Your dog is a part of your family, so you don’t want to leave him behind when it comes to the family holiday. Fortunately, there are lots of dog friendly cottages and other accommodation where you can take a break together. Of course, like all activities with your dog, it takes planning and common-sense 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.
Taking your dog on holiday with you not only saves on expensive kennel fees, but also gives them a much-needed change of scenery. Your dog will love exploring the sights and smells of somewhere new and it’s a great way to break the boredom of their home routine, especially if you are normally out at work during the day. A holiday is a great opportunity to bond with your dog and spend some precious time together.
Choosing the right 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 usually a better choice, although once again, it is worth speaking to the owner or the rental company in advance to see exactly how dog friendly the cottage really is. If you have more than one dog, you should make the owners aware of this, as many dog friendly holiday cottages only allow a single pet.
Planning your trip
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.
Make them feel at home
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, as you won’t be at home to take a call on your landline!
Find dog friendly places
There are lots of websites that can help you find places to visit with your dog while you are away. www.dogfriendlybritain.co.uk and www.doggiepubs.org.uk are great for finding places to eat and drink, and the National Trust and English Heritage websites will tell you where dogs can and can’t go at their many fascinating sites across the country. Even where dogs are accepted, they will be expected to be well behaved, so make sure your dog is properly trained before you go. A&T offer a range of dog training courses for your current pet, as well as fully trained family dogs for sale giving you a trained family dog from day one.
With just a little planning and smart selection, you can enjoy a brilliant break with your pet, so take a fresh look at family holidays and see if you can’t take your dog along.