Follow these 9 tips and enjoy a more relaxing trip with your pet, free from some of the worries and hassles that can otherwise occur.

Plan better. Travelling with your pet means you have less flexibility and you need to plan better. Work through the list below. Think about what you’ll take, good places to stop for breaks, pet friendly accommodation and more


Vaccination. The best-laid plans do go wrong and you may find yourself stuck on the wrong side of Cook Strait with a ferry strike and no choice but to board your pet at short notice. Having a current vaccination and your vaccination record with you is smart. If you misplace your vaccination book we can email a certificate to a boarding cattery or kennel any day (but not any night!) of the week. Don’t leave vaccination till the last minute. Book an appointment today. Or tomorrow. We are open 7 days a week!


Sheep measles. Yes, you read that right! Sheep measles is the name given to cysts in the muscles of sheep which are a cosmetic blemish on the meat, causing it to be downgraded. There is no human health risk but it is a significant cost to the farmer. It is spread by a tapeworm in dogs. It used to be controlled by the regular tapeworm treatment that was required for the hydatids tapeworm. That dangerous parasite was eliminated from New Zealand 15 years ago, but sheep measles persists. If you plan on taking your dog onto land where stock graze, the farmer will be very grateful if you have bothered to treat your dog for tapeworms. Any of the comprehensive wormers like Drontal Plus will do the job. A farmer is entitled to ask for proof of recent worming (in the last six weeks) if he finds you on his land with a dog. Keep your purchase receipt, or ask for a certificate from us. Dogs can only be infected with the sheep measles tapeworm by eating sheep meat that has not been properly cooked, or frozen for seven days. A poorly barbequed lamb chop tossed to the dog could infect it with these tapeworms.


Motion sickness. Most pets adapt to car travel well but some get car sick. Others, cats more than dogs, get stressed with travel. We can sort medication that meets your pet’s needs, be it countering motion sickness, a sedative, or an anti-stress pheromone.


Pet restraint. A cat carrier (not just a cardboard box) or dog crate, a leash or harness – yes, for cats too – is well worthwhile in many travel situations, not least in improving options for accommodation.


Creature comforts. Food, water, bowl, bedding, chew bone or toys, catnip mice for cats.


Avoid cooking your pet! It is easier than you think. Just 15 minutes in full sun and the temperature in an enclosed car can be well over 50 degrees Centigrade. Cats and dogs cool down by breathing cooler air, not by sweating, so when they breathe air that hot they quickly succumb to heat stroke. This will certainly ruin your holiday.

Plan your stops well, park in shade, leave windows open (this is where the cat carrier or dog crate can come in handy), leave water with your pet. And don’t be gone long. But remember how easy it is to be distracted while you are away from the car. Those ‘Just 5 minutes’ trips so easily turn to disaster if you haven’t prepared for being away longer. We see it every summer!


Pet-friendly accommodation. Simply google ‘pet friendly accommodation NZ’ to access several comprehensive directories covering all of New Zealand. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.


Medical history If your pet has a few health issues you can take its full medical history with you on a memory stick or downloaded on your iPad or smartphone. Phone, text or email us and we can email the comprehensive notes we keep including all the lab test results. Useful support if you need emergency help in Balclutha or Dannevirke.