The United Kingdom has turned into a nation of Pet Lovers

There is no denying that we treat our beloved pets like part of our family, with most of the little (or large) critters now entitled to more freedom and rights around our houses than our kids! (Ahem… sleeping at the end of your bed!) It has been recently estimated that around 46% of UK households have a pet of some kind, with 24% of these being a dog. That is estimated to be around 9 million pet dogs!

Overlooking Cape Wrath to the eponymous lodge
Overlooking Cape Wrath to the eponymous lodge

So with them being such a prominent part of our lives, it stands to reason that many of us would like to be able to include the family’s four legged friend in the most anticipated event of the year – the holiday! As the UK pet industry has grown, so has the pet travel industry, with many people now making the arrangements to take their dogs with them. After all, does your furry friend not deserve a holiday too!?

Black springer spaniel dog looking pensive

Taking your Pet on holiday

In some instances, taking your dog along on holiday is just not practical, and for varying reasons it is safer and more reasonable to leave them with a friend or family. However, let’s face it, much of rural UK has ‘walkies’ written all over it! Most dogs love nothing better than the Great Outdoors, so with wild moors and mountains, and rolling hills and glens, and thousands of miles of walks and trails, through national parks and nature reserves, the UK’s landscapes are just perfect for exploring with a dog. And there is not just the countryside to consider. Scotland, England and Wales have miles of coastline, wild and rugged, or sandy and golden. With seasonal restrictions permitting, there are loads of dog friendly beaches for you to enjoy, as well as miles and miles of coastal paths to follow.

Focused black labrador dog

Holiday Homes often provide ideas on what to do

Whether you are a leisurely stroller or a keen hiker, there will a route suitable for your and your dog. Pick any Visitor Information Centre across the UK and you’ll find information on local walks and trails in the area you are staying. You may even find that the housekeeper or owner of your holiday let will be able to advise on any footpaths or routes within walking distance that you can use for stretching the dogs legs! So if you are worried your dog may not get enough attention on holiday with you, most pet friendly accommodation offers so much in the way of walking and exploring on your door step, that you will have one tired and happy pooch by the end of the day.

Two dogs rubbing nose on a beach at dusk

Holiday House Rules for pets

As with most things in life, there are a few rules pertaining taking your dog to any form of pet friendly accommodation. We have devised a Pet Policy to guide you through the do’s and don’ts of your dog’s holiday, which we hope is reasonable and caring. These conditions are all laid out on the website for you to read in full, which we require all pet owners to do when making a booking. At the end of the day, we want to make sure you and your dog have a hassle free and comfortable holiday, and most of the items on the policy are likely to be things that you would naturally attend to in your own home anyway.

Jack Russell dog sitting on the lawn with highland castle in the background.

Walking your dog in Scotland

Whilst we’re on the subject of those pesky rules and regulations, if you happen to be holidaying in Scotland we would also draw your attention to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This can be found and downloaded from a number of websites and pertains to knowing your access rights when enjoying Scotland’s great outdoors. There is a section of the code for dog walking, which is worth having a glance over if you intend to get out and about with your dog.

Jack Russell dog on an expansive empty beach with large holiday home in the distance overlooking the sea

Again, the points raised are common sense principles that most people are well aware off and adhere to, but unlike many other areas in the UK, Scotland has an immense amount of open space, with vast amounts of farmed and wild animals roaming large areas, like red deer, and ground nesting birds, so may be easy to come across something your dog may never have encountered before!
Should you have big plans afoot for your stay in Scotland, and intend on your dog accompanying you, it is always worth doing your homework before setting off. The last thing you want is to be turned away from an attraction or event as they are not pet friendly.

Cockapoo dog (spaniel crossed with a poodle) sitting patiently in the boot of an estate with the tailgate open

So we have covered the aspects of taking your pet dog on holiday with you, and if you have any questions or concerns about your pooch, please visit our pet policy for clarification, or just call our team for advice, they may be able to advise you on particular property information pertaining to your dog. We are aware (having two office dogs ourselves!) that many owners may have more than one dog.

How many pets can you take to a large holiday house?

Where we can, we do try and advise on our website property details how many pets are accepted at any of our holiday properties, however if you are unsure please just call us and we will be able to answer any queries you have. In some instances we have flexible owners who we can contact on a case by case basis for clarification on your particular canine requirements, and we do our very best to match up guests with a property that is suitable for all their party members!

A large black labrador dog and a smaller light brown labrador dog sitting together in front of the entrance to a holiday home

Pet friendly accommodation doesn’t always refer to dogs!

Lastly we feel it is worth noting that we have so far spoken only of canine pets! We are of course aware of the vast number of other types of pets that live in the UK and would not want to rule them out of a possible holiday. A few of our large holiday houses are let with stables and paddocks with space to park the horse box!

Two young girls, one petting a horse

However depending on the type of animal, some properties just aren’t suitable, and the risks may be just too high. Nevertheless, please do not hesitate to contact us in the office, if you have another pet that travels with you. Although we can make no guarantees, we are always happy to investigate your options for you. As previously mentioned, some owners are flexible on their pet policy, and we may be able to find you something to suit!

Jack Russell dog sitting amongst heather with hills and loch in the background

Searching for pet friendly accommodation

We hope this has helped your decision making if you were unsure of taking your pet away with you, or if you were concerned about your pet’s potential holiday. Our website’s homepage has a direct link to all our properties that are pet friendly, and from here you can continue to filter the list to narrow down the options to suit your holiday requirements. Good luck with your search for the perfect poochy holiday property, and we hope you and your dog have a wonderful time!