It’s much easier these days to enjoy a holiday with your dog – just go self-catering! The growth in dog-friendly holiday cottages throughout the UK means that pet owners have an inexpensive alternative to placing their pet in kennels while they go on holiday. Now it’s straightforward to take the canine member of your with you on holiday instead. Here are some useful tips to follow when planning to take a break with your pet this year.

Click to view: Dogs welcome at Home Farmhouse in Hawkeshead, Cumbria

Upon arrival don’t forget to check the following to ensure full peace of mind during your holiday: It’s worth a quick tour of the house to move any items that you don’t want to be broken by a wagging tail, or may be toxic, such as cleaning bottles that best belong in a cupboard. Search the garden too for things like slug pellets. If your dog likes to chew cables, don’t forget to check for these as well.

Like all members of your family, your pet will have his or her own luggage too. Does your dog like to sleep on chairs or beds? Dog hair can be challenging to remove, so pack a couple of blankets and some old towels to put on furniture where your dog is likely to lie down, especially if they don’t have their own baskets or blankets.  Most pet-friendly holiday cottages will have a decent vacuum cleaner capable of picking up dog hairs allowing you to leave your holiday home at the end of your holiday with an equally clean conscience.

Click to view: Dog-Friendly Hillcrest Cottage in Suffolk

Many canine-friendly cottages will have facilities such as dog bowls and baskets and even a few pooh bags, This makes cramming everything into the car less of a concern, but do check in advance. If your dog has a special diet, then it might be worth packing a few tins or packs to see them through the first few days until you’ve been able to find it in a local pet shop or supermarket after you’ve arrived.

These shouldn’t be too much of a problem as most pet-friendly holiday cottage owners will have seen to this already – so just do it for peace of mind.

Click to view: Ready to walk at Ivy Cottage in North Devon

One advantage of booking your holiday cottage directly with the owner is that you can check things with them before you book. They will be able to tell you things like how secure the garden is, and whether lovely walks start from the front door. If you’re planning a beach holiday, ask whether the beach will admit dogs during the time if you want to book a cottage. Then you can plan for a day on the sands together in complete confidence.

Other items on your packing list should include leads, balls, toys, insurance documentation and, if appropriate, any medical information, should you need a vet. The cottage owner should be able to provide a list of local vets. Include enough pooh-bags to see you through your holiday. Be sensible, and ensure you clear up the garden after you, just as you do at home! Finally, ensure your dogs are appropriately ‘dressed’ for going on holiday: make sure they are wearing secure collars with name tags bearing a mobile phone number.

For the drive to your holiday cottage and on the way home, allow time for some exercise stops, and put some water in the car together with a few snacks to keep them happy and relaxed in the back of the vehicle.

Most of the cottages on My Cottage Holiday have a direct link to the property’s own website. Click on the link to visit the site to see if a cottage welcomes dogs. Many holiday cottage directory sites now have a ‘dog or pet-friendly search category' – view the pet-loving property pages on My Favourite Holiday Cottages for an example.

So, with a little forethought, you can find and plan a wonderful holiday with your dog, whether in the countryside or on the beach, from the comfort of your lounge.

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