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Tips for taking your dog on holiday

Dog Friendly: Travelling with your Dog

Are you looking to take a dog friendly holiday rather than leaving your best friend behind? Successful travel with your pet needs some planning; there are a number of areas that require preparation. Whatever the length of journey, ensure your dog has a collar and appropriate ID. Pack essential items, such as leads, a few days before departure. It's amazing what can be left behind in the mad dash to get the holiday underway.

Even if you have booked a dog friendly cottage like Helsbury Park in Cornwall, which supplies basic dog items, always take the essentials for the car journey - food, water, bowls and poop bags. While you are looking forward to taking a dog friendly holiday, your four-legged friend may be a more reluctant traveller. If your dog is not a relaxed passenger, introduce smaller journeys at first, increasing the time spent in the car over time before embarking on a long trek. The vet can provide medicines to minimise sickness for dogs that suffer from motion sickness, but most dogs will adapt well to long periods spent in the car. Don't forget, never leave a dog alone in a car on a warm day, this can lead to overheating and breathing problems.

Before embarking on your dog friendly self-catering break, encourage your dog to go to the toilet and avoid feeding just before leaving. A sensible tip is to take him for a good walk, this will help relax the pair of you and make him more likely to settle quickly.

Consider using one of the many products designed to secure your dog during travel. An unsecured, excited pet within the confines of small space moving at high speed, is an accident waiting to happen. Specially designed harnesses, or reinforced cages will keep him safe.

Holidaymakers opting for public transport will find travel arrangements might be trickier. Rail franchise holders all have their own policies and while local buses will generally transport accompanied pets, long-distance coach operators appear to be less helpful. Check with individual companies before booking your dog's holiday.

Airlines are surprisingly more obliging. The Pet Travel Scheme has made international travel a viable option for owners looking to take their pets abroad. The local vet practice should be able to provide owners with more information and ensure that their dog is fit to travel.

While exotic far away destinations with their furry friend might appeal to some, most dog owners opt for something closer to home. It's never been easier to find dog friendly cottages and other dog friendly self-catering options. This market is well served with hundreds of properties that welcome pets, so that the families can spend their holidays together and wave goodbye to the misery of boarding kennels.

Driving with Dogs...
The brilliant new website gives full directions to a dog walk, and dog friendly pub or café, within 5 miles of all UK motorway exits. This means that you can arrive with a relaxed and happy dog, as well as breaking their journey to Cornwall with some healthy walking! Driving with Dogs has been created by two people and a border collie, who've tried and tested all the 400+ walks on the site. The M5 is fully ‘walked’ and is ideal for you to use on your way to Helsbury.

Key Points to remember

Dog Paw Rating

Never leave a dog alone in a car on warm day

Dog Paw Rating

Have your dog checked by a vet before you go on a long journey

Dog Paw Rating

When travelling by car, make sure your dog has plenty of fresh air and water, plus comfort breaks

Dog Paw Rating

Leave plenty of preparation time if you are travelling by air

helsbury park local walks gallery

Helsbury Park Dog Friendly Cottages

What Helsbury Park guests say


"Thank you once again, we'll be coming back to Helsbury Park, hopefully for a week next time! Love receiving your newsletters - it reminds us how wonderful it is there. We also love the attention you pay to dogs and their needs, it is just as important for our dogs to have a great time."

"Just a short note to say how much we all enjoyed our stay at Helsbury Park last week. The holiday cottage and facilities were first class and your grounds were all enjoyed immensely by us all (Lottie our Chocolate Brown Labrador particularly liked the river at the bottom of the field)."

"Just wanted to let you know we've just come back from a very enjoyable stay at Helsbury Park. The weather was not great, but Westhayes and the views made up for the lack of sunshine. We thoroughly enjoyed walking around the park and our dog's tail did not stop wagging."

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