I read an article at the weekend that stated that a dog is not a pet, but a part of the family, and I couldn’t agree more. Our dogs offer love and companionship and are as beloved as any other member of the family, and this has been reflected in a change of holidaying habits. For while many people still enjoy jetting off to warmer climates, many of us are staying in the UK so our dogs can also be part of our holiday experience.
Our dogs deserve a holiday too. Like humans, they get tired, they get ill, they get depressed and they get old. We have to help them to have a healthy lifestyle which can be achieved through a good diet with a grain free dog food that encourages healthier tummies and shinier coats, through regular exercise and also regular check ups at the vets. A holiday with a change of scenery and lots of freedom is also something that our dogs love.
Holly our Bichon Frise loves a holiday. This year alone she has been to Wales and to Devon. In the UK, as a nation of dog lovers, we are lucky in that so many places are now happy to take your dog into their hotel or holiday site. Malmaison are just one of the chains of luxury hotels that are dog friendly, whilst campsites like John Fowler also allow dogs into certain caravans for a supplement. We have our own caravan in Wales on a site where everyone seems to have a dog, and there are plenty of opportunities for long walks in the surrounding countryside, and lots of pubs which are totally dog friendly, so you are not constantly forced to sit outside in all weathers.
If you are thinking of taking your dog on holiday in the UK, it is always worth doing some research first. Make sure your chosen destination is dog friendly – are dogs allowed on the beach, are there places you can eat that allow dogs, are there good areas for walking. A quick Google search for ‘dog friendly holidays’ will bring up lots of different types of accommodation, ranging from cottages to caravans, even the National Trust will show you sites close to their properties so you can enjoy a true family holiday that includes the whole family.
Once on holiday, make sure you do all the things you would do at home. Dogs still need to stick to their healthy diet, you may want an ice cream, but unless it is a dog variety, your four legged friend should stick to their own food. Make sure you are still cleaning up after your dog, especially when you are on the beach, and keep your dog on the lead if you are near to main roads. But there should also be lots of opportunities for them to run free as you enjoy the great outdoors and have the most wonderful holiday.
This post is in conjunction with James Wellbeloved but all thoughts are my own.