Everyone loves the chance to get away. But what good is a break without your beloved four-legged friend tagging along? If you cannot bear the thought of travelling without your pet, rest assured that there are plenty of dog-friendly accommodations across the UK. Still, planning ahead is essential, especially if your pet has never travelled before. To ensure a fun-filled getaway, follow these travel tips when taking your dog on holiday in the UK.
Before You Go on Holiday with Your Pet
Dog-friendly short breaks and holidays have grown increasingly popular in the UK in recent years. Before you start packing, be sure to check each of these items off your to-do list:
- Consider your dog’s needs: Pets can feel like part of the family, but consider whether bringing them on holiday is really a good idea. For instance, if your dog struggles with anxiety, has an aggressive disposition or follows a strict diet, it may be better to leave them at home. Many pet-friendly accommodations in the UK also have size and breed restrictions that may prevent your large dog from tagging along.
- Book a vet visit: Taking your pet to the vet once a year is important to check their overall health. Arrange a visit shortly before going on holiday to get your pet vaccinated, up-to-date on flea treatment and microchipped if they are not already.
- Plan for emergencies: You may not want to imagine what could happen if your dog gets lost, sick or injured whilst on holiday, but preparing for these emergencies is the best way to stay calm and collected. Start by looking up local vets so you know where to take your dog if they get sick or hurt. Then, know that tagging and microchipping your dog with updated contact information is the best way to have your lost pet returned to you.
- Make sure your dog knows basic commands: The last thing you want is to have your cheeky pup run off into a crowd or get lost chasing a squirrel. Pet messes at your dog-friendly lodge will also prove problematic. So test your dog’s knowledge of basic commands like Sit, Come and Stay, and make sure they are toilet trained before taking them on holiday.
- Prepare your dog for the long drive: If your pet is not used to travelling for hours in the car, get them ready by taking them on shorter journeys around town. Find a doggie car seat or harness that works well for your pup, and make sure they feel comfortable in the car leading up to your family getaway.
- Find a local dog sitter: You may not be permitted to leave your pet unattended at your holiday home, even if it is pet-friendly. If you end up booking an activity that does not allow dogs, consider leaving your pet with a local dog sitter. Of course, you will need to organise this before setting off.
What to Bring on a Dog-Friendly Holiday
Make a list of everything your dog will likely need whilst on the road. These may include:
- Dog food (more than you think you will need)
- Water bottles
- Food and water dishes
- Treats and ginger biscuits (for carsickness)
- Toys to keep your dog occupied.
- Toys to enjoy with your dog.
- Collar and lead
- ID tags with updated contact information
- Waste bags
- Pet bed and blanket
- Travel crate
- Doggie car seat or harness
- Dog shampoo and an old towel
- Any prescription medications and emergency medicine
- Pet first aid kit
- Relevant documentation, including vaccination records, pet insurance policies and service animal paperwork
- Photographs of your dog in case they get lost
- Cleaning supplies for if your dog has an accident
Where to Stay for a Pet-Friendly UK Holiday
Do your research ahead of time so you can plan an itinerary of pet-friendly places to visit and things to do. The first step is to find dog-friendly accommodations in the area you hope to travel to. Then, look for pet-friendly restaurants, pubs, tours, beaches, trails and dog parks nearby to take your four-legged friend. Here are some of the top places to go on holiday in the UK with your pet:
- Yorkshire Dales: Stay at a pet-friendly lodge nestled in the English countryside, with just as many creature comforts for your pet as for your human travel companions. Spacious interiors, fenced patios and log fires to curl up in front of—what else could a dog ask for?
- Llŷn Peninsula: Cosy up in a coastal cottage featuring sprawling views of the beautiful beaches and sparkling sea. Make sure you book a pet-friendly cottage, allowing you to bring up to two dogs with you. Your pets will love the endless walkies along the coast and pebble beaches as much as you do.
- Trewhiddle: For a pet-friendly Cornish escape, come to Trewiddle! A sprawling villa awaits, offering a fenced balcony and plenty of room for the kids and pets to run and play outside. Your furry friend will revel in the sights, sounds and smells of South Cornwall.
- John O’Groats: Head north to this tiny seafront hamlet for a Scotland holiday unlike any other. Take your pet on hikes, explore the dramatic cliffs together and snuggle up by the fire pit after a fun-filled day of adventure.
- Babbacombe Bay: Have you always wanted to visit the sunny, sheltered haven of Babbacombe Bay on the South Devon Coast? Feel free to bring your pet along to enjoy the fresh air, open green spaces and never-ending coastal walkies.
- Fistral Beach: Stay in a spacious, updated, two-bedroom apartment with a private garden perfect for your pet’s needs. With accommodations mere minutes from dog-friendly Fistral Beach, you probably know exactly how you will spend your first day here.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe & Happy on Holiday
You have prepared your dog to travel, booked pet-friendly accommodations and packed your bags—time to go! As you head towards your destination, keep your dog’s health and happiness top of mind with these tips:
- Make frequent stops: Stopping every hour or two for a drink and toilet break makes for a happy travel companion. Choose a grassy park or other open space when possible to give your pup a chance to stretch their legs. If your dog is prone to carsickness, offer some ginger biscuits before departure to settle their stomach.
- Soothe an anxious pet: Some dogs do not take as kindly to travelling as others. If your pup acts nervous in the car, make the experience more pleasant by offering treats, speaking in a soothing voice and letting them ride with toys from home that smell familiar.
- Never leave your dog alone in a hot car: Briefly stepping into a service station is no problem, but never leave your dog alone in the car for longer than 30 minutes, especially on hot days. Even for short stops, keep the windows cracked and park in the shade to keep the car from becoming a sauna.
- Help your pet settle in: The first thing to do when you reach your dog-friendly accommodation is to take your pet for a long walk. Let them get familiar with the new surroundings and de-stress after the long car ride. Then, set up your dog’s food and water dishes, toys, bed and blanket in a quiet corner where they can get comfortable and settle in for a cosy evening of happy snoozing.
- Keep to your routine as much as possible: It is easy to throw your regular schedule out the window whilst travelling. Still, avoid altering your pet’s eating, sleeping and toilet habits if you can, which could result in poor behaviour and an upset tummy.
- Prioritise your dog’s safety: First and foremost, always keep your dog on a lead whilst on holiday. Then, remain aware of possible hazards, such as busy roads, cliff edges or aggressive animals. If a situation seems unsafe, do not hesitate to leave.
Book Your Pet-Friendly Holiday in the UK
Together Travel Co. offers many pet-friendly accommodations near beaches, in the countryside and in bustling city centres across the UK. You can find lodging intended for families, couples and individual travellers hoping to bring a pet along.
We even offer an exclusive travel club for pet owners called Together Tails. Join today to receive a complimentary pet welcome pack on your next stay, bespoke guides pointing out the nearest pet-friendly pubs and beaches, a personalised newsletter with previews of our latest dog-friendly holiday homes and much more! For help planning your pet-friendly holiday in the UK, please call our concierge team at +44 (0)1625 920816.