Research undertaken by us shows that one in three dog owners are more likely to go on a holiday or further from home on day trips in the UK if more places are dog friendly. Whether you are staying in a hotel, a cottage or travelling to the countryside or a city, we have compiled some top tips to help you choose dog friendly accommodation in preparation for your holiday.
Choosing accommodation which is suitable for you and your dog can be quite a daunting task. Read our advice on planning and preparing for a holiday at dog friendly accommodation so that you and your dog will enjoy the stay!
Things to consider when booking accommodation
- How will you travel to your holiday destination? What mode of transport will you use and will your dog be comfortable with this? Read more information and advice about navigating public transport with your dog if you are travelling by ferry, train, coach/bus or taxi
- Make sure to choose accommodation that is 'Open for Dogs'. Research the accommodation by looking at their website and calling beforehand. You can also search dog friendly accommodation for information and reviews
- Will your dog be comfortable in a busy environment? Certain holiday destinations such as city breaks might be more crowded than others
- Research whether restaurants or attractions in the area surrounding your accommodation are dog friendly before booking your trip. Take a look at dog friendly beaches in the UK if you are planning on travelling to the seaside
- Is your dog well-trained and will they be comfortable staying in a new space away from home?
Preparing for your trip
- Make sure you take with you a dog lead, dog collar and ID tag
- Food bowl
- Water bowl
- Water (for when you stop off along the way)
- Poo bags
- Extra towels and blankets
- Dog bed
- Dog crate (if your dog feels more comfortable in these at nights)
- Any medication your dog may require
- Check who you are microchipped with and make sure your details are up to date should the worst happen
- Check any insurance documents you have in place to make sure your dog is covered. If your dog isn’t already insured, why not take a look at The Kennel Club Pet Insurance before you go away
During your stay
Once you arrive at your accommodation, make sure you look around before welcoming your dog into their new environment. It is always good to get a head start on where everything is, as no doubt your dog will be keen to explore their new surroundings. Below we have given you some top tips to make sure your stay is as enjoyable and safe for your dog as it can be:
- Read any documents provided by the accommodation on their dog policy
- Check to make sure no human food or drink provided by the accommodation host is accessible to your dog
- If your accommodation has a policy around no dogs on the furniture or bed, make sure you are aware of this and respect their requirements
- If the weather is bad during your stay, make sure you have towels ready to wash your dog
- Should your dog have an accident, make sure you know where the cleaning equipment is to quickly clean up
- If you are in the countryside, be mindful of livestock
Most importantly, enjoy your trip away with your dog. For a list of open for dog places, see the Be Dog Friendly website.
Did you know there are over 12 million dogs in the UK? Our 'Open for Dogs' survey showed that a quarter of dog owners have cancelled plans because were worried about leaving their dogs at home. Allowing your business to be dog friendly can help you to meet the needs of your customers and give dog owners one less thing to worry about.
Things to think about
If you are considering opening your accommodation for dogs, here are a list of things you should think about before adopting a dog friendly policy:
- Size of accommodation
- Are there any boundaries within your accommodation which are off limits to dogs? For example, certain rooms or furniture
- How many dogs can stay per guest?
- Any additional charges you will charge per pet
- If you are a hotel, would you consider grouping dog owners together? Most dog owners will understand if there is a little bit of noise
Preparing to make your business ‘Open for Dogs’
Once you have decided you are ready to make your accommodation 'Open for Dogs', you should make sure you put all the below in place. We have also created some downloads for you to print out to make sure you have everything you need.
- Create a 'Open for Dogs' policy
- Make your open for dogs policy visible on your website and add our 'Open for Dogs' badge so all visitors are aware that dogs are welcome
- Remind guests of any rules about dogs staying in the accommodation before they arrive and on arrival
- Download our 'Open for Dogs' sign and place this in areas safe for dog owners to take their dog. You can also order a sticker which can be sent to your home address
- Make sure you have access to an area outside where dogs are able to go to the toilet. Bins being available will help owners to dispose of their bags correctly
- We have created an 'Open for Dogs' sticker that you can request to be sent to you to show dog owners you are a dog friendly business
Fun things you can do
- Provide extra towels for dog owners to use for their dogs
- Consider having dog treats on arrival to welcome your guests
- At reception/the front of your accommodation have fresh water available for dogs staying
- Consider having an outdoor wash station for dogs