How to Have a Happy Holiday with your Dog
Taking your pooch on holiday is essential for many of us nowadays. Our pet pooches are very much a part of the family and many people want them with them on holiday, particularly when taking a break in the UK or Ireland. Putting a doggy in kennels isn't good for you as you may end up worrying about them on holiday and you may both miss each other, so booking a pets welcome holiday home can work out as the best option all round!
But how do you ensure your pet is kept happy on a break away? Read our hints and tips to ensure you and your pooch have a happy and healthy holiday. This guide is especially important if it is the first time you have been away from home together.
How do I find a genuinely Dog-Friendly Place to Stay?
Tips on how to find genuinely dog friendly accommodation:
- Call and Check How Pet-Friendly the Cottage is Before Booking
- Book a Property with an Enclosed Garden for your Pet to Roam Free
- Make sure you Read the Property’s Dog Friendly Rules
- Choose a Very Dog-Friendly Holiday Destination with Plenty of Pooch Friendly Attractions
- Make sure you have Appropriate Insurance
- Make sure your Pet’s Vaccinations are Up to Date
- Take a Few of Your Pets Favourite Things on Holiday with you
- Ensure your Car and your Pet is Journey Ready
When booking your cottage break, get in touch with the owner or agency and check how pet-friendly the property is. Holiday homes can vary quite widely in terms of how dog-friendly they are. Ask about restrictions such as number of dogs, breeds and size and find out if there are any areas of the property that will be off limits to your four-legged friend, as well as any special facilities they have for pets. Realistically to be comfortable you want enough features for both you and your pooch! If you are used to having your pooch sleep in the same room as you, be aware that Bedrooms are usually Off Limits for Four-Legged Friends! It is not unusual for holiday homes to specify that doggies be kept out of bedrooms and off beds, although you may find some owners will agree to your pooch sleeping in its own dog bed in a bedroom by arrangement.
Cottages with Safe Enclosed Gardens where dogs are allowed to run free often work out as the best choice for dog owners. Also consider renting a lodge, cabin or cottage in a private location where your pet's barking won't be a concern to anyone else. Some holiday homes that don't have their own private enclosed secure garden may have easy access to good doggie walks close by, but for ease and a relaxing holiday renting a property with its own safe secure dog-friendly garden is recommended.
It's important to know what the doggy friendly rules are for the holiday home. For example, can your pooch be left alone for short periods of time in the property when you need to pop out or will you need to take your pet with you at all times? Inevitably when you're on holiday, at some attractions you won't be able to take your pet with you. If you are planning on visiting attractions where your canine friend won't be welcome, do check if you are allowed to leave your pooch in the accommodation alone prior to booking, or in the garden. Generally as most dog owners know, pets being left alone for too long is to be avoided, particularly in unfamiliar surroundings which may lead to pet stress and anxiety. However, your pet may be happy enough in a secure garden for an hour or two - no one knows your pet like you and only you will know what is suitable for your pooch. If required, local pet-sitting services can help if you need your dog to be looked after whilst you enjoy exploring a new area.
When choosing whereabouts to holiday, do your research and check out what pet-friendly attractions are located nearby. Check out if there are good local walks and dog friendly pubs in the area and if there is a cottage of interest, ask the owner for information on how dog-friendly the area is, they may have some useful recommendations and tips.
If you're taking your dog away for the first time, as well as taking out standard insurance to cover your cottage holiday, consider whether it's worth taking out an accidental pet damage cover that covers holiday homes. Your beloved hound may be as good as gold at home but if feeling unsettled or anxious he or she may resort to chewing furniture or damaging things.
When booking your holiday, do double check to ensure that your pet's vaccinations are all up to date and that he or she is all up to date with their flea or worming treatments.
When it comes to making sure that your pet settles in quickly once you arrive at your chosen holiday home, having a few of your pets favourite things handy can help you both settle in. You might want to take your pooch’s bed, a couple of favourite toys and a blanket for example.
Most pet owners will have kitted out their cars to ensure their dog is perfectly comfortable on any journeys. If you haven’t already done this, be sure to make sure your car is journey ready for your and your hound to travel happily and safely together. If your pooch is only used to journeys of up to 1 hour, you may want to book accommodation that is within a 2 hour drive so as not to stress your pet out too much with too long a journey.
Wherever you choose to holiday in the UK, whether the West Country in England, the Highlands of Scotland or Pembrokeshire in Wales, you may find it helpful to read our packing tips for happy dog-friendly holidays. We hope you have a ‘pawfect’ UK break with your pooch.