Chatting with a friend the other day, we were discussing how difficult it can be to get really good holiday accommodation that is properly dog-friendly. Having multiple large dogs, I get so frustrated by places that advertise themselves as ‘dog-friendly’ only to waste 10 minutes looking through all the info to find in the small print that it’s actually just the ‘one small dog’ that’s allowed. Or ‘dogs allowed’ – but only in one particular room.
Another thing that can be slightly questionable is the quality of the accommodation. A real bug-bear of mine (and I do have quite a few!) is that it is often the case that the more dogs you have, the more basic the accommodation. When I go on holiday, I want it to be at least as nice as my own home and preferably something better. I like to walk in to somewhere and go ‘Wow – this is nice’. That doesn’t have to mean 5 star luxury just something that’s been put together with a bit of thought and love rather than a load of mis-matched furniture and horribly uncomfortable sofas!!
When looking for somewhere to stay with the dogs, there are a whole host of factors that have to be taken in to consideration – mostly due to things we’ve not had on previous holidays that have turned out to be essential e.g. we had a lovely weekend in Anglesey once but the cottage only had a tiny yard which meant instead of just letting them out in to the garden for their late night/early morning constitutionals we had to take them out. This sounds like a minor thing but we realised it was important to us. So now an enclosed garden is always on the list. Another learn was when we arrived at the cottage only to find the enclosed garden was also an access route for the neighbouring cottages. Again, something relatively minor but it meant we couldn’t leave the dogs in the garden unsupervised for fear some unsuspecting neighbour walked through and found themselves knee to face with a 4 stone snarling basset hound!
Location, location, location is definitely not top of the list for us when booking a houndy holiday. The quality of the property and fulfilment of our long list of requirements is more important than where it is. This has actually led to us having some fantastic holidays in places we wouldn’t necessarily have considered just because the cottage was right.
A lot of research goes in to each and every holiday we book with the dogs because we want it to be right – both for us and them. And over the years, we’ve had some crackers. We’ve even gone back to a couple, which for us, is a real testament to how good they are as with so many places to explore, it’s very unusual for us to go back to the same place twice.
Hopefully, if you holiday with your hounds you can relate to some of the dilemmas faced so to FINALLY get to the point of this whole article! Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my thoughts and experiences on the dog-friendly holiday cottages we’ve stayed in around our fair isle over the years and hopefully providing some inspiration and reassurance for your next ‘dog-friendly’ holiday.