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Love Home Swap launches the first ever travel guide for pets!

Love Home Swap launches the first ever travel guide for pets!

Ellena Morgan
By Ellena Morgan - 12 minute read

Many of us have made major dif­fer­ences in our lifestyles since the pan­dem­ic, and one of those things is that many peo­ple decid­ed to get a dog, and there was an influx of fur­ry friends into our mem­bers’ fam­i­lies! But as we cel­e­brate our release from lock­downs and are eager­ly plan­ning our first prop­er’ hol­i­days, we’re left con­found­ed about what to do with our new com­pan­ions. Put them in ken­nels or try to find a hol­i­day for the whole fam­i­ly? Thank­ful­ly Love Home Swap has come to the rescue!

We’ve seen a big jump in the per­cent­age of our mem­bers who are will­ing to wel­come dogs into their homes, so we want to make it eas­i­er than ever to trav­el with your pet. After con­duct­ing research with Pet Behav­iourist Peter Neville, we’re ready to help your dogs tell you where they’d like to trav­el next. Yes, you read that right. It’s time to get inside your dogs’ head and find out what they want from their next home swap…

Let your dog choose your next travel destination!

Dur­ing lock­down, many of us took the plunge and adopt­ed fur­ry friends. Cur­rent fig­ures esti­mate that 26% of UK adults and 40% of Aus­tralian house­holds now have a dog, while a stag­ger­ing 69 mil­lion house­holds in the US have at least one pooch. That’s a lot of ani­mal-lovers around the world! And with the world of trav­el final­ly get­ting back to nor­mal, many dog own­ers are keen to take their new best friends on vaca­tion for the first time. And because we like to be as help­ful as pos­si­ble for our fan­tas­tic mem­bers (because we’re nice like that), we decid­ed we’d give them a help­ing hand in choos­ing the right type of hol­i­day for their dog – and so we’ve cre­at­ed a bril­liant­ly fun video that is aimed at dogs, not humans!

So whether it’s an urban city break or a rur­al escape, let your dog choose their favourite type of trip with our immer­sive video expe­ri­ence. Here your pooch will be exposed to var­i­ous stim­u­lat­ing images and videos linked to a cer­tain type of hol­i­day such as beach breaks and coun­try­side get­aways. All you have to do is observe their reac­tion to see which one they love best!

Watch this trav­el­ogue with your canine friends and let them choose your next getaway!

Interested in home swapping?

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Why did we cre­ate this video?

This year we’ve seen a sig­nif­i­cant jump in demand for pet-friend­ly home swaps, with a 40% improve­ment in the per­cent­age of our mem­bers who are hap­py to wel­come a dog into their home! This proves to us that it’s real­ly impor­tant to a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of our mem­bers that they are able to trav­el with their pets, so we’ve gone one step fur­ther by cre­at­ing a trav­el guide that’s designed espe­cial­ly for dogs. We want to give them a taste of the excite­ment that many of us feel when plan­ning a hol­i­day – and the chance to make their pref­er­ences known for the type of hol­i­day they want to go on.

Love Home Swap travel guide for dogs

Work­ing with Pet Behav­iourist Peter Neville, we’ve gar­nered a fas­ci­nat­ing insight into how to cre­ate a film that will appeal to dogs. Includ­ing attrac­tive footage involv­ing some of dogs’ favourite things (balls, trees, birds, games of fetch, oth­er dogs and lamp posts, to name but a few) the film also takes on a dog’s eye view of the world; get­ting down to dog­gy height as it fol­lows oth­er intre­pid pups trot­ting through forests and splash­ing in the sea. Using a colour palette of enhanced yel­lows and blues (dogs’ colour per­cep­tion is best on this spec­trum, as they strug­gle to see red and green), the film also fea­tures height­ened con­trasts through­out to ensure they get the most out of the view­ing experience.

The result is a film that might sound rather unortho­dox, but offers the excit­ing prospect of get­ting your fam­i­ly pet involved in decid­ing what type of home swap hol­i­day they go on. The only big ques­tion is this: will coast, coun­try­side or city prove to be most popular?!

