Tredarrup Farm Holiday Cottages

Top Tips For Taking Your Dog On A Self-Catering Holiday In The UK

Top Tips For Tail-Wagging Adventures

Are you planning a getaway with your furry friend? Taking your dog on a self-catering holiday in the UK can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it requires some careful planning to ensure both you and your canine companion have a stress-free trip. Here at Tredarrup Farm, we understand the importance of accommodating your four-legged family members, so we’ve put together some top tips to help make your holiday unforgettable.

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Smiling dog on a self-catering holiday

Before You Book

1. Consider Your Dog’s Needs

Are they fit enough for a week’s exploring? Holidays with your four-legged friend can be pawsome but they can also be exhausting for dogs who are more used to spending the bulk of their days snoozing. Consider building up their fitness before they go or, if they’re elderly, perhaps consider a destination with gentle terrain and plenty of activities, to suit their more modest fitness levels.

2. Choose Your Area Carefully

Some areas of the UK are more dog-friendly than others so it really pays to consider the surroundings and nearby attractions before you book your accommodation. Opt for areas with plenty of year-round dog-friendly beaches, attractions and walking trails to ensure plenty of adventures for both you and your pup.

3. Ensure Your Self-Catering Accommodation Is Truly Dog-Friendly

Not all pet-friendly holiday cottages are equal so it’s best to check if there are any restrictions that wouldn’t suit your lifestyle. If your dog likes to snooze on the sofa or sleep on your bed for instance, make sure your cottage allows this so you can all relax. Similarly, if their recall is patchy or they’re not very sociable, then somewhere with a secure garden in a more isolated location may be more your thing.

Dog with his tongue out on a self-catering holiday

Before You Leave Home

1. Health Checks

Schedule a visit to the vet to ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations, wormer and flea/tick prevention. It’s also a good idea to stock up on any necessary medications for motion sickness if your dog tends to get car sick. If your dog has pet insurance, be sure to bring the details on holiday with you and arm yourself with the number and location of the nearest vet to your accommodation, just in case. If you’re travelling to the UK from overseas, there are additional requirements to plan for. For full details see Bringing Your Pet To The UK.

2. Plan Your Journey

Plot out your route in advance, taking into account rest stops every couple of hours. Motorway service stations are not the best for this, having lots of traffic and little in the way of exercise areas. Instead, consider stopping at country parks and farm shops, where you can all take a breather and stretch your legs. There are lots of ideas online but we particularly like the Driving With Dogs app, where you can enter your start point and destination and be given dozens of great places to stop off for a break.

3. Plan Your Itinerary

Whilst you might not want to plan your holiday with military precision, it makes sense to investigate a few local dog-friendly beaches, restaurants and attractions before you set off to ensure there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Guests at Tredarrup Farm Holiday Cottages receive a comprehensive digital guidebook, packed with dog-friendly place to visit and more. If you’re planning on visiting Cornwall with your dog, why not sign-up for your free guidebook here.

Two dogs on holiday in the back seat of a car

Travelling With Your Dog

1. Pack Some Essentials

Pack a rucksack with some essentials for your journey and put it somewhere it can be accessed easily. Include plenty of water and a spill-proof bowl, your dog’s collar, lead and harness, poo bags, treats, a few of their favourite toys, their bed and a spare travel/vet bed and cleaning materials in case of any travel sickness.

2. In The Car

If your dog tends to get travel sick, be sure to give them their breakfast nice and early, so they have ample time to digest it, or consider delaying feeding them until your arrival. It’s now a legal requirement in the UK to keep your dog secure whilst in the car. This can be achieved with a seatbelt attached to their harness (never their collar) or by putting them in the boot with a dog-guard or in a crate. Raising their crate or bed so they can see out of the windows, and opening a window a little to give them some fresh air can help combat travel sickness and boredom en-route to your holiday accommodation.

