Is your dog ready for his holiday?

Picture by Allan Foster

Picture by Allan Foster

Andrew Robinson MRCS
Millcroft Vets

MAY is a funny month. It seems to fly by with Bank Holidays like buses. No sooner have we had one than another one comes along.

Sadly all too often Bank Holidays often equals rain and bad weather, but this doesn’t seem to stop lots of dogs managing to stand on sharp objects or eat something that they shouldn’t. But don’t worry, there is always a vet on the end of the telephone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to offer advice or sort the problem out. Over the Easter Holiday, in between lambing a lot of sheep, I managed to see an awful lot of dogs with upset stomachs, cats that had been fighting and rabbits and guinea pigs that had skin problems and dietary issues. We even had a rare frog brought in to be looked after.

However, May also means that we can now look forward to the long hot summer that must be in store (fingers crossed). One question many owners ask is “can I take my dog abroad with me?” Everyone is thinking of going on holiday so why shouldn’t they take their dogs? The simple answer is – yes. The current rules mean that any dog which is micro chipped – as they all will be now of course – and has a rabies vaccination can be issued with a passport.

Photos are optional in Pet Passports so you don’t have to worry about trying to get a good photograph without a smile. Three weeks after the rabies vaccination the dog is free to accompany you to many of the countries in Europe although it is still best to check with your vet about the particular country you are travelling to. On your return you will need to go to a vet in France who will observe you giving your dog a tapeworm tablet before you can come home.

If you are thinking of travelling further afield then it is best to check with your vet.

If you decide to go away on your own and put your pet into kennels, don’t cause yourself any extra stress by getting turned away at the door. Most kennels will require that your dog has up to date annual vaccinations as well as the kennel cough vaccination. This should be given at least 1-2 weeks before going into the kennels as it is a live vaccine (in other words we are giving the dog a small dose of some of the organisms that cause kennel cough). Because it is a live vaccine it produces a local immunity in the back of the throat. This is where the real bugs go when a dog with the kennel cough bugs coughs or sneezes over another, susceptible dog. To do this we need to squirt the vaccine up the dogs’ nose which is never their favourite activity but these days at least it is licensed for a year.

So as you prepare for your holidays don’t forget to plan your dogs’ holidays as well, unless you plan to stay at home and enjoy our long hot summer!