Taking your dog on holiday isn’t always a straightforward process. There are all sorts of things you need to consider before you even book, and even more to consider when you’re getting ready to go. We have taken Ted away with us a few times now, so I think we’ve cracked it. That being said, it wasn’t entirely smooth sailing, and I’ve learnt a lot about travel with a dog, so if you are considering going on a UK trip this year with your dog but not sure where to start, read on.
Pick a dog-friendly location
You’ll probably be wondering where you can go that welcome, rather than just tolerate dogs. This can make all the difference to the enjoyability of your holiday. Unfortunately cities are not your friend as a dog owner, so stick to areas that are more rural. I always aim to find at least five dog-friendly attractions, that I would like to visit in an area before I commit.
Don’t forget to consider places to eat too. Almost all places with outdoor eating allow dogs, but that’s not useful for when the weather is poor. Lots of pubs in rural locations allow dogs in their bar area, and often serve food there too. We’ve managed to eat some delicious meals in dog-friendly restaurants.
These are some of the best places to take your dog on holiday in the UK. PS click the location to see some related posts.
Research dog-friendly accommodation
Let’s start by saying, there is no way on Earth you are going to be able to smuggle a dog into a no pet accommodation. Don’t even try unless you’re prepared to awkwardly hide your pup every time you pass the reception, or the home of your host. Instead, consider paying a premium for a self-catering accommodation when taking your dog on holiday.
We have stayed in hotels, B&Bs, pubs, and self catering cottages, and the cottages were by far the most convenient for us and Ted. As well as there being no other dogs to distract or rile up Ted, self-catering cottages offer access to a fridge, freezer, a sink, washing up liquid, and a door direct to the outdoors. The latter is especially pleasant in comparison to staying in the top floor rooms of a pub, for example.
Another thing we look for is an enclosed garden. Although Ted can be trusted off the lead, we prefer for him to be in a fully enclosed garden to be allowed to roam freely. This is especially important if you happen to stay in a location with other animals.
Most booking sites allow you to refine your search to a ‘pet-friendly’ option. Just be prepared that you might have to pay an extra fee to bring your dog.
What to take for your dog on holiday
On your first UK trip with your dog, you’ll probably want to pack EVERYTHING! The first time we went away with Ted, we loaded the car with almost everything he had. Obviously, we barely touched any of it. Now, we only take what we know we need. This way, we are able to pack all his gear into one bag, rather than three.
- Seatbelt – it’s now a legal requirement: you must secure your dog if travelling in a car.
- Leads, collars, harnesses
- Crate or bed, depending on what you use at home
- Enough food to last the trip
- Food bowl, water bowl, weighing scales (for food)
- Two or three favourite toys
- Microfibre towel for cleaning muddy paws
- First aid kit
Other top tips for a UK trip with your dog
1. Make sure you know where the nearest vet is.
When taking your dog on holiday to an area you don’t know very well, there might be all sorts of risks – think hidden drops, corners, or other animals (including livestock) that could cause your dog harm. Knowing the nearest vet, especially if it’s a franchise of your own local vet, could be the difference between life and death.
2. Make sure you check where your nearest food stockist is, even if it’s just a Pets at Home or Tesco! You never know what could go wrong while you’re away, and can’t have the pups going hungry.
3. Check the rules for local beaches during the summer. Some don’t allow dogs, which could seriously impact your plans.
4. Respect the rules of your accommodation. If they request that dogs stay off the bed, be a decent person and make sure they stay off the bed!
5. Be considerate of locals! Responsible dog owners keep their dogs on leads when around livestock, and keep them under control around wildlife. They also ensure they pick up after their dog. You wouldn’t leave poop on your own doorstep, so don’t do it on someone else’s!
6. Take your dog for a groom just before you go away. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be snapping lots of photos, so make sure they look their best.
I hope this guide helps you prepare for a UK trip with your dog this year. There’s nothing your pup will love more than exploring a new place with their favourite person by their side. Have a great time!
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