Holiday Decision Time

March 14 2013

MANY people think about booking summer holidays at this time of year. Do you take your pets with you?

Holiday decision time

MANY people think about booking summer holidays at this time of year.

Do you take your pets with you?

With the weather being cold as it has been recently, many of us head for the sun! Increasing numbers of people take their pets on holiday with them, especially to Europe. It is a simple process to get a passport for your pet - a microchip, a single rabies vaccination, and a three week wait-period is all you need. There are also some worming requirements before re-entry into the UK.

It is nice to be able to spend your relaxation time with your furry friends, however there are lots of things to think about when you are abroad.

The heat is a major one, especially for dogs, and especially the thick-coated breeds. Heatstroke is fairly common in England, so we need to be extra careful when away. Keep water available at all times, and only go for walks in the early morning and late evening. If your dog becomes distressed, cover with wet towels indoors or in the shade, and seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Also sunburn can affect pets too, especially white-haired pets, and cat ear-tips are a special case for concern. Suncream can be used on pets - take care to avoid it being licked off. Check with your vet which types are appropriate for pets.

Other things to think about are the various infectious diseases which are present in France, Spain and other EU countries, which we do not have in the UK.

These range from fatal diseases such as rabies, to heartworm, and parasite-borne infections like Babesia and Leishmania. These diseases have long scary names and can cause long scary illnesses!

It is therefore very important to get advice from your vet before you travel about the best way to prevent these diseases.

Ticks can carry disease, so it is important to protect your pet abroad and to remove any ticks as soon as you find them, as the sooner they are removed, the smaller the chance they will infect your pet. They can carry Babesia which causes destruction of red blood cells.

Sandflies which bite mainly in the early evening can cause Leishmania, which is almost impossible to cure. It is a disease which can affect the skin, the lymph nodes and the kidneys. It can also be transmitted to people. You should use a product to repel sandflies for your pet, and ideally keep them indoors during dusk and dawn.

The regulations in place for travel are to protect the UK from diseases like rabies, and to prevent infected animals coming back into our country. But there is nothing to protect your pet from picking up infections whilst on holiday unless you put some measures in place.

Check with your vet before travel, to make sure your best friends are safe...

You can find more details about taking your pet abroad from the website. Just visit our website

( – Pet Health Info – then click on the link ‘Pet Travel Scheme’