3. Walkies!

After a long journey your dog may be full of beans and excited at being in a new destination, so it’s a good idea to stop off somewhere close to your destination so they can drain the tank, so to speak,  and have a good long walk to wear them out before you let them loose in your holiday cottage. 

Dog lying in grass at Tredarrup Farm's luxury dog-friendly holiday cottages in Cornwall

On Arrival

The Essentials

Before getting them out of the car, it can be a good idea to unpack the essentials. You can then put your dog on a lead and take them for a short walk to relieve themselves before introducing them to their new holiday home.

Make Them Comfortable

With the essentials unpacked, it’s time to settle in your pup so you can relax after the long journey. Dog’s can find new environments unsettling, so bringing a familiar bed from home and placing it in a quiet corner will help them settle in. A Liki Mat or Kong liberally smeared with dog-safe peanut butter and placed in their bed will keep them busy whilst you pour yourselves a drink and put your feet up.

Dog in the sea on a self-catering holiday in the UK

On Your Holiday

Keeping Them Happy

It’s always a good idea to feed them their regular food and keep their feed times as close to normal as possible. Remember to pack enough food for the duration of your stay, as you may not be able to buy it locally. When going out for the day, take Liki Mats, snuffle mats or Kongs, liberally smeared with peanut butter or packed with treats on your adventures to keep them busy in pubs, cafes and restaurants during the day. And don’t forget the essential water bottle and bowl. If you’re visiting Cornwall, these can be topped up at Refill stations whilst you’re out and about.

Plan in plenty of rest periods during the day; it can be tiring exploring new places. A rolled up piece of vet bed takes up little room in your rucksack and gives them somewhere to settle for a snooze. 

Keeping Them Safe

Make sure they have an ID tag attached to their collar with your mobile number on it, just in case. It may be best to keep your dog on a lead initially in unfamiliar areas. This is particularly true near clifftops, where it can be very tempting to chase seagulls with tragic consequences. Sadly, the RNLI are tasked every week with rescuing, or more often recovering, dogs who have fallen from the cliffs. During the spring and summer ground-nesting birds may also be present along clifftops, estuaries and in the fields. Do also keep them on a lead around livestock, the only exception being when you’re being bothered by cattle, when for your own safety it’s best to let them off the lead.

When at the beach, keep an eye out for irresistably delicious rotting fish, discarded picnics and the occasional lump of palm oil – all of which may make your dog ill. Sand (and pavements) get uncomfortably hot during warm weather so find a nice cafe to relax in during the hottest part of the day.

Once back at your holiday cottage, wash sand from their paws and coat to prevent irritation and give them a groom, checking for ticks and burrs as you go.

Dog lying by the fire in a pub

Essential Packing List

  • Food and water bowls
  • Enough food for the duration of your stay
  • Bedding, plus a spare
  • Crate
  • Plenty of poo bags
  • Collar, harness and lead, plus a spare
  • Favourite treats
  • Favourite toys for yoor cottage
  • Boredom busters (Kong, Liki Mat)
  • Toys for the beach (ball, frisbee)
  • Dog towels (take plenty if your cottage doesn’t have laundry facilities)
  • Rain coat & drying coat
  • Shampoo
  • Grooming kit
  • First aid kit
  • Medication
  • Throws for the sofa if required
  • Your own bedding if required, if your dog likes to sleep on your bed
  • Rucksack
  • Torch
Dog with a ball in the sea on holiday in the UK

Stress-Free Holidays With Your Dog

At Tredarrup Farm, we understand that your dog is part of the family, which is why we go the extra mile to ensure they feel welcome and comfortable during their stay. At our dog-friendly holiday cottages near Port Isaac in Cornwall, we provide almost everything you and your canine companion could possibly need for a fun and relaxing stay. And with 7 acres to explore, you can enjoy a truly unforgettable holiday with your furry friend by your side.

Say goodbye to stress and hello to an adventure to remember with your dog on a luxury self-catering holiday in the UK.

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