Pet lovers of the world, unite and take over. Pet travel in the UK, let alone in superb Dog friendly Yorkshire, doesn't have to be a nightmare! As you'd expect in a county packed with beautiful countryside, a National Park and the roaming North Yorkshire Moors, there's ample Pet Friendly hotels and pet welcome signs everywhere! Always check when booking accommodation that they welcome pets. Some will be specific, and welcome only small, well-behaved pets, or all pets and only well-behaved pet owners!
Whether you are taking your pets with you, or looking for a good kennel or cattery to take care of them, check out our top tips for pet travel. See also Wyvern and Widget's guide to Pet Travel Britain on the Pet planet website - eee them mutts don't half get about!
Pet travelling requires a little planning which is well worth the effort as the pleasure of your pooches' well-earned holiday is at stake. Firstly the obvious, make sure when booking your accommodation that it's Pet Friendly. Get specific details from them on what they mean by 'Pet Friendly', as this does vary. Some guesthouses, hotels and self-catering options may have some very strict rules which may be impossible for your 'tear-away' pet to follow.
Self-catering options are often a preferable choice, giving a little more freedom, however some accommodation owners will not allow pets to be left alone in the apartment, flat or holiday cottage is not an option. Always check this, plus it's well worth checking the layout of any accommodation. If you have an elderly pet who struggles up and down stairs, you may not want the cottage with the iron spiral staircase. You may require an enclosed garden area so your pet doesn't end up charging across the Yorkshire countryside. Think also about how you will transport your pet. If you own a car and your dog is car trained then it will no doubt be a smooth run, but if you're choosing public transport then think it through. The accommodation at the other end may be perfrect, but if the journey there with your pet is horrendous you could end up frazzled!!!!!!
Dog carriers may be useful if transporting your pet, especially for smaller dogs. These are usually a crate design made up of wire panels. the bottom panel will normally have a gray, either in metal or plastic, and the wire panels conveniently fold down making it into a flat pack, ideal for carrying about.
"....Oscar added many things to our menage ... Each evening I thought afresh that a nice cat washing his face by the hearth gave extra comfort to a room" (James Herriot, Yorkshire Veterinarian and Writer)
Pet friendly accommodation types run across the whole spectrum, including dog friendly hotels, pet welcome guesthouses and B&Bs, and lots of pet friendly self-catering options from apartments, holiday cottages or flats and always a popular favourite with pet owners - the caravan or holiday park. Caravan and Holiday Parks on the whole welcome pets, and have the bonus of usually being set in countryside surrounds, with ample dog walking arrangements right on your doorstep. Most accommodations now state clearly whether they welcome pets or not, and be aware some may make a small charge for the privilege! Pet insurance for pet travel within the UK is not really an issue - it only becomes one when you're taking your pet abroad and issues like quarantine and rabies vaccination requirements apply. What is always a good idea if travelling with your pet in the UK however, is to get pooch or mog microchipped, so that if by any chance you are separated from your pet during your holiday!, they can be easily identified. This is also recommended for small children and wayward husbands!
Not every pet owner will want to take their pet with them - obviously with cats this is more likely. With cats, they do love their own homes and as we cat owners know, they hate to be moved. If at all possible try and get one of your cat lover friends to cat sit (most cat lovers have bonded with other cat lovers so this is a common option when going away on holiday). See if there's a local LETS Scheme in your area - LETS stands for Local Exchange and Trading Scheme, and works when people in the community get together and exchange skills and services. Often people offer to cat or dog sit. See the list of LETS schemes nationally on the letslinkuk.net site.
Rule number one on Dog Kennels and Catteries - check them out yourself! Some provide indoor and some outdoor accommodation, and all good kennels and catteries will require that pets staying with them have been fully vaccinated and neutered. Catteries should be licensed by the relevant local authority which will be on display - check this! The best kennels and catteries get excellent reputations, spread by word of mouth, so if you find out which these are you'll need to book well in advance to guarantee a space! When you visit to check them out - do they look clean and tidy, no old food lying about, friendly and pleasant staff, excellent ventilation and fully self-contained - you don't want your pet running rampant!
Also, make sure you check on Pet Insurance at the Cattery or Kennel. All should have this! In Catteries check on the conditions of both indoor or outdoor pet accommodation when you visit - indoor accommodation will usually be in small individual unit format, leading onto a corridor. All units should have separate sleeping area, eating area and litter area, and plenty of room for puss to move around and get exercise, with access to fresh air and natural light. Outdoor accommodation will be units again, with concrete floor for easy cleaning, with a separate heated sleeping area and separate area for litter try and food. If you've got an older cat, you'll especially need to check that the leeping area is heated.
Most outdoor catteries will lock puss in the heated sleeping area with food, water and litter facilities at night. Always a good idea to leave a teleophone number to contact you - good catteries and kennels will ask for this of course. Remember to take your vaccination proof with you when you drop your pet off, plus it's always a good idea to take them to a cattery or kennel a few days before you go on holiday, or the day before. Searching for a good dog kennel runs along similar lines to cattery advice above. Essential again is that personal visit, and check that they only accept vaccinated dogs! Check the cleanliness, friendliness of staff, dog walking arrangements - at least twice a day! What do the units look like? Kennels can be noisy, do the present pooch residents look happy and contented? Check heated sleeping arrangements and walking arrangements! Top tip, book well in advance of your holiday - the good ones fill up quickly!!Pet & Dog Friendly Accommodation in Devon Pet & Dog Friendly Accommodation in Northwest Pet & Dog Friendly Accommodation in the Lake District