There is nothing like a holiday for spending some quality family time together, and with the chances of going abroad unlikely any time soon, many of us are turning to staycations instead.
If this is you, and you are on the lookout for a great holiday without hopping on a plane or boat, there are many choices out there. And don’t forget, staycations are brilliant because you can also take your dog with you, with minimum hassle involved. After all, it’s not a proper family holiday if your furry friend isn’t there with you! Here are some top tips when choosing a staycation for you and your dog…
Think of the car journey
When taking your dog on holiday, it is important to consider the car journey. Some dogs don’t like being in cars for long periods as it can make them sick, so it is important to consider this. If your pup suffers from travel sickness, try to find somewhere a bit nearer to home and make sure that you take plenty of rest stops on the way. For further advice, speak to your vet if your dog is unhappy about travelling in a car for any length of time.
Check the accommodation is suitable for your dog
Where you stay is one of the most important factors in your staycation and you will need to carefully consider the suitability of any accommodation for your dog. There are a lot of dedicated sites for pet-friendly holiday lets. There are also a number of hotels that are pet friendly, so you do have this option rather than a cottage or lodge if this is something you would prefer. Some places charge extra for your pet, so make sure you check this too — the last thing you want is a surprise extra cost when you get there.
Plan your activities ahead of time
Before you go, it is a good idea to plan your activities. You can check out where there are good local walks, find dog-friendly activities, and see if there are restaurants and pubs that welcome dogs. If there aren’t many dog-friendly activities nearby, you may want to rethink the trip. It is a good idea to ensure your pet is free from fleas before you go. There are many treatments available, including a dog flea collar which you can try ahead of time.
Don’t run out of supplies
Before you head off on your trip, ensure that you have enough supplies for your dog just in case you can't get to a shop, including dog food, toys to play with, and a dog bed or somewhere for him to sleep. The last thing you want is for the car to break down halfway through the trip, only to discover you are nowhere near a shop and there is nothing for your dog to eat! You could order a food shop to be delivered ready for when you get to your destination including everything you will need for your break away.
Ensure you have the details of a local vet just in case
Sometimes things go wrong, so you will need to know the number or address of a local vet. Make sure you have it written down somewhere in case you don’t have an internet signal. Your dog might get sick or fall down a hole and hurt himself, so you need to know that you can get help should you need it.
Make sure your dog is safe
Even if your accommodation is listed as dog friendly, make sure that it is suitable and safe for your dog once you arrive. If there is any outside space, it needs to be secure and adequately closed off. You don't want your dog wriggling through a hole in the fence and getting into trouble. You will also need to check that none of the plants in the garden are harmful to your dog and that any garden chemicals are safely locked up so they aren't accidentally digested. When you go to bed at night, make sure the front and back doors are properly locked and that there is nothing around that your dog could chew when you aren’t there to keep an eye on him.
Leave the place spotless when you leave
When your holiday comes to an end, leave the place as spotless as you found it, to avoid any additional charges or disagreements with the owner. Make sure there are no marks on the furniture and that you hoover up any dog hairs if you have a vacuum at your disposal. Clear up muddy footprints and leave it as tidy as possible. This will help the owners to get the place ready for the next family, and ensure they keep offering it for dogs and their owners in the future.
These are just a few tips on choosing a staycation for you and your dog. A holiday with your pet can be one of the best things you do, but it is important to be prepared before you head off. Do your research, pack wisely, and you are sure to have a brilliant time from start to finish. Are there any places you have been with your pet and can recommend? Let us know — we would love to hear from you!