Your dog is a part of your family, so you don’t want to leave them behind when it comes to the family holiday. Fortunately, there are lots of dog-friendly cottages and other accommodations where you can take a break together. Of course, like all activities with your dog, it takes planning and preparation to make it work, but with just a little extra effort, there’s no reason why your dog can’t have a holiday too.
Benefits Of Taking Your Dog On Holiday
There are many reasons to include your dog on your next staycation holiday, including:
- Including your dog in your family holiday memories
- Save money on kennel or boarding fees
- Your dog will appreciate a change of scenery with new sights and smells
- Mix up the usual routine, which can prevent boredom
- Keeps you active during your holiday
- Promotes extra bonding with no additional stresses
Choosing The Right Dog-Friendly Accommodation
It seems straightforward enough to search for ‘dog-friendly accommodation’, but it isn’t always as easy as that. You need to check in more detail to see exactly what is and isn’t allowed and how ‘dog friendly’ the accommodation really is.
Dog-friendly hotels are all very well, but they often don’t let dogs in the dining room, so you will have to leave your dog upstairs on their own, in a strange room, and not every dog will be happy with this. Dog-friendly cottages are typically a better choice because you’ll have the whole accommodation for your family. Before booking your accommodation, you should:
- Talk to the owner
- Do your research and look at the website
- See if you can find any reviews of previous experiences
- Know any limitations before booking
- See what facilities are available for your dog
- Ask if you are allowed to take multiple pets (if applicable)
- Get to know the adjustments made to the accommodation to make it ‘pet friendly’
Planning A Dog-Friendly Location
The shorter your journey, the easier it will be with your dog, so look into those places close by that you have always taken for granted. With ten national parks in Britain, and endless miles of coastline, most of us live within a reasonable drive of a great holiday location.
You should also look into the local area before you book your trip. Many open spaces have lots of sheep or other animals that are not ideal for visiting dogs, and some beaches will even ban dogs during the summer months when things get busy.
How To Make Your Dog Feel At Home On Holiday
To help your dog feel at home, take as much of their stuff with you as possible, including their bed, blankets, toys, food and feeding bowls, so things feel familiar and safe. Make sure you have enough of their favourite food and treats with you, as small village shops will have a limited range and much higher prices than your local supermarket.
When you get there, show your dog around and explore with them, as well as letting them sniff it out for themselves. If you can, avoid leaving your dog alone in a strange cottage, even for a short time. If you do plan to leave them in the garden, make sure it is completely enclosed and that your dog can’t find a way out to come and find you. In case they do get out, it is important to make sure their tag has your mobile number on it.
Preparing For A Day At The Beach
With so much excitement, yet so many potential dangers, it is vital that you are in complete control of your dog on the beach. Fully trained dogs are much easier to control and keep safe, and the recall they learn through dog obedience training will stop them from spoiling the enjoyment of other beach users.
You need to plan for a day at the beach with your dog, just like you would for yourself or your kids. Here are just a few of the things you need to think about in advance:
- Research the beach before you go to make sure it is dog-friendly and safe
- Be aware of any nesting sites nearby, so you can make sure your dog doesn’t disturb the birds
- Bring plenty of fresh water to stop them drinking the salty seawater
- Pack treats and food to discourage them from eating whatever they find in the sand
- Invest in doggy sunscreen to avoid sunburn
- Take a tent, parasol, or folding table to provide a shady spot out of the sun
Dog Dangers To Look Out For At The Beach
Your dog will love to explore an open beach, but there are a number of dangers that you need to be vigilant about if your dog is to play safely. For example:
- Make sure your dog can swim before they go in the sea and avoid strong waves and rip tides
- Make sure they don’t eat dead fish, palm oil or jellyfish, as these can be highly toxic
- Look out for dangerous objects on the beach, such as broken bottles, fishing tackle or rusty cans buried in the sand
- Keep them away from sandbanks and mudflats as they can easily get stranded when the tide comes in
- Watch out for heat exhaustion and over-exertion. Running on sand is hard work and they can tire very quickly
When You Get Home From The Beach
At the end of your beach adventure, you need to rinse off your dog with clean, fresh water to prevent them ingesting sand and salt through grooming. You should also look out for any signs of sand impaction. Dogs can often swallow large quantities of sand when digging or fetching a sandy ball and this can cause a blockage in the intestines. If your dog starts vomiting or appears dehydrated and uncomfortable, seek help from your vet as soon as possible.
Why Dog Training Can Help Your Dog Friendly Holiday
With a trained dog from A&T Trained Dogs, you can enjoy a perfect holiday, safe in the knowledge that your faithful companion will behave itself for the whole week, respecting your holiday property and staying close to your temporary home.
Alternatively, it would be a good idea to have your dog obedience trained before your holiday. This will enable them to behave well in crowds too, not be scared by large numbers of people, or by the sudden noises you often get at funfairs or carnivals.
Socialisation training will mean they will be great with other people, and even other dogs, and can be taken anywhere, from dog-friendly pubs and restaurants to steam trains and boat trips. What’s more, if you want to leave your dog at your holiday home while you go out for the afternoon or for dinner, you can be confident that they won’t trash the place while you are gone.