Did you know 2 in 5 of us Brits now take our dogs on holiday? That’s according to a poll by travelsupermarket.com and it’s understandable why. Most often, we view our dogs as members of the family. We enjoy their company and spending time with them, and with kennel fees being so astronomical – why leave them behind?
Bringing your dog on holiday in the UK is very achievable and easy, providing you do a little careful planning.
Here are our top tips…
Location, location, location
The New Forest is one of the most dog-friendly locations in the British Isles! It is home to the largest remaining wildwoods in Western Europe. It’s famous for its abundant wildlife set in 220 square miles of wooded copses and acre upon acre of heathland where dogs can romp and play – not forgetting 40 miles of coastline to explore as well.
Finding the right accommodation
There are dog-friendly hotels, but many only allow dogs in certain areas, which can be stressful for both you and your four-legged friend. A more comfortable and worry-free option would be to find a dog-friendly holiday cottage. Instead of a single hotel room, a cottage will provide more space, not only for your dog to sprawl, but for you to relax as well. Dog friendly cottages almost always come with outdoor space and most frequently with secure gardens, so you can all enjoy a BBQ, al fresco dining and long days relaxing outside in the fresh air.
To help settle your dog in after a long drive in the car, take them for a walk and introduce them to their new surroundings. It may be worth putting up a stair gate to keep them in one room at night. Ask if the cottage provides one or bring your own.
Keep to their routine whilst on holiday
Most dogs will settle in really quickly, especially if you keep to their routine from home. Try to keep mealtimes the same, bring their bedding, any medication, favourite toys, treats etc. and keep to the same food they normally have and bring it all with you. Chances are you can buy it locally, but on the off chance they have run out, do you really want to be driving around trying to find some?
Dog friendly pubs
The New Forest is packed with the most wonderful dog-friendly pubs with log fires in the colder months, and glorious beer gardens for when the sun shines. Just take a look at our dog friendly cottages and see a description of each pub close by.
The New Forest and it’s adjacent coastline has bountiful walks for you to explore. Go online and download some walking routes and check out which beaches are dog friendly. On or off the lead, keep dogs away from the wildlife and remember to take your poop bags. Also consider bringing a small torch, especially during the winter months when it gets dark early and you’re walking un-lit country lanes.
Even if it hasn’t rained in weeks, the New Forest has streams and ponds which your pooch may like to paddle in. So bring plenty of old towels to dry off those wet and potentially muddy paws. In the warmer summer months it may pay to bring a portable water bowl and a bottle of water. It’s also a great idea to head off on a wonderful walk, find a beautiful spot and have a picnic. For peace of mind, you could bring a tie-up stake to peg in the ground and secure your dog whilst you take in the views.
Take a look at our dog-friendly New Forest cottages