The travel arrangements you make for your pets are dictated by several factors. For example: are you going to travel in the UK or abroad? And are you intending to take the animal with you, or leave it behind? In either case specific arrangements must be made to ensure peace of mind for you and happiness and safety for your pet.
There is, however, one basic tenet you can adhere to in order to make sure that your pet is properly accounted for in your decisions. Think about the whole holiday rather than just the cottage or room you are going to rent. It is, after all, all very well to find a dog friendly cottage – but what if there are no dog friendly restaurants or pubs in the area?
The point of a holiday is to enjoy yourself. You can’t do that if your pet is unhappy – nor yet can you do it if your pet’s presence curtails your ability to eat out or go on day trips. This means finding out as much as you can about the area you intend to visit. For instance: are there kennels nearby, at which you can leave your dog for the day if you decide to go on a trip? How about walks? Are there plenty of places nearby you can walk the dog in without getting bored, or getting lost?
To a degree, you need to think about what you expect from your holiday and decide whether this is suited to bringing your animal at all. If, for example, your idea of a relaxing break involves long walks in the country, then that is perfect for taking a dog. Both you and the animal will derive a great deal of benefit from each other’s company in this case. If, however, you intend to spend your time in bars, doing water sports, playing golf, or going on day trips to country houses – then it might be better to leave the pets at home. In this case, you either need to leave your animals with someone you trust to look after them; or you need to kennel them until your return.
Kennelling is a common practice when families go abroad, on holidays for which the red tape and delay of pet quarantine would be a nightmare. The other option is to leave the pets with parents or relatives; or to advertise for a trusted house sitter to come and keep the animals company in your absence. Here, the benefit is twofold, as your home is occupied during your absence – meaning there’s a security advantage as well as that of having the dogs and cats looked after.
Animals, certainly where pet owners are concerned, are people too. They need an environment in which they can express themselves in order to be happy. This environment could be their home, which is the animal’s territory and which consequently feels safe and warm; or it could be a new and exciting place, full of interesting new smells and experiences to explore with the family.
Cottageline is a countrywide association of privately owned, independent holiday cottage agencies, offering pet friendly holiday accommodation throughout England, Scotland and Wales. With experts in each region, we can help you benefit from local knowledge, top tips and our own personal favourites. Our articles and blog posts feature news and reviews from the whole Cottageline family – with first-hand insights from all four corners of the UK. Happy travels!