Everything you need for that perfect trip with your animal companion. We’ve reviewed the best pet-friendly hotels, cottages and holidays both in the UK and abroad.
Once you have booked your hotel or cottage, you still need to ring ahead to inform them that you will be bringing a pet. This means they can prepare for their stay (such as providing bedding or bowls), and can also leave enough time to clean after you are gone.
Check what is provided. Will your host or hotel give you some bowls, treats and bedding or do you need to take them with you? Don’t forget things like towels and food, too.
There may also be extra charges in place for some hotels or cottages if you take a dog. This will be added on to your bill. It can vary between a few pounds to over £30, so factor it in.
How confident is your dog? Have they been away from home in strange surroundings before? If they don’t like new places, they could easily become overwhelmed. Opt for smaller hotels or cottages if you think they would prefer a home-from-home scenario.
Also, check how many dogs you can take. Some hotel rooms or cottages will only allow one, but others may accept two or three per room or property.
Finally, one of the most important factors – safety. Ensure their microchip data is up-to-date with your home address and number. You may also want to get a temporary ID tag with the destination of your stay on, such as the hotel and number. Also, check where the nearest vet is, and double-check everything in the room is okay.
You may be limited on where you can stay and go. Some will allow dogs into all rooms, and others will have just a few select rooms on offer (for instance, those on the ground floor or at the back of the hotel). This is another reason why informing ahead is so vital.
The social areas are also a concern. Are dogs allowed in the main dining and bar areas, or are they only allowed in rooms? Maybe they can go into an area with a limited area, or just outside (which isn’t good in winter). Remember that guests without pets may be staying too.
Pay attention to hotel rules. The dogs may not be allowed on the human beds or certain areas of the grounds. If they are, there could be strict rules about leads and picking up after them.
Some hotels also request that your dog is never left alone in the room. This could be an issue if you want to eat without them or explore somewhere local which isn’t dog-friendly. You may therefore want somewhere with a dog-sitting service, or even to check out a local day kennel.
Again, there may be rules from owners. Clean up after your dog when they have been to the toilet, don’t allow them into certain rooms or upstairs, and don’t leave them alone could be some.
Check where you’re staying in terms of noise. If you’ll have close neighbours, your dog barking could be an issue. Similarly, if you will be in the town centre, the noise could disturb your dog.
Just because a cottage is dog-friendly also doesn’t mean that the outside areas are secure and safe. If your dog has a habit of burrowing under fences or jumping low walls, don’t allow them out without a lead. You may be best with a very secure yard.