Staying away from home with dogs is something many owners find daunting. But with some planning, it can be very simple and opens up a whole new world of places to explore.
Much will depend on the temperament of your dog. A nervous dog might need some encouragement and gentle exposure to new environments before you stay away for a whole night. Bold dogs will take everything in their stride. Unsurprisingly, not every five star hotel will be dog-friendly, but not all campsites are either. Do remember to check, even if it’s somewhere you’ve been before. Places can change hands or change rules, and you don’t want to find out when it’s too late. Key things to get right when you’re staying away overnight are the bed, the food and the water.
If you're able to choose your room, pick one on the lower floor and preferably with a door that leads directly outside. You might also want to choose a room well away from the kitchen!
Scent is really important in the world of dogs. Take their normal bed that smells like home. Or, if that is too big, give them some vet bed to sleep on for a week or two before you travel. Most dogs will be more than happy snuggled up on that. Some breeds, like Greyhounds, do need a bit more padding.
Food and drink
Some dogs are picky about the bowls they eat and drink from. If you can, take their normal bowls. But if, like me, you use heavy pottery bowls at home, gradually introduce lighter, less fragile bowls in the weeks before your trip. If your dog tends to get really stressed and refuses to drink, stock up on those individual cartons of milk you get in your room at hotels. They store really easily and keep for ages – empty one into your dog’s water and they’ll suddenly be keen to drink again. Just watch out they don’t drink too much at once as that could make them ill.