WE’RE a nation of pet lovers, and as more people choose to holiday in this country, it’s been revealed that Devon is one of the top destinations for dog owners and their pets.
NFU Mutual has surveyed the nation’s dog owners about their views on holidaying with their pet and a good fifth selected Devon as a favourite destination to take their pet. Neighbouring Cornwall took the top spot.
Overall, the research found that 95 per cent of dog owners now look to take their dog away with them on a UK break and thousands of canine guests are expected to accompany their owners during next week’s half term break.
Dartmoor’s Two Bridges Hotel in Dartmoor is typical in extending a welcome to dogs.
In what he describes as a year of staycations, the hotel’s Mike Coombes explained the value of going the extra mile when inviting guests to bring their furry friends on holiday.
‘For most dog owners, their pet is an extension of their family, and dog-friendly businesses should look to offer canine companions the same level of special treatment as they strive to provide their human counterparts.
‘We’ve been dog-friendly for as long as I can remember,’ explains Mike, ‘but people both near and far seem to have placed more value on the option in recent years.
‘While many places claim to be dog friendly, the list of caveats actually makes it quite hard for dog owners to make the most of their stay.
‘We are truly dog friendly – from a welcome pack on arrival complete with ball, treats and water bowl, to the fuss our staff give canine visitors.
‘Around a fifth of our guests are now accompanied by their dog.
‘We don’t allow dogs in our restaurant for obvious hygiene reasons but are always happy to offer alternative seating in the bar, so dog-owners can still enjoy our menu accompanied by their pet.’
Meanwhile, on the coast Dawlish Warren-based holiday park Cofton Holidays has invested £300,000 in four new dog-friendly lodges to cope with the record demand for staycations from dog owners.
The launch follows research conducted by Cofton which showed that online searches for UK dog-friendly holiday destinations increased by more than 600 per cent this year.Director Helen Scott, said: ‘Lockdown has seen a huge rise in dog ownership, and that’s driving unprecedented demand for dog-friendly holidays.
‘As dog owners ourselves, we know just how important it is to be able to take your dog on holiday with you. That’s why we have gone the extra mile to ensure that Cofton is leading the way in dog-friendly breaks.
‘The introduction of our new lodges is our latest response and builds on our collection of pet-friendly cottages and holiday homes.’