Posted on 17/05/2018 by David
When it comes to holiday cottages, there's a big difference between stating dogs 'accepted' and dogs 'welcome'. We think most owners who decide to let a dog-friendly property fall into the second category.
There are many ways to make a dog and their family feel welcome in your home and in our previous blog we discussed ways of making your home suitable for dogs.
Now they have arrived, how can you make them feel truly at home? For animals, being taken away from familiar surroundings can be an immensely stressful experience so it's helpful to do what you can to make them feel at home.
Of course, owners will have made their own preparations for their four legged travelling companion - they may have even read our blog explaining how to pack for your dog's holiday.
Read on for our top ten tips for creating the perfect dog-friendly holiday cottage.
Top tips for a dog-friendly cottage
A good rule of thumb is to consider what facilities and little luxuries a dog would have at home, and replicate them. Here are some ideas:
- A cage or crate. Many dogs like to feel enclosed when they sleep, especially when in a strange place. Some people bring a dog cage or crate with them, having this available in the house saves the bother of packing one in the car in the same way you may offer a high chair or cot to customers with babies.
- Dog basket. Dogs love to be with their 'pack', in this case the family, and will want to be with them as much as possible. As well as providing a comfortable resting place, it's a handy signpost to guests to respectfully keep dogs off the furniture.
- Water bowl and food bowl. Most guests will bring their dog's eating paraphernalia with them but, like anything, they can be forgotten so it's a nice touch to have spares on hand. Also, providing food and water bowls stops guests using your crockery for their dog.
- Spare towels and throws. Not finest Egyptian cotton, just some old towels you can leave for the guests to rub their dogs down after a wet, muddy day in the hills. Throws are handy for... well just about anywhere a dog might flop down! Make them available and dog-owning guests will make good use of them.
- Hosepipe with running water. This is handy for dogs and guests, and is especially useful for hosing down muddy or sandy dogs and boots after a long walk. Dogs should always be washed down after spending time on the beach, and wouldn't you rather they did it outside than in your bathroom?
- ID tag. An ID tag to attach to the dog's collar with the cottage name and phone number could be an absolute life saver if it gets lost in a strange place on holiday.
- Spare lead. They do get lost and they do get forgotten.
- A doggy welcome hamper. If people get milk and bread, why not leave a chew or two as well? Show your guests you love dogs too and provide a few canine treats including things like dog biscuits, chews, poo bags, handy wipes, a couple of tins of dog food or a tennis ball/toy.
- Dog-friendly information pack. Include a dog-friendly section in your Information Pack and help your guests make the most of their stay. Useful information could include dog-friendly places to eat and drink, recommended walks, dog exclusion zones, nearest pet stores, and veterinarian, dog warden and RSPCA contact details.
- Our main blog has some advice which you're welcome to share with your guests, including dog-friendly pubs, winter walks, coastal walks and beaches without restrictions.
If you're still debating whether letting a dog-friendly property is right for you and your property, why not take a look at our recent blog discussing the pros and cons for holiday home owners?