Dog Friendly Holiday Accommodation

This Dog Friendly Ireland Day, we're encouraging holiday accommodation to become dog friendly, so more families can enjoy holidays with their dogs.

Brown curly haired dog looking up at the camera, sitting in a dog bed with toys

Our recent survey showed that 82% of dog owners would bring their dog on holiday in Ireland if the destination is dog friendly. We believe that lots of holiday accommodations could ensure new or repeat business from families with dogs by implementing some of the simple suggestions we’re providing below. 

Check out our top tips for making your accommodation more dog friendly:

Start with the basics:

  • First, it’s important to do a risk assessment and speak to your insurance provider to check that you can safely accommodate dogs at your property. 
  • Next, assess the rooms that you want to make dog-friendly, is there enough space for a dog to comfortably stay here with their family? Consider the fact that dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and you may need to accommodate larger breeds as well as small ones. They will need an area to sleep in, as well as somewhere to have their food and water bowl that won’t make a mess on any carpets. 
  • Is there somewhere where a dog can get out to the toilet quickly and easily? Dogs will need to go to the toilet first thing in the morning and last thing before their family goes to bed. Ground floor rooms or rooms with easy access to outdoor areas are ideal for dogs and their families. 
  • Is it easy to control the temperature of the room? This is particularly important for summer as dogs are susceptible to overheating which can be highly dangerous for them. Can windows be safely opened to allow a breeze to flow through (without a dog escaping!), or is there an air conditioning system that can be used? 
  • Is it possible for the dog to stay in the room on their own for a short period? Could special ‘Do not disturb’ signs be made to help housekeeping staff know there is a dog in the room? 
  • Do you need to charge an additional room fee for having a dog to stay? Think about if there will be additional cleaning costs for a dog-friendly room but try to keep this as low as possible. Many dog owners want to bring their dogs on holiday, but you should consider that cost may be a barrier to doing so. 
  • Make sure to clearly advertise on your website that you are dog-friendly, and to also include any stipulations around what this means and what you provide. 

Enhance the dog-friendly experience with these extras:

  • Are there any areas of the accommodation that would not be suitable for owners to bring their dog? Be sure to clearly advise guests of this so there is no confusion. 
  • Consider any additional extras a dog might need that might make it also easier for their family when travelling. Could you provide the dog with a comfy bed? What about a food and water bowl? 
  • An area that is clearly marked where dogs can use the toilet is a good idea. Make sure to provide bins too so their families can easily clean up after them. Bonus points if you provide a safe area where dogs can run off-lead! 

Now, let’s make it five-star for Fido!

  • Consider providing treats for your four-legged guests! Little touches like this can be really special for their families. It might be a good idea to include an ingredients list as some dogs can be allergic to certain ingredients. Also, if you are leaving them in the room and not giving them directly to the dog's owner, please make sure they are sealed and not anywhere a dog could reach them easily. 
  • You could even go so far as to make up a little welcome pack for the dog. You could include treats, a small toy, maybe even a bandana with your branding? There are so many fun options here. 
  • Does your holiday accommodation have an onsite food-serving establishment? Why not create a doggie dining menu? Think of things like cooked sausages, bacon pieces, 'pupcakes' or 'puppucinos'. We have a whole list of foods which are safe for (most) dogs to consume. 
  • Are there other dog friendly establishments locally that your guests might like to visit that you could tell them about? Think of cafés, restaurants and pubs nearby where dogs and their families are welcome. But also, museums or other attractions. 
  • Something your guests would probably really appreciate is a map of local dog friendly walking trails and hikes. You could also add any beaches or parks if appropriate and try to include any restrictions that might be in place, such as at certain times dogs may not be permitted or if they must be kept on a lead. 
  • Want to really go the extra mile? You could ask your guest about their dog before they even arrive! This could help you tailor the experience by knowing what size bed the dog needs, what treats they can have or if they have any allergies and even what their preference of toy is if you’re thinking of providing them with one. Plus, dog owners love to chat about their dogs! 

Do you want your holiday accommodation to be more dog friendly, but you aren’t sure where to start? We hope the above has provided you with some guidance, but if you would like to speak to us further, please don’t hesitate to send us an email.

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