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Puppies in holiday cottages!

(51 Posts)
Solo2 Thu 26-May-11 09:51:01

Whose taken their pup away on a UK holiday cottage break? How do you ensure that pup doesn't damage the property?

Rollo - who's now 4 months but will be almost 6 months by the time of our hol. - chews the edges of kitchen units, leaps up on surfaces to drag anything down and is really only allowed, still, in the kitchen, unless totally supervised every second! So he's not really used to a free run of a whole house.

We have a dog gate on the kitchen entrance but how can we limit his freedom/ damage at a hol. cottage? We have a tiny car and already I'm not sure how to manage all the extra stuff for him for the hol., including a soft fabric fold-away crate that I'll need to buy before we go - in out little VW Polo.

Are there any easily transported 'barriers' etc that you can get to restrict access for a puppy in a bungalow style and fairly open plan cottage?

Please can people share their experiences and ideas? Obviously Rollo is still in training all the time but if I imagine he's about where he is now, in terms of general puppy destructiveness, then I am slightly worried about him ruining someone else's property, even though dogs are allowed at the cottage.

CoffeeIsMyFriend Thu 26-May-11 11:41:55

My puppy was crated when we werent there, and they were both outside on long lines most of the time as the weather was so good. Boy dog is not an issue - not a chewer, girlie is if she gets a notion, so crate it is.

It really wasnt an issue for us when we were away, she was so knackered after being out and about she was desperate for her bed. grin

MotherJack Thu 26-May-11 11:47:01

Try asking the owners if they have a pressure mounted gate you can borrow. Some do if they are child friendly... although perhaps not for a bungalow but has to be worth asking.

PurpleFrog Thu 26-May-11 13:07:54

We are going away in July and intend to take Rory's normal 42" crate for use inside the accommodation. It will fit in our small trailer (She says confidently, but makes note to actually measure the inside of the trailer soon to double-check!).

Me thinks you need to buy a bigger car!

We bought a fabric crate from Pets at Home before we got Rory. We intended to use it in the boot of the car, but quickly realised that crocodile lab pup and fabric crate were not going to be compatible. It is their fabric crate recommended for lab-sized dogs, but since Rory is already HUGE I can't really see him spending any time in it. Time to sell it unused on Gumtree, I think !

Lizcat Thu 26-May-11 13:19:00

You need to check the contract of the property you are renting. We allow dogs, but they are not allowed to be left alone in the property, they are not allowed on any of the furniture and tenants are financial responsible for any damage beyond wear and tear. As a dog owner myself I do understand, but I have to impose tight controls as my housekeeper has to turn my property and have it perfect for the next tenants in 4 hours on a Saturday. Not to mention the many many others she and her staff also turn that day.

sb6699 Thu 26-May-11 13:58:41

The only thing I can suggest is a crate. If you dont have room then you could buy one when you get there.

I really do feel your pain but I wouldnt have taken my dog to stay at someone else's property at that stage. He would have literally chewed anything and just because dogs are allowed doesnt mean that you wont face a huge bill from the owners for anything he has destroyed.

I assume you already know this but lots of toys/bones really help with this.

kid Thu 26-May-11 15:38:08

I stayed in a bungalow with my pup when he was 7 months old. Part of the contract was to never leave him alone.
Dogs were not allowed in the bedrooms or on the furniture. Unfortunately, we allow our dog in bedrooms and on settee at home so it was very hard to enforce for the weekend.
I did Hoover everywhere before we left so they wouldn't know he had been on settee. Unfortunately, the muddy footprint on the dicey cover gave away the fact he had been on the bed!

Solo2 Thu 26-May-11 19:01:16

Oh help! We intend to buy a fabric crate but it'll be smaller than his 48ins heavy metal one that won't even nearly fit in our car....I don't see how I can also pack a safety gate/playpen....Our dog trainer suggested that provided he gets mroning and afternoon exrecise a susual, we shouldn't take him out on the main beach trips as it's too much walking for him/ too hot. She said to leave him in his crate whilst we're out...but a smaller than usual crate that's fabric...an unfamiliar environment....no delineation betwene dog space and family space....is this going to be a recipe for disaster?

There's no cottage hol. contract that I know of. I found the let on the intenet, linked to a company and have had direct email contact with the owner and have mentioned the dog. She hasn't said anything at all about damage by dogs etc and I hadn't wanted to broach the subject...

The only alternative would be to leave Rollo with his one-to-one trainer for the week (which I think would cost us at least £ 300.00, as she charges £40.00 per day (not nights) for dog care. I'm trying out leaving him with her for one day next week for the first time ever and even then I'm not sure he'll be OK away from us....