How we conducted our research

We took a range of dif­fer­ent fac­tors into con­sid­er­a­tion when cre­at­ing a guide for our canine friends. As we know dogs see the world very dif­fer­ent­ly from their own­ers, Pro­fes­sor Peter Neville told us what (and what not) to include in our entic­ing video. As a result, we’ve fac­tored in: 

  • Light sen­si­tiv­i­ty (as dogs have larg­er pupils and are more sen­si­tive to UV rays)
  • Acu­ity (which is sharp­ness of vision). Dogs are best adapt­ed to see in low light, so their visu­al acu­ity is 3 – 8 times worse than humans, mean­ing they strug­gle to make out fin­er details. This varies accord­ing to breed and would you believe it, their snout length!
  • Field of vision – whether it’s your beloved flat-faced Frenchie or a long-nosed whip­pet, your dog’s field of vision will depend on their face shape. We’ve also tak­en their binoc­u­lar vision into account when cre­at­ing our 2D video.
  • Colour per­cep­tion – dogs can see in colour but their spec­tral range is dif­fer­ent to humans. Dogs eyes per­ceive yel­low and blue in the same way as humans, but green and red merge into shades of grey. It’s not all bad news though, as they can see in the dark much bet­ter than us, so some there are some wins all round!
  • Move­ment sen­si­tiv­i­ty – dogs are able to spot move­ments from great dis­tances, and are able to spot quick move­ment much eas­i­er than humans. Dogs that have great move­ment sen­si­tiv­i­ty are shep­herd dogs like Bor­der Col­lies and Ger­man Shep­herds, and sighthounds such as Grey­hounds and Corgis.
  • Recog­ni­tion – often dogs are able to spot oth­er dogs or wildlife (like birds) on a screen. This kind of reac­tion only occurs with mov­ing imagery like videos, as sta­t­ic images are like­ly to have no response.
  • Atten­tion span – many dogs strug­gle to focus on a TV screen, unlike humans who will gaze for long peri­ods of time. Often they’ll look up when they spot move­ment or a change in bright­ness or scene.
Travelogue for dogs Human vs Dog vision 1

A dog’s colour spec­trum is very dif­fer­ent to that of a human’s

Why home swap with your pet?

Home swap­ping offers a num­ber of ben­e­fits, rang­ing from sav­ing huge amounts of mon­ey through to meet­ing new, friend­ly peo­ple. Here’s just a few ben­e­fits of home swap­ping with your pet:

Home swapping with pets James Wales

Love Home Swap mem­ber James’ dog relax­ing on a rainy home swap in Pem­brokeshire, Wales

If you’re taking your pet with you on your home swap:

  • You save loads of mon­ey. Ken­nels and dog-sit­ters are expen­sive, so any cash you save on look­ing after your dog can make a huge dif­fer­ence to your over­all trav­el budget.
  • You can trav­el for longer. With the mon­ey saved on your trav­el accom­mo­da­tion (and accom­mo­da­tion for your pup at the ken­nels), you’ll be able to stay in des­ti­na­tions for longer than you’d typ­i­cal­ly do if you were pay­ing a night­ly rate.
  • Your dog will be hap­pi­er. Ken­nels can be unnerv­ing for your dog (and expen­sive) so tak­ing them along with you can ease any anx­i­eties they’re experiencing.
  • You can explore new places togeth­er. Half the enjoy­ment on a walk for a dog is smelling new things. So tak­ing your dog on hol­i­day with you means there’s a whole host of new expe­ri­ences for them!
Home swapping with dogs Love home Swap

If you’re leaving your pet with your swap guests:

  • You can save mon­ey on ken­nels. Choos­ing to leave your dog at home means there’s more mon­ey saved on pricey ken­nels (and home will always be comfier).
  • Your dog will be less anx­ious. Leav­ing your dog in famil­iar sur­round­ings makes the process of you going away much less stress­ful for both parties.
  • They’re socialised whilst you’re away. Hav­ing your guests look after your pet means there’s some­one on hand to look after them and give them some fuss (unlike dog sit­ters that may just pop in occasionally).
  • Your guests have com­pa­ny! Not every­one has the space or time to have a pet (even if they’d real­ly like to) so hav­ing a pet at home to care for and play with while they’re on vaca­tion may even be a sell­ing point for some home swap­pers! It’s a great way to cre­ate a mem­o­rable trip for your guests.
@lovehomeswap We’ve seen a jump in the amount of home swap­pers wel­com­ing pets into their homes. We’re ready to help your four-legged friends choose their next trip, so find out your dog’s favourite hol­i­day type by watch­ing our trav­el guide for dogs at love​home​swap​.com/​t​r​a​v​e​l​f​o​rdogs. Share your dog’s reac­tion by using #trav­el­guide­for­dogs ! #dogsoftik­tok #trav­el­with­pets #dogtrav­el #homeswap #trav­el #fyp FEEL THE GROOVE — Queens Road, Fabi­an Graetz

