It’s not just their human counterparts who crave a few nights away - dogs need holidays too!
With everything the UK has to offer there are a million and one things you can choose to do with your furry best friend, from exploring Britain’s varied coastline to walking through some of the country’s most historic streets. Although we often only think about ourselves when booking a holiday, it’s time to ask, “What does your pet really want to do?” If they could speak, what would they ask for?
We’ve partnered with a certified dog whisperer and Companion Animal Veterinarian, Dr Heather Venkat to discover exactly what your precious pooch wants and needs from a holiday. Whether that’s a trip to the beach in the sun, or a city break closer to home, we’ve found each dog’s dream holiday based on the key physical attributes and personality traits of its breed.
Read ahead to find out your pet’s perfect holiday.
The UK’s Top 10 Dog Breeds
Using Google search data we’ve found out which dog breeds are most popular in 2020, and how much their interest has increased over the last 12 months.
We discovered that the nation’s favourite dog of 2020 is the French Bulldog, a small but mighty breed that has skyrocketed in popularity. With lockdown dominating most of the year, it’s no surprise that such a small dog that requires little exercise - and would be happy to lounge around in a small flat with its owner all day - took top spot.
The second favourite pooch is the Cockapoo. This extremely friendly breed and a rising star on social media, capturing the hearts of dog lovers across the UK. Not only are they incredibly cute, they’re also practical to own as they are easily trained, shed little to no hair and are great companions. Coming in at third place is the Cocker Spaniel which has increased in popularity by an incredible 83% over the last 12 months alone. They are excellent for active families which means finding the perfect holiday for them is incredibly important.
Find out how to keep these furry friends happy on a holiday away, and see what makes them tick.
1. French Bulldog - Spa Day in Bath
French Bulldogs prefer a leisurely holiday with very little activity. As they have short snouts they find it difficult to do too much strenuous exercise and are particularly sensitive to hot and cold weather, so a city break is ideal to keep this pooch happy.
However, some cities can be loud and busy, not giving the Frenchie as much rest and relaxation as it needs, so we recommend taking them on a pampered weekend away to the city of Bath, known as the spa capital of the UK. Here, French Bulldogs and their owners alike will find plenty to do without any difficult exercise. There are a number of spas to visit, both human and pet-friendly, which will give owners the perfect time away with their pet, being pampered on a masseuse table or relaxing in a heated swimming pool.
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “French Bulldogs have a fun-loving, goofy personality. A new city is a great place to explore with your Frenchie so that they can meet a ton of new people being the social butterflies they are.”
2. Cockapoo - Family Holiday in Dorset
Cockapoos are incredibly friendly and social, so any time away with their family already ticks most of their boxes. They enjoy being close to their humans, so a holiday where a family can get together and shower them with attention is ideal. They are also energetic and love to swim, meaning a trip to the beach is a great option to give this pooch the holiday it dreams about!
Dorset is the perfect spot to take a Cockapoo for a wild week away. Not only does the county boast plenty of dog-friendly beaches where they can play in the sand and splash in the water, but the area is known for hosting lots of dog meetups so there’s always someone new for them to meet. Feeling a little adventurous? Some places in the area offer paddle boarding and surfing lessons for dogs, something a little different to get your pet’s heart racing!
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “Cockapoos are energetic and friendly, making a family holiday where they get to spend plenty of time with their humans the perfect time away. They would adore a day at the beach where they’re able to run around and meet other dogs.”
The perfect week away for a Cockapoo can be found at West Bay Holiday Park in Dorset. Boasting miles of dog-friendly sandy beaches and a number of interesting accommodation options, it’s ideal for both humans and canines!
3. Cocker Spaniel - Beach Holiday in Cornwall
Full of energy and the kind of dog who loves to wander far and wide, the Cocker Spaniel craves a holiday where it can stretch its legs and explore. Not only do they love a long walk, they also adore getting into the water so a beach holiday in Cornwall is ideal for them to get their coat sandy and wet, even if their owners don’t appreciate it!
