We are going to the Gower peninsular next weekend and taking dpup (just turned 1) on his first holiday
We are staying in a cottage where dogs are welcome and there are plenty of dog-friendly beaches around
I have a soft crate to take with us as his wire one is too big to move, he will be in a harness and we've got a cool mat for the car. We've also got a longline for walks in unfamiliar places where there might be sheep, travel water bottles and bowl, I've made sure we've got enough food, I've got the number for the local vet in case of emergencies, I'm getting tick stuff from the vet before we go
What am I missing? What else do I need to sort and if anyone has any handy tips that would be great (I'm probably overthinking this ...)
Don't forget the pup in your panic to remember all his stuff Seriously, you sound like you have it covered . More so than me, who leaves in the morning who has yet to go out and buy a folding water bowl as I am sick of the leaky travel bottle and portion up suitable raw food for caravan storage. Not to mention wash, dry, iron and pack our clothes. I'm a thrive on pressure type
We took a few cheap fleece throws to put over the furniture, so we didn't panic if one of the dogs jumped up or slept on the sofa all night which is what actually happened. Our cottage also had a stairgate which was really useful so if there wasn't one available I would probably try to take my own next time.
You sound far more organised than me. I'd in Fan's camp, supposed to be packing and failing dismally to get organised. Fortunately, we do the same holiday every year (thank you ds1) so I pretty much know what to take every year.
I've had a wobble about the journey and ferry this year though and spent the weekend panic buying deep window grilles, one of those locks to lock the boot open and a cooling mat just in case. Daft really, as we've been going over on the same ferry every summer for 20+ years and a variety of our dogs over the years have always been absolutely fine and it's always cool on the car deck. It was just the sad story about the pug that died on the cross channel ferry that set me off worrying, especially after how hot it was last Friday.
I worry more about the dog than the dcs too. The dogs' stuff is pretty much organised now, but I haven't even started thinking about what I need to pack for the dcs.
Thanks, can't wait to get Pip on the beach. Hope you have a great time as well - and fan too!
Dh is busy trying to work out if we can pick up a vintage caravan on our return journey. This is becoming a bit of a habit. We came back on the same date last year with a puppy in tow, this year it's looking likely to be something inanimate, but just as, if not more, expensive!
After day one of our holiday may I suggest gaffer tape? Wish I'd taped Maz's mouth shut. 100 mile an hour dog pegging it past with long line trailing snatching alternate mouthfuls of crushed shells and sea water
We managed to reign him in just in time for him to puke up shell dust before the sea water poop started. He enjoyed it but I may have to gag him tomorrow.
My pup did a sea water poo a few days ago- I had no idea that happened, in decades of dogs on the beach! She drank a lot of sea water, and sea water came out of the other end! Uggggh...Am waiting for the first time she rolls in decaying gull.
I'm thinking it might not be a huge issue for Pip. He was too precious to get his paws wet in the local stream today, despite clearly needing to cool off. He did actually stand in it for a few seconds, but only because he was watching another dog - the second he noticed his feet were wet there was a lot of diva-like behaviour as he removed himself from the offending wet-stuff with a disgusted look on his face.
Maz is the exact opposite to Pip. He hurls himself into any old pool of stinking water with gusto. With that BT otter shaped face we call him otter chops as his NN as he is always in water when he can!
how did you manage the no saltwater drinking? that was the one downside of Fitz's first day at the beach back in half term - the memory of him suddenly getting caught short while gambolling in the shallows and me without a handy poo bag having to catch it in my hands is not one I'll treasure <boak>
You will have a fabulous time. Gower is my home patch, and it is stunning and really suitable for dogs, with masses of amazing paths, commons, woods, and beaches.
Here's the link to Swansea Council website here which gives info on which beaches have dog bans and when.
There are also some lovely Forestry Commission walks in Gower, and near Swansea at Penllergaer.
Also nearby and worth a visit is Pembrey Country Park - there are miles and miles of beautiful, empty dunes and countryside, with woods as well, plus a long sandy beach. Dogs are banned on part of it, but that still leaves an enormous expanse you can walk on. The park itself is fab for picnics (it has BBQ areas) and is so big it rarely gets busy, as there are lots of lovely little corners you can explore.
Gower has some of the finest beaches in the UK. Safety note - some of the southern ones such as Pobbles, Three Cliffs etc are prone to weaver fish in the summer so don't walk on those barefoot. Most years, someone gets hurt. Also, some of the inland commons near Pennard, Lunnon, Ilston etc. have adders - not a major problem, but just be aware of them sunbathing.
Rhossili is stunning, but I love Whitford Burrows (NT) for dogs - not suitable for swimming due to currents. This means it is often v quiet in summer. Oxwich is amazing - often popular, but so big, you just need to walk a bit past the busy bits and then it's all yours.
Three Cliffs and Tor Bay are stunning.
Bishopston Valley a nice walk. Clyne Valley links Gowerton, Dunvant and Blackpill - lots of lovely walks in the wood, and you can cycle down to the prom.
Whatever you do, don't forget to have a Joe's icecream. Swansea expats practically salivate on the spot if you mention this. It's a Swansea institution - the parlours are in Mumbles and at the bottom of Brynhyfryd Road,near the Guildhall.
You can pre-register your dog with DogLost Website - brilliant idea, as you can upload all their details, pic etc.
YY to plenty of throws and towels, and a couple of spare leads/collars in case they roll in something dead and theirs need washing. Small bottle of dog shampoo also handy.
Scuttle thanks for mentioning the weever fish. Just looked up our local beach, bearing in mind it's the same sea and found out there have been quite a few stings in the last couple of years, whereas they were only found north of that area previously.
Typically ds1 has just started to wade out to the sandbank with dh. I've only bought them surf shoes and have just read the soles won't be tough enough to avoid a sting. The beach has two sandbanks, which leaves a lovely shallow area for paddling that gets warmed beautifully by the sun. That's what attracts people to the beach, but it seems warm, shallow water is also what weevers are attracted to.
Don't think I'll be mentioning it to ds1 or he's likely to refuse to go on the beach, let alone in the water. Will have to get dh to be vigilant instead. Would be worried about the dogs stepping on one, but doubt either will go in the water unprompted anyway!
The Gower is dh's favourite spot, based on many happy childhood holidays. I've only ever passed through - perhaps we'll get there when we've finally found and renovated the vintage caravan we're looking for now our beloved VW Camper has been sold.
It was the first AONB to be declared in the UK, and has everything you could possibly want - stunning beaches, gorgeous countryside, castles, romantic ruins, more history than you can shake a stick at, all sorts of interesting geology, amazing wildlife and birds.
With Joe's icecream, some good pubs for the humans to refuel in, and of course famous cockles and laverbread from Swansea market, you have everything you need. Good local beer - Felinfoel Double Dragon.
I actually think it is even nicer in winter. When I was growing up, we would always spend Christmas Day having a really long walk on Oxwich Beach - you could walk for miles and hardly see anyone.
Indeed to you selling the Gower area to us Scuttle. Sounds lovely!
I am hoping that Maz just learnt his lesson after the first day as we haven't done anything different.
I have uploaded a post dip pic for you all to get you all excited for your own beach walks. Maz is having ball though is currently snoring before back on the beach tonight. We are at Reighton Sands and I am surprised at how nice the beach is. The weather is helping no end though!