Dog Friendly Staycations – all you need to know
Records suggest that 24% of the UK adult population own a dog. So if you want to pack up Fido in your car and take him on a dog friendly staycation, here are the best tips and advice for researching and finding the best dog friendly accommodation.
Make sure you ask plenty of questions. At a minimum, you’ll need to find out:
- Are there any breed, age or size restrictions?
- What additional fees (if any) will your dog, or multiple dogs incur?
- Are the charges per dog? Per night? Or a fixed price no matter how long you stay?
- Will you need to bring a proof of vaccination or any other paperwork? (It’s recommended you travel with all your dog’s important paperwork anyway, just in case).
- How secure is the property?
- Where will your dog be able to do his or her business?
- Does the accommodation provide any extras for your dog, such as bedding, water bowls, towels or treats?
- Your dog will be delighted to be included in your plans and you will be surprised to find just how many of our own homegrown destinations are equally as lovely, if not more so, that their overseas equivalents.
- Investigate the surrounding areas for walks, places to eat, cafes etc
How to choose a dog friendly B&B
Your dog is part of the family, so it’s only natural that you want your furry friend to join you on holiday – whether that’s a weekend break to explore the English countryside, or an urban city escape.
Sometimes choosing a dog friendly B&B isn’t particularly straight-forward as each has different rules and offerings for your pooch. So here are the top tips for choosing the perfect dog friendly venue to ensure you and Fido have a carefree and positive experience.
1. Choose a B&B that provides pet essentials
Coats, food, blankets, bedding, throws… you can never travel light with a dog, especially during the winter months or when the weather might be unpredictable. Plenty of guests arrive with more luggage than their owners but here at Sheriff Lodge there is everything you may need during your stay if you forget anything. We are dog friendly not just dog tolerant. You will receive a ‘welcome pack’ and in your pre booked room you will find essentials like bowls, toys, treats and bags for cleaning up. Anything else you need just ask. There are also cages at Sheriff Lodge is you need one.
2. Free dog treats
Always look out for treat jars. A good, dog-friendly B&B should have treats and fresh water bowls readily available. Some pubs and hotels really pull all the stops out for visiting pets. Here at Sheriff Lodge there are always treats so if your dog is a fussy eater let on because he will be offered some goodies!
3. Access to all areas
Generally speaking, pets are not allowed in formal hotel restaurants, but they are usually welcome in bar and lounge areas and at Sheriff Lodge they are welcome in the sitting room, Breakfast room and your bedroom. They are welcome to join you for breakfast. You will always be seated in the most appropriate place for yours and Fido’s comfort. At Sheriff Lodge we prefer to see Fido rather than him being left in the room where he may feel uncomfortable. If you would rather have your breakfast without him you can put him in the car.
4. Consider bathroom breaks
Anywhere with a garden will feel like a home away from home for your dog – and it’s even better if it’s enclosed. Whether there are acres of grounds to explore or a simple beer garden, any kind of outside space is always a bonus. There is a garden at Sheriff Lodge but it has only just been replanted so please do not let your dogs use the garden. There is a path to two doggy fields close by for morning walks etc. At Sheriff Lodge the dog friendly rooms are on the first floor or semi basement. But please always be mindful of other guests if you need to get up in the night for doggy.
5. Don’t pay over the odds
Some dog-friendly accommodation providers charge extra cleaning costs. At Sheriff Lodge your booking will tell you the charge which is £10 per dog usually per stay. If however you book through an agent you will be charged more. Its always best to book direct so you can discuss how many other dogs are in, what your dog may or may not like and any special requirements you may have. The charge is to cover the room clean for the next guests. Two rooms at Sheriff Lodge are completely dog free, we also must cater other guest’s allergies.
6. Local attractions for walking
Walking is an essential part of any dog’s day so check out what facilities are nearby. Ask for suggestions for dog-friendly days out, as there are lots of good walks from the door at Sheriff Lodge which are not necessarily readily known. The Peak District is a mecca for walks and doggie days out. There are also lots of local attractions, pubs, restaurants and cafes where you can take dogs, just ask. There is a resident dog at Sheriff Lodge so we know !
7. Potential playmates
Any pub or hotel with a resident pooch gets a big thumbs-up and is always a bonus. Not only are the staff likely to give your dog lots of fuss but they will also be more understanding of your needs. It’s always nice for your pet to have a playmate, too. We have been on plenty of walks with our guests here, to show off the amazing local area to Matlock. If however your dog is reactive or nervous then do say and we will make sure Fido is looked after and doesn’t come into contact with other dogs. Its their holiday too and we all need peace and a stress free time.
8. How many dogs
If you are travelling with more than one dog, be sure to check how many pets are allowed per room. Some places only allow small breeds while others allow multiple pets of all shapes and sizes. If a B&B website mentions that it is dog-friendly, it’s usually a good sign of how tolerant it is. If you are ever unsure – ask. Here are Sheriff Lodge all shapes and sizes are welcome. The Warren can accommodate more than one dog. We are dog friendly here not just dog tolerant.
9. Worry free flooring
If the thought of cream carpets and muddy paws strikes fear into your heart, be sure to request a room with dog-friendly flooring. Many pub and hotel rooms are carpet-free, which makes any potential mess easy to clean. It’s also something to bear in mind if you’re travelling with a puppy or older pet and worry that they could have a ‘little accident’. At Sheriff Lodge one of the rooms has a vinyl flooring room and a little corridor so if your dog is likely to need it, this room is The Warren. The Warren also has a separate entrance to the rest of the house so that may suit you better if this is a worry to you.
10. Do your research
Look for reviews online – have any other dogs stayed at the property you have in mind? If so, are their owners singing its praises or not? You can learn a lot from Google Reviews and sites such as TripAdvisor. A good recommendation is worth its weight in gold. So far everyone who has brought a dog to Sheriff Lodge has had a great time and written a review to confirm it.
As a dog owner myself its always a huge relief to find a good place to stay where you feel comfortable and relaxed. I hope Sheriff Lodge will be your next booking as this is exactly what we hope to achieve here. We look forward to welcoming you and Fido very soon.