If you own a dog and haven’t yet discovered the joys of taking a doggie staycation then you are in for a treat. Nothing beats the fun of sharing a sausage over breakfast, taking a long walk in the countryside or throwing balls with your dog as is scampers in the sand and splashes in the sea.
It’s a really joyful and therapeutic experience and best of all they are always cheerful and ready for a new adventure. But where should you take your best furry friend?
If you have a new puppy, as so many after lockdown do, then you probably can’t wait to take them on their first dog-friendly holiday. But it’s important that before you do, you ensure your puppy is ready for the trip.
The ideal time to take your puppy away is probably after six months
as by then they will have homed in with you and will be toilet trained, will be able to walk on a lead and socialised with other dogs.
In preparation for its first trip away, it’s a good idea to take your puppy on day trips in the car to get them used to travelling building up the time they spend in the car. You will be able to ascertain then whether they can tolerate car journeys.
Most dogs are perfectly happy in a car and even enjoy the experience. Be sure to offer them plenty of reassurance and plenty of water stops along the way!
When you do book your first trip, it’s best to choose somewhere not too far afield – up to a two hour journey and ideally somewhere with an option to let you dine with your dog – if you are worried about leaving them too long in the room. An enclosed garden is also useful as you can then safely let your pup off the lead without the risk of them running off.
Also take along their crate, blanket and favourite toy so that if you do leave them alone for any time, they will feel happy and secure. And remember, only take short walks for pups under a year old and allow for plenty of time for rest!
Suggested hotels for puppies:
If you live in London, the Merry Harriers
in Surrey is not too far for a first puppy holiday. Stay in one of their charming shepherds huts
where there is plenty of space for your puppy’s crate. You can also dine with your pup and there’s easy access to outdoors.
Or choose the Eastbury Hotel
where you can stay in one of their delightful new potting shed rooms which offer their own enclosed patio areas.
If you have an adolescent dog you will probably want to book somewhere with wonderful walks or long stretches of beach or cliff walks so that they can burn off lots of energy.
Your young pup will be super enthusiastic about your trip and will probably be able to tolerate a longer journey. Your dog will want your undivided attention and now they are over a year old you can build up their walking and take on something a little more challenging.
However you will have to be careful with a young dog that they don’t bolt off if they are not on a lead so booking somewhere with an enclosed garden is also a great idea. Take along a good supply of treats so if your active pup is off the lead you can encourage it back.
Adolescent dogs also get bored quickly so take plenty of toys with you including balls, throws and kong type toys that you can put chews in to keep your dog busy.
Suggested hotels and cottages for adolescent dogs:
A great choice could be the Fish Hotel
in the Cotswolds. You can stay in a ground floor stable room set in a lovely rural setting, there is also an activity area and wash station for muddy paws after long country walks.
The Lake District
is also a brilliant choice with all its wonderful fell walking opportunities. Stay at one of the gorgeous cottages or dog-friendly houses on the Rowley Estates
, or why not try Another Place
, also in the Lake District – set on Lake Ullswate, where you can paddle board with your pooch!
Mature dogs will enjoy a dog-friendly holiday just as much as younger dogs. Most older dogs are happy to tolerate longer journeys and will love the chance of getting your undivided attention.
As walking and general mobility might be an issue pick a hotel which can offer a ground floor room rather than having to navigate stairs and also a larger hotel with quiet spaces like lounges where they can relax and not be bothered by other dogs.
It might also be a good idea to choose a hotel that will allow you to leave your dog in the room whilst you eat as it might prefer to rest after a busy day of gentle strolls in the countryside or on the beach.
Suggested hotels and cottages for mature dogs:
is incredibly dog-welcoming and as well as having a fabulous spa and country walks from the doorstep and beach just a short stroll away has lots of small reception rooms where your older dog can sit quietly with you.
The Endsleigh Hote
l in Devon
is also a brilliant choice with lots of quiet areas in the main rooms and even the chance to dine on your own with your dog.
Another great choice is the Gallivant
in East Sussex
, a Hamptons style hotel just across the road from Camber Sands, that has large ground floor rooms and ground floor reception rooms.
So, whether you have a puppy, a lively adolescent or more mature dog you are sure to find the perfect hotel or cottage where you and your best furry friend can enjoy a fabulous dog-friendly escape.
PetsPyjamas offer a concierge service where you can get expert advice about the perfect dog-friendly place to stay, the re-assurance of a 24-hour vet line and some great doggie getaway offers!