We share our tips so you can bring your pets on your next adventure.
Our dog Liquorice loves to join us on adventures to explore new areas and go for long walks. Many animals appreciate a change of scenery just as much as humans do, for dogs in particular it's a treat for the senses to find somewhere new. By taking them away with you they can get back to their roots of exploring and being out in the wild and not being constrained to the local park. It boosts their mood and does wonders for their health with a great opportunity to improve their fitness and wellbeing.
Our pets share many of the key moments in our lives. They’re always there to celebrate with us when we’re happy or comfort us when we’re sad, so when we head off on our adventures we love to take them with us when we can. Bringing them with you also makes your pet happier and saves you the hassle of finding someone else to look after them while you’re away, after all you wouldn’t want your best friend to feel left out.
We have two pets who live with us at Genius Travels HQ – A dog called Liquorice and a cat called Jammy. Jammy is an awesome cat but for some reason doesn’t share our taste for wild adventures, so she stays at home to guard the fort while we’re out exploring.
Liquorice is a black poodle x mystery mongrel dog who we rescued from a charity called Love Underdogs in 2018. At 9 years old he’s technically a ‘senior’ dog, and has the added issue of being almost blind. Liquorice doesn’t let any of this hold him back though and he’s completed some of our favourite UK based adventures with us. If he can manage it, we think many dogs would be capable of doing the same.
We’ve put together the following points as things you need to think about when taking your dog on an adventure with you, but remember you know your pet best so factor in their day to day routine and adapt it where you need to.
It’s probably best to plan a short single day adventure for your pet’s first attempt. This means you can go for a longer walk in a new location but still in the comfort of knowing you’ll be returning home to a familiar bed at the end of the day. Look at a map and find a new route that’s close enough to home and allow for reasonable travelling time.
Your dog doesn’t need to know the exact route you’re going to take (Liquorice is rubbish at map reading), but you should. Plan ahead and have a strong idea of how far you’ll be walking, the kind of terrain you’ll be crossing, and whether there are any dog-friendly places to stop for a rest along the way.
If your usual walks consist of going around the block or to the local park it’s not fair to expect your dog to walk miles in a one-off adventure. Think about how fit your dog is and how much endurance they’re likely to have. The worst thing that can happen is to realise your dog is out of energy when you still have miles to go to get home. Build up endurance gradually through walking and running over increased distances.
For any long walk adventure you need to make sure you take water for your pet, along with something for them to drink it from. You can bug handy folding water bowls that are great for this and don’t take up too much space in your backpack. Some treats will also be appreciated! For longer adventures where you might be staying away from home make sure you take some of your dog’s belongings to make them feel settled, such as their own bed and maybe a toy or two. Liquorice has come camping with us in the past, and he’s perfectly happy as long as he has his bed to sleep in after a day of adventuring. Other items you should have are a simple first aid kit and some poo bags!
When you’re taking your pet on an adventure you need to be prepared for anything. You might have a plan in mind to reach a certain destination, but this could change completely if your dog is struggling. They must always come first, so look out for signs that they are getting tired or over heated (remember dogs can’t shed heat as quickly as humans). If plans have to change then that’s just the way it is, you’d much rather have a healthy happy pet anyway.
We wish you all exciting travels with your furry friends and hope you enjoyed reading our blog guide on how to adventure travel with your pet. We've written this post on our experience with our dog, every pet is different though so please take into account any special requirements your pet might have and whether they are capable of the adventure you have planned.
We’d love to hear about any adventures you take your pet on,
contact us and share your stories.
Liquorice and Jammy look forward to hearing from you!