Top tips for a dog friendly staycation

Enjoying a holiday with your fury friend is easy, read our top tips for a dog friendly holiday.

3.2 million new pets

By Harry Roberts Managing Director at My Favourite Cottages

Since the start of the pandemic, 3.2 million UK households have welcomed a new pet. 

But now the UK has opened up again, many dog owners have been looking to take their new family member on their first holiday. 

In fact, according to a recent study 'dog-friendly holiday homes accumulated over 131,000 searches between June 2020 and May 2021, almost double the search volume of the previous year (73,530).  

Here’s our top tips on holidaying with man’s best friend…

Plan ahead

Preparation is key when travelling with dogs. Research dog-friendly accommodations at your destination and ensure they have the right facilities for them. Many of our dog friendly cottages in North Devon offer dog treats or beds but it is always better to ask before you leave.

Also check there are plenty of walks and trails available for you and your dog to enjoy. It’s also worth checking if they have any dog-friendly beaches nearby that allows them to roam freely. 

Getting to grips with where you’re staying beforehand will certainly make life a lot easier when you’re there, plus it saves time and ensures you’re picking the perfect spot for your stay.

And before you leave, make sure you pack all the essentials such as a sturdy lead, harness, waste bags, identification tags, treats and pet food. 

It's also a good idea to bring your pet's medical records along too, ensure they are microchipped and look into how far away you are from local vets and whether they offer emergency appointments should any health problems arise or your pet gets lost far away from home.

While travelling

Sitting in a car for hours on end can be a tedious task for most of us, as it is our pets. 

When travelling, check your pet has plenty of food and water for the journey and stop for regular breaks to allow them to replenish and go to the toilet.

Meanwhile, your pet's safety is paramount. Use a special seatbelt, or harness, to ensure your dog can't roam around the vehicle and distract you.

Another good option is a pet carrier which allows them to stand up and lie down comfortably. 

Making the most of your stay

Remember your holiday is as much for your dog as it is for you.

Allow your dog to get to grips with their new environment, smells and sounds to allow them to feel safe and relaxed. Kitting your holiday home out with their favourite toys, blankets and belongings, will help create a little sanctuary for them.  

Give your pup plenty of attention and never leave them alone in your holiday home unattended, as new places are sure to make them feel anxious or uneasy.

Be cautious of letting your dog off the lead in busy areas unfamiliar to both of you, as you never know what dangers could be around the corner, be that of other animals, people or hazards.

And try and stick to a routine as much as possible, including set feed and walk times, as dogs are creatures of habit, after all. 

Above all, have fun and enjoy your time away with your pup!