A Guide to Travelling with your Dog

The season for holidays is nearly upon us!  If you’ve managed to book somewhere like Tamar Valley Cottages that welcomes dogs, your four-legged friend will be looking forward to a break as much as you!  We’ve compiled a handy mini-guide for taking your dog on holiday including some useful info on beach etiquette and walks on Dartmoor.  Some of it may be stating the obvious, but it’s good to have a list.  If you have a tip we’ve missed, please leave it in the comments below.


Things to bring:

  • Food and water bowls (although many accommodation providers will offer them, it’s good to take your own set)
  • Clean-up bags
  • A favourite blanket
  • Favourite toys
  • Medication (maybe travel sickness, see below)
  • Flea / tick prevention
  • A recent photo
  • A good quality ID (and attached to a carrier if required)
  • Dog first-aid kit (see below)

General Tips:

  • Roughly 1 in 6 dogs is affected by travel sickness.  If that’s your dog, then make sure you bring specific medication or sedative as recommended by your vet.
  • Bringing your dog’s favourite food will make them feel at home right away.  The same goes for a comfy blanket.
  • It’s a good idea to have a lead on your dog while you’re travelling.  That makes it easier when it comes to offloading them near busy roads or car parks.
  • Try to set up a basic first-aid kit for your dog.  What it contains will depend on the type of issues your dog is likely to have, but for a great set of recommendations see the Blue Cross website: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/basic-first-aid-dogs


Beach Tips:

  • Check which beaches are dog-friendly.  From Autumn to Easter, that’s pretty much all the beaches in the South-West, but over the Summer you’ll have to check.  Our favourite dog-friendly beaches locally are Widemouth, Trebarwith and Bossiney Bay but there are plenty of others which allowed dogs without a lead.
  • Make sure your dog is under control at all times and on a leash when there are crowds.  The temptation to steal a child’s ice-cream may be too much.
  • Take special care on clifftops.  I witnessed a tragic scene last year when a dog followed a ball off a cliff and died.
  • Clean up after your dog – most beaches have special bins provided.
  • Take care when allowing your dog to swim.  Like humans, they can overestimate their skills and get caught in currents.  Equally, be cautious about entering the water yourself to try and rescue.  Many people drown in such conditions, so it’s best to call the professionals.
  • Bring fresh water and if you’re lucky enough to find a hot day, bring some shade too.
  • Make sure your dog doesn’t eat anything suspicious.  Further down Cornwall there have been instances where white waxy lumps of palm-oil have washed up and killed inquisitive dogs who have eaten them.

Moorland Tips:

  • Dartmoor and Bodmin moor welcome careful dog owners
  • Keep your dog under control so it doesn’t disturb ponies, sheep and cattle
  • In the lambing and bird breeding season (1 March – 31 July), keep your dog on a short lead
  • Make sure your dog is wormed to protect local livestock
  • As always, clear up after your dog
  • If you are looking for an entirely off-lead walk, look into Forestry Commission areas such as Bellever and Fernworthy
  • In the Spring and Autumn, check your dog for ticks after a walk. 

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