Dog and pet friendly holidays & days out in the UK and Europe

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  1. Lottie enjoys a summer dog walk

    Dog friendly walks and beaches

    Lottie on dog walk in Kent

    We wanted to share a few photos of Lottie Airedale enjoying a lovely summer dog walk on Sunday. She is 9 years old now, has an arthritic hip but still comfortably managed to do 5 miles around fields and woods near Cudham, Kent. We all had a great walk and good exercise before tucking into homemade Sunday dinner.

    Dog friendly walks

    Dog friendly walk with Lottie (&Jo)

    We feature a number of dog friendly walk routes and areas around the UK in our Walks and Beaches directory. These range from short easy walks like Rye Harbour Nature Reserve to more challenging hill climbs like High Street circular from Hartsop in Cumbria If you don’t find it easy to navigate in the countryside then other good places for dog walking are Country Parks. These often have set out routes with coloured markers and sometimes nature trails for children.

  2. Dog friendly self catering holidays in East Sussex

    We are delighted to tell you about Exclusively Eastbourne who specialise in high quality self-catering accommodation. They offer a range of hand-picked holiday accommodation around Eastbourne and East Sussex including a number of dog friendly cottages and houses. All the dog friendly holiday homes have gardens or access to wonderful walks on the beach or in nearby woodland. Pet friendly holiday properties have from 2 to 4 bedrooms so can accommodate couples, families or small groups. So if you are still looking for  a special dog friendly holiday take a look at what’s on offer. The listing for Exclusively Eastbourne can be found via the link above or in our East Sussex Self-Catering directory.

    Pet friendly beach holidays UK

    Dog friendly holidays at The View

  3. Dog friendly hotels in Gloucestershire

    Dog friendly hotel Cotswolds

    Beautiful bedrooms at The Close Hotel

    Gloucestershire offers a great range of dog friendly holiday opportunities for dog owners. Go dog walking in the beautiful countryside of the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean or explore the many historic towns. To help you do this with your canine chum we have recently added more hotels to our dog friendly hotels in Gloucestershire from the Cotswold Inns and Hotels Group.

    New hotels added include The Close Hotel in Tetbury, where dogs are welcome in the dog friendly bar, garden and a special selection of allocated en-suite rooms with space to sleep you and your dog comfortably. Westonbirt Arboretum is nearby and offers dog friendly walking opportunities.

    Other great dog friendly hotel options are The Swan Hotel at Bibury which some say is the prettiest village in England. The Swan Hotel bar is dog friendly and your furry friend is welcome in the garden, writing room and a selection of beautiful bedrooms. This former Cotswold coaching inn located on the banks of the River Coln provides a peaceful escape for a romantic weekend or chill out.

    The Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh is a good base to explore this historic market town, the north east Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon. Dogs are welcome in the lounge, a selection of hotel bedrooms and The Beagle Bar. Why not check out nearby Batsford Arboretum a lovely dog friendly garden which Tia the Labrador visited in 2012.

    The reception staff at the above hotels can provide details of places to visit and local walking maps. Ideas for dog friendly places to visit can also be found in our Dog Friendly Days Out directory for Gloucestershire.

    Dog friendly pubs Gloucestershire

    Dog friendly bar The Manor House Hotel

     

     

     

  4. Dogs and ice cream (lactose intolerance)

    Dog health lactose problems

    Murphy enjoying a dog friendly ice-cream

    Hopefully the British summer has not yet completely passed with the family holiday season now in full swing.  At the height of a hot summer’s day we all like a cooling treat and your canine pet is no different.  They sit longingly gazing as human family members slowly lick their favourite ice cream, especially the ones with chocolate coatings!

