The best boarding kennels are terrific, and the security of knowing you’re returning to a happy pet that has been well-looked after while you’re away is worth everything.
For owners who would rather holiday with their animals then there are more and more options. Research and planning are your best friend, even if you’re planning to book a cheeky late break. Late deals can be very cost effective and there are more and more pet-friendly places to choose from.
And you’re not necessarily limited to just taking the dog. With proper planning, and a pet who is laid back enough to enjoy the journey and fully embrace a change of scenery and routine, then there’s nothing to stop you taking the cat, or even your horses.
Some hotels go the extra mile to welcome pets. Broadoaks Country House Hotel at Troutbeck near Windermere in the Lake District for example has a 4 paws menu, welcomes doggy guests with snacks and a water bowl, has kennels, a secure off-lead exercise paddock and wash off areas for your dog.
Your dog can, during quiet times, even join you for dinner – if you take dinner in the bar area. He’s also very welcome in the Music Room – so long as he has respect for the visiting ginger moggie who often pops in for a snooze. The hotel, which is a popular wedding venue, also caters for four-legged guests at the ceremony.
The Welcombe Hotel in Stratford upon Avon has a "Pawfect Package" while The William Cecil in Stamford, Lincs, has dog room service.
Most holiday let cottage companies have pet friendly collections, these days around a third of them will welcome your dog too. Cumbrian Cottages has properties from grand to positively dinky that welcome dogs and you can search under a ‘pet friendly’ filter. Honey Pot Cottage at Outgate, near Ambleside for example has a range of great dog walks straight from the door, has a dog friendly pub 2 mins walk away for lunches, dinners and even breakfast and the best gastro pub in the Lake District – The Drunken Duck - exactly 1 mile down the road.
Having a pet in tow doesn’t mean you have to forgo style. i-escape has 78 pet-friendly locations, they’re generally in rural locations and usually quite small. Some – but not all - cottages and hotels ask for an additional charge for pets. This is usually to cover the time spent on additional cleaning just to remove pet hair.
Le Castel, near Coutances in Normandy is a 19th Century Chateau which welcomes pets by prior arrangement. And of course now your dog can have a passport too, there’s no reason why he can’t join you on a your jollies abroad.
More and more B&Bs are welcoming pets too now so it’s worth putting in the effort and doing some research.
Camping is most dogs’ cup of tea. What’s not to love about your own tent, yurt, cabin or caravan. What you do need to consider is how social or territorial your dog is. Unrelenting barking never makes for a peaceful holiday so it’s worth testing that your pet is up for camping before taking the plunge and making a booking.
Don’t forget to take a minor remedies kit with you for your dog if you’re travelling abroad, and make sure vaccinations are up to date.
If you’re taking your horses then we recommend a really good conversation with the people managing the stabling and grazing at your holiday destination before committing. You will only have the holiday of your dreams if your horse is comfortable, settled and relaxed too.
All in all it’s summer, it’s time for jolly times in a relaxed and away from it all environment. So far the summer of 2019 has been extraordinary. We hope your holidays are too – enjoy!