by Harry Roberts Managing Director My Favourite Cottages
Statistics tell us that 3.2 million UK households welcomed a new pet since the pandemic, with 59 percent now owning one. A recent study revealed searches for 'dog-friendly holidays’ had a 665 % surge last year.
For National Pet Month, Harry Roberts, Managing Director My Favourite Cottages shares his top tips for going on holiday with man’s best friend…
Preparation is key when travelling with dogs. Research dog-friendly accommodations at your destination and ensure they have the right facilities. Also check that there are plenty of walks and trails available for you and your dog to enjoy. It’s also worth finding out if there are any dog-friendly beaches nearby that allow them to roam freely.
Getting to grips with where you’re staying beforehand makes life a lot easier when you’re there, plus it saves time and ensures you’re picking the perfect spot for your stay. Before you leave, make sure you pack 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.
Sitting in a car for hours on end can be tedious for most of us, as it is for 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, 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.
Try and stick to a routine as much as possible, including set feed and walk times, dogs are creatures of habit, after all.
Above all, have fun and enjoy your time away with your pup!
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer, 13 x author. Credits include: Telegraph, Mail, CNN, Express, BBC mags, Country & Town House, The Scotsman, World of Cruising & countless others