    Most responsible owners know not to allow their dog to eat chocolate as it’s among several things that can seriously damage dogs’ health but how many know whether ice cream is OK for their pets to eat?  There is probably no definitive answer as some dogs have more lactose tolerance than others; some are completely intolerant.  Dogs are just not made to deal with lactose.  Their mother’s milk has much less than cows’ milk and most dog’s ability to digest dairy products reduces after they are weaned.  And it’s not just the lactose that’s a potential problem with ice cream for your best friend; what about all that sugar and fat?  Maybe if you have an under-weight lactose tolerant dog an ice cream now and then is a good idea; if not perhaps it’s best to restrict him to a token lick of the wrapper, cone or stick.

    All is not lost though.  There are a few manufacturers of dog ice cream!  Murphy really enjoyed a dog friendly cheese flavoured ‘doggi yoggi’ treat last year when on holiday in North Wales.  He licked his yoghurt based iced treat from its tub whilst his people ate their regular ice creams in peace.

    Moving away from ice cream, other treats with lactose should be considered carefully too.  Cheese is probably Murphy’s favourite temptation.  This can be very helpful if a stubborn pill won’t go down but he only gets it in moderation.  Apparently hard cheeses have less lactose than softer ones – but might be higher in fat.  Murphy is as fit as the proverbial butcher’s dog but his cheese intake is still much more restricted than he would like.  He never has cheese with little extras like garlic or chives; many additives can be dangerous for your dog so avoid them all!  Another of Murphy’s passions is yoghurt.  Apparently, this has much less lactose than milk but, again, our Airedale boy is allowed no more than to lick out a near empty pot or lid.

    So the message is a little lactose is OK for your dog as long as he retains enough tolerance to digest it properly; and avoid fatty or sugary treats, especially if your companion is a bit on the porky side.

    Dog friendly ice cream

    Enjoying a dog cheesie yoggi ice-cream on holiday

  5. Dog friendly hotels and holidays in The Cotswolds

    If you are still thinking about where to go this summer for a dog friendly holiday or short break  why not take a look at The Cotswolds an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Broadway Hotel is a recent addition to our hotel directory in Worcestershire. The hotel welcomes dogs in a selection of beautiful bedrooms and also has two dog friendly self-catering holiday cottages. Breakfast is included for all stays, and can be taken in the bar or sitting room if your dog wishes to join you! The Broadway Hotel has been awarded a ‘Good Dog’ rating by Dogpeople, see the hotel listing for more details of it’s dog friendliness.

    The hotel website says ‘Broadway is one of The Cotswolds’ hidden treasures. Nestled away amongst grassy meadows and honey-coloured cottages, it offers a wealth of culture and beauty, with landmarks including The Ashmolean Museum, Broadway Tower, as well as Hidcote and Kiftsgate gardens all located nearby. With a richness of history and a collection of boutique shops that stand alongside, there’s something to inspire all who fall upon its charm.’

    Dog friendly days out nearby include Broadway Tower Country Park and Hailes Abbey.

    Dog friendly hotel Worcestershire

    The Broadway Hotel looks forward to welcoming you and your dog to stay!

     

  6. Another day at the vet’s for Murphy

    We reported Murphy’s rectal problems in January and the apparent relapse in June.  His brilliant vets, Toachim House in Faversham, Kent gave Alan a detailed and in depth consultation after a further examination proved Murphy had another growth.  A ‘rectal pull through’ and wider removal seems to offer the best chance of complete removal of the lump but the risks attached to this procedure are too high in both probability and impact for Alan to agree.  Another ‘level’ removal with a snare has been done.  Andrei said the growth was bigger than previously and with a wider attachment – but he hopes to have removed as much as is possible with this procedure.

    Murphy was really bouncy when picked up on the same afternoon as the op and has not suffered any after effects.  It took over a week before he stopped passing blood (whilst the wound healed) but he now seems more comfortable.  He is still straining to pass things that aren’t there, especially on his morning walks, but Alan hopes this will settle down in time.  He is certainly straining less often.  His motions are more regular too.  Fingers crossed this will be a longer lasting solution for Murphy and we will be able to enjoy another dog friendly holiday before too long.

