Holidays with your dogs
In the old days, I rarely took my dogs on holiday. I have been lucky enough to travel abroad to quite a few countries and to have some fabulous holidays. These days things look different. We now enjoy travelling around the UK, which means we can take our dogs on holiday – hurray!
Having said that, I have taken my dogs away, but mainly to stay with family. Over the past few years I have been away with a few of my dogs, staying in hotels and self-catering accommodation. Nowadays I am confident enough to take all five away with me!
What do you need to think about?
There are various websites and groups on social media, advertising ‘really REALLY dog friendly holidays‘. Reading through the posts, the first consideration when booking something seems to be ‘does it have a secure garden?’
First of all, the accommodation needs to be suitable for dogs. Some holiday companies will allow ‘one or two small dogs’, but nowadays there are plenty of ‘proper’ places advertising space for multiple dogs. I think it is perfectly possible to stay in a place for a week and leave it spotless, provided you are equipped to do so. This means taking beds, such as plenty of vetbed, together with throws and towels. If your dog goes on the sofa at home you won’t keep them off it in the holiday place, will you?
A dog friendly area?
Apparently the most dog-friendly town in the UK is Keswick, in the Lake District. It is certainly beautiful. ALL the cafes let you bring dogs into them and there are plenty of fabulous walks. We stayed in a hotel, which was great, except there was NO place to toilet the dogs! So at 10.30pm I had to set off for a five-minute walk up the road to the park. Nightmare.
Lots of people want a beach to walk along, but not all beaches allow dogs, so do check before you go. If you do go on the beach a lot, make sure you wash your dogs off afterwards and dry them thoroughly, as the sand can be a real irritant.
If you are going for a hike, make sure you take some water and travel bowl for your dog. Many hills and mountains have streams along the way, but you can’t necessarily count on this. If you are walking across hills, be aware that if there are sheep around, you will need to keep your dog under control.
You might want to take snacks for your dog as well as for yourself. If your dog normally only walks for an hour and you suddenly do a 2-3 hour hike, they will be just as tired as you are. Especially if they are off lead and whizzing about exploring!
What to take away with you
When going on holiday with your dog, you need to be prepared. I keep a list on my phone, ready to help me pack.
Here are some of the items on my list:
- leads, including a couple of spares
- bowls, including water bowls
- food, measured out into bags
- beds, towels and throws
- toys, especially chews or bones, if they are going to be left in the car or accommodation
- cleaning kit
- plenty of waterproof and walking clothes and boots
NB: There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
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NB: I am not a dog trainer, or a dog behaviourist, just a dog breeder and owner. I can only offer my opinion, based on my experience.