Has anyone else any good and bad stories to tell about taking a 6 month old pup away on a UK cottage hol? This is our only holiday of the year (can't afford anything else) and the DCs always get hyper excited about it and it'll be awful if it's a stressful nightmare/ disaster.....

minimu1 Thu 26-May-11 19:03:09

We always take our dogs on holiday with us BUT I can absolutely guarantee that they will not destroy or chew the cottage. Puppies we have to adapt out plans big time.

Dogs may be allowed in the cottage but there are usually quite strict rules you have to keep to eg no dogs upstairs or on furniture, pick up after dogs (obviously) and you will have to pay for any damage, dogs not to be left unattended in the cottage.

Taking puppies away is a nightmare and I would think carefully about it. Not only will you have to have eyes in the back of your head to make sure he is not chewing, is the property secure, can he escape from the garden how on earth will you manage if you have to have him on a lead all the time you are outside the cottage. Where will you leave him when you have a meal out, what if the boys want to go to a theme park, shopping, museum, cinema etc.

Also the other major problem is that at 6 months he will still be on restrictive exercise. He should not be having more than half an hour exercise twice a day. How will that work out when you have the boys to keep entertained. A day out all day will be way too much for a puppy.

Personally I would find a good puppy sitter and go on holidays with your boys, you have a break and a proper rest and be assured that Rollo is happy being looked after at home. It would be cheaper than having to pay for a new cottage kitchen

Solo2 Thu 26-May-11 19:28:25

OK Minimu...in the light of all that, I've just emailed our puppy trainera dn asked her about whether or not she could have him and how much she might charge. Oh dear...not even sure she CAN have him or will and don't know anyone else yet that I'd trust with this golden fur ball....But thanks for being so candid.

I must guiltily admit that a week's break from the 5am start and ongoing demands of a puppy sounds very attractive right now, as Rollo is already showing signs of an early adolescence at only 4 months! At least, he's starting not to do what I tell him, when he's been fine before and is getting every more massive and stronger too! But would he be OK without me?

minimu1 Thu 26-May-11 19:48:27

He honestly will be fine without you. Dogs are so fickle he will love it when you come back and give you the best welcome ever but he will have fun and enjoy being with someone else for a short while.

I actually think it is quite a good idea to get dogs used to being left for a short time with other people just in case you ever have an emergency for example at least you would not have to worry if the dog is ok.

Ask around locally many people do dog sit and have dogs at their houses if they have recommendations and you are happy with them you could leave Rollo for a day and see how it went first.

To be honest I think you deserve a break it is your holiday as well grin and you can catch up on some sleep and then be refreshed to deal with the joys of a teenager goldie!

herladyship Thu 26-May-11 22:51:52

I agree, leave pupster behind & enjoy a break with your children smile

We are going to Scotland in august when Fraser, our pup, will be 7 months old.. No way is he coming with us! We are going go take him camping for a night or two with our older dog sometime over the summer, to ease our guilt blush

Solo2 Fri 27-May-11 11:54:02

Well the dog trainer probably can't have him as she probably already has another dog to look after who doesn't get on with dogs generally....So I may well be back to thinking of ways to make this work, with Rollo in tow....

I guess I could try to hire a trailer for the car and that way I could see if I could bring his playpen and larger crate and buy an expanding and removable pet gate. I have asked our trainer if she knows of anyone else who might have our puppy but that would be another leap of faith, as I'm already nervous about leaving him with someone we/he knows and like/s.

Solo2 Sun 05-Jun-11 19:20:22

We'll have to take Rollo away on holiday with us, as his trainer can't have him and I can't find anyone else I trust to have him. So what do I need to do to make this as manageable as possible? I've also found out that my car can't fit a trailer v easily or it'd be £1,000 to get one fitted. So effectively, we have the interior of a VW Polo - but not the car boot where Rollo travels - and 2 DCs plus me and all the luggage we can take to be fitted around us.

Rollo isn't used to unsupervised access to a home, although he has free run of a medium large kitchen at home and I haven't been too bothered about him chewing skirting boards etc. He has a massive and v heavy crate that I just can't see getting on or in our car but the alternative is a smaller crate we could buy but it wouldn't be ideal if we're having to leave him in this every time we leave the cottage...

Anyway, some questions about puppies staying away from home....will a 5 and a bit month old puppy freak out in a new environment that probably smells of other dogs that have stayed there? Will we really have to not leave him at all for the first two days or so (only there for 6 days) or can he happily be crated for a couple of hrs or so, after his morning walk, whilst we go out alone? Will he forget all his toilet training ina different environment? He's been totally toilet trained almost since the start and always, always lets me know the minute he really need to go and I always respond quickly.

