We all need some time off and away, especially given current times. Our dogs are very much part of the family, and it’s only right we take our Border Collie on our family vacation or holiday (the alternative is often not much fun for them!). Travel can be brilliant for your dog but it is very important that some key points are taken into consideration before you decide to take your dog on holiday with you.
Can I take my Border Collie on vacation? Dog-friendly vacations with your Border Collie can be a great adventure for them and the whole family. Travel can be a very positive experience if your dog is well trained, socialized, and used to being around new people and other dogs. If you also know that your collie is going to cope with new situations and doesn’t get nervous when they are with you, travel can enrich their lives and yours.
Border Collies are often very adaptable and their high intelligence and energy levels mean new sites, smells and climate can play to their strengths and curiosity. In this article, we explore some practical and fun considerations so that you can get the most out of taking your muddy-nosed companion away with you for that special break.
(See below our list of ‘9 Important Things To Consider’ when planning your trip!)
Can I Take My Border Collie On Vacation?
Most certainly, Border Collies can enjoy a trip away as much as their human. But this is not to say this does not need plenty of planning and consideration to make this as stress-free as possible and anticipate any pitfalls. This also does depend on your dog’s personality, you know them better than anyone else and how they may cope with new people and experiences. It is therefore really important to think about whether travel is suitable for your dog as an individual.
Travel can be very positive for your Border Collie, they get to mix with other dogs and try new things. And many companions are nervous when they are on their own away from their pet owners for lengths of time so boarding kennels can cause more problems due to separation anxiety than taking them away with you. So taking them along may be the best option for all concerned.
Having some basic training including obedience skills and good recall will help a lot. As will some ‘time outs’ when your companion has time without any distractions to relax and rest in between having fun and soaking up new experiences (that huge canine brain will need time to digest and process the new sensory experiences!). And don’t forget about giving him or her plenty of space for exercise throughout the day too, we all know how collies need to let loose and let off some steam, have safe walking routes and areas where they can run off the lead is essential to plan.
This is where planning ahead can help you make the most of your vacation experience together. We have put together a list below of things to consider before you go – or maybe even before you book, the location is also important to help your dog thrive on holiday.
Planning Your Vacation – 9 Important Things To Consider!
If you have decided that going on holiday with your family pet is for you then it’s time to start planning! There are many options of which type of holiday you can take with your dog, there are country cottage and walking holidays, camping, caravanning holidays or even a pet-friendly hotel!
Here are 9 considerations whilst making your vacation plans:
1) Basic Training
Firstly, make sure your dog has had training in basic obedience skills such as sit, stay, down, come, heel, etc., so he knows what to do when someone else approaches him. This will help keep situations calm and under control. It may mean having a few practice sessions at home first.
2) Choosing Your Holiday
The first thing that needs to be done once you have decided on your type of holiday is to find somewhere that will accept your dog. This process can take time. Thankfully there are lots of dog-friendly vacation websites that can help you find your perfect pet-friendly getaway.
3) Vaccinations, Passports, Quarantine
This is a big one, of course, if you are traveling to another country your will need to make sure your dog has the right paperwork and that their vaccination passport is up to date. Naturally, you will want to avoid places that enforce a period of quarantine or make it overly difficult for you to travel with your dog.
4) Hotel Rules!
Be aware that many hotels have strict rules about bringing pets inside. Check ahead of time whether this applies to your hotel room, restaurant, lobby etc. It’s important to note that many hotels don’t permit dogs inside the building unless they are leashed.
5) Doggie Travel Bag!
Once you have found a vacation rental provider that allows pets, it’s time to start thinking about what you are going to take with you. Firstly all your dog’s belongings need to be packed. This includes their food, bowls, toys, leash, and bed or blanket that they sleep on. This is important as although you are on vacation your Border Collie is still going to need to follow their daily routine as much as possible to allow them to feel secure and to ensure their needs are met.
Depending on the length of time you are on holiday for you might want to consider researching the dog-friendly activities on offer in your chosen destination area. Any vacation provider that is pet-friendly will probably have some advice on the best dog days out in their local area. There may be a dog agility course in the local park or an off-leash dog park where you and your dog can have a runaround.