There’s no better place for a cocker spaniel to run free than in Cornwall, a county that has plenty to do for both pets and their owners. Cornwall offers a wide selection of dog-friendly cafes, bars and pubs, giving them the best place to lay down and relax after a long day at the beach. Not to mention this idyllic part of England is one of the most beautiful places in the country.
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “Related to the Cockapoo, the Cocker Spaniel loves to exercise and be near their people making the beach the perfect holiday for their personality. They can socialize with other pups and people alike, while also snuggling up with their family on the towel under the shade of a big umbrella. They have a really strong ability to swim so make sure you give them plenty of time to splash in the sea.”
Cornwall has so many beaches and places to explore that staying anywhere along the coast will keep a cocker spaniel happy. However, Crantock Beach Holiday Park has everything this breed could need and is in a fabulous coastal location that looks over the sea.
4. German Shepherd - Mountain Hiking in Snowdonia
German Shepherds are large dogs that require plenty of exercise in the great outdoors. Nothing will suit this dog more than one of Great Britain's own sprawling national parks. As working dogs, they’re used to chasing down criminals, leading the blind and herding animals, so give them the holiday they deserve!
Snowdonia is the ideal spot for these large pets to stretch their legs and explore one of the wildest sections of the country. Wales, with its jagged peaks and miles of walking track, will provide German Shepherds with boundless space to explore. Particularly confident people and canines can attempt to climb Snowdon, which offers miles of uninterrupted views of the land.
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “German Shepherds are watchful with plenty of stamina. A hiking trip in the mountains would fulfill their love of activity and exploration. They will love being able to enjoy the views at high elevations and have plenty of space to run around.”
German Shepherds would be able to quench their first for long adventurous walks at Brynowen Holiday Park, just a stone's throw away from the wild and expansive Snowdonia National Park.
5. Golden Retriever - Active Holiday in Yorkshire
Golden Retrievers are energetic dogs that love to get stuck in to any activity, especially if their humans are doing it too. Whether that’s walking through the countryside or running an agility course, they’re happy to take on any challenge.
The Yorkshire Dales is not only a gorgeous spot for a holiday, but also a place that the Golden Retriever will adore with it’s long flat walks and streams to explore. The area offers up an array of activities including exploring heather fields, navigating through craggy crevices and investigating old English towns all the while sticking close to their favourite people.
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “A flat hike in an open field with water nearby is a great holiday for the Golden Retriever. They might find a stream to play in but would happily fetch after waterfowl like they were bred to do. They’re the type of dog to stick close to their people while still exploring, making a field trip ideal for the Golden.”
The wilderness of the Yorkshire Dales is perfect for a curious Golden Retriever, and Todber Valley Holiday Park on the border of Lancashire is the perfect place to explore everything the Dales have to offer.
6. Labrador - Lakeside Holiday in the Lake District
While the friendly Labrador doesn’t like to wander far from their family, they’re extremely energetic so need a holiday that will give them plenty of chances to run around in large open spaces and ideally take a refreshing dip after doing so.
It’s no wonder then that the sprawling Lake District National Park with hundreds of lakes and plenty of space for such a large dog makes for the perfect holiday destination. Lake Windermere in particular has plenty of docks for them to jump from as well as a selection of dog-friendly accommodation and pubs to relax in after a long day of exploring.
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “Labradors have a go-getter personality and they love water. That’s why going to a lake is the perfect holiday for a Lab. They can swim, jump off the dock and chase the birds. Win-win!”
With a lakeside holiday in mind there’s no better place for a Labrador to roam free and dive into a lake than White Cross Bay Holiday Park on the edge of the stunning Lake Windermere.
7. Pug - Woodland Walks near Northumberland
The small pug is a dog of many talents… but unfortunately strenuous exercise isn’t one of them. Due to their noses being pushed back more than many other dogs they struggle to take long, deep breaths which leads to them panting a lot. That’s not to say that the Pug doesn’t want a bit of adventure though!
