Vacation with a young dog Part 1: The preparation

Urlaub mit Junghund Teil 1: Die Vorbereitung

About the human-dog team: Mirjam&Balu

We are Balu, a five and a half month old Labrador puppy and his owner Mirjam, 20 years old. Baloo moved in with me and my boyfriend when he was eight weeks old and is our first dog. Vacationing with a dog can present you with many hurdles. With a young dog it's a little more stressful. That's why I put a lot of thought into it in advance to make our vacation together as nice as possible.

Dog next to wooden fence

The type of holiday and the location

First of all, we had to decide what kind of vacation it would be. Beach vacation at the lake or even by the sea, hiking vacation or city vacation? We immediately couldn't see the sea - the route would be too far for Balu. Since we live in the country and Balu has only known small towns, we quickly ruled out a city vacation. Too much stress for dogs and humans. Hence the mountains. We are lucky enough to be able to go on vacation together with my family. Therefore we were able to rent a small cabin where dogs are allowed. The big advantage: If Balu is restless at night, “only” my family suffers and not half the hotel. This takes a lot of stress out of me, especially.
Hiking with a young dog

Hiking with a young dog

As is well known, young dogs should not walk too much. Because they are still growing and the movement can affect the joints. It is therefore important for us to find routes that, firstly, have a suitable length and secondly, are not too steep or dangerous. It goes without saying that via ferratas are out. But we also want to avoid too many rocks that he would have to jump up and down over in order to protect his joints. However, you have to decide individually how long the routes can be for your dog. You know your dog best. We first did a test hike together to see how it went and how Balu was doing with it. The actual walking time was around 80 minutes, with breaks.

Dangers when hiking

Hiking is not safe for dogs. Here I'll list a few things that I had in mind when planning our routes.

Water supply

The dog should drink enough. Of course you have several water bottles with you. A dog water bottle or collapsible travel bowl wouldn't be a bad idea either, depending on your personal preferences. Nevertheless, water sources such as streams or smaller lakes along the routes are practical because the dog can cool down there. This leads me to the second danger.
Swimming dog


Baloo is very weak in high temperatures, which is why we have come up with an emergency plan if the weather is too nice. Get up super early and be home by 10am. So you can endure the heat at the lake or in the hut and do a little lap in the evening.


Walking your dog through pastures, perhaps even mother cows with calves, is anything but safe. In some pastures you are no longer allowed to go through with your dog, in others you are only allowed to go through them if the dog is off the leash. Letting a young dog run off-leash in a strange area with cows at the start of puberty? He only knows her in the stable. We first have to see how we deal with this danger. Opinions on this vary. Maybe we won't meet any cows, we'll have to check that out on site. Because they are not shown on the hiking maps.
Dog and cow meet

What comes with it?

Finally, I will now list the things that we definitely have to take with us on vacation:
  1. Dog drinking bottle because he knows it from home and drinks reliably from it
  2. First aid kit
  3. Enough poop bags to avoid polluting the hiking trails.
  4. Dog blanket that he always sleeps on at home
  5. Harness and towing line
  6. Rice and carrots
  7. Pet ID card or vaccination certificate if you need to go to the vet for any reason
  8. If Baloo were allowed to write the list it would say here: food, food, food, treats ,chews , treats, dog smoothie . So these things will come with you too, don't worry.
Dog and man in car


Vacationing with dogs, especially young dogs, needs to be carefully considered and planned. Every type of vacation requires different preparation. Basic things like “what dangers or problems could arise” and “what things does my dog ​​need for this vacation” should be thought through beforehand. It's better to bring a little more from home than not have anything on hand. The nearest pet shop is not exactly around the corner in the mountains.
Have fun on your vacation with your furry friend!

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