Holidaying with dogs?

(24 Posts)

We have 2 dogs - a 6 year old Weim called Max, and a 2 year old Cocker Spaniel called Mini.

Until now, we've just holidayed oursleves and put the dogs into kennels. But DH is of the opinnion that we should look into possibilities of taking the dogs with us - I guess that would mean tents, caravans etc. In fact we're looking at a trailer tent tomorrow evening.

I'm not sure if this would work - 2 dogs plus us in one small space? What would we do all day? The dogs aren't great at sitting still so would need to be on leads all the time. I know the vision is of us sitting under an awning sipping chilled wine as the sun sets, but I fear the reality would be somewhat different.

Any experiences, suggestions, thoughts?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 25-Jul-13 15:18:23

Some holiday cottages are dog friendly.

The problem is that you can't go anywhere/do anything apart from walks. Which is fine if the weathers nice. But if it isn't you can't go in museums, shops, castles, restaurants.

We took our dog to Northumberland and he went in loads of castles there and in yorkshire on the way home. Most English Heritage properties allow dogs in the grounds at least.

It worked fine for us although we ate out less. There were loads of dog friendly pubs but ours is still young and hyper. We just took it in turns to go in places when browsing in towns.

We were in a static caravan which was fine and I took a long lead to tie him up outside but that was largely so I could feed him (I raw feed). We took him down to the beach most nights.

1MitchellMum Thu 25-Jul-13 15:36:34

We do many holidays with the dogs in cottages - loads to choose from. I wouldn't suggest a tent unless you really do fancy the whole camping thing!

LadyTurmoil Thu 25-Jul-13 16:33:56

www.graceholidaycottages.co.uk/ are dog-friendly cottages - can't give a recommendation as I haven't used them but sure there are plenty more

Cadw, the Welsh equivalent of EH allows dogs into lots of places. Our four greyhounds are extremely cultured and have visited many historical sites. In fact, as we speak they are composing their "But we took you to stately homes" threads on HoundNet. wink There are loads of websites and guidebooks that give info on where dogs are welcome/suggestions for holiday outings.

We do holiday cottages - and walking on beaches or exploring is often nicer out of high season. Some of our nicest memories are of rain lashed beaches in various bits of Wales, with the whole beach to ourself, glorious surroundings, red kites to watch etc. We are off to sunny Pembrokeshire in November for a week, staying in a gorgeous house with the four hounds. We manage to go to plenty of pubs, lots of beaches and various expeditions.

Usually, once or twice a year, we escape to London and have a highly civilised, dog free weekend break involving lots of art galleries, museums, nice restaurants etc while the woofs have a short holiday in the country without us.

mrslaughan Thu 25-Jul-13 18:47:20

We stayed in a holiday cottage - well it was part of a converted barn , that was part of the chatsworth estate - dogs were welcome. We didn't have a dog then, but some people had the cottage next door, and it had a fenced garden, so very dog friendly. Some day's after a long day the dogs stayed in the garden for a few hours when they went out - not sure I would do that, but it is a possibility.

Nefyn holidays have lots of dog friendly accommodation we have used them lots of times. But the posher accommodation tends to be no dogs allowed IME. Plus camping. I don't do camping thoughgrin

Twooter Thu 25-Jul-13 19:04:00

I always used to holiday with our dog, but really try not to now if I can help it. If the weather is bad, fine, just leave them in the car. It's if the weather is good that it tends to be a real problem.

We're having our first holiday with PFD this year, we've booked a cottage in Cornwall with CountryCottages, pets go free and there is an enclosed garden.

I've checked out dog friendly beaches but haven't made any other plans.

MissMarplesBloomers Thu 25-Jul-13 19:12:22

Loads of dog welcoming places on several sites.

try here for ideas

throckenholt Thu 25-Jul-13 19:17:35

We take ours to holiday cottages - less choice than no dogs, but still lots out there in beautiful dog friendly areas.

It does change your perspective on what you do - can't for example spend hours at attractions because you can't take the dogs with you (although for us that is not hardship and much cheaper smile).

MissMarplesBloomers Thu 25-Jul-13 19:18:54

I always had holiday houses with the kids and dogs when younger. Sometimes you have to search around a but but many lets welcome dogs.

Once you've been there a few days they can be left in a hall or kitchen for a few hours if you're going to an unsuitable venue.Or we used to take them all for a long walk and then put them into the car under a tree after they stopped puffing & had a drink. We never left them for long and often we would suss out a pet friendly cafe with outside tables and pop back & get them to join us.

For us the having the pooches with us was half the fun, and doing BBQ's & things in the evening (so I didn't cook!) especially if several famiies all clubbed together- we've had some amazing houses!

JazzTheDog Thu 25-Jul-13 19:23:05

We camped this weekend with our dog and it did restrict the things we could do simply because it was far too hot to leave her in the car for a while as we'd planned.

It did however mean that we did lots of free walks, looking at viewpoints etc and probably spent less money. We ate in a pub with the dog one day as the outside seating was full and the owner told us just to bring her in.

She was beautifully behaved on the ferry and when we went on a bus ride!

MissMarplesBloomers Thu 25-Jul-13 19:26:06

Lordy yes Jazz if it had been like recent weather no way obviously!!

