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The Canine holiday checklist holiday cottages

Advice

The Canine holiday checklist

Hannah Jury 04 April 2022

Here at Canine Cottages, we take care of everything you need for your holiday, helping you to find the perfect place to stay in the UK with your four-legged friend. But there are a number of things you need to remember to ensure your canine companion enjoys his stay just as much as you do. We’ve created a handy checklist so all bases are covered, and you can all enjoy having an absolute ball at one of our fantastic dog-friendly properties.

There may be a few items on this dog packing list that you hadn’t yet considered, so take a peek at our recommendations as a final check to ensure you are ready to go travelling together, safe in the knowledge that you and your furry friend have the freedom to go mutts and let all your potential worries and stresses disappear.  

We hope you find our checklist helpful; we compiled it with both you and your pup in minds so you can make some fantastic holiday memories... 

Inseparable pups Fredrick and Royston

Our Canine Critics, Frederick and Royston, were very keen to let you all know about their essential holiday items to pack too!


Dog collars and name tags

Dog collars and name tags

A collar and name tag are essential in the event of your dog going missing while on your travels. Cheap and useful, they help your pet to be reunited with you easily should he go wandering when away. Before your holiday, get an extra name tag engraved which includes the address of your holiday accommodation as well as your mobile phone number – that way your beloved companion can be traced back to you even more quickly. If the collar is easy for your dog to escape from while out on a walk, it may also be worth considering a harness for added security. And don’t forget it is now a legal requirement for all dogs in England and Wales to be microchipped.

Our favourite

The Tractive GPS tracker – GPS trackers are becoming more and more popular among cautious dog owners. Tractive monitors activity patterns and, more importantly, you’ll know where your dog is at all times whilst you are away. Also, look at the Animo dog tracker from Sure Petcare that tracks your dog's behaviour during the day!

If you and your dog are always on the lookout for the latest gadgets, take a look at our finds in must-have gadgets for your dog.


Dog leads (long and short)

Dog leads (long and short)

While a long lead is great for letting your furry friend explore and roam through the wide, open spaces of the Peaks or the Norfolk Broads, make sure you also pack a shorter lead so your dog can be kept closer to you when necessary. Many dog-friendly attractions and dog-friendly walks in the UK require that your pet is kept on a shorter lead in order to better keep them under control, especially in areas where there are children or lots of other dogs. Here are some handy tips on how to stop your hound from pulling on their lead.

⭐️ Canine Critics Frederick and Royston say:

We need long leads in case we see any sheepies out on our walks. Chasing sheep is very naughty!!

Our favourite

TaoTronics Retractable Leash – if you haven’t invested in a retractable leash yet, then we highly recommend you give this one a try. It switches easily between long and short leads depending on the environment you are walking in with both a retractable and extendable leash.

Let your dog ‘lead’ the way on these scenic walks throughout the South West, these beautiful Scotland walks, or these delightful walks across the North of England. Or let your dog off the lead on a trip to one of these top country parks for canines


Dog baskets and beds

Dog baskets and beds

One of the guidelines for bringing your canine companion with you into one of our holiday cottages is that their bed or basket must be brought along for them to sleep in. It also helps to give your dog a sense of familiarity and reminds them of home, which can often help them to settle down to a good night’s sleep even in a different place. For owners of anxious dogs, we've compiled a blog full of tips for holiday planning with nervous pets.

Our favourite

Berkeley Dog Beds – Buy your dog a cosy and soft bed to curl up in for a dreamy night’s sleep. Just make sure they get used to using it before you travel so that it becomes a familiar, comforting place for your dog to rest while on holiday.


Dog food and food bowls

Dog food and food bowls

Though many of our dog-friendly cottages are within easy reach of a shop where you can stock up with supplies, they may not sell your dog’s favourite food. Make sure you take enough food for the entire stay, as well as a few treats of course! You’ll also need to bring the food bowl to serve the food in, as well as a plastic mat if they are a messy eater...

⭐️ Canine Critics Frederick and Royston say:

Our mum always packs snacks for being her 'precious boys' after walks.

Our favourite

Lily’s Kitchen Dry Dogfood – there are a lot of great dog food brands out there, but we’ve chosen Lily’s Kitchen as top dog because it is hypoallergenic, uses only natural ingredients and is grain free. Dry dog food is an easy choice for travel as it’s less far messy. But a word of warning if you are a new dog owner - don’t change their doggy diet right before a long journey or your seat covers won’t thank you and neither will the person who has to clean them…


Bottled water and travelling water bowls

Bottled water and travelling water bowls

Travelling water bowls are ideal both for car journeys and for long walks, helping to keep your dog hydrated while they explore their exciting new surroundings. As they are collapsible, they are easy to store and use on the go. Make sure you also have some bottled water handy as they could get ill from drinking water out of puddles or streams.

