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Taking A Holiday With My Pet

Continuing our theme of making Take Paws a showcase for people having fun traveling with their pets (that means you!), today we’re excited to have a guest post from Bob Gorman. Bob’s an adventurous guy who traveled to Australia with his dog, Max, and is sharing his experience with us!

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I live in LA,  a.k.a. the best place to own a pet in the world. I have a wonderful 2 year old dog named Max, who is part German Shepherd and part Labrador. We recently went to Brisbane, Australia to kick back and relax and I would like to share my experience with you so you can learn a bit about traveling abroad with your pet and hear about some great pet friendly places that both you and your fluffy, cuddly friend can enjoy.

Preparing to Leave Home

A big change of scenery can be very stressful for a dog and I knew that Max would have trouble adjusting to a confined space after being allowed to run freely through the garden and the house for the past couple of years. This is why I got a fairly large kennel and started luring him in with threats and sitting next to him, rubbing his head while he sat inside. After a couple of weeks he would actually go into the crate by himself when he felt sleepy – it was kind of his own little doghouse at this point. On the day of our flight I also made sure that he didn’t drink or eat anything for about 3 hours before the flight and got him a brand new toy to keep him company.

The Flight

Now, I have had some bad experience with airlines in the past so I wanted to make sure that Max could travel with me safely well in advance. Surprisingly, arranging a flight wasn’t too much of a hassle. You need to contact a pet agent – the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association has a pretty user-friendly website where you can find out all you need to know – and book through them.

There is a dedicated cargo hold area and as long as the kennel is spacious enough, your pet won’t be inconvenienced at all. I booked him a place on the same flight as me so I could be sure he wouldn’t be alone for too long. The people at airline company are pretty accommodating to us LA folk, but since there are more pets than humans in LA (and a lot of the humans are rich and famous) it didn’t really surprise me that the airline would bend over backwards to cater to a needy clientele. All in all it was a pleasant flight and Max was pretty excited to see me again when we landed.

 The Brisbane Adventure

I was quite pleasantly surprised to find so many dog friendly places in Brisbane! We rented a beautiful little cottage near the Brisbane River and Max was hell bent on marking his territory – for the first half-hour he was going around the yard and sniffing everything out.

Dog Beach in Brisbane

He later found his perfect spot, a corner in the kitchen, where he spent most of the time when we were inside. There are some great coffee places in Brisbane, but Canine Comfort really hit home for me. They had good coffee, a small pet shop and two dog wash stations where you can give your pet a thorough cleaning for about $10.

The dog wash feature was particularly useful after the long Summit Walk to Mount Coot-tha. The view from the Lookout is simply breathtaking and there are always a ton of nice people with their pets around, so Max got acquainted with a couple of German Shepherds and a Labrador and had an awesome time.

Mount Coot-tha, Brisbane, Australia

The Lab was still pretty young and not properly socialized, but in the end Max acted like a true gentlemen and patiently sat there while until the little dog got used to him and stopped fearfully barking and hiding behind its owners leg.

We spent a good deal of time just relaxing around the house or drinking coffee with some of my Aussie mates, so I got to see a lot of cool stuff and Max got pampered. The Brown Dog Café on Logan Road deserves a mention as well – Max absolutely loved it. He fell asleep after a snack and woke up fresh as a daisy.

Sleeping Dog

In LA you can pretty much organize a wedding for your pet or hire a dog psychologist, so I am usually disappointed by the pet friendly state of affairs in other places. However, this trip to Australia has shown me that there are plenty of great places in the world where people appreciate animals and where you and your pet can have a great holiday together.

Author bio: Bob is a computer expert living with his loyal and protective furry friend Max. Enjoys travel & outdoor sports and of course everything related to IT.

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
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  • I’ve heard a lot of negative things about having a dog travel in cargo. What did you do to make sure he would be safe? Flying to Australia is such a long flight…was anything special needed to be done due to the length?

  • I was wondering the same thing about the quarantine period, I thought there was still a mandatory quarantine period, even if some time is ‘served’ in your home country. Generally Australia does not sound as pet friendly as other countries. We are not allowed pets on public transport or anywhere that serves food. I think we are getting better though, there are lots of cafes that will allow dogs outside and more and more people take their pets with them on outings.

  • Why didn’t you have to quarantine Max on arrival in Australia?

  • Your trip sounds fabulous and quite an adventure for Max. I’m glad to hear the airlines are becoming more pet-travel friendly and that you had a good experience. Where’s will your next trip be?

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