Look into whether your dog’s favorite food and snacks are available where you are going; you may want to take some rations just in case. And if you are catering and cooking for yourself, you can cook an extra portion if your dog is used to this.
This one should not be a problem, your dog will be shattered at the end of the day! Nether-the-less, factor in a daily routine whilst away that allows your dog to get regular exercise while traveling – walking, running, swimming, playing fetch, even just taking short walks along the beach or park. Exercise helps prevent boredom and stress within a new environment.
9) Weather and Climate
The weather! If you are going further afield – either north or south, or at altitude or to the beach – then you will need to consider any dramatic changes in climate and weather conditions. Not only for yourself! This goes without saying really. We wouldn’t go skiing without our winter gear… or to the tropics without our favorite swimming trunks and sun cream. Border Collies are adaptable and generally resilient to weather they are used to – but you will want to avoid switching to temperature extremes. And put our furry friend at the centre of decision making – even if it means leaving him or her with mum and dad instead.
Read more about how collies deal with heat here.
Staying At A Campsite With Your Border Collie
When you go camping or caravanning, there are many things that can get in the way of your relaxation. You’ll have to deal with mosquitoes and possibly even bears! But what if you could bring your Border Collie? There are many reasons why you might want to bring your dog camping with you on your next trip. It can be a great pet-friendly vacation.
Experienced owners know that their Border Collie must have basic training and be a well-socialized Collie and before going on any camping trips. It is very important that you think about how your Collie is with children as camping attracts a lot of families. Campsites can also be busy environments so be sure to think about how your Collie is with lots of people and potentially more noise than your dog is used to at home.
It is best for pet owners to contact the campsite directly to check for any restrictions especially in the peak of the holiday season. In some countries, such as France, it is actually illegal not to have a tent for your dog if they go camping with you. In the US, however, tenting with a dog is something that people do voluntarily. In both cases, there are benefits and downsides to sharing a tent with your dog.
It is also a good idea to contact the campsite directly as, as well as telling you the rules of the campsite your the owners will hopefully be able to give you more information about their surrounding area recommending day trips that may include any particularly good walks, or bike rides nearby or even if there any dog-friendly restaurants!
Cottage Holidays With Your Border Collie
If you and your family would like a home-away-from-home-style getaway you might try renting a cottage in the country or trying a pet-friendly Airbnb. There are a great variety of property styles to suit every family whether your preference is an adventurous dog-friendly vacation or a more restful retreat. They are also great get-away as they can be booked for different periods of time so if you are limited on vacation time this could be a perfect option for you!
Cottages can be rented all over the country allowing families to holiday near to their favorite places. The beach has always been one of my favorite places to bring my collie because there is plenty of fresh air and space for them run around in the sand.
An additional benefit of taking a cottage vacation is that you can rent a property with a safe dog-friendly garden as we all know that a cooped-up collie is not a happy collie.
Has your holiday apartment got no garden? Read more about how to manage this here.
The Downside Of Taking Your Border Collie On Holiday
One of the biggest reasons why vacationing with the family isn’t suitable for every Border Collie is that some dogs just don’t enjoy it and can end up getting stressed out or nervous. Travel is not good for animals that are already nervous or stressed out to start within their daily lives. It can also create problems for other people particularly if your dog is not good around strangers, nips, is hyperactive, growls, or barks a lot.
There are plenty of boarding kennels or dog sitting services that can be found on the internet which will provide references and allow you to visit them before booking your dog in for a stay to see if the boarding kennel environment would suit your dog. This is of course a last resort, kennels are not often much fun at best – and downright traumatic at worst.
There are also other options including booking a dog sitter to come and stay at your house whilst you are away. This allows your Border Collie to maintain consistent exercise for a couple of hours a day in familiar surroundings and have constant company throughout the day.
Final Thoughts On Taking Your Border Collie On Vacation
For those who are planning to take their Border Collie with them on vacation, remember that they need a lot of attention and care. Make sure you bring plenty of food for your furry friend as well as toys and other things he/she likes. You should also make arrangements in advance to make sure your vacation is pet-friendly and stress-free.
Find out more about taking your dog on vacation here.