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Ten reasons to take your dog on holiday this year

The past twelve months have been tough for nearly everyone, unless you are a dog. Dogs, in the most part, have been the real winners of the pandemic. Owners have been at home more often, with little to do apart from throw balls in the garden or go on long rambling nature walks - it’s a pooch’s idea of heaven! And now they’ve got used to being the centre of your world, how can you consider leaving them at home? At dog lover Andy Murray’s hotel in Scotland, Cromlix, dogs are as welcome as their owners, and just as well, as a whopping 3.2 million people became new dog owners during the pandemic. So, if you are thinking about holiday plans this year, here are our top ten reasons for taking your four-legged friend with you:

  1.  You’ve got used to them being around and they’ve got used to being around too. We’ve all spent more time at home than ever before, with our pups by our side. They’ve been there as the home office opened, for the most challenging moments of home school and offered comfort during the worst of the pandemic press conferences. Abandoning them as soon as travel bans are lifted seems harsh at best. If you want to avoid a sulking dog when you get home, look into hotels or B&Bs that allow them to come with you instead.
  2.  Reduce any travel anxiety. We all took travelling for granted pre-pandemic, and most people adapt well to being in new destinations. But for some, particularly children, travelling can be unsettling. Throw in a few travel delays, translation issues and lost luggage and going on holiday can make even the most seasoned traveller uncomfortable. Having your four legged best friend by your side can reduce travel anxiety. Stroking, hugging or petting them can make you feel calm. And having their familiar face by your side will make being away from the rest of your home comforts easier to cope with.
  3. Young dogs need routine. If you are one of the estimated 3.2 million new dog owners since the pandemic began, you may be in the midst of training your new acquisition. Young dogs benefit from consistency over time, and can take up to a year to develop good habits. To leave them in the middle of this important training period may set you, and your puppy, back.
  4. You’re considering a staycation this year. With overseas travel restrictions still in place, UK based holidays have become increasingly popular for 2021. This makes travelling with a pet a far easier option - no pet passports required! Many of us will also be travelling by car this year instead of flying and if this is the case you’ll also have much more space to pack your dog’s travel essentials. Unless the destination, like ours, provides dog bowls and beds so you don’t even have to bring those with you. 
  5. Going on walks can be fun. Walking became the national pastime in 2020 and if you have found joy in this or simply want to keep up healthy habits whilst on holiday, having a dog in tow makes a ramble much more likely. Dogs are a great stimulus for healthy exercise and exploring a new destination on foot is often the best way to learn about an area. At Cromlix we are happy to offer advice on many of the beautiful dog walks around the hotel or within our 34-acre grounds. 
  6. We’re all going to be outdoors anyway! With Covid restrictions looking likely to last well into the year across the country, health advice recommends spending more time in the great outdoors, blowing away Covid particles. If you are going to be enjoying what the countryside has to offer, make it even more special by having your dog by your side. Look for venues that offer a range of dogfriendly outdoor activities on site or close by. At Cromlix you are permitted to take your dog on our fishing excursions and hotel owner, Andy Murray, ensures there are always plenty of tennis balls on site for any ball-loving dogs. 
  7. Make lifelong friends. One thing dog owners insist on is the bond with fellow dog owners. Dogs are great conversation starters and ice-breakers and a study showed that 54% of dog owners felt their dogs boosted their confidence and made it easier to talk to strangers. If you’ve been feeling more isolated this year or are travelling alone, taking your dog with you might be the best way to connect with new people and make some lifelong friends.
  8.  Finding a dog sitter who isn’t booked up already is going to be impossible. With everybody chomping at the bit to get out and enjoy life post-lockdown it’s going to be harder than ever to find somebody to look after your dog while you’re away. It’s important to find somebody you really trust to look after the family pet, who manages them and loves them in the same way as you do. So take away the stress, and bring your dog with you instead.
  9. Save money on kennels. Not booking a dog-sitter or kennels will save you a fortune, especially if you’re planning an extended trip this year. Average kennel costs are around £20 per day and dog boarding is about £20-£27 per day, so a two week trip could set you back £378. Just think what you could spend that money on if you took your hound with you instead!
  10. It’s easier than ever to take your dog with you. Many hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets have woken up to the fact that Brits love their dogs, and are happier with them on holiday. Pubs, restaurants and cafes are also becoming more flexible at allowing dogs indoors. There are even dog-friendly service stations where your dog can stretch its legs and get a bowl of fresh water. Taking your dog with you has never been easier.

So now you know why taking your dog on holiday this year makes sense. Pack the pooch and make some great memories of your 2021 staycation.

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