Taking your Pets on Holiday.
As a nation of pet lovers the decision of whether to book our furry friends into the local pet hotel or whether to take them on holiday with us is not one that is taken lightly. In a recent survey by The Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk), one third of British pet owners now take their animals on holiday with them, which is costing the nation, an average £460 million. The survey also revealed that 25% would rather stay at home than go on holiday without their pets and 30% said that they would base their whole holiday choice on whether their pets could also be accommodated.
The most common pet to take on holiday is a dog and many holiday cottages in the UK will allow one or two dogs, if certain rules are adhered to, for example; keeping them out of bedrooms, clearing up any mess they may make in the garden etc. When researching where to go on holiday, it is advisable to think about the needs of your dog and what type of holiday you would like. Does your dog need lots of exercise, do you all enjoy long walks, or would you prefer a more relaxing holiday? These are all questions you need to think about in order to find the best location and the most suitable accommodation for you all. Always check the property description to find out what it does and doesn't include. Some may have kennel facilities, water and food bowls etc but check and then make a list of what you will still need to take with you. One fantastic website we have come across is www.dogsinvited.co.uk, which was set up in 2002 as the owners had four dogs themselves and struggled to find anywhere to go on holiday with them. The website has a wide range of dog friendly properties across the UK and Europe including cottages, hotels, B&B's, guest houses and campsites, although remember to check each listing as some will be more lenient than others, for example some hotels will allow dogs in their dining rooms whereas others will not. In most cases dogs are allowed to stay at no extra cost, but you will need to mention you are bringing a dog at the time of your booking.
Once you're on holiday, you will inevitably include your dog in your day to day activities, so you will also need to have done your research about which places will allow dogs. Most outdoor locations, such as beaches, woodland etc will allow dogs, but check for signs as certain areas may require that dogs are kept on leads and remember to always clear up any mess they may make. Also be sensitive to other people, especially children and always keep your dog on a lead if there are other animals around, for example sheep, cows etc. Another great website is www.doggiepubs.org.uk which lists 500 pubs around the UK who are very happy to invite dogs through their doors. Also, check out www.takeyourpet.co.uk which provides various guides and information about taking your pet on holiday with you and also includes directories of pet friendly accommodation and days out.
Visit most UK holiday cottage websites and you will find a tick box for dog friendly cottages within the advanced search settings, but what if the pet you want to take on holiday with you isn't a dog? Well, believe it or not, there is a website out there that can find you a property that allows your cat, horse or other small animals to stay with you. www.weacceptpets.co.uk lists accommodation across the UK and Ireland using a simple picture guide to inform you which type of pet can also be accommodated. Cottages will specify if they have stables you can use for your pony or horse and will also list any extra charges.
An article in The Telegraph, explored the growing trend for taking pets on holiday and used Charlotte Anderson, 26, who lives in Surrey and goes on regular holidays with her rabbit Buddie as an example.Miss Anderson, who works in PR, has taken her rabbit to Salcombe in Devon as well as Stratford Upon Avon. She says she takes her pet along with her because she finds boarding expensive and is worried about leaving him alone.“The reason is to put a rabbit in a facility such as a bunny boarding, which he has been in before is actually quite expensive. When I did this before for a week it cost quite a bit, and included rabbit pedicures.
It seems we just can't bear to leave our pets behind and perhaps most importantly it costs considerably less to take them on holiday than it does to leave them behind. So next time you book your holiday, consider taking your pet along with you.