Since the pandemic, airport chaos, cost of living hikes, and wanting holidays with their canine companion, Brits are opting for UK staycations instead of holidaying abroad. We searched for a dog-friendly self-catering holiday property, found a suitable directory, and booked a second time with them. What things must you consider before holidaying with a dog and when staying in a holiday property?
We booked with Holiday Cottages directory which caters for dog-friendly holiday homes and properties if you prefer no pets. Properties have been inspected before being approved for advertising. The website is easy to use. You select your dates, how many in your party and location. A list of properties appears for those dates. You can then filter if searching for a dog-friendly holiday. Each property has an overview then what you need to know about the property.
There will be a small charge to take your dog. We paid £20 for a week to take Teddy, our 63kg rescue dog, and stayed in a small cottage for two in North Yorkshire.
What’s on offer with Holiday Cottages:
- 60% of owners accept pets
- Pet-free accommodation
- Accommodation with a hot tub
- Properties are available throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
- Cater to families, couples and group getaways.
- Locations include rural, British seasides, cities and areas of Outstanding Beauty
My YouTube video will give you an idea of the high standard you will find on Holiday Cottages directory.
Things to pack for your dog’s stay
This was Teddy’s first holiday. We packed what we needed for him but realised we needed a few more items when we arrived.
I recommend packing the following useful things for your stay in a holiday home any time of the year.
A mat is recommended for food spillage all year round.
Towel or pet wipes:
Outdoor walks during the autumn or winter will result in muddy or wet paws. Pack doggy wet wipes to clean paws followed by a good rub down with your dog’s towel.
When staying at any property, cleaning up after your dog is polite.
Properties will have disposal bins for waste.
Dog bed, mat or blanket:
To keep your dog calm and relaxed, pack an item with a scent that offers familiarity and represents safety. A bed, a comfy mat or a blanket is ideal. Teddy likes his blanket. We did pack his bed (Teddy is 63kg) but our boy preferred laying on the two mats in the kitchen area and your dog may find another spot too. If your dog suffers from anxiety, place the item on the property before your dog enters.
Some dogs get agitated in unfamiliar surroundings and without smells, they know. Consider investing in a calming spray and use it when you arrive. I use Pet Remedy spray for my cat. It is suitable for dogs too and is available in a 15ml, 200ml and 400ml spray. Alternatively, there are calming wipes and I have used these for vet trips to relax my cat. The brand is highly recommended.
In the garden and high visibility for your dog:
Teddy has an LED light collar which flashes. It has three settings: steady flash, faster flash or static, and is USB rechargeable. I recommend you buy a flashing dog collar for your dog and I found this one on Etsy at half the price compared to Amazon and eBay. Teddy’s is a plastic tube but these Etsy ones are flat nylon with a metal loop to attach a lead.
A flashing collar is recommended for walks on holiday and at home. You want to see where your dog is in any holiday cottage garden, especially if outdoor lighting does not illuminate the entire garden. That’s why I think it important to invest in a LED collar.
I recommend keeping your dog on an extendable lead during outdoor nighttime toilet breaks, combined with the LED flashing collar. Keep your dog visible in a stranger’s garden.
Teddy’s extendable lead is not Hi-Vis; for nighttime walks or in the garden, it is something I recommend you purchase for visibility. On Etsy, I found a Neon Reflective Retractable Lead 5m and 8m.
The link above shows a dog being walked at night and the visibility of the neon reflective lead.
And because dog theft is increasing, I recommend investing in an anti-cut, anti-theft dog lead and other accessories for your holiday.
Important things to do before you take your dog on holiday
Your nearest veterinary practice:
Your dog might be stung, injure itself or suffer heatstroke so wherever you are on holiday, ensure you know where the nearest veterinary practice is.
Nearest veterinary practices to Blakey View Cottage in Castleton, North Yorkshire:
- Clevedale, Whitby, YO21 3JP (approximately 15 miles away)
- The Beck Veterinary Practice, Whitby, YO21 1HL
- Wilton Hose Veterinary Clinic, Guisborough, TS14 6JA (about 9 miles away)
Are microchipping details up to date?