Our mem­bers’ expe­ri­ence of swap­ping with pets 

Chis­ara and her dog Sen­si have been mem­bers of Love Home Swap since 2019, dur­ing which time they’ve been able to embrace trav­el­ling more reg­u­lar­ly, and have even worked from home’ in oth­er mem­bers’ homes. We want­ed to find out the ben­e­fits of home swap­ping with your pet, and how it opens up more oppor­tu­ni­ties to trav­el com­pared to more tra­di­tion­al hol­i­day lets.

Home swapping with pets Chisara

Chis­ara and her dog Sen­si on their home swap

In Lon­don, I have a one-bed­room flat, but I’m usu­al­ly able to swap for someone’s house which is huge! In the house in Newquay, I had a gar­den so I could leave the door open for my dog Sen­si. It’s great when you can get out of the city into a dif­fer­ent area, espe­cial­ly for my dog because he loves explor­ing so it’s real­ly good for social­is­ing him.”

Home swapping with pets Chisara 2

Chis­ara and Sen­si in Corn­wall, UK

In Newquay, we got up and walked along the beach in the morn­ing instead of walk­ing through Fins­bury Park, and then at lunch we went to the beach to play or for anoth­er walk! At the end of the day, instead of going to the gym, I was tak­ing my dog off to explore the city or going for a hike. My dog loves to go to the pet shops and farm­ers markets.”

You can read more on Chisara’s home swap­ping expe­ri­ences here.

Top tips for tak­ing your dog on vacation 

Whether you’re new to trav­el­ling with your fur­ry friend or just after a refresh, here’s some top tips on what you need to do to trav­el with your pet, both before and dur­ing your trip.

Before your arrange your holiday 

  • Check the home you’re stay­ing in has every­thing your pet needs for a com­fort­able stay. This should include an emer­gency con­tact for a vet and out of hours’ service.
  • Pay a vis­it to the vet at least one month before your depar­ture date. This ensures you have all the cor­rect vac­ci­na­tions and flea and worm treatments.
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped and has a col­lar. The col­lar should have an iden­ti­ty tag with your name, hol­i­day address and con­tact details in case your pet gets lost.

Before tak­ing your dog on holiday 

  • Look up dog-friend­ly activ­i­ties and dog-friend­ly venues like the near­est parks or pubs, restau­rants and cafes.
  • Take a famil­iar smelling object. This could be a blan­ket, favourite toy or their favourite treats.
  • Check the weath­er. Make sure they have their cosy jack­et if you’re head­ing some­where cold, while if you’re trav­el­ling some­where warm, you’ll need a portable water bowl and any oth­er pre­cau­tions to pro­tect them against heatstroke.

Dur­ing your hol­i­day with your dog 

  • Try to keep to their reg­u­lar rou­tine, as much as pos­si­ble. This includes the same wake-up time, same walk times, food and toi­let breaks.
  • Keep them on the same diet as at home, as a sud­den change can cause an upset stomach.
  • Place the famil­iar-smelling item you took in your dog’s bed or wher­ev­er they’ll spend a lot of time. This will help them feel secure in an unfa­mil­iar place.
  • Let them explore their sur­round­ings. Give your dog the time they need to explore their new neigh­bour­hood and get used to where they’re staying.
  • Try not to leave them for too long. As being alone in a new, unknown envi­ron­ment may cause them stress.
  • Let them rest. A new place to explore can be tir­ing, so make sure you give your dog plen­ty of time to rest in a qui­et and com­fort­able space, in-between excursions.
  • Keep them safe. Don’t walk your dog off the lead unless you’re sure it’s safe to let them off, and avoid tying them up out­side a shop in the heat.

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