Monday, November 30, 2015

Dr Katrina Warren on holidaying with companion animals

Holidaying with animals? Dr Katrina Warren shares her tips.

Here’s something you don’t see every day. While a lot of people are trying to organise pet boarding for the Christmas break, at least one holiday destination is encouraging companion animal owners to bring them along. Shoalhaven, on the South Coast of New South Wales, has not only released a 36 page e-book called “Pets on Holiday”, but engaged celebrity veterinarian Dr Katrina Warren to promote its benefits as a holiday destination for non-human family members.

And it isn’t just about dogs. The booklet provides holiday tips for those travelling with cats and horses as well.

It is refreshing to see the human-animal bond acknowledged in holiday promotional material like this. Companion animals are often treated as family members yet there are frequent barriers (such as a lack of pet-friendly accommodation) that prevent them from participating in family activities.

Dr Warren answered a few of our questions about Shoalhaven and holidaying with pets here.

Dr Katrina Warren and companion Riley.
What are the benefits of taking your companion animal on holidays with you?

Our pets are an important part of the family and for many families, leaving them behind just doesn’t feel right! Companion animals like dogs are a great reason to explore new walking tracks, throw a Frisbee or ball on a pet-friendly park or beach, or just sit with them and watch the world go by. Somehow, animals have a way of making us do more of what we enjoy, including taking time out from the frantic pace of day-to-day life.

Why is the Shoalhaven a popular holiday destination?

Just two hours from Sydney and Canberra, the unspoilt Shoalhaven is recognised as one of Australia’s leading pet-friendly destinations. There’s some of the most picturesque off-leash areas in NSW, including beaches, parks, rivers, trails and dog parks, all of which are perfect for running or relaxing.

Dr Katrina and Riley.
What sort of accommodation is available in the Shoalhaven for people bringing their animals along?

The Shoalhaven boasts an unrivalled selection of pet-friendly accommodation that are happy to host the furry members of the family too; the new Shoalhaven Pets on Holiday brochure lists all the options available and can be downloaded for free at

Any tips for people travelling with animals?

  • A visit to your vet prior to departure is recommended to make sure your pet is up to date with treatment, including paralysis tick prevention
  • Always have an ID tag on your pet’s collar with a contact number of where you are staying
  • When travelling in a car be sure to have cats and small dogs confined in a crate and large dogs harnessed
  • Pack your pets regular food and some home comforts to help them settle in
  • Make sure you have regular toilet and water breaks
  • With dogs, be sure to keep them on a leash whenever you are outdoors and keep cats confined indoors

Thank you, Dr Katrina. SAT would love to hear your pet-friendly holiday plans - where do you go? What provisions do you make for your non-human companions? Drop us a line. Meantime you can check out the Shoalhaven area at, facebook here and twitter here