He recently spent a trial day at the trainers house and with her two dogs and was apparently really settled, happy and relaxed and the 'perfect puppy', except for trying to hump her male dog! Might he be similarly OK in a holiday cottage or would this just be if we're with him the entire time?

Incidentally, my DCs and I won't want or need to go to many places that don't allow dogs and will most likely spend out time on the beach or crabbing on the quayside. However, I realise that we can't take Rollo out for longer than 30 min walks twice a day but if I managed to get him sedentary alongside me, whilst my DCs went off nearby to play (they like to dig channels to the sea in the sand etc), would Rollo be OK accompanying us for longer than 30 mins?

Anyway, please can someone convince me that this is going to work and that my DCs - who only gte one holiday a year, won't find it ruined by us needing to attend to the puppy's needs? Who's done this successfully before - obviously in my case, with only me as the adult there and no other adult to help out?

BitOfFun Sun 05-Jun-11 19:27:48

I've got a pen rather than a crate- it is quite big and folds flat, I will try to link it for you. That should fit into your car. I also have a small pet carrier which I use in the car for our pup, and she sleeps in it when we are out for the day if necessary (it comes in handy when having outdoor pub lunches etc). I have recently bought a harness too, which attaches to a seatbelt in the car- this kind of thing will at least free up your bootspace.

How many children have you got? I am struggling to imagine how you will wedge luggage in around them for a family holiday without use of the boot.

BitOfFun Sun 05-Jun-11 19:29:29

This is the pen- you can make it into any shape really.

chickchickchicken Sun 05-Jun-11 19:40:30

have you checked that you are allowed to leave dog alone in holiday accommodation? all the places we have ever stayed dog cannot be left alone.

i would either take the dog and accept that the holiday will be geared around his needs or preferably find someone he can stay with. i was lucky in that when my oldie was a pup and ds was about 5 he loved doing any activity that involved her and also she was small enough to carry so she could walk, rest, be carried throughout the time we were out.

i am not an expert on joint protection but i would think that you could extend the 30mins provided dog isnt running around. if some of the day is spent sat down while dcs play then i would keep dog on lead next to me. just make sure you have fresh water with you and a bowl

mouseanon Sun 05-Jun-11 19:55:26

You can't usually leave dogs alone in holiday cottages. We have done but we know absolutely that he doesn't chew, go upstairs, or even get up on furniture. It's still a PITA taking him though because obviously he needs walks before and after we go out for the day and we don't like to leave him for very long so it does cut into the time you can spend on days out. Also takes up so much room in the car. Also he gets very unsettled staying in strange houses. We came to the conclusion a few years ago that we are all much happier with him going to a boarding kennels. We have much more freedom on our holiday and he really loves the kennels he goes to (drags me in there when we arrive) which are obviously very familiar to him after going there 2 or 3 times a year.

I think it helps that I used to work in a kennels and I know that the vast majority of the dogs were perfectly happy in there. The staff all loved dogs (that's why they worked there), and genuinely took great care of them. We also took in rescue GSDs and dobies and put in a lot of effort rehabilitating them. There were a few that took a day or so to settle, but invariably they were fine after that. In your situation I would personally check out the local kennels and seriously consider it as an option. Taking him with you sounds like it could be a (very expensive) disaster. Chewing up the cottage is really, seriously, not going to go down well. It seems to me, from what you've said, the only way to avoid that happening is to spend the entire holiday sat in the cottage with him!

Solo2 Mon 06-Jun-11 11:52:36

Bitoffun, thanks for the advice and the link. We actually already have a dogpen but again it's the sturdy, extra large type and folded down, it wouldn't fit in our tiny car! Rollo's dog crate is also a sturdy metal one and folded won't even come near to fitting in the car....I'm not sure if I could get either of these also on a roof rack and am looking into getting a a roof rack fitted...but we're talking massive and really heavy too....

I've got twin 10 yr old boys and they already know they'll have to have a lot of luggage crammed around them in the back and under their feet but I've really no idea how to get everything in. I've looked into hiring a van but it's v expensive for a whole week.

Chick...there are no terms and conditions for this hol. cottage so I don't know whether or not I can leave Rollo alone in the property. I assume that if you can't, then they would have told us and I've emailed the owners to ask whether there's a petgate/ safety gate at the property but haven't yet heard back from them. On the one hand, I don't want to flag up that our dog is a 5 to 6 month old puppy. On the other hand, it'd be good to be clear about things.

I've searched the internet for kennelling and have the same reaction wherever I look: Rollo is too young to be happy outside a family home and just being in pen with occasional outside access but shared attention with many other dogs....well, I don't feel happy that he'd be OK. I'd really only have considered our trainer as she knows him and I know her.

