Forget about leaving your dog at home next time you go on holiday or have a day out. There are plenty of pet-friendly places to visit, as well as accommodation. Whatever you decide to do, if your dog is going to go with you, it’s important to plan a trip that will be fun for both of you.
However, before you pack your best friend’s travel bag, it’s worth considering if the holiday plans are going to be compatible for the pair of you. The heat of the summer (when it happens) is not ideal for travelling with dogs; many of the UK’s beaches are closed to them during the peak season and it certainly is not a good idea to leave them in the car. Dogs are not interested in cultural city breaks and historical buildings – what they want are woods, fields and soft sandy beaches.
The Lake District with its wide, open spaces and stunning views is an attractive location for pet owners. As a walking destination it is perfect for both casual lowland walking or higher and rather more strenuous hiking – providing your dog is fit enough. The New Forest with its ancient trails is another popular place for families and their pets. Although some parts of the forest require dogs to be on a lead because of the wildlife it still offers plenty of scope for you and your dogs.
East Anglia has everything from breath-taking sands on the Norfolk coast to quaint Suffolk pebble beaches and the family fun of Essex’s coastal towns. Scotland is a great place to explore with a dog. With numerous forests, moorlands, hills, trails and pathways to explore as well as beaches and lochs you are sure to find plenty to do.
Dog owners really are spoiled for choice in our National Parks; the recently formed South Downs is one, and others include the Brecon Beacons, Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and Moors, Cairngorms and Northumberland. These stunning areas are real breathing spaces of protected countryside.
And one of the things that makes traditional British pubs so welcoming is the fact that many of them accept dogs, often providing bowls of water and dog biscuits for our companions as well as shady spots in the pub garden. You will even find that many gardens, castles and country houses are happy to accept dogs.
Camping, Glamping or Country House Hotel?
Your search for places to stay with your dog can take you to secluded coves and heritage coastlines, or rugged hills and lush countryside – the choice really is yours. Holiday cottages, bed and breakfasts, farm retreats, forest cabins, glamping, five-star hotels and narrow-boat or motorhome holidays are increasingly being marketed at dog owners. Understandably, there are limits on what canine guests are allowed to do so just be sure you’re comfortable with the restrictions before you book. You can find that dogs are not always well catered for or are simply tolerated rather than welcomed; on the other hand you will often find they are welcomed with open paws! We have experienced comfy bedding (for the dogs as well as ourselves) treats, bowls, pet-sitting services, outside taps for muddy paws and even maps of local dog walks.
Travelling with your dog can be lots of fun if you make the right arrangements. However, poor planning could potentially ruin the trip for everyone. From making sure he has a collar and identification to being trained and well behaved – all helps secure an enjoyable holiday or day out. Knowing where the local vet is located is important as accidents and illnesses do not only happen at home.
There are important considerations when travelling with your dog by car, safety being the first priority. Dogs enjoy running through fields and discovering woodland but a few basic precautions should be observed when you are exploring the countryside with dogs. Be prepared and enjoy your trip!
Paws For A Walk are a dog-friendly accommodation website, with a comprehensive directory covering both the UK and abroad. To find out more, visit http://www.pawsforawalk.co.uk/.