Demand for staycations is expected to rocket in the UK now that lockdown restrictions have easesd. However, first-time staycationers may be planning to holiday with their dog, perhaps for the first time. Here, guest blogger Lisa Baker, keen camper and Editor of News from Wales shares her tips to ensure a smooth holiday experience for the whole family.
Honey having fun at the beach
1. Tell your campsite or accommodation provider you are bringing a dog
Look for dog friendly places to stay and tell the campsite or
accommodation owner how many dogs you are bringing.
There is often an extra charge for pets.
Some places don’t allow breeds listed under the dangerous dogs act and in
self-catering accommodation, they may require a higher deposit. Keeping site owners
in the loop will ensure a warm reception for your dog on arrival.
2. Check for Local Dog-Friendly Activities
Choosing the right location is essential for a pet-friendly holiday. Decide what’s important – even dog-friendly campsites may not allow dogs inside public buildings, so if nights inside the club house matter to you, check your pet is welcome before booking. If renting a cottage or caravan, you may need to cage your dog if leaving them alone indoors as part of the rental agreement.
Explore the area for dog-friendly activities before you arrive. Some areas are more welcoming than others, we
found Ross on Wye a particular delight, our dog Honey was offered treats in almost
every shop! Read reviews and see what other dog owners have experienced – there
are so many pet-friendly activities that the whole family can enjoy, but if
visiting beaches, castles, or theme parks, check your dog is welcome before
3. Remember to pack for your dog
Outdoor holidays are generally more active, so if your dog is normally a
couch potato, they will need extra food.
Try to bring your dog’s normal food with you – I’ve forgotten in the
past and had to visit 3 shops to find food she would eat!
Collapsible bowls are ideal for travelling because they are unbreakable
and take little space in your luggage, but remember to pack two, one for water,
one for food.
If using dry food, it’s really handy to pre-portion doggy meals into individual
sandwich bags before you go, no mess, no waste, no fuss!
One food caution, however – avoid the temptation to feed your dog ‘treats’
of human food (like leftover sausages from the BBQ) – a dog with an upset
stomach won’t be popular if you are in a caravan or tent, so store human food safely
out of reach in lightweight containers – it will keep insects out, too!
4. Consider your pet during the journey
If it’s the first time you are taking your dog in the car, try to do
some short trips first – that way, if they experience travel sickness or
anxiety, you can get some meds from the vet ahead of time.
Keep water and a bowl handy on the journey too – if you stop, your dog
will appreciate a drink. Of course, you
should also stop regularly for doggy toilet breaks.
5. Consider other Staycationers
Not everyone likes dogs, but where a site bans dogs or charges excessively
for them it’s usually because a previous guest was inconsiderate, didn’t clean
up after their dog, allowed their dog in the showers, or let their dog bark
24/7 – you get the picture.
Doggy etiquette is important, so follow site rules about where to exercise
your dog and keep them on a lead where appropriate. Don’t allow your dogs to go into other people’s
set ups – and if they don’t mix well with other dogs or people, keep them with you
(windbreaks are great for restricting their view).
Most dogs just love the outdoors and the extra time with their owners,
and there’s no happier sight than a whole family playing ball with the dog –
meet their needs, and your furry family member will make your holiday extra
Where to next?
Shell loves all things travel and outdoors and is a nature-loving, comfy-camping kinda girl. Shell started the Camping with Style blog after a serious snowboarding accident which left her with a broken back. Despite this she used the outdoors and healing power of nature to aid her recovery and she continues to spend time outdoors whenever she can.
From snowboarding and kayaking to hill walks and meditation Shell shares her travels and microadventures here on the blog and in various publications she’s written for, Shell has a particular interest in promoting wellbeing and the many benefits of nature therapy.
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