Holiday season has arrived and, for a lot of Brits, holidaying without their favourite furry friend just isn’t an option.
As June is National Pet Preparedness Month, Cottages.com has spoken to Sharon Bolt, dog behaviour expert and founder of Good Dogs!, to offer six essential tips for preparing to take your dog away this summer.
According to a social media poll run by cottages.com, 90% of UK dog owners haven’t travelled abroad since getting their pet*.
Sharon said: “For many dog owners a holiday is not one without their dog, simply because they miss them so much! And why wouldn’t they? Taking your dog away on holiday is a great way of spending quality time with your beloved pet, and that time will help to create an even greater bond between you.”
- In the UK, the Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it or engraved on a tag. Your telephone number is optional.
- Make sure your dog is microchipped. As of 6 April 2016, the law states that all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales must be microchipped.
- Bring along items that are familiar to your dog, such as their favourite bed, blanket and toys, to make it feel more like home to them.
- Remember to have the basics: food, water, bowls, treats, poop bags, towels (if you’re likely to go to muddy places!), collar and lead.
- Check you have pet insurance and whether it is up to date.
- Make sure you master the ‘recall’ before your holiday. The best place to start recall training is in your home where you’ll teach your dog the ‘come’ command. You’ll need to be in another room and then call them using this command. When they do so, give them a yummy treat, repeating the command as you release it, so the dog associates that when you say ‘come’, they need to come to you.
Cottages.com sent more than 163,000 pets on holiday last year, with year-to-date bookings for 2019 just up on last year**. Pooches stay for free at properties in its ‘More Than Pet Friendly Collection’, which are designed especially for holidaymakers with dogs.
In-line with Sharon’s tips for pet preparedness, properties in the Dog Friendly Collection include a fully enclosed garden and at-home essentials such as doggie treats and toys, separate towels, poo bags and water bowls. Some property owners are even creating special dog tags detailing the property address to help keep hounds on holiday safe during their travels.
Along with its Dog Friendly Collection, the leading holiday provider has created the Dog Friendly Holiday Finder – a fun tool that gives you a ‘ruff’ idea of where your pooch would like to go on holiday, to further support UK dog owners.
Sharon continues: “Dogs greatly benefit from being active and mentally stimulated which is why going on holiday is the perfect scenario for our four-legged friends. Whether it be new smells and idyllic walks to explore, digging in the sand or playing in the sea, their happiness and enjoyment is tangible and is joyful to see.”
Cottages.com’s latest booking data has identified the “hottest UK dog-friendly holiday destinations in 2019”***, with Yorkshire taking the number one spot.
Geoff Cowley, from cottages.com, the UK’s largest supplier of pet-friendly holiday accommodation, commented: “Last year we launched our More Than Pet Friendly collection, which focusses purely on accommodating dogs as a member of the family.
“It comes as no surprise that more people are choosing to holiday with their dogs, as they are essential members of the family. We know each breed is different and factors like age obviously come into play, and of course owners know their dogs best, but we thought we’d lend a helping hand and have a bit of fun with our Dog Friendly Holiday Finder. Hopefully it inspires people to explore new places in England.”