Here are some tips for responsible owners to consider when thinking about their next dog friendly holiday. A number of links (in bold) in the text will take you to other pages on our website we hope will help whether you are considering a family holiday park where your dog can go too or a dog friendly self-catering cottage holiday.
1. When staying away try to stick to a daily regime for your dog as similar to home life as you can. Give them their meals and walks at roughly their usual times. DogPeople often take their pals on day-long walks on holiday but still try and start the day in the normal routine. Just like us, this means they can use a lot more energy than they would at home, so we ensure we have extra treats for them at lunchtime. After a day’s walking they are always ready for their evening meals whether they are a little late or a little early!
2. Take your dog’s own bed or blanket for sleeping, a favourite toy or two, regular food and drinking bowls, towels for wiping dirty paws and a good supply of scoop bags. Some of the best holiday accommodation providers will supply at least some of these but you don’t want to be without, and your canine companion will appreciate the familiarity of things he knows. DogPeople’s dogs eat a particular kibble so we always take more than enough for the holiday; it is advisable not to vary their diet too much whilst away as upset tummies could result. Remember, even the water could be different (our Airedales have been used to hard South East England water and even we can taste the softer – sometimes more ‘chemically’ – water in Wales, Scotland and The North). Airedale Terriers are prone to ‘glass stomachs’, Murphy especially, but even he normally copes well with different water but we wouldn’t want to change his food too for the sake of a poorly planned holiday.
3. Book suitable accommodation in advance for your dog friendly holiday or dog inclusive short break. Ask the provider for suggestions to make your stay more enjoyable if you think you need advice. For example, many hotels and B&Bs don’t allow dogs in the restaurant or breakfast room but might be happy to serve food in a bar or lounge so your dog can accompany you at meal times. Don’t leave pets alone in rooms unless the accommodation provider is happy with this and you know your pet will not get stressed by being alone. Don’t forget it won’t just be guesthouses and hotels that might not welcome dogs in every part of the property. For example, we have lots of dog friendly holiday parks in our directory but one wouldn’t expect dogs to be allowed in the children’s play areas or swimming pools. We have tried to help make restrictions clear in the design of our entries – for instance we ask our dog friendly pubs and other places to eat advertisers to tell us if they have dog restrictions (often owners are welcome to eat with their dog in a bar or beer garden but not a restaurant area) – but it is wise to check if you have a concern when booking.
4. Our unique dog friendly rating system was designed to raise awareness of things responsible dog owners value whilst on holiday or day out and to help them more easily discover what our advertisers offer. The results might be especially helpful for holidaymakers with special needs – like two or more dogs or a large breed or three. If you see a Top Dog (gold rosette) or Good Dog (silver rosette) icon in an advertiser’s details click on it to see a list of the ‘extras’ on offer; this might shortcut your search for a perfect destination.
5. Finding things to do on holiday when you arrive at your chosen location can be fun but it might be a good idea to have a few ideas you can enjoy with your dog before you set out. Our dog friendly days out section has lots of places you can visit with your dogs and our walks and beaches pages have suggestions of walking experiences for you and your best friend. Most of the walks follow our own jaunts down the years whilst beaches information comes mainly from council websites. You might also find these earlier blog posts useful too – “Our Top Ten Dog Friendly Hill Walks” and “Eleven Scenic or Historic Walks to Enjoy with Your Dog”.
We hope these tips help your thinking; we are confident a search of our site will provide many good holiday destinations for your canine inclusive family to enjoy across the UK (and some ideas in Ireland and Europe too!). If it’s just a day out and meal with your dog in England, Wales or Scotland we can help with them too.
Finally, don’t neglect to prepare well for your journey – or even local trips with your dog. Our blog post “Tips on travelling with your dog on holidays or days out” might be worth a read too.