Recent data suggests that people in Britain now spend approximately £450 million each year taking their pets on holiday, with a third of pet owners spending an additional £126 on average in order to keep their pet with them.
That’s some serious cash just waiting for businesses to lap up and become dog friendly, which we’re definitely seeing more of across the UK and further afield.
So, if you want to pack up Rover in your car and take him on a seaside jaunt, forest retreat or city break, here are my best tips and advice for finding the best dog friendly accommodation.
Read blogs during your research phase
My fellow bloggers are a goldmine when it comes to advice and inspiration. Not only can they offer ideas for days out with your pooch, but they’ll also recommend the best dog friendly accommodation, tried and tested by them and their own dogs.
Some of my favourite doggie blogs and dog friendly travel blogs are:
- Travelnuity – lots of great advice and ideas for travelling around Europe with your pooch
- Steph and the Spaniels – inspiration for dog friendly days out and holidays in the UK, and a few pet friendly European destinations thrown in as well
- Pets Pyjamas – so much useful advice for owning a dog, as well as travelling with one
- Styletails – where pampered pooches go for luxury travel ideas and days out
- Dog Friendly Cornwall – a Cornish holiday is something most dogs will love
- Go Pet Friendly – around the world dog travel advice and inspiration galore!
Take a look at dog friendly accommodation booking websites
As the pet travel industry is positively booming, most of the top accommodation booking websites allow you to filter by “pet friendly”, “dog friendly”, “pets allowed” or similar. There are even some websites dedicated solely to dog friendly accommodation.
Here are some of the best websites to use:
- Hotels.com – Whether it’s a chain hotel, privately run B&B, glamping resort, or countryside cottage, Hotels.com is a great option (especially if you’re on a budget). They’ve got a “Pet Friendly” option within the ‘Popular Filters’ section, or within the ‘Facilities’ section. You can even collect ‘Rewards’, which result in a free night!
- Booking.com – Similar to Hotels.com in their accommodation offers, and they also have a “Pets allowed” filter option within the ‘Facility’ section.
- Expedia – Hotels, glamping resorts, B&Bs, cottages – whichever type of accommodation you need, Expedia will have it. You can filter by “Pets allowed” within the ‘Amenities’ filter.
- Holiday Cottages – Finding a gorgeous cottage in the British countryside that allows dogs to roam around has never been easier with Holiday Cottages – they have over 2,500 dog friendly options!
- Pitchup – If your dog is up to a spot of camping in the great British countryside, then Pitchup.com allows you to filter thousands of campsites and caravan parks by “Dogs allowed”.
- Your Dog Holidays – Owned by the same company that runs popular doggie magazine, Your Dog, Your Dog Holidays has lots of great dog friendly accommodation options to choose from around the UK.
- Sawday’s – Beautiful country homes and cottages await you via this website. They even have an entire page dedicated to dog friendly breaks.
Shandos from Travelnuity has also created this great ‘how-to’ guide that shows you where the dog friendly filters are for popular accommodation booking sites: Hotels.com, Booking.com and Airbnb.
Don’t forget to look at sites like Airbnb
Speaking of Airbnb, don’t forget to look into sites like this that allow you to book accommodation directly with “hosts”.
Sometimes, you’ll be renting a room in someone’s house, other times you can rent the full apartment or house, and you can even find some really interesting properties like treehouses, log cabins or even castles!
Review sites are chock full of useful information
Review sites like TripAdvisor are full of useful information on whether accommodation really is as dog friendly as their website or social media would have you believe.
You can also use these sites to find out whether the local area is also dog friendly, and where you may be able to go for food or to the beach with your canine pal by your side.
One tip is to search in the review section itself for “dog” or “dog friendly”, as that will then filter the comments to those that are most useful to you and your search. This is really easy to do in TripAdvisor, and most other review sites will also have some sort of search functionality as well.
Phone ahead before booking & ask lots of questions
Another way to find out whether your chosen accommodation is dog friendly, or just dog tolerant, is to phone ahead before booking.
You can then question the staff on bringing your dog with you, including any restrictions such as number or size of dogs, and their reaction will often be able to tell you all you need to know.
Make sure you ask plenty of questions. At a minimum, you’ll need to find out:
- Are there any breed, age or size restrictions?
- What additional fees (if any) will your dog, or multiple dogs incur?
- Are the charges per dog? Per night? Or a fixed price no matter how long you stay?
- Will you need to bring a proof of vaccination or any other paperwork? (It’s recommended you travel with all your dog’s important paperwork anyway, just in case).
- Are you able to leave your dog alone in your room or property? (Although this isn’t really recommended as your dog may feel worried being somewhere new alone).
- How secure is the property?
- Where will your dog be able to do his or her business?
- Does the accommodation provide any extras for your dog, such as bedding, water bowls, towels or treats? What else will need to be on your dog travel packing list?
Always remember to investigate the surrounding areas
There’s no point finding the perfect dog friendly accommodation, only to find that your dog isn’t able to join you anywhere in the surrounding neighbourhood, city or town.
Before booking, find out whether there are any dog friendly cafes, bars or restaurants nearby, what are the local dog walking routes like, and whether the local beaches are dog friendly.
There are some great websites around that will tell you all you need to know, as well as trusty review sites again. I’ve found The Beach Guide to be great for finding dog friendly beaches in the UK, Dog Friendly Britain for finding a variety of doggie activities and day trips.
And of course, I’m going to circle back around and say check out all the websites I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post for more advice and inspiration.
Bude in Cornwall is one of the most dog friendly places in the UK, so I’m also going to take the time to recommend you visit.
I hope these tips and nuggets of advice for finding the best dog friendly accommodation have been helpful. Good luck in your search, and I hope you and your dog have a fantastic holiday!
Do you have any other tips not listed? Let me know in the comments…
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