Preparing for your dog friendly staycation

We’re all going on a summer holiday, and of course, the dog is coming to

Most dog owners consider their beloved pets part of their family, so why let them miss out on family fun? There are many ways to ensure that both you and your dog have a marvellous summer holiday, and with a little bit of organisation in advance, with your paperwork, travel arrangements and accommodation, your holiday will be stress-free and more fun for everyone. To make things easier, we’ve put together a few hints that may help with your holiday planning.

Here are some of my top tips for a dog-friendly holiday in the UK

Choosing your dog-friendly holiday destination

Depositphotos_30331651_xl-2015-200x300 Preparing for your dog friendly staycation

Once you have decided where you will go for your staycation, it is important to do some research. Is their lots of things for the family (including the dog) to do. After all, you don’t want to exclude your dog from all the fun.

As part of the research, don’t forget to make a list of the dog-friendly pubs and restaurants as well as activities so that you prepared

It is also essential to look up the local Vet, or if you are with someone like Medivet, check to see if they have a local branch. Vetfone number is always another good one to have to hand.

Dog Friendly Accommodation for your staycation

So, check that they welcome dogs wherever you plan to stay, be it a hotel, campsite, Air B&B or self-catering cottage. Some make a surcharge for the dog to cove extra cleaning etc. Most of them will allow you to set a filter for pet-friendly places when booking online.

Below are a few things to consider when you are looking for somewhere to stay with your dog on a staycation


It is important to check that dogs don’t have to stay in your room when you goto to eat (unless your dog is going to be ok with this in a strange place. Also, check what additional cost they will charge for your dog. Finally, do they have a small garden to provide a late-night comfort break?

The Bestwestern hotel chain has 110 pet-friendly hotels across the UK. Some of their hotels have ‘canine corridors’ and have rooms located near exits so that you can get your pet out as quickly as possible. With 700 acres of hotel grounds, Bestwestern Bestwood lodge has enough land for you and your dog to explore. This former Victorian hunting lodge in Nottingham has traditional décor, with some rooms boasting a four-poster bed. They have a range of hotels, many of which are located in cities and towns; this gives you the option of venturing to new places whilst keeping your canine close by.

Campsites and  Caravan Parks

Many campsites will allow well-behaved dogs on leads. However, it is important to research and ensure this is the case. Check what areas will be out of bounds to your dog. What facilities do they have for the disposal of dog waste etc.?

Self-catering holiday homes-

There are a lot of self-catering cottages / Holiday homes out there, and many are dog friendly. Again do your research. What are the house rules regarding dogs, e.g. are they allowed in the bedrooms, and is there an extra charge? Does it have a secure garden?

Forest Holidays offer dog-friendly log cabins at their sites located in nine locations across the UK. They are all set in Forestry Commission woodland and offer ‘dogs go free promotions. Rooms are deep cleaned before your arrival, so you can guarantee that your room will be fresh and welcoming. Their lodges sleep from two to ten people, so there is room for all the family. You can pre-order a ‘Doggy Deli Delight’ pack, which includes a week’s worth of treats for your canine friends. With miles of woodland to explore, your pet will enjoy their time there.

Haven offers another type of break, with sites near the coast for those beach-loving dogs. They have caravans, chalets and pet-friendly apartments with a small charge. Two dogs are allowed with each accommodation booked, so those with more than one dog needn’t worry. With 35 holiday parks dotted along the coast, you will be spoiled for choice! The endless coastlines with fresh sea air will keep your furry friend busy.


dog-fiendly-staycation-travel-1024x684 Preparing for your dog friendly staycation

This is another big question. Will you be travelling by car or by train? Does the train allow you to take dogs etc.?

When travelling with your dog by car, make sure your dog is safe. Invest in a  car crash-tested harness such as the one from Xtra Dog, or use a car crash-tested crate.

Whilst many humans don’t have an issue with long-distance travelling, the chances are your dog will. Make sure you plan in plenty of stops for a comfort break and to stretch their legs.

