People look forward to their holiday all year, but for those with a pet pooch, it may cause all kinds of distress – and not just for Fido!
Thankfully, many of the best holiday cottage providers now have a great portfolio of dog friendly cottages so that you don’t have to take a visit to the kennels. This guide looks to offer both practical and personal advice on how to take your dog on holiday with plenty of useful tips, products and information to make your next holiday with your pooch the best yet.
Here we’ve asked some of the best names in dog holiday accessories their expert opinions on how to take your dog on holiday without the hassle.
Active Hound – for active dogs who like to get messy!
Active Hound is a small family business based in Devon that services dog owner's needs throughout the UK and all over the world. They stock only premium products that they've tried and tested themselves, so you know what you're buying from them is high grade, trusted and reliable.
They made their name in Chuckit! Dog Toys, becoming the world's number 1 for range and availability. They're the UK's leading stockist of Hurtta dog accessories and other super brands such as EzyDog, KONG, Lily's Kitchen and many more. If you have an active hound and need relevant supplies and accessories for day-to-day exercise, holidays and canine maintenance, look no further.
‘I think the best approach for you to take given the time of year and change in weather would be to look at some of the Hurtta range. This brand is very popular and we have access to stunning lifestyle shots - here's the brand page on our website.
The products of interest should be the Torrent Coat and Slush Combat Suit. The brand has a huge international following and dominates our sales at this time of year. Hurtta will be a key outdoor focus for many dog owners around the UK.
When camping or going on UK holidays for example, you're not always best equipped to deal with your doggy when the weather is bad. The Hurtta Torrent Coat and Slush Combat Suit offer excellent protection from the rain, slush, mud, grime, you name it, saving you time when on an adventurous walk. Your dog will be far cleaner and happier not to be totally covered in mud. The Torrent Coat is a solid option for your dog to stay dry with the Slush Combat Suit being a full body suit, the preferred option for many long coated dogs.
When active on long walks, your canine friend will need re-hydrating which isn't always easy depending on your location. The Long Paws Water Bottle is a superb number for convenience and effectiveness. No more bowls or mess, just a bottle with a ball bearing in the bottom that allows your dog to drink with every lick when the bottle is tipped upside down:http://www.activehound.co.uk/collections/long-paws
Does your pooch need a job when you’re out in the sticks? Try the EzyDog Summit Backpack on for size. Your pooch, no matter the size, can be suited and booted with a handy canine backpack suitable for long walks and storage of simple items such as food, drink, treats, valuables etc. Fully waterproof and ultra-durable for off-piste adventures.’
Poppy and Rufus – for parents trying to control little ones on two legs and four!
The brilliant concept of Poppy and Rufus is the brainchild of two busy mums who love taking their dogs on holiday. They ended up designing a whole range of useful and practical products that they either couldn’t find already on the existing market or thought they could make better. Here they explain one of their favourite products.
‘Maxi is useful, beautiful and British. Made in wipe-clean oilcloth fabric with six external pockets, an interior zipped pocket and waterproof drawstring lid, it is a considered and stylish accessory to keep travel items separate, organised and to hand. Once unpacked, the bag neatly flattens for storage, if space is limited. Maxi comes in a choice of three bespoke fabric designs, which are printed in a traditional mill in Derbyshire and made into oilcloth in Cheshire. The handles are Irish linen woven into webbing in another traditional stone mill in Yorkshire and Maxi is finally hand-sewn in Buckinghamshire.
With so many holiday destinations offering to cater for all the family, both two-legged and four-legged, the Poppy and Rufus Travel range offers functional, coordinated and complimentary products designed to take the stress out of doggy travel without compromising on style.’
Wag N Go – for those who need to pack light
Wag N Go is the easy-to-use travel essential for dogs that puts everything you need for dog friendly cottages and days out in one easy-to-pack tote bag. Here the Wag N Go founder gives her top tips for taking your dog on holiday.
‘Before you go on holiday
- Micro chipping is a must. It is the best way to facilitate rapid and easy identification.
- Always make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and carry your pet’s passport or health records with you. It is the most important document to your pet’s health and if an emergency arises while away, you’ll be prepared with a full record of your dog’s treatments.
Planning your journey
- Get your car pet friendly. Ensure maximum protection for your pooch by getting a doggie seat belt if your dog is going to be in the back seat or find a suitable dog guard or crate and secure it in the back of the boot. Sudden breaks can cause serious injury, so buckle up!
- If you’re going to be travelling by car, ensure that you stop every two hours to give your dog a drink and a chance for both of you to enjoy the outdoors with a short brisk walk.
