Time to paws for a pet-friendly break

By Nick Rudge, Welcome Cottages. Welcome cottages have kindly given us a free holiday for us to offer at Crufts 2015. Here they tell us more about their dog friendly holidays.

At Welcome Cottages, we’re always asked for ideas and inspiration from our customers looking for the perfect getaway for the whole family, pets included! Increasingly, pets are ruling the roost when it comes to deciding factors for a holiday, from seeking out the best coastal walking spots to choosing dog-friendly destinations and accommodation, with features such as large enclosed gardens and plenty of space for pets and their owners to kick back and relax together.

Four legged friends stay free at thousands of self-catering holiday properties available through Welcome Cottages, so we’re well placed to share our advice for the most popular destinations as visited by couples, families and friends with their canine companions. What’s more, we’ve added 150 brand new cottages to our collection for 2015 and more than 800 new properties nationwide over the past 12 months – so for anyone planning their next break there’s now more choice than ever before.

We spoke with pet behaviour counsellor and author of ‘Clever Dog – the secrets your dog wants you to know’, Sarah Whitehead, to find out why holidaying with man’s best friend is so important:

She said: “For many dogs, a holiday with their owners offers a rare opportunity for quality time with the family. We know that dogs are a mirror for human behaviour – meaning that a relaxed owner equals a relaxed hound – so a holiday where they’re fully taken into consideration and everyone can have a good time is hugely beneficial all round. Unlike going abroad with your dog, where the territory, weather and local rules can be completely unknown and veterinary requirements need to be sorted well in advance, a home-from-home cottage is the stress-free answer, even for a last-minute break. Leaving the usual routine behind, a cottage offers all the home comforts, without the daily grind that we live with at home.” So for anyone considering where to spend their summer this year, why not consider your hound and plan a staycation in a pet friendly home from home? To help whet the appetite, our booking figures reveal the most popular locations in the UK for a holiday with man’s best friend.

1. Cornwall

2. Yorkshire

3. Norfolk

4. Devon

5. Highlands

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next break simply visit www.welcomecottages.com or call us on 0345 268 0816.

A SAMPLE OF PROPERTIES BRAND NEW FOR 2015:

Easter Cottage in Thornton-le-Dale, near Pickering, Yorkshire

Property reference: 30683

This Grade II listed traditional Yorkshire stone cottage is situated in the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors National Park – a haven for dog walkers with miles of walking routes throughout stunning countryside. Dalby Forest less than two miles away provides a change of scenery full of outdoor opportunities including walking, cycling for various abilities and events throughout the year. At the end of the day hang up the lead and relax under beamed ceilings in front of the wood burning stove. PRICE: £506 for seven nights self-catered accommodation arriving 3rd April 2015. Sleeps four in two bedrooms with room for one pet (from £10.55 pppn).*