Dogs really are a part of the family, and it can often feel like something is missing when we holiday without them. The good news is, that more people than ever are choosing to holiday with their best friends – which is great news for dogs, and their owners too!
From muddy woodland walks to a game of fetch on the beach, there are so many things our four-legged friends love about a holiday. And with 70 pet-friendly holiday parks to choose from, the whole family can enjoy quality time together with Parkdean Resorts.
We’ve teamed up with Graeme Hall, aka “The Dogfather”, one of the UK’s top dog behaviour experts and presenter of Channel 4’s Dogs Behaving Badly, to discover why dogs need a holiday too.
Image courtesy of Graeme Hall
Graeme explained that just like us, our dogs can also get stressed, fed up and lonely, and they need a break from everyday life as well. A holiday is a good time for some much-needed relaxation, for both us and our pooches.
According to Graeme: “For dogs there’s nothing like a holiday to create a feeling of wellbeing. Dogs pick up on our moods, so spending time with them on holiday when we’re relaxed, helps them to relax too.”
It’s not just us who love spending time with our four-legged friends – dogs love spending time with us as well. Unfortunately, most of us can’t spend as much quality time with our pets as we’d like, with work and the demands of everyday life often getting in the way. However, a holiday is the perfect chance to do this, and it’s a great time to create lasting memories with the whole family – dogs included!
As Graeme says: “Dogs love being with their owners. A holiday is a great opportunity to spend quality time bonding with our dogs. It’s a bond that remains long after the holiday is over.”
From crystal clear lochs in Scotland, to golden sandy beaches in Cornwall, Britain is a pretty exciting place if you’ve got a wet nose and a waggy tail. A holiday is the perfect time for our pooch to get all the exercise they need, before settling down after a fun filled day.
Graeme explains: “We’re more active on holiday, which means our four-legged friends are as well! Most dogs are at their happiest being active, preferably outdoors, with their families. Sometimes dogs can feel a bit pent up. They love being out and about, and what we tend to do in our world is keep them in the house while we’re off at work. A holiday is a good time for them to get all the exercise they need, whilst having fun outdoors with the ones they love the most.”
For our dogs, mental activity can be just as tiring as physical exercise – and a holiday is sure to get their brains working! From new places to sniff to playing with other dogs, a holiday will allow them to experience plenty of new things.
Graeme explains: “A holiday is perfect for dogs on a social level. Not only do they love being with their owners, most dogs love meeting new people and other canine friends. A holiday can be a good opportunity for them to socialise with both.”
It’s not just a happier and more active pooch to look forward to, a holiday can lead to better long-term behaviour too.
According to Graeme: “A change of scenery can be a great time to get back to basics and create new, good habits for your dog. Dog training takes time and a lot of repetition to bed in new behaviour. We have more time on holiday, away from the demands of day-to-day life to get it right.
“If you have the time and patience to do the right things repeatedly, you’ll create great new habits for your dog that will last long after your holiday is over. It takes time and a little know-how, but a holiday is a great way to kick-start your new regime.”
Graeme’s top tips for dog-friendly holidays:
There are a number of things to consider when booking a dog-friendly break. Here are Graeme’s top tips to help create the perfect holiday for you and your four-legged friends.
Pick the right accommodation
Make sure you’re choosing dog-friendly accommodation that’s designed with the needs of pet-owners in mind. For example, many of our holiday parks offer dog exercise areas that are ideal for short walks and socialising, while beaches, woodland walks and lakeside strolls all make for perfect dog-walking spots.
Think about how far you want to travel, depending on how well your dog copes with car journeys. Before setting off, give them a good run around, as content sleepy dogs make the best passengers. Take a blanket for them to snooze on, along with plenty of water, and stop regularly so they can stretch their legs.
Location. Get outdoors!
Britain is a beautiful place, with diverse landscapes, making it the perfect destination for dog friendly holidays. Whether you prefer beaches, lakes or rolling hills, make sure you’re holidaying somewhere that has plenty of dog-friendly attractions, including pubs, tearooms and restaurants.
Before your holiday, take note of where the nearest emergency vet is located. It’s reassuring to know ‘just in case’. Give yourself that peace of mind and then enjoy your holiday.
Off-peak times are perfect for dog-friendly holidays. Not only can you access beaches that are often “off-limits” to dogs during the summer months, but you can enjoy quality time with your four-legged friend away from the crowds. Don’t worry about the weather – your dog certainly won’t.
If you're thinking about treating your dog to a well-deserved break, our latest pet friendly holiday deals can be found here.