They are easily adjusted to hug your dog’s body and keep him or her safe.

‘Plus it’s bright orange, so you won’t lose your pooch!’ Lucky Pet Supplies points out. This pet retailer is based in Melbourne and has an online store where you can find innovative and stylish solutions for your pet’s every needs.

How to Travel Safely

You wouldn’t take risks with your other family members’ safety, so your pet shouldn’t be any different. Keep them safe while on the road with these great ideas.

Car Harness: DogCulture

Securing your pet during a car trip can be tricky, but that’s where DogCulture comes in, a specialist in pet travel accessories. DogCulture suggests picking up a car harness that will secure your dog by either linking to the seat belt system or using a seatbelt attachment.

A properly restrained dog can’t move around inside the vehicle, so a car harness will reduce distraction to the driver. In a crash or under heavy braking, a dog that’s properly restrained is also less likely to start flying through the cabin, lessening the risk of serious injury to it, the driver and other passengers.

Dog Crate: K9 Pro

Another option for carting your dog securely when travelling with pets is a dog crate. But before you go, make sure your dog is crate trained, says dog behavioural specialists at K9 Pro. The Sydney-based training and behaviour consultancy also runs one of Australia’s largest online dog stores, where you can pick up travel essentials for your pet.

Crates are designed to keep dogs safe, relaxed and happy for short periods and overnight. It can make safely transporting and housing your dog wherever you go easy.

‘If your dog is crate trained,’ says K9 Pro’s owner, dog trainer and behaviourist Steve Courtney, ‘it’s like bringing their own house with you wherever you go. This is especially ideal for dogs who can stress or feel anxious in new environments.’

Ways to Stay

Your packed, prepared and ready to head off on your next adventure with your canine or feline friend, but where are you heading? Here are some of the best options for pet friendly holidays.

Holiday Parks: North Coast, South Coast and Inland Waters Holiday Parks

The NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust group offers 23 holiday parks which are pet friendly, with some even offering dog-friendly cabins.

Active pet guests who love rolling in the sand and splashing in the surf, are welcome to take the chill off in a warm-water hydro bath, free of charge. Some parks also provide waste disposal bags and waiting poles for your convenience and even a special treat for pets upon arrival.

North Coast, South Coast and Inland Waters Holiday Parks boast some of the most picturesque scenery throughout NSW, located both on the coast and inland. Families and their furry friends can enjoy Australia’s stunning beaches and coastal regions, nearby national parks and walking areas, or a wide expanse of natural bushland close to dams.

Pet Friendly Hotels: Medusa Boutique Hotel 

There are plenty of boutique hotels now accommodating pets. When you’re searching one out, make sure that it’s located in an area where your pet is guaranteed to have as good time as you. Medusa Boutique Hotel is one such hotel that has a number of rooms specifically for guests travelling with pets.

Not only is the hotel perfect for pet friendly holidays, so is the area. Darlinghurst is a lively neighbourhood, with a buzzing café and restaurant scene and lots of outdoor spaces where people can play outside with their four-legged friends.

The best activity close by is the fantastic Rushcutters Bay Park, according to Medusa Boutique Hotel, which is a 15-minute walk away from the hotel. Dogs can be let off their leash to run free and play with other local pooches.

Pet Friendly Holiday Accommodation:

If you think it would be easier to have all pet friendly holiday destinations in one place, then look no further. is specifically designed for finding a holiday property where you can take your pet and provides all the property information that a discerning pet owner will need.

The site gives you information on fence height, whether pets are allowed inside and maps of the surrounding area, including the location of dog parks and vets, so you can make an educated decision for the best trip yet.

When travelling with pets there’s plenty to think about and it’s always best to plan ahead. Use this guide to prepare, pack and book the best pet friendly holiday yet!

Before you head off on your pet friendly holidays, you can help protect your pet when you compare pet insurance.

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