OK, the big question – DO YOU TAKE THE DOG?

OK, the big question – DO YOU TAKE THE DOG?

It’s a very personal decision that you and your travel partner need to agree on – or the smallest or largest smelly wet & muddy dog will dampen your spirits literally.

Yes there are some spots you cant take the dog, like National Parks, some Caravan Parks and many side trips, like a ferry or bus to a destination, hotels, restaurants and clubs. Myself, I worked around that: what was important to do vs whats not? Where could I babysit the dog? Mad Paws are a company Australia wide with affordable day sit options in pet lovers homes. Most averaged $25 per day. Some vets day mind, but in a cage and that’s not agreeable to my dogs. Jump on google and see whats available in the areas you will travel.

Early on in my travels, I had my dog certified as a Medical Service Dog through a dog trainer. It cost around $250 all up. Bear in mind you do need a medical condition of sorts to qualify and a doctor or Psychologist to sign off on it. It meant I could take her anywhere, boats, trains, National Parks, – with their permission and advance planning. I would highly recommend this solution if its applicable to you. My Border Collie Bella even travelled in my cabin on the Spirit of Tassie ship.

Then it comes down to the practical side: will the dog/s fit? In the car, camper trailer, have somewhere warm at night out of the weather? Is he/she a barker? Cause you will be shamed out of most camping spots if they are! I’ve lost count of the amount of people who tell me how much they are missing their fur baby – away for months at a time? Honestly my little guy that I have now – Merlin would have given up and found a new source of affection or trembled himself into an early grave if I left him alone for that length of time. He checks the front door hourly when I go out when home. I just couldn’t put him through that anxiety.

So big decisions – bigger than you will make with any other part of your trip. If you do decide to take the dog – go on a few shake down trips to nut out all the little things that could present themselves – like are they car sick? Extra towels for wet or sick pups. Spill proof water dish in the back seat. Appropriate air con and protection from sun through the windows. How many pee breaks will you stop for? Are they part of the trip? Or just tucked away in the far far back being ignored? As I said Plan Plan Plan. I am very fortunate to say that I have walked with my dog on almost every beach on the Australian coastline! … and my dog & I loved it! It was often the best part of the day!

Be prepared & check requirements for extra worm or tick prevention per state. $70 for specific worming tablets before travelling to Tassie = $350 to buy them on board if they find you didn’t do it prior. The 1080 poison situation in some states like WA – are necessary for such a wide area of terrain, they are dropped by plane from a reasonable height. This means they can land where you are camping, which is why the signs are there. They are made from kangaroo strip and poisoned, then dried. So they look like a 2” dog treat – on top of this, the birds are immune to the poison, pick them up and drop while flying past, even on the beach!?…..you need to be vigilant and always, always have the dog on lead or be well trained in voice command.

Several travellers I have met take a bird with them and they seem to do OK. I had an Indian Ring Neck Parrot for my first trip out – it was hot and I found that my trip was all based around whether the bird was cool enough, camping where there were trees to hang the bird cage in, then ever watchful for wind or rain? The bird was re-homed after 3 weeks. It just wasn’t fair on either of us in the end.

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