As you are aware, in warm weather, cars heat up very quickly, so consider setting out early before it gets too warm and leaving all the windows open just a fraction at the top to provide airflow.


When I plan a scout camp, I make a list (and a kit list with tick boxes or the beavers/cubs/scouts). This helps ensure that nothing gets missed. I strongly suggest you make a list for your dog when going on a staycation.

If you think you need to take everything but the kitchen sink when travelling with young children, it’s not much different when holidaying with your pooch! Some of the essentials you will need are listed below.

  • Dog food – make sure you have enough dog food to cover the period you are away. Why not pre-weight them and put them in bags making feeding on holiday so much easier
  • Medication – does your dog have any medication? Make sure you have enough for the tri[
  • Water bowls – ensure you take suitable water bowls. Maybe invest in some non-slip ones.
  • Food and water bowls
  • Poo bags – need I say any more
  • Both human and doggy first aid kits for those unexpected problems when out enjoying the countryside
  • Dog toys – this could be to entertain them whilst in the car, in the hotel, out on a walk et
  • Dog bed – make your dog feel more at ease by taking his familiar bed
  • Spare collar and lead just in case
  • local vet details and Vetfone
  • Insurance – Make sure your dog has adequate insurance cover, not just for illness or accident, but also for third-party cover

Planning for dog-friendly holidays in the UK


Your dog may find changes in their routine, environment and travel stressful. Before deciding to take your pet on holiday, Check with your Vet to ensure that your pet is healthy and safe to travel. If they need any medication, keep it with you so you can use it in an emergency. Make sure all vaccinations and flea and worm treatments are up-to-date.

It is also worth asking your Vet if they have any practices or can recommend any vets in the area you are travelling to in case of emergencies.


Check your dog’s microchip is still in place and not gone a-wandering too much. This is also a good time to check your details are up to date in case they go missing.

ID Tag

check your dog has his collar and id tag on at all times. In fact, you could get an id tag made up with details of where you are staying, so if your dog does get spooked and bolts, they will hopefully be reunited with you quickly.


Check the forecast for the area you are going, so you can plan accordingly. After all, if it is warm, you may want to plan for your dog to have plenty of shade, fresh water, etc.

If you are camping, just like you wouldn’t leave your dog in a car when it is hot, don’t leave your dog in the tent. Tents, caravans and cars get very hot during the day. This may cause your dog to try and chew his way out to escape the sauna. This damages your tent and could be dangerous for your dog and a major choke hazard.

Going on day trips whilst on holiday

As you will want to get out and about on many adventures with your dog, it’s wise first to ensure that any of the locations you plan to visit will allow dogs, although you may find you have to keep your dog on a lead at main tourist attractions.

Likewise, with many pubs, although the majority have beer gardens where dogs are allowed, some establishments place bowls of fresh water for dogs to drink.

If you plan a day trip without your dog and need to leave him in your accommodation, confirm with the owners that this is fine with them. Make sure you don’t stay out for too long, as you don’t want to return to discover any nasty shocks. If you think you will be away for several hours, perhaps consider searching for a local dog sitter who will come and meet your dog and spend some quality time with them.

To conclude, here are some Dos and Don’ts when travelling with your dog

  • Ensure that your dog is microchipped and that all details are correct on his identity tag, so that should he become lost, you can be reunited very soon
  • If travelling with your dog by car, use a dog guard, a travel crate or a car harness to restrain your pet
  • Make sure that your car is well-ventilated, and remember to stop at frequent intervals to offer your dog fresh drinking water
  • If your dog isn’t a good traveller, travel sickness tablets may help – or speak to your Vet for advice.
  • Always remember Never leave your dog in a parked car
  • Ask to make sure that the destination for your holiday will cater for all your dog’s needs
  • Check that there are no restrictions or locations that are off-limits at your holiday accommodation for your dog

If you are looking to get away without your pet, then please read this article or check out our services