The Easter holiday is fast approaching, and that means an extra long weekend coupled with an excuse to get out there for one last family adventure before the winter settles in. If you’re thinking of taking off this Easter weekend, don’t forget to take your pets with you and keep the whole family together.

Here are our tips to getting your Easter weekend started with a bang.

Now is the time to make reservations for pet friendly hotels or other accommodation. If you haven’t already found something, get onto it as a matter or priority, as pet friendly options will fill up quickly on one of the most popular weekends in the Aussie calendar. (To help you find the perfect spot, and the perfect digs, download our app.)

If you’re new to travelling with pets, there are a few basic rules that you need to know…

First, your pet should be safely restrained in the back seat of the car at all times. Smaller animals should be in safety rated carriers, while larger dogs can have special harnesses that will buckle them in to the seat belt. (We love the EzyDog Chest Plate harness, which comes with a cool swiveling seatbelt restraint.)

It’s also a good idea to rethink allowing your dog to lean out the window of your moving vehicle – even though he seems to love feeling the wind in his fur! Unfortunately, there are a lot of accidents caused by objects hitting an animal as they lean out the window, and vets warn that the speed of the air hitting your dog in the face can actually damage their hearing. More graphically, if an animal can get their head through an opening, such as a lowered window in a car, then the rest of their body can get through as well. Let’s not say any more about that… Avoid disasters by keeping the windows up at all times, or at least having them only slightly ajar.

Finally, always make sure that your dog has their leash attached, and is wearing a harness or collar with updated information. Should they get away from you when you open the dooror during a wee stop in a pet friendly park, that attached leash is going to be the difference between catching them and witnessing a terrible accident or even losing your pet forever.

During the Easter holiday, you need to be extra cautious about leaving your pet unattended. Chocolates, many types of nuts, and certain food colorings are poisonous to dogs. Vets around Australia report a huge increase in dogs needing care at this time of year, due to Fido cleverly unwrapping the best dark chocolate stash in the middle of the night, or while their owners are out at dinner. Chocolate eggs and bunnies are especially tempting this time of year (for everyone, let’s face it), so make sure the supply is out of the dog’s reach, both while traveling and during the holiday.

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