When we were talking as a family about getting a dog, one of my husband’s main concerns was that it would be difficult to go away on holiday. There are several options you have as a dog owner to solve this problem. Some people choose kennels, some prefer a dog sitter who either comes to the house several times a day or your dog boards at their house. We were lucky, the first holiday we had without Lotta was a ski trip we had booked before taking Lotta in and my neighbour’s children and husband were desperate to get a dog. Well, my neighbour saw it as an opportunity to let the family have first hand experience at what it’s like to have a dog and all the responsibilities it entails. So it was agreed they would look after Lotta for the week we went skiing. She was in her first year of adapting to our family and in hindsight maybe it was a little too soon to have left her. She was quite stressed as it turned out, destroying her bed and keeping them awake at night until she was allowed to sleep with one of them in bed. Needless to say at the end of her stay there, the family no longer wanted the responsibility of owning a dog, this was what my neighbour secretly hoped for, as she knew she would be the one lumbered with all the hard work. We on the other hand have never looked back and couldn’t imagine a life without her. She enriches our lives in so many ways.
When booking our family holidays now, we choose somewhere where dogs are welcome. We had previously been to Croatia on holiday and had had a wonderful time. For us it is about a 6 hour drive depending on where in Croatia we stay and of course the traffic. This country has become a popular destination for dog owners in Europe because of their fantastic dog beaches and relaxed approach to having visiting dogs. They themselves are very relaxed dog owners, letting their dogs have a lot of freedom but also don’t seem to be too keen on sterilising their dogs either (based on my observation). This only becomes a problem if your dog happens to be in season at the time of your holiday!
Along the breath-taking Croatian coastline and on the beautiful islands there are designated dog beaches which are away from the over crowded touristy ones but not too far away, that the children have to miss out on the fun, if they want to join in the activities some holiday complexes put on for the kids. We actually prefer the dog beaches because you have more space and can normally see more fish whilst snorkelling.
The beautiful coastal areas are rocky not sandy with tree coverage from Pine trees for natural shade. As it can get very hot during the day the shade of the trees is very welcoming. We normally set up camp for the day with our foam beach mattresses, little beach tent for keeping our belongings together and shade if need be for Lotta. She loves clambering along the rocks (which is great for keeping her claws filed down) and exploring the nooks and crannies of the beach. Not too keen on the water yet, but will go in up to her tummy. We even managed to get her on a boat on our last trip when we visited the Plitvice Lakes. All the dog obedience classes are paying off. We are at a point where she trusts my judgement, she will sometimes get stressed about a new situation but I stay calm and confident to show her there’s nothing to be afraid of, then she will normally cooperate on a shorter lead. When we first had her she didn’t have the bond with me that we have now and used to try and take flight, making new situations very challenging and one of the reasons I bought a harness that she couldn’t slip out of.
To be able to travel with your dog to Croatia, the dog is required by law to have an EU passport, listing all of its vaccinations. The dog also has to be microchipped for identification reasons. If stopped by border control and thoughroughly checked, you will have a problem entering the country, if you haven’t complied by the regulations. Having said, that we have always just waved Lotta’s passport at them.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to visit Croatia, I can highly recommend it for both hound and human.
Read more about this stunning country in the link below: