When you go on holiday with your assistance dog you’ll want to make sure that you both have a good time. Fortunately laws in this area have improved in recent years and there is also a new movement in the hospitality sector toward making pets welcome. Good holiday planning can ensure that you get a break which is as much fun for your dog as it is for you.
The Equality Act 2010 means that providers of goods and services are obliged to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people, so it is effectively illegal for a holiday accommodation owner or agency to refuse to accommodate your assistance dog. This applies even in properties where other types of animal are not allowed.
Occasional cases have arisen in which service providers object to dogs because their religions view them as unclean. This is rare, but if it should happen, the law is on your side – nobody has special permission to discriminate. In order to avoid uncomfortable incidents, however, it is always best to say in advance that you will be bringing your dog. This will also enable accommodation owners to take your dog’s needs into account when arranging your stay.
Keeping Your Pet Comfortable
Unless your dog usually sleeps on your own bed, you will need to think about providing it with a comfortable bed of its own. Some hotels provide beds for dogs but usually you will need to bring your own and leave clear instructions if you don’t want it to be disturbed during cleaning – the same goes for food and water bowls. Having something that smells of home to sleep in will often make your dog feel more confident.
Some smaller hotel rooms have insufficient room for a bed for your dog alongside your own, so check ahead to make sure this will not be a problem. If you are planning to stay in an older building, check that staircases and corridors will be wide enough for you to move along comfortably with your dog.
Pet Friendly Hotels
If you really want to give your dog a treat, it’s worth looking out for pet friendly hotels. You can find them in most major towns and cities and they are not necessarily expensive, especially if you look out for special offers. These hotels will go out of their way to provide a good experience for your dog. Some even provide affordable suites where the dog has a space of its own.
In a pet friendly hotel you can expect a bed and bowls to be provided for your dog. If you let the staff know it in advance, they will address your dog by name, ensuring that it feels welcome. Although you are legally permitted to take your dog into the dining area of any hotel, a pet friendly hotel will set aside a space for it and may even supply food if you want it to be able to eat alongside you.
Self Catering Accommodation
If you are looking for affordable and flexible accommodation for your family or group of friends, self catering accommodation is often the best choice, and it can be great for your dog too. Because it usually offers more room to move around your dog will find it easier to entertain itself when off the leash. Some self catering properties have gardens.
Most self catering properties do not accept pets as standard. Although you have the right to insist, it’s often better to find a property where pets are welcome as this means you are less likely to have to bring all your own equipment for your dog. Such properties often provide guides to good places for walks, which your accommodation agency can usually arrange for you to receive in large print or audio format if required.
Despite their training, assistance dogs often find visits to strange places stressful, especially as they will feel a stronger than usual need to protect you. Finding welcoming accommodation where you are both comfortable can help them to relax and enjoy a pleasing break from routine.