The best solution would be to be able to bring with us Rollo's crate and pen and a moveable/ expandable pet gate....but then I'm still stuck because of the size of our car and my twins are desperate for us to buy and take a dinghy with us this year!!!!

The other things of concern to me are how to take Rollo out for his usual 5.30am toileting and last thing at night (10.15pm) toileting, when the cottage only has a small courtyard, possibly with no grass and he might not be willing to 'go' on this. I can't/ won't leave my twins alone and asleep in the cottage......

Jaynerae Mon 06-Jun-11 12:17:20

Solo2 not wishing to add to your problems, but have you thought how you are going to be able to watch boys in Dinghy and look after pup?

Lizcat Mon 06-Jun-11 14:01:51

Toileting, our holiday property is a flat so first thing in the morning and last thing at night when mobile mop goes for a wee I whizz him around the square with DD asleep in bed. I can see the flat the entire time, DD knows not to answer the door and to be quite frank if I am at the bottom of the garden I am further away than the opposite side of the square.
Again as with others I don't want to add to your problems, but between April and September many beaches don't allow dogs - so you need to check out about the ones you are hoping to visit.
I do think you need to think this through really carefully and make some quite detailed plans for this holiday.
Finally you need to get bothered about things like your skirting boards partly because chewing wood is not good for a pup, but also your pup needs to learn that somethings belong to him and he can chew them and others belong to you and can't be chewed.

minimu1 Mon 06-Jun-11 14:47:24

My motto in life is if worrying about things takes more time than the actual thing I am worrying about, it is time to take action. Eg you are going away for a week but are having to make major plans and worrying about the outcome of the holiday for months in advance. No brainer find a good kennel leave Rollo and have a good relaxing week with your boys. Rollo will be fine 1000 of dogs are left every day in kennels and some even learn to enjoy it. It will be good for his socialisation!

If your boys were more on board then it is certainly doable but you seem to suggest that looking after the boys and Rollo will be entirely down to you - that is no holiday in my opinion it is even harder than being at home!

I also think you do need to have a backup plan for someone to help you with Rollo. They may be times when he can not come with you - god forbid what if one of the boys needs medical attention Rollo needs to have a safe happy secure place apart from your home where he can go if emergencies ever arise. What if work takes you away for a long day. He will be happier if started at an early age, obviously research the kennels well. Some are fantastic and have webcams so you can check on your dogs, some take them for twice daily walks in lovely countryside some have large outside areas where suitable dogs can play together.

Lizcat Mon 06-Jun-11 15:22:23

Minimu you always put things so well and I was trying to find the right way of saying exactly the same, but clearly failed and said something else instead.

exexpat Mon 06-Jun-11 15:42:03

Also you say "my DCs and I won't want or need to go to many places that don't allow dogs and will most likely spend out time on the beach or crabbing on the quayside" - most beaches I know that are popular in summer ban dogs from April to September. Have you checked whether dogs are even allowed on the beach where you are going?

We took our dog on holiday to Cornwall when he was 10 months old. He couldn't come out on most day trips with us because he wasn't allowed on all the beaches, so I had to walk him in the mornings, leave him shut in the kitchen at the cottage during the day (luckily that particular place didn't specifically say you couldn't leave dogs alone, and there was a decent sized kitchen with slate floor and door which could be shut - and he was past the chewing stage by then), not spend as long at the beach or go as far as we usually might, rush home early, walk him again....

It wasn't a very relaxing holiday, so the two summers since then he has stayed with a dog sitter while we have gone on holiday - much better all round, as he loves all the walks and company at the dog sitter's. In your position I would be doing my best to find someone to look after him at home while you go away. He will be fine without you.

mdoodledoo Mon 06-Jun-11 15:54:59

Kennels or hire a van would be my advice. I would suggest that kennels are the best choice - you get a holiday and the pup gets socialised and well cared for at the same time. From what you're saying the situation with the cottage has the potential to be very difficult and it may even be disruptive or damaging to his training to have a new set of rules etc in a new house which mean he's getting told off lots, or at least feeling your anxiety and wondering what he's done wrong. At the kennels he'd be in a wholly dog-centred environment and may even benefit from some aspects (routine, 24hr company etc) - not ideal but it does feel better than taking him away with you based on the info you've given.

This is a short term problem, one week, in a long doggie life - you'll have plenty of holidays with him in future years when he's able to behave and join in beautifully.

If you really can't bear to leave him then maybe sell the holiday on to friends or family and have a 'staycation' at home with him - making every day a holiday for you guys by doing special things together, but giving the pup a chance to keep routine.

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