⭐️ Canine Critics Frederick and Royston say:

A long drink of water is essential after zoomies!

Our favourite

OHMO Collapsible Silicone Bowl – taking up hardly any space, this durable silicone bowl collapses easily, is brightly coloured so easy to find amongst all of the luggage and suitable for dogs of all shapes and sizes. For alternative refreshments to water, visit Woof and Brew and treat your mate to some dog beer!


Winter jackets for dogs

Winter jackets for dogs

The coldest months of the year can be some of the best for a dog-friendly holiday, as many dog-friendly beaches, which do not allow dogs in the summer, become free to roam. If you’re planning your travels for this time of year, make sure you bring your dog’s jacket to keep them nice and warm whilst you’re out and about (especially if they have fine and short hair). It will also keep them lovely and dry should a sudden downpour of rain occur. If you are planning a winter holiday in the UK with your dog, why not take a look at our dog-friendly winter walks blog.

Our favourite…

Ruffwear Powder Hound Winter Jacket – this is one of the warmest coats on the market and has performance fit so your dog still has a wide range of movement. It also comes with reflective trim for low-light visibility and a light loop for attaching a dog safety light, adding extra safety while you are out and about.


Dog treats

Dog treats

Whatever your canine companion loves to snack on, add a pack of those tasty treats to your dog travel checklist. Plus, they may come in handy if you’re out and about and you need to get the dog’s attention quickly.

Our favourite…

The Innocent Pet– all dogs like different snacks, but we bet most canines enjoy a tasty treat. We'd recommend these guys and girls for the sheer range of treats. Also try out Scrumbles, a company that is proud to supply 'real food for happy cats and dogs'. For raw pet food, which comes in handy and can be frozen for holiday travel, try out Natural Instinct.

You can also try making your own dog treats with our homemade dog treat recipes.


KONG toy

Dog toy or tennis ball

You can’t take the dog on holiday and leave all their favourite toys behind. For those lazy evenings after the day's walkies are done, a chew toy will give your dog some entertainment while the rest of the family are chatting about the day and planning tomorrow’s adventure. A tennis ball is no doubt an essential item for dogs who love a game of fetch; imagine a game out on the Cornish beaches or during walkies in the Yorkshire Dales.

Our favourite…

KONG Rubber Chew Toy - A long-time big player in the dog toy market, KONG’s rubber chew toy has been a bestseller since its introduction. Throw it in the garden and it will bounce all over the place, great for a game of fetch, or fill it with treats and let your dog chew on it while you all relax in the evenings. Harbour Hounds is the place to head to for fun and durable toys and stylish dog wear like bandanas and collars!


Dog towels

Dog towels

Getting wet and muddy is one of a dog’s favourite things to do (often much to our dismay!) so make sure you pack plenty of old towels to wipe off those dirty paws before they return inside. Make your dog smell great after a wash with various balms and shampoos from ethical company Hownd

⭐️ Canine Critics Frederick and Royston say:

We love a fluffy towel or a dog robe for drying us off after swims or a hose down when we're super muddy.

Our favourite…

SnuggleSafe Microfibre Pet Towel – super thin and lightweight, super absorbent, this dog towel is perfect for canines on their travels! They have a larger size for big dogs too.


Dog poo bags

Dog poo bags

There’s no avoiding it: at some point during your holiday, you’re going to have some dog mess to clean up. Any fouling on the grounds of our holiday cottages must be cleaned up without delay, so pack plenty of poo bags to make sure nothing is missed; fragranced nappy sacks work well too. Dog mess should also be cleaned up while you’re out and about so that our beautiful outdoor spaces remain just as pleasant for everyone else to visit as it was for you. Always take your bags away with you and dispose of them properly.

Our favourite…

Scot-Petshop Dog Poop Bags – they are thick, strong and hide the sight and smell of their contents making the whole process much more manageable. They are easy to tie up and are biodegradable, breaking down in as little as 18 months. Also, consider 100% compostable poo bags from Fetch It.

Want to know more about your dog’s health? Find out what secrets you can uncover with help from our blog post on the secret language of dog poop.


