Guest Post by freelance writer, Jane Roberts
Every year, over 200 thousand students take a gap year before going to college or university. Among these individuals, 30% choose to travel solo during their gap year as it’s a great way to get some work and life experience before pursuing an academic career. If you plan to go on a gap year anytime soon, why not take your dog along for the adventure? It’s a great way to bond with your pet– also, having your furry friend with you can make your trip more enjoyable. However, before you leave home, there are several things that you have to do to ensure that you and your pet have a safe and worry-free travel experience. Here’s what you need to do to go on a gap year abroad with your dog.
Secure your pet’s travel papers
The first thing that you have to do is to ensure a hassle-free trip with your dog is to secure your pet’s travel papers. The requirements vary depending on the country where you’ll spend your gap year, but you need to have a pet passport, which is essentially a document that vouches for your dog’s health. You can get your dog’s health certificate from your veterinarian, and in some countries, that’s all that’s really needed. However, if you’re traveling to Europe, you’ll need to get an EU pet passport, and you can get this once you arrive at your destination. Upon arrival, find an EU veterinarian using Yelp on your phone, then head there right away to get your dog’s papers.
Choose pet-friendly housing for you and your pooch
Some hotels, Airbnbs, and hostels don’t allow pets, so make sure to check first before booking your stay. If you’re staying for a few months, your best bet is to look for an apartment that allows dogs. You may also want to check the landlord’s restrictions as some will not allow renters to bring dogs that are deemed to be aggressive, such as German Shepherds or pit bulls.
Make arrangements if you plan to work during your gap year
If you’re planning to work during your gap year, make sure to make arrangements for your dog while you’re away. Ask your employer if you can bring your dog to work with you or if there’s an area where your pooch can stay while you’re on the clock. If this isn’t possible, then see if you can find a pet sitter in the area where you’ll be staying. There’s also the option of leaving your dog alone in your apartment, but you need to train your pooch first so that they’re used to being on their own. Start by leaving your dog alone for an hour, then gradually increase their alone time. Make sure to provide food, water, and a place where your pet can relieve themselves before heading out.
Bring your pet’s favorite food
Traveling to another country means that you get to taste different food, and while this is a plus for you, there’s a chance that your dog may not appreciate the local fare. It’s a good idea to take some of your pet’s food with you on your gap year, and find out where you can buy some more. You may also want to research local dog food brands that have similar ingredients as your pet’s favorite food so finding something to eat for your pooch won’t be a challenge.
Spend time with your pet
Going on a gap year adventure means discovering new places and making new friends. However, make sure that you spend enough time with your dog and take them along with you when you’re going around your chosen destination. Do your research on pet-friendly attractions and restaurants to ensure that you and your dog are welcome wherever you go.
Traveling with your dog is one of the most fulfilling ways to spend your gap year. Follow these tips to ensure a happy and hassle-free stay, and enjoy spending time with your beloved pet.