Pets, travel, summer, holiday, hydrated

Whether you are travelling or planning a staycation. Taking care of your pets this holiday season is made easy with these tips. Image: Pexels | Kampus Production

Four-legged friends: Tips to take care of your pets while on holiday

Whether you are travelling or staying at home. Here are a some crucial tips to look after your pet during the summer holidays.

Pets, travel, summer, holiday, hydrated

Whether you are travelling or planning a staycation. Taking care of your pets this holiday season is made easy with these tips. Image: Pexels | Kampus Production

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, taking care of your pets should be top priority.

Whether you will be taking your furry friends on the road with, leave them at home while away or stay at home with them, there are a few key things to keep in mind this summer, courtesy of Afrivet.


When travelling with animals it is always important to have a few necessities on hand.

Take the hassle out of preparing for your trip with these easy tips:

  • For your pet’s safety, please ensure it has a name tag or has been microchipped before you leave. Make sure it is updated with all your latest contact details. This will help you find them, should they get lost.
  • Remember to pack their vaccination card.
  • If you know that your pet is a nervous traveller or expect loud noises or thunderstorms, you can contact Afrivet about calming collar and / or calming spray. Afrivet also has a natural product Zylkene, proven to help manage stress in cats and dogs.  The product is available in a capsule containing a palatable, water-soluble powder that appeals to both dogs and cats.  Ideal to use during your trip!  It can also be given before, during and after thunderstorms (especially between October to February) or evenings when fireworks are expected. This can be given to the pet sitter or kennel.
  • Locate your nearest veterinary practice ahead of your trip for quick and easy access, should veterinary assistance be needed during your holiday. 
  • Take along plenty of your pets’ regular brands of pet food.
  • Make sure that when booking your holiday accommodation or activities, they are pet friendly and have adequate bedding.
  • Most importantly, ensure that your pet has lots of water and fun at all times!

When travelling it can be tricky to keep pets hydrated. Here’s how to make sure you are prepared.

  • Keeping water in a bottle and not relying only on a bowl during travel can make it easier for your family and pets to have fresh drinking water on the drive.
  • When travelling, remember to make regular stops every 2-3 hours to give your pet/s clean and fresh water. Cool, clean water is essential during summer and must be available at all times and for them to drink at free will.
  • If your pet refuses water, please seek veterinary assistance.
  • Make sure that bowls or buckets that are new for your pet, are at the right height for them to be able to access the water inside, and that it always remains full. 
  • To add fun to the holiday, we encourage having pets run through water sprays or swim under your supervision.
  • On beach days, restrict your pets from drinking seawater while they are freely swimming and always provide an alternative of fresh water to encourage them to skip out on the salt water, which will dehydrate them further.
  • If your pets have such a great time at the beach and have covered themselves in sand and salt water, simply rinse them off with clean water to get rid of excess salt and sand.
  • Traveling by car?
    • Remember that ventilation is extremely important when travelling with pets in hot weather. If possible, try to avoid travelling in the heat of the day. Keep your car fully ventilated and do not put your beloved pet in the boot as they could suffocate and die.
    • If the car is hotter than normal, place cool/damp cloths or long-pulled grass in the carrier with your pet.
  • Travelling by plane?
    • Did you know that some airlines will not transport animals on extremely hot days? Remember to take that into account when making traveling bookings via airplane.  

ALSO READ: HEAT: If a surface is too hot for your barefoot, it’s too hot for your pets!


Remember that you are responsible for your pet’s safety and health, even if you can’t be with them for certain periods of time. The responsible thing to do is to either, book your pet into a pet kennel / hotel or arrange for a pet sitter to visit your home at least twice a day.

When leaving your pet home with a pet sitter, remember to take precautions to ensure they are comfortable:

  • Do not leave your pet in a locked house with windows closed. Ventilation is vital.
  • Do not leave your pet without access to clean cool water.
  • A pet sitter should change the water bowl during every visit.
  • Ensure that the person taking care of your pet is responsible and knows what to do and when (especially when certain medication needs to be given).
  • Check in with the pet sitter as often as you can.


Summer days can be long and hot, but if supervised why not encourage your pets to run around in the sprayers or cool down in the swimming pool? Once again, access to clean drinking water is crucial.

In many parts of the country, spring and summer are thunderstorm seasons and you can often tell something is brewing before you hear the first rumblings. Thunderstorm anxiety is frightening for your pets, and they don’t understand where the noise comes from.

  • Stay calm and provide reassurance. If you are calm and relaxed, they will sense this peace in you.
  • Bring your pets inside when you can for access to a safe place – their kennel or under blankets so they feel safe and close to you.
  • Try and distract your pets, perhaps throw a ball for them, play with their favourite toy, or let them lie close to you while you pet them lovingly.
  • Give them healthy treats, this will keep them occupied and will show them you care.
  • Don’t lock them in a room or tie them up, this will create more anxiety and they will feel become frantic.

South Africa’s summer forecast will include an array of hot and wetter days, but no matter the weather, think ahead for the sake of your beloved pet, ensure that their health and safety remain your first priority.

ALSO READ: 5 tips to keep your pets safe and sound during firework season