Spending days out in the UK with your dog can be fun and rewarding for the whole family. Read our advice on where to go this summer. Or if you’re feeling really adventurous you might even make it more of a holiday. There’s lot to think about when travelling with your dog.
Dog-friendly hotels and cottages
There are plenty of hotels, B&Bs and rentals that allow dogs, meaning you can enjoy longer stays away together. Most booking websites allow you to filter ‘pet-friendly’ accommodation, or alternatively, specialist websites provide a list of great options all over the UK. Some also provide extra services, like dog-walking or a pet creche.
How to settle your dog in new surroundings
Don’t forget to take your dog’s bed, blanket and a selection of toys to help them feel as comfortable as possible during their stay.
Remember to always double-check that the accommodation allows dogs when booking.
Camping with your dog
Camping is one of the most popular ways to holiday with your dog, due to the inherent ability to spend lots of time outdoors. The vast majority of campsites in the UK allow dogs, whether you’re in a tent, caravan or motorhome. Camping with your dog is a great way to spend time outdoors together, encouraging exercise and exploring new places.
If you do take your dog with you, it’s important to be mindful of other campers on site. Most campsites require dogs to be kept on a lead and under control. Always pick up after your dog and don’t let them interfere with other campers unless invited.
For more information and holiday checklist for your dog – read our advice on travelling with your pet.
Where do you go with your dog?
prefer the beach to the countryside
have considered going abroad
always take their dog’s favourite toy
We asked our Instagram followers to share their dog travel habits. Two-thirds said they prefer to take their dog to the beach over the countryside and nearly half have considered going abroad with their pet. A quarter of pet owners said their pet travel ‘must-have’ is a favourite toy.
According to our survey, 67% of pet owners choose to take their pet to the beach over the countryside, and with so many great dog-friendly beaches on offer, it’s not hard to see why.
The UK’s best dog-friendly beaches, according to the Blue Cross:
- Harbour Cove, Cornwall
- North Beach at Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear
- Holkham Beach, North Norfolk
- West Beach at Whitstable, Kent
- Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex
- Fistral Beach, Cornwall
- Milford on Sea, Hampshire
- Barmouth, Gwynedd
- Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset
- Clachan Sands, North Uist, Outer Hebrides
Remember to always pick up after your dog. Bear in mind that many UK beaches have restrictions on dogs over the peak summertime – check the local council’s website before you travel.
National Trust and English Heritage sites
The National Trust and English Heritage organisations have plenty of dog-friendly sites across the UK which are great for exploring together. From country estates and castles to coastal walks and climbs, they provide a great day out for the whole family and plenty of exercise and socialising opportunities for your dog.
English Heritage’s top dog-friendly sites include:
- Scarborough Castle, North Yorkshire
- Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
- Kenwood, London
- Beeston Castle, Cheshire
If your pet’s staying at home…
Some pets don’t like to travel, so it may be easier to go without them.
If you decide to leave your pet at home, you need to make sure they’re suitably cared for in your absence. A trusted friend or family member can work for the short term, but for longer holidays you may want to consider hiring a pet sitter or putting your pet in a kennel.
If you opt for a pet sitter, it can be daunting to find someone you trust, particularly if they’ll have access to your home.
If you have a new puppy, it’s worth considering the impact that being away from you may have, especially if they’ve been used to being around you and your family 24/7 with lockdown. If your puppy struggles with separation anxiety, consider the options and holiday care very carefully. Also most kennels will require your puppy to be neutered before they can be boarded.
Check out our guide to finding the perfect pet sitter for you and your pet.
Another option for owners that are unable to take their pets away with them is a kennel. These give you peace of mind that an experienced dog sitter is on hand throughout your pet’s stay.
Most kennels have a few requirements to be able to board your pet with them. These often include:
- up-to-date vaccinations with certificate
- a clean bill of health
- pets older than six months need to be neutered.
Make sure to double check the requirements of any prospective kennel before you book.
Final thing to remember is that you should always make sure you have the details of a local vet in case of an emergency.