Dogs are part of the family, so it is only natural that you want a dog friendly holiday, and for them to be welcome too. Our blog gives you some ideas of where to holiday in the UK and what sort of holidays are out there for you.

Planning Your Holiday

Jill Pendleton with her dog Topsy

Jill Pendleton with her dog Topsy

Hi, I’m Jill Pendleton, I run one of the websites shown on Debbie’s excellent Dogs Invited site.

A dog lover all my life with at least one dog in residence at any time, I understand completely the “Shall we take the dog with us?” debate.  All owners want the best for their dogs without spoiling the holiday for the rest of the family.  Some children enjoy sitting on a sandy beach all day, but taking the dog along excludes them from all the best beaches that come with plenty of ‘No Dogs’ signs for most of the year.  Take the dog with you to visit a stately home and find that Fido is not welcome in the garden of some, let alone the stately pile.  And leaving your dog in the car brings problems of it’s own.

At a large event, such as the Crick Boat Show that we visited 2 weeks ago, we were mightily relieved to have left Topsy at home with a house sitter, as the massive car park fields offered almost no shade at all, so we would have had to take her into the event, which in turn would have prevented us from taking a look inside all the new boats with their shiny floors and newly painted decks, and she would have been a nuisance to look after in the full sunshine.  As it was, we several times heard the Tannoy ordering dog owners to go to their vehicles following reports of dogs showing signs of distress.  Who does that to a dog?  No dog lover I know.

Last Summer we put Topsy into a local kennel for 2 nights.  A kennel we had happily used before for a couple of daytime stays when we had funerals to attend but on collection this time we noticed that she came out with a croaky bark.  Which we could only put down to her joining in with the chorus of barking that was more than apparent when we picked her up.  Most kennels are great places and usually Topsy has as much of a good time in kennels as we do away, but if you want to know what your dog is getting up to at all times, then the only option is to leave it at home with a friend or sitter, or include it in your holiday plans.


So here are a few straightforward tips for taking your four legged friend away with you.

  • Start by making sure your dog has visited the vet within the 12 months and that all innoculations are up to date. You never know who your dog will be saying hello to. Pack your dog’s vaccination paperwork with you in case you need to prove any details.
  • Not every car or accommodation will have enough room for your dog’s bed. Consider taking a bean bag (with clean cover) or a folded blanket instead.  A blanket can easily be shaken and aired daily. Get your dog used to any new bedding by introducing it well in advance of the holiday. Maybe encourage the dog to lie on the bedding as you relax in front of the telly in the evenings, so that it is completely at ease in time for the trip. If you think your dog will be fretful, take one of your soft garments, such as a jumper out of the washing basket, full of your smell with you, the dog will then have something of yours to cuddle into.
  • Not all hotels or B&B’s allow dogs in bedrooms. Quite a few places will let you bring your dog indoors with you. Most hotels will have designated ‘dog rooms’. One hotel here on Dartmoor has as many dog biscuits on the hospitality tray as people biscuits!  Plus a torch hanging on the back of the bedroom doors especially for last minute dog outings. One of the B&B’s on my website has a dog room on the ground floor with access by key from the outside for any dog owner to come and go as they please.  This system is fine here in the National Park, where a family might take their dog out walking every day, then wish to go off to the pub for an evening meal whilst the dog has a well earned snooze.

Just down the road from this B&B is another who do not let dogs into the house at all, but dogs are welcome to stay in cars parked directly below the guest bedrooms under tree shade and fully visible at all times.  This works plan works well, and I know that it would suit Tops as she happily sleeps in the car when we visit friends.  If you do this, please be mindful of the car temperature at all times.  Early morning sunshine can warm up a car rapidly.  Park in the shade if you can, and make sure that any dog has sufficient padding for comfort and clean water at all times.  If you take your dog camping or caravanning with you, make sure when you book that dogs are allowed on site. All good sites offer space for exercising your dog with the now familiar doggy poo bins.

  • When packing for a dog, think of everything your dog uses in daily life. Make a list and cross off the following as it gets packed:-

Bedding, dog food enough for your stay, dog bowls, dog chews, biscuits, good size bottle of water for the journey, collar with contact details (your current mobile phone number) – if not already on the dog, lead, whistle if you use one, dog throws, favourite toy, balls, flingers (if you use one, you will know what this is), a towel or two for wet days, any medication your dog might be on, comb or brush and most important of all – YOUR DOG.

If you are thinking of coming to Devon, there is a whole section of utterly dog friendly accommodation on my website, so feel free to pay us a visit at Dartmoor Accommodation


June 6, 2013 This post was written by Categories: Dog Advice Tagged with:
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