While they might not be able to handle the same mountainous terrain as the German Shepherd, the Pug still loves to get outside and have a run around. Keeping to short walks is ideal for the breed and walking throughout somewhere brimming with life and places to explore such as a small forest will spark their curiosity without over exerting themselves.
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “Pugs, like French Bulldogs, can be silly dogs, but they know how to have fun! A short trip on an open trail, such as in the city or a small forest, is great for the happy pug but make sure they don’t overexert themselves.”
Short legs call for short walks and there’s no better place to explore the surrounding area than at Whitley Bay Holiday Park where pugs can explore woodland, beaches and the rolling countryside.
8. Chihuahua - City Break in London
Chihuahuas are sheltered dogs, often associated with being kept in bags and owned by the celebrities of the early 2000s. While they are small and can’t handle any extreme temperatures, they still love to get out of the house on holiday and explore an entirely new place.
For this reason Chihuahuas would prefer a city break, and where better to explore a city than the capital itself, London! Absolutely brimming with dog-friendly bars, hotels and activities, the city will be an exciting weekend away for both dog and human alike. There’s also a wide choice of sprawling parks for a warm summer's day from Hampstead Heath to Kensington Gardens.
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “Chihuahuas would love nothing more than to be cosy with their family, making a tour through a new city a great holiday decision. They will be more than willing to walk next to you or take in all the sights and sounds from the comfort of a carrier or your arms.”
9. Dachshund - Forest Camping in Scotland
Not as full of energy as some breeds but still incredibly curious, the Dachshund is a dog that loves to get away from the norm and explore a new location. They’re just as comfortable exploring a new area as they are curled up on their owners laps, and require a holiday where they can stay close to their family while also having the opportunity to run free.
Scotland, with its wild countryside and unique scenery is a dream for the dachshund who can run free and explore. They love to go camping where, after a long day of touring the surrounding area, they can come back to a warm home and spend time with their people. They also love to hang around in wooded environments where they can chase other animals and investigate the country’s native wildflowers.
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “Dachshunds thrive on chasing vermin, but also want to be close to their people. A camping trip in the middle of the forest is perfect, since they can chase after critters but also come back to a home base and rest on your lap in the tent.”
Camping in Scotland is almost next to none with the area’s mountainous and wild countryside. Dachshunds would love to escape to Tummel Valley Holiday Park where they can get back to nature.
10. Shih Tzu - Countryside Exploring on the Isle of Wight
The Shih Tzu is a toy dog breed which means they were bred to be small, portable and good natured. However, as beautiful as they look, their names actually translate to mean ‘little lion’ and this is reflected in their fun personalities.
They love an outdoors style holiday more so than exploring a city, but nothing as intense as scaling a mountainside. This means a countryside trip is perfect for them, somewhere they can take a long walk through fields and woodland, and then at the end be able to refresh themselves with a pub lunch and plenty of water. The Isle of Wight offers a range of places to explore while staying on an idyllic island in the south.
Dr. Heather Venkat says: “Shih Tzu may look delicate but they are active dogs that enjoy the outdoors. A trip to the countryside would be a great choice for the ever-friendly Shih Tzu so that they can take short walks as you enjoy the scenery.”
Shih Tzu would love to travel to the Isle of Wight where everything is closer by and there’s lots to explore. Thorness Bay Holiday Park acts as the perfect base to explore the entire island.
Want to give your dog a holiday they’ll never forget?
Explore Parkdean Resorts dog-friendly holidays to give your pooch a holiday of a lifetime. From cosy lodges in Scotland to glamping tents by the beach, there’s something for every curious nose.
Dr. Heather Venkat is a dog whisperer and Companion Animal Veterinarian at VIP Puppies.
The dog’s breed characteristics were found at https://dogtime.com/.