    About Murphy will be updated on the site soon.

    dog health problem with bottom

    Murphy on a post operation walk

  7. The Bay Tree Hotel added and dog friendly breaks in Burford, Oxfordshire

    We are delighted to announce the addition of The Bay Tree Hotel to our Oxfordshire Hotels directory. Discover the historic features of this delightful dog friendly hotel with it’s flagstone floors, big open fireplaces, and exposed beams. Dogs will love the walled garden and the hotel can suggest dog friendly walks and places to visit for you to enjoy together including nearby Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens (Lottie Airedale visited this in 2016). Dogs are welcome in the bar, library and a selection of beautiful bedrooms.

    We are also pleased to say The Bay Tree Hotel has just been awarded a Good Dog rating in our unique Dog Friendly Rating System with a good range of dog friendly facilities on offer. This includes the facility to take breakfast and other meals with your dog if you wish to. So if you are thinking about a dog friendly break why not check out the hotel?

    Dog friendly pubs Oxfordshire

    Welcoming dog friendly bar at The Bay Tree Hotel

    Burford is a delightful small town with interesting buildings, local walks and scenic countryside on the edge of The Cotswolds. We know from experience because we enjoyed a lovely stay with Lottie Airedale in August 2016 at the nearby sister hotel The Lamb Inn. This dog friendly hotel has also achieved a Good Dog rating in our rating system and Lottie was well looked after during out stay. She loved the dog treats!

  8. Water Borne Dangers for your Dog

    Quite a stir has been blown up in Murphy’s local community. A young dog has recently become very ill and needed hospitalisation. Test showed it was suffering from leptospirosis, an illness that can be fatal if untreated, especially in young unvaccinated dogs. Severe kidney and liver damage can be caused but symptoms, including diarrhoea and vomiting, will nearly always been seen first. Your pet may suffer other symptoms including fever and joint pains but these will be harder to spot. The good news is risk can be dramatically reduced by giving your dog the right routine injections. This is what Alan’s vet (Toachim House at Faversham) said when asked about Murphy’s inoculations:

    “I can understand why you are worried. You will be pleased to know that Murphy has had the Lepto vaccination included in his routine injections. Just last year we upgraded our patients to the (L4 vaccine) this was a new vaccine available which covered a new strain of Leptospirosis. There is certainly no more you can do to ensure Murphy is safe in regards to vaccines.”

    Perhaps obviously, when a case is identified it is best to avoid the source where possible. In the local case no definite infected water has been found but much speculation is abroad about a pond at one of Murphy’s favourite walking locations. Leptospirosis is mostly spread by rat urine but infected dogs and other mammals can pass it on too. Stagnant water provides great opportunity for the organisms to concentrate. Ponds, canals, drainage ditches (dykes), etc. are especially high risk in summer months so it is important to keep your best friend out of them if rats are known to be around. If your dog is a swimmer this can be tough. Luckily, Murphy would walk round a puddle so there’s little danger of him jumping in – but he will always drink if he’s hot. He won’t be drinking from any ponds for a while! He always has fresh water to drink on a long walk – but still prefers a ‘natural’ source when possible (probably because of all the chemicals we humans have to drink!). With this is mind he is encouraged to drink from running streams whenever possible.

    dog drinking from pond beware health risk

    Murphy is now banned from drinking from ponds, even this one that has a stream flowing through it.

    If you think you’ve spotted the symptoms of leptospirosis don’t delay, get your dog to the vet. This is important for your canine pal as early treatment often provides a cure. It’s important to you too as humans can contract the illness too (Weil’s Disease).

    Other health risks from stagnant water include cryptosporidium and giardiasis and these can be passed to owners by their pets. As far as we know these can’t be prevented by inoculation.

    Blue-green algae bloom is another worry in ‘fresh’ water sources. The risk is highest in summer when water levels are low. Green water is an indicator even if clumps of algae aren’t obvious. The blooms – dying algae – give off toxins and these can be fatal if ingested by your dog. Drinking from water containing the toxins presents the highest danger but just licking fur after a swim can be enough. No swimming in or drinking from green water or where algae is evident!

