Can somebody tell me what you're meant to do with your dog when you go on holiday? Ever since we acquired our pooch, Alfie, we've had to palm him off on someone whenever we've needed to take a break. It's like having a baby all over again.
And the summer holidays are posing a real problem. My children are distraught at the idea of putting Alfie in kennels, and adamant that he'll come with us wherever we go. Forget keeping the kids happy – from now on, our holidays will have to be based around Alfie's needs.
The Dogs Trust would approve: it recommends taking canines on holiday whenever possible, stating that "dogs love a change of scenery, just like anyone else". And Best Western Hotels recently reported a 150 per cent increase in the number of Brits booking in with their pets. Kennels, it seems, are so last year.
The number of family holiday companies that welcome four-legged friends is increasing. Take Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks (0843 208 0377; woolacombe.com/bp), which is expanding its pet-friendly accommodation this summer, providing bed-and-biscuit accommodation with free pooper-scoopers for anyone who books into its holiday homes in North Devon.
You can even take your dog boating these days. Le Boat (0844 463 6395; leboat.co.uk), which offers canal breaks in France and the UK, claims that a holiday afloat is just the thing for a doggie vacation (although they recommend buying your pet a lifejacket).
For dogs requiring a little more fuss, the pet butler service from the Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans, Perthshire (01764 685333; thefourseasonshotel.co.uk), should be up to the job. It offers special menus as well as grooming, walking and pet-sitting. The Canine Concierge service offered by Elite Hotels (elitehotels.co.uk) looks tempting, too – delivering organic chef-prepared dog food to the door, offering daily walks and en-suite pampering to indulge every doggie whim (oh, and the services for kids are pretty good, too).
That's us sorted for the summer, then. Barking mad, moi?Reuse content