Please ensure your dog is microchipped before your holiday. Pets get lost on holiday – don’t take a chance. Your microchip company may charge up to £20 to update your contact details and activate a lost pet service. Pet Database is free and your can register or transfer current data across.
- Chips can leave the body through the skin, move or malfunction. Ask your veterinary nurse to scan your dog to ensure the chip is working correctly
- Have you moved? Changed your mobile number? Do you have an emergency contact? Do you have rescue contact details if your adopted dog has Rescue Backup (RBU)? Call your microchip company or update online
- Do the above in plenty of time because microchip databases charge up to £20 to update your details. Instead, you might want to transfer your microchip data to Pet Database. It is a free service and you can update details unlimited. If a professional scans your pet you receive an alert. I interviewed them in August 2022 and here’s the video
- After the microchip implant, did you contact the microchip company to register the chip and give your contact details? If you didn’t, the database would store the chip number and no contact details. This is an unregistered chip so you won’t be reunited with your missing pet
- Add medical information on your pet’s records if your database allows it
- Make sure the chip belongs to a legal database. Fifteen microchip databases are authorised and you can read the DEFRA-Approved list here
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that a dog must wear a collar and identification tag in a public place. The tag must include:
- Your dog’s name (Sussex Police recommend using your surname for safety reasons)
- Owner’s name, address and postcode
- A telephone number is optional but I recommend including it to help reunite you both quicker
I would consider including this information too:
- Add medical information on the reverse
- Back up tag with your holiday accommodation
Pet Database have a Smart Tag. It is the only thing they charge for. My cat Tabitha is with Pet Database and she has the Smart Tag and I will be making a video showing its function. The tag has a QR code and a 6-letter reference. Using a SmartPhone camera you scan the QR code which reveals the owner’s contact details. Or the finder can call Pet Database and give the 6-letter reference to a staff member. An owner will receive alerts when the tag has been scanned and the location. The Smart Tag is a backup to the microchip.
Heatstroke can kill cats and dogs:
If your holiday is peak season and you are out walking with your dog, please remember that outdoor temperatures as low as 16 to 19 degrees Celcius can cause difficulties for flat-faced breeds, and overweight and large dogs.
Any dog can be at risk of heatstroke in outdoor temperatures of 20 to 23 degrees Celcius, especially if overweight or has health issues.
As temperatures climb, the risk factors become more severe. For more information on heatstroke for dogs with veterinary literature, please read my article called Dogs and the Sun. It gives the following important information:
- The 7 Second Rule
- Initial first aid if you suspect heatstroke
- Preventing heatstroke
- Telling you straight – a fatality can occur in 15 minutes
- Vet information: Know the Signs
- Vet information: breakdown of temperatures that can harm your dog
Essential Items to Pack for Your Dog’s Camping Holiday is about your dog’s ‘suitcase’ – stuff for the great outdoors!
Do not risk walking your dog off-lead in areas where sheep roam
You may book a holiday property where sheep roam freely or are in a nearby field. Please keep your dog on a lead. Even the most obedient dog can change and give chase. If you book Blakey View Cottage, sheep will walk past each morning so please be observant if your dog is in the garden. And if visiting the North York Moors, please keep your dog on a lead as sheep roam freely.
Please read about sheep worrying. Locations with sheep might be unsuitable for a hound breed.
We took Teddy onto the Moors. His video shows his reaction to sheep and his walk shows an area of outstanding beauty. Teddy picked up the scent of rabbits and pushed his nose into rabbit holes, so if you have a small terrier-type dog, it is advisable to keep them secure rather than lose your dog down a rabbit hole.
Watch the Videos: Teddy shows you local walks
- 60% of holiday properties are dog friendly
- Holiday Cottages covers England, Scotland, Wales
- Properties will be of a high standard
- Easy-to-use booking system
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Poppy’s Pets has a column in an East Yorkshire newspaper