It's nice when pub owners invite dogs in, I would never presume but it's lovely when they do.

Sounds like you were very inventive in reshuffling your day trips!

GrimmaTheNome Thu 25-Jul-13 19:26:11

The best dog-friendly holidays we've had are on boats (Norfolk Broads, the Great Glen and a canal) during May half-term. Booked through Hoseasons. You have your own space but it moves! We took a crate (this probably only works for a small dog though because space is limited) in case we needed to leave him aboard alone at all - but we didn't really need to use it much. We found lots of dog-friendly eating places esp on the Broads - they are used to people who are on boats and need to bring their dogs to dinner. smile

We have had other holidays either in a cottage or hotels (lots of very nice hotels have dog-friendly rooms although I think many only allow one pet) - but we restrict this to cool times of year so that if necessary the dog can stay in the car for a while.

I can't imagine camping with our dog - he'd be barking at everyone else around.

officelady Thu 25-Jul-13 19:37:24

We have taken our mutt on holiday with us ever since she was a pup - she's a cocker spaniel and reasonably well behaved (most of the time!). We've been camping, in a caravan, in holiday cottages & to Center Parcs. Our best hols have been camping - I think because she spends the entire time with us she is at her happiest. Best places to go have been either near the coast (Dorset/North Cornwall were fab) or the Wye Valley which was awesome. We visited forests, castles, rivers, even took her on a steam train and in a canoe down the river Wye. We have a lead thing that screws into the ground for when we are at the tent, so we can sit and sip wine while the kids play & watch the world go by. My advice would be research & plan - if you find somewhere where dogs are welcome to stay, google dog friendly places nearby - beaches, tourist attractions, pubs etc.

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 25-Jul-13 19:52:56

We've always taken our pampered pooch to holiday cottages. Yes it does mean that we don't wander round historical houses and other tourist attractions, but instead we have fabulous walks, and I research before I go. www.doggiepubs.org.uk is an excellent site as a starter for places to eat. We've eaten at some super places that we wouldn't otherwise have tried.

Need to bear in mind when you're going as many beaches are closed to dogs May to September.

We loved the Lakes, North Wales and Cornwall - all very dog friendly smile

topbannana Fri 26-Jul-13 12:36:02

We take ours with us and really enjoy their company. They are part of our family so it is natural for us to want to holiday with them. However certain things do make life an awful lot easier!
1. Get them used to pubs, cafes etc so you can go out and enjoy your meal/ drink without them badgering you constantly
2. Cage train them if you have not already done so. It makes it far less stressful if you stay in a holiday cottage.
3. Make a habit of leaving them on their own for periods of time before you go. Then you can pop out for an hour or so if you are content that they will not raise merry hell (this is where the cage comes in!!)
4. I may be flamed for this but my dogs are more than happy to sit in the back of the car. Obviously we don't leave them in the sun or for long periods but long enough that we can pop into the parts of properties that dogs are not allowed in. Always park in shade and with car reversed up to a wall or similar so that the boot is not easily accessible to thieves. This may not work well with some dogs but mine sit in the car for long periods between drives when they work so are more than happy to do so.
5. Have your mobile no on their tags. If they do wander off and get picked up then your home phone will be ringing while you dash round the countryside in a panic <bitter experience>

Great food for thought/ suggestions here, much appreciated.

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 26-Jul-13 12:42:27

We've had several lovely cottage holidays in Scotland with our kids and black lab. He has visited many castles and been welcomed in pubs and even restaurants. The chef actually came out to see him in one restaurant and he adored all the attention and fuss. Scotland is exceedingly dog friendly.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 26-Jul-13 13:17:06

We don't take our dog on holiday in summer, but if we want to go to an NT type place at the weekend, we often choose the sort that also has a deer park or suchlike where dogs are allowed - then one of us can walk the dog some more while the other takes DD into the house/garden. And when its cooler, parked in the shade with all the windows a bit open he's fine in the car for a while - going back periodically to check.

You just have to plan a bit more and make a few compromises to what you do. smile

MagratGarlik Fri 26-Jul-13 13:47:44

We always take ours. We work on the basis that the dogs are part of the family and therefore come too.

We stay in holiday cottages either on UK or in France and both dogs are crate trained, so we take travel crates and the dogs are crated in the cottage if we go somewhere unsuitable for dogs. To be honest, if it is very hot, the dogs are happy to be left in the cottage anyway.

We also have national trust membership and use that a lot to visit places - most places allow dogs in the grounds. We're going to Cornwall this year and even the Eden project allows dogs in, but not in the biomes.

We also go for lots of pub lunches. If you check out the 'dog friendly' website, you will be able to locate dog friendly pubs close to where you are. Otherwise, we like walking and the ds's like going on steam trains etc, so the dogs have been with us on steam trains, vintage trams, cable cars and even on a steam bus.

Cornwall is very dog friendly, we went last year and there are loads of pubs that welcome dogs, the cider factory lets dogs come on the tour, the seal sanctuary, the steam railway, loads of beaches, some shops, the tin mines.

I was really surprised just how dog friendly it was, to be honest.
The only place that the DCs might have wanted to go that's dogs were not allowed was the big theme park, but there was another smaller theme park type place that we could take them to.

We stayed in a cottage on a holiday park which was also very dog friendly.

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