    Murphy isn’t interested in the sea but some of his doggie pals love a swim and there’s plenty of opportunity at Whitstable with its dog friendly beaches. One might think there are no problems with a therapeutic seawater bathe but, sadly, even that can not be guaranteed. We probably all know drinking salt water is not good for us (‘water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink’). This is equally true for dogs. DogPeople has some experience of the problems. Hamish would occasionally drink from rock pools and often had diarrhoea as a result. Lottie has a passion for whelk egg cases. She regularly found them on the beach, especially at the end of winter after stormy weather. They no doubt smell good and taste fishy but are full of sea water – Lottie had the same after-effects as Hamish! Soft toys repeatedly thrown in to the sea for your keen canine servant to retrieve can also result in too much sea water ingestion and this may make it difficult to ‘scoop’ later.

    There’s lots of fun to be had with water and your dog needs to drink. Just be aware of the risks and take car when you need to; you know your pal will do whatever you ask if he’s a natural retriever and he may not stick to safe drinking water especially when hot and thirsty.

    dog has a drink from trough on walk

    Murphy drinking from sheep trough

     

  9. Dog friendly walks at High Elms Country Park

    A new dog friendly walk area has been added to our Walks and Beaches directory (Greater London region). Lottie has walked many times in High Elms Country Park, a popular destination for dog walkers and families living in South East London and Kent. Dog walks can be varied in length to suit all ages, abilities and weather conditions.

    The park offers 250 acres of countryside to explore combined with a 150 acre golf course which together form the High Elms Estate. Situated 15 miles from central London on the ridge of the North Downs visitors can enjoy the woodlands, nature centre, ice well, formal gardens and wildflower meadows. Refreshment and toilet facilities are available at the visitor centre (includes dog friendly cafe with covered outdoor seating).

    Dog friendly walks in Kent and London

    Hurry up i’ve a dog walk to do

  10. Dog Friendly Lunch at The Kings Arms (Elham, Kent)

    Murphy went for a countryside walk yesterday followed by a rest at a dog friendly pub.  Alan enjoyed a beer and lunch in the beer garden at The Kings Arms.  We parked in the square in front of the pub in this beautiful Kentish village.  Elham is one of the unspoilt spots in Kent’s countryside and boasts many historic buildings.  The square has an information board with a map of The Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Beauty.  Murphy went for a walk along The Elham Valley Way (leave the square along Duck Street in front of the church) before lunch.  We planned a circular route returning via a byway and country lanes but were thwarted by a field of bovines including calves.  Not worth the risk so we went ‘there and back’ instead.

    The Kings Arms a dog friendly pub in Elham, Kent

    The Kings Arms a dog friendly pub in Elham, Kent

     

     

    Murphy Airedale Terrier in the bar of the Kings Arms pub

    Murphy Airedale in the bar of the Kings Arms pub

    It was a hot day so Murphy was pleased to find the water bowl at The Kings Arms when we returned (he’d already had a drink from our supply in the car).  We were warmly welcomed in the bar by patrons and the landlord alike.  Alan quickly downed a pint of lime and soda whilst a pint of one of the three real ales on offer was poured.  We then retired to the beer garden for lunch.  Murphy flopped in the shade under one of the picnic tables while Alan demolished a proper steak pie with new potatoes and veg.  Veggie options available too, including a bean burger, and specials to supplement a full menu.  Special deals for senior citizens.

    A proper beef pie at dog friendly pub Kings Arms Elham Kent

    A proper beef pie at dog friendly Kings Arms

    a vegetarian option at this dog friendly pub The Kings Arms

    One of the veggie options at this dog friendly pub The Kings Arms

    Good food, good beers (and plenty of other drinks to choose from!) and very friendly people – why wouldn’t you?  We are glad we did!

    Murphy dog in the beer garden at the Kings Arms in Elham Kent

    Murphy in the garden at the Kings Arms in Elham Kent

    Airedale Terrier dog grateful of the shade under bench in the beer garden

    Murphy grateful of the shade under our bench in the beer garden

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