Dogs will be dogs, and we wouldn’t want them any other way, but there are just one or two pointers to observe when introducing your furry friend into the world of dog-friendly travel to ensure everyone has a brilliant time and more importantly, gets invited back too!
Before you leave
Make sure your dog has been washed and groomed, as they will be the star of the show! Pack their favourite toys, treats, their own dog food, bed or blanket (if not supplied by hotel), towel and waste bags. A stairgate or crate could also be useful if you are leaving your dog in the room at any time.
The Drive down/on the train
Take a bottle of water and a collapsible PetsPyjamas dog bowl in the car and make plenty of stops. Thankfully service stations are becoming far more dog-friendly offering designated dog walking areas, feeding stations with pet-friendly coffee areas outside. Expect lots of attention from dog owners wishing that they had brought their dog! If you are travelling by train make sure your dog has visited the loo and ensure tails are tucked in during the journey especially when the refreshment trolly comes around!
Don’t be surprised if your dog receives a better welcome than you do! Hotels are now so dog-friendly that reception staff may even pop around the desk for a cuddle and offer treats. After being cooped up in the car they are liable to be on their best behaviour anyway.
During your stay
Make sure you keep your dog under control and on the lead in all areas of the hotel except your room. Try to keep them on the ground level and try to discourage them from jumping up on sofas and the bed.
Dining with your dog
More and more hotels are happy to let you dine with your dog provided they are kept close and don’t get in the way of the serving staff! They may even be given a crafty sausage if they are good at breakfast!
Petsitting and pet listening are available in quite a few hotels or if you do leave your dog to rest in the room make sure they have had plenty of play, have a comfy bed to snuggle and hang up the do not disturb sign.
Dogs are terrific ice breakers so expect lots of interaction with other guests, especially if they have dogs too but don’t be afraid to let other guests know if your dog is nervous and would rather not be touched.
An active dog is a happy one so keep yours busy with lots of country or beach walks. Most hotels offer a handy list of dog walks of various different lengths with pub stops on the way, with many providing an outdoor cleaning station for muddy pups on your return. If you have an active dog who is inclined to bolt choose a hotel or cottage with an enclosed garden where your dog can let off steam in a safe environment.
Finally, always remember to pick up after your dog and choosing a ground floor room or cottage on the ground floor will definitely make life easier!
There’s no doubt about it that travelling with your dog makes holidays so much more fun and by following these social niceties you and your dog are guaranteed a great time!