- Travelling by train in the UK with your pooch is free of charge. However trains can get crowded during certain times of the day. Book your travel when it’s less crowded so your pooch can have some space to sit.
During the Holidays
- Wherever you go, always make sure to check that your accommodation is dog friendly.
- Also make sure there are great places that would be perfect for you and your dog to have a nice walk.
- Ask around about dog friendly pubs, restaurants, shops, sights, parks or beaches in the area that you are visiting that will welcome your dog, so that you are not forced to leave them in the hotel or villa while you visit the sights.’
Wag N Go has also been so kind as to offer a special promo code for Hideaways guests. Use the code ‘CottageHolidays’ for free delivery of your own Wag N Go. Code expires April 2015.
Phileas Dogg – for those who want to get away via public transport
This charming blog from Attlea and his journalist owner Jane Common details the life and travels of Attlea ‘AKA Phileas Dogg’. Having released their book Phileas Dogg’s Guide to Dog Friendly Holidays in Britain in May 2014, dog owners now have access to an entertaining and thorough guide to dog friendly cottages, days out and facilities across the UK.
Written from the perspective of a dog, the blog and book gives authentic reviews of over 300 doggie destinations from The Shetland Isles to Cornwall, all of which were carried out on public transport as Jane doesn’t drive. Both offer some great advice on taking the dog on the train or coach!
Easy Animal – for those in a hurry to get away
Family-run business Easy Animal offers a whole range of products that make holidaying with your pooch easy and enjoyable. The Easy Animal family have a wealth of experience in dealing with dogs so their products offer genuine solutions to everyday travelling problems. From booster seats to car ramps, their product range ensures that you will never have a sad canine on your hands again, and while they offer free delivery across their diverse range, they offer next-day delivery for just £3 for those who need a getaway quick!
Here is one of their top product recommendations for your next dog friendly holiday.
‘The Solvit Deluxe Telescopic Ramp is one of the best ramps available on the present market. Its telescopic motion means it’s one of the simplest ramps to use whilst being one of the strongest. It can hold up to 180kg without flexing whilst being incredibly light. This will ensure your dog feels completely confident and secure going up and down the ramp.
Solvit deluxe telescopic dog ramp features
- Very Light
- Very Stable
- High Traction Surface
- Load Capacity up to 180kg (400lbs)
- Rubber Feet
- One Year Warranty
- Carry Handle
- Safety Release Latch’
Orvis – for the traditional pooch
Renowned high-end fly fishing, hunting and sporting goods business Orvis has been known for its dog products for years. Their range of car seat protectors, crates and even portable water dishes are of superior quality and their travelling with dogs section has everything you need to make pet friendly Wiltshire holiday cottages even more comfortable.
Here is one of their top product recommendations for taking your dog on holiday.
‘REALLY USEFUL FOR TRAVELLING - Orvis Dog Traveler's Kit Perfect for a day trip or weekend away, our dog food travel bag is lightweight and rugged. Easy to clean, foldable, meaning the absolute necessities your dog needs are easily transportable and don’t take up too much room. No need to take a huge bag of dog food, just take what you need for your stay. Good for on the move as well, so if your journey is long you can feed and water your dog on the way.’
Canine Concepts – for owners needing further info
Canine Concepts is another great business that stocks a great variety of products that make stays in dog friendly cottages easier and more comfortable.
Canine Concepts has been established for over 10 years, taking pride in providing innovative dog products, often imported from abroad. Their ethos is to provide supplies to help create a happy relationship between dog and owner. They also offer many training and informative articles to help dog owners be better informed on how to train their dogs, get puppies off to the right start or resolve some common dog behaviour problems.
Here is a selection of products that Canine Concepts recommend for travelling.
While the above suppliers and products are of great use during holidays with your dog in Shaftesbury and other such pet friendly locations, it is always important to remember safety for your dog as well as your family.
Here is a list of essential to pack for your Doggie First Aid Bag:
- Sterile Saline Wash
- Disposable Gloves
- Plastic bags
- Spray on plaster
- Washing up liquid for removing toxins from skin/fur
- Tick remover tool
- Pet thermometer
- Local emergency contacts of the place you’re staying
- Medical records of your four-legged friend
So remember, taking your dog on holiday doesn’t have to be the exhausting ordeal you might have previously thought. With a fantastic range of pet friendly cottages available across the country at realistic prices, and some great products that make dog holidays accessible to all now on the market, both you and Scooby could be walking somewhere new and exciting sooner than you might think.
Image Credit: Marvin Kuo (flickr.com), Active Hound, Poppy & Rufus, Wag N Go, Phileas Dogg, Easy Animal