Medicine for dogs

Medicine for dogs

Unfortunately, your dog can’t take a break from taking the medicines they have been prescribed, so make sure they are one of the first things you tick off your checklist. Ticks may also be a problem in certain areas, so pack some tick-removing products just in case for your dog to remain happy and healthy.

It may be a good idea to take your dog for a check-up before any long journeys. Take him or her to the local vet before you go away and then take a look on this RCVS site to find your nearest vet should the worst happen when you’re away. We've also put together some handy tips on putting together a dog first aid kit, so you can give them immediate assistance should you need to.


Stain remover

Stain remover

Even if your dog is normally toilet-trained and well-behaved, little accidents can still happen if your dog is unsure about their new surroundings. Stain remover should clear up any problems in a jiffy.

Our favourite

BISSELL Pet Stain & Odour Remover – with a handy spray nozzle, this stain remover is recommended by Good Housekeeping as it deals with stains and odours, and discourages your pet from reoffending. It also isn’t just for carpets; it can be used on upholstery, mattresses, or in your car – the perfect backup for those long car journeys.


Pet hair roller or lint brush

Pet hair roller or lint brush

If your furry friend can’t help but shed a ton of fur everywhere, a pet hair roller is ideal for removing any stray strands from where they shouldn’t be in no time.

Our favourite

Chom Chom Roller - this fine-bristled roller stores pet hair in a chamber until you can empty it, so this handy device is great for when you’re on the move. 


Dog brush

Dog brush

Your dog will love a little bit of pampering during their time away! It’s also a good idea to pack a brush for after a rainy-day walk, as brushing can stop your pet’s fur from becoming matted.

Our favourite…

FURminator for Dogs Deshedding Tool – engineered to reach the loose undercoat hair and with a quick and easy FURejector button that removes loose hair from the tool once you're done, it’s a useful piece of travel equipment for ensuring your dog’s coat keep in top dog condition while you’re away.


An old sheet for your dog

An old sheet for your dog

Perfect both for in the car and in the holiday cottage, laying down an old sheet means that floors will no longer get covered with dog hair. We do not allow dogs to lie on beds or chairs in our properties, and any hair must also be cleaned up before you leave the cottage.


Insurance dog

Rucksack for carrying goodies and handy essentials

A good backpack or rucksack is an essential for dog walks! These are super handy for keeping everything you need for your waggy-tailed buddy close to hand, while still having your hands free to fully enjoy everything around you.

⭐️ Canine Critics Frederick and Royston say:

We definitely take a backpack on holiday for Mams to carry all our goodies, 'cos she our slave.

Our favourite

Osprey backpacks – Osprey appears to consistently top best backpack lists so when buying a new rucksack to carry all your necessities and goodies for the dog, check out their selection.


Pet insurance for your holiday

Pet insurance for your holiday

In the case of anything unforeseen happening, be it accidents, illness or property damage, having pet insurance can give you peace of mind. For a week-long break, the cost of pet insurance should be relatively low, although you should have your pet insured year-round as vets’ bills can be costly – remember to check your insurance before travelling.

Our favourite…

Agria Pet Insurance - supporting animal welfare since 1890, Agrias offer award-winning lifetime pet insurance that'll easily cover any costly vet bills.


Contacts app or address book

Contacts app or address book

Be prepared for the worst and keep some useful contacts close to hand that you may need on your holiday. Two useful ones would be: your accommodation so that you can easily locate it and tell others where you are staying, and the nearest vet, in case of a medical emergency.

Our favourite

Smart Contact Manager – this app makes it easy to transfer contacts from one phone to another and offers users the opportunity to create backups of the contact details, so you’ll never be without that all-important number for the vet.


Join our club for discounts and much more

If you are still deciding on your perfect pup-friendly destination, read through our choice of top dog holidays. What do you always pack when taking the dog on holiday? Let us know! Join our Canine Club to receive loyalty discounts at a range of affiliate partners.

Join the Club


Stay at a self-catering dog-friendly cottage

Last but not least, if you’ve booked one of our properties, then you are guaranteed a great dog-friendly place to stay which is certain to have the bow-wow factor. If not, (are you mutts!?) then make sure the place you're planning to stay in welcomes dogs. With our selection of dog-friendly accommodation across the UK, you and your best pal will be guaranteed a warm welcome. For some great ideas for places to stay, check out our guide to some excellent dog-friendly cottages around the UK

Take a look at the rest of our fantastic dog-friendly accommodation and pick out a holiday home that both you and the doggo will love. Some even have surprising doggy extras such as welcome hampers just for man’s best friend.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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