9 Questions to Discover if a Holiday Cottage Really is Dog Friendly
If you’re planning a self-catering holiday with your pooch, it’s important to choose dog-friendly accommodation. But what does this actually entail? Since the hospitality industry has no such thing as a star (paw?) rating for pet friendliness, it’s up to you to make sure that your chosen holiday cottage is suitable. After all, you don’t want somewhere that merely ‘accepts’ your dog, you want your four legged friend to feel as welcome as you are.
So, what makes a self-catering cottage truly dog friendly? In this article, we’ve put together some of the most important questions you should be asking, ideally before making a firm holiday booking. If you can speak directly to the owner of the holiday cottage you’ve shortlisted for booking, so much the better. They should be able to tell you exactly what facilities are provided for your pet, which will not only put your mind at rest but potentially save you a lot of packing space in the car!
1. How many dogs are you allowed to bring?
This is a key question to ask when you have more than one dog to take on holiday. Just because a holiday cottage is pet friendly, it doesn’t mean it will accommodate any number of pooches, however ‘well behaved’ they may be. Find out the maximum of animals that will be welcome and stick to it.
2. Where exactly are dogs allowed in the cottage?
It’s useful to establish whether your dog is allowed in part of all of your holiday cottage. What about the carpeted lounge? Upstairs bedrooms? Ideally, there should be a robust stairgate to stop Rover from roving upstairs when he’s only allowed downstairs.
3. Is the garden suitable for dogs?
Check that there is a secure garden to give you peace of mind that Max is safe, even when you’re not looking, and can’t get out by accident and get himself into trouble. This is particularly important if there’s a nearby road, field with livestock, pond, lake, cliff or other potential hazard.
4. What is there to do locally with your dog?
A truly dog friendly cottage will have extensive local information of dog friendly amenities and activities nearby, beaches, parks and pet friendly pubs. There should also be a choice of interesting local walks starting from the front door of the cottage and without the need to drive somewhere first.
5. Does the cottage have underfloor heating?
Now there’s a thing that your dog will really appreciate – warm floors! Just think how easily those wet muddy paws will dry off on warm kitchen tiles after a long country walk, not to mention the rest of your furry friend.
6. Will there be doggy towels and throws?
Throws, towels and rags are essential for keeping your dog clean and protecting the furniture from any mess. Does the cottage have dog towels by the door to clean muddy paws, and towels in the bathroom especially for your pet? What about a nice big throw to protect the sofa before Buddy jumps up on it?
7. What about a dog bed and bowls?
Dog beds or crates take up a lot of room in the car, so if the cottages provides something suitable, you’ll save yourself some space. You can tell a lot from a so called dog friendly cottage by the extent of the effort made to accommodate your pet’s needs including doggy bowls for food and drink.
8. Is there a doggie welcome pack?
Just as humans appreciate a welcome pack (perhaps containing basics such as tea/coffee, bread, local milk, cheese and eggs), a doggie welcome pack sends a strong signal that your pooch really is wanted. If nothing else, dog treats and poo bags are the gesture of a truly dog friendly cottage.
9. Does the cottage provide a collar ID tag with address and phone number?
It’s a simple little thing but could be a real life saver if your canine companion should get lost in unfamiliar territory. Ideally, you want to be able to take it home with you as a souvenir, a nice reminder of a lovely holiday had by all.