THE GREAT ALPINE ROAD VISITOR GUIDE I PAGE 25 TRAVELLINGWITH PETS Don’t feel guilty – bring your pet, too Don’t ruin a relaxing getaway with niggling guilt about leaving your four-legged furry friends at home, at a friend’s house or at a kennel – stay in pet friendly accommoda- tion and take them with you to share in the family fun. Pet friendly accommodation is becoming more numerous as pet ownership rises across the country, and there are many such options up and down the Great Alpine Road. Pets are a part of so many Australian families, so making them a part of a family holiday can be rewarding – if done right. Write yourself a to do list with these hints and tips and check them off as you prepare your getaway to ensure you, and your pet, have a holiday to remember, for all the right reasons. There are a few essentials that should definitely be packed for your dog. Some pet-friendly accommodation providers may supply some of these items, so check with them before you head off. * Food and water bowls. * Bedding, including blankets. * Dog leash. * Waste bags for cleaning up after your dog. * Your dog’s favourite toys. * Cleaning and grooming products such as shampoo and a brush. As much as we love our dogs, and no matter how well trained they are, there is the chance that they may escape your grasp or confines, especially when they are away from their usual environment. Before you even think about leaving home, ensure your dog has a well-fitted collar with a clear identification tag showing its name and your phone number. If the number on the tag is not one you can be found on while on holidays, think about adding a well-secured tag with your holiday contact. That way, if your pooch has made a beeline for something new and exciting without your permission, someone can easily get in contact with you to reunite you and your pet. There will be places to purchase food on your trip, but if your dog is perhaps a little fussy about what you put in his or her bowl, or you’re heading out camping and looking to avoid the townships, be sure to keep some dog food in reserve to ensure your pet doesn’t go hungry. If you are staying where your dog may come into contact with other dogs, such as a caravan park, make sure your dog is up to date with all vaccinations. It is a good idea to check if there are any dog concerns in the area you are visiting that you may not need to worry about at home such as ticks. Be on top of your dog’s flea control treatment. This is particularly important if you are bringing your dog inside a holiday property. No matter the time of year, never leave your dog alone inside a parked vehicle. The temperature in a car can soar in minutes, even on days you may not feel are very hot. Dogs are unable to regulate their body temperature if the air around them is too hot or they don’t have access to cool water so it can take just a few minutes for a dog to suffer severe heat exhaustion. If you are staying somewhere that also has other guests on the property, ensure your dog doesn’t disturb or intimidate others. Keep in mind that not everyone is a dog lover and that some children and even adults may have a fear of dogs. Take your dog on long walks and give it plenty of exercise, which will help settle him or her down and be more relaxed while in a strange environment away from home. Be aware that a barking dog at night can keep people awake, so be considerate of others. Only allow your dog to come inside your accommodation if it is properly house- trained and any waste your dog makes outside should be cleaned up promptly. In the event your dog does make a mess inside, inform the accommodation managers. Being well prepared for a holiday with your pet can make all the difference between having a fun time with the whole family or dragging your feet home having endured a stressful time away. Enjoy a great holiday on the Great Alpine Road with your whole family, four-legged members included.