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The Best Dog-Friendly Locations in the UK for a Staycation this Summer

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After a terribly wet and windy May, the UK has been enjoying some sizzling summer heat with temperatures soaring to 24C in the past week. Like us, our dogs have been locked down for many months and no doubt are eager to experience pastures new again. But not everywhere is dog friendly, so GoCompare has compiled a list of the best places for you and your dog to visit while the weather is so warm.

Pembrokeshire in Wales offers the most dog friendly beaches, with 81 of them scoring an average rating of 3.8 stars.The area is home to several beautiful bays, such as West Angle Beach that has no pet restrictions.

Pembrokeshire also offers Little Haven, Broad Haven (South), Monkstone Beach and Barafundle Bay where you can take your dogs all year round. Devon takes second place with 68 dog-friendly beaches (3.5 stars), while Cornwall is in third place with 51 (3.5 stars).

  • Pembrokeshire: 81 beaches (3.8 star rating)
  • Devon: 68 beaches (3.5 star rating)
  • Cornwall: 51 beaches (3.5 star rating)
  • Anglesey: 42 beaches (3.4 star rating)
  • Glamorgan: 37 beaches (3.6 star rating) 
  • Highland: 33 beaches (3.7 rating) 
  • Dorset: 30 beaches (3.3 star rating)
  • Northumberland: 28 beaches (3.4 star rating)
  • Somerset: 24 beaches (3.1 star rating) 
  • Ceredigion: 24 beaches (3.3 star rating) 
  • Yorkshire: 23 beaches (3.2 star rating) 
  • Cumbria: 23 beaches (3.1 star rating)
  • Gwynedd: 22 beaches (3.4 star rating)
  • Grampian: 22 beaches (3.7 star rating)
  • Hebrides: 21 beaches (4.1 star rating) 
  • Norfolk: 20 beaches (3.4 star rating)
  • Strathclyde: 19 beaches (3.6 star rating)
  • Lothian: 19 beaches (3.7 star rating)
  • Kent: 17 beaches (3.4 star rating)
  • Fife: 13 beaches (3.1 star rating)

Hannah Isitt, pet Insurance spokesperson for GoCompare said:  

“I will definitely be taking my dog to the beach while the weather is so wonderful. It is always important to prepare before taking your dog to the beach. During this heat, be sure to take plenty of water for your dog and don’t forget your biodegradable poo bags. You might also consider getting sunblock for your pet to ensure they do not burn in the sun’s harmful rays, but we recommend checking with your vet before applying any lotions.

“Always look for guidance for each beach before you visit to check whether dogs are allowed at the time you are wanting to visit and you’ll also need to find out whether your pet insurance covers them when they’re away from your home. Most vets accept payments from the majority of insurers, but it’s best to double check by reading the policy documents or getting in touch with the insurer. It’s also worth taking a copy of your pet’s vaccination records and your pet insurance policy with you on your trip, just in case your pet needs veterinary care while you’re off exploring Britain.”

If you’re planning a trip with your dog, here are six things you can do to help make your pet’s UK trip comfortable: 

  • Practice and keep them calm
    Help your pet get used to travelling by taking them on short trips when they’re young, and working up to longer journeys. Make sure they have a blanket and perhaps their favourite toy to sooth them.
  • Travel safely
    Secure them in a suitable restraint, like a carrier, harness or dog guard and don’t let them stick their head out the window because they could get injured or distract other drivers.
  • Check your pet insurance
    Read the policy or get in touch with the provider to see whether it’ll cover your pet if you’re taking them on holiday in the UK.
  • Keep your pet cool and never leave them alone in the car
    Leave a window slightly open to keep fresh air circulating on your journey. Even if you leave the window open a little, don’t leave your pet in the car alone as it can quickly get dangerously hot and be very stressful.
  • Stop regularly
    Plan for a few breaks along the way, so you can give your pet a drink and let them go to the toilet. If possible, let them stretch their legs too but only if it’s safe to do so.
  • Plan and pack carefully
    Include extra food and medication for your pet, as well as an animal first aid kit and any anxiety aids your vet has recommended. Make an emergency plan too, just in case your trip doesn’t go the way you expect.
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However, when it comes to eating out with your pup, GoCompare found that…

Manchester takes the gold medal for having an incredible 2,033 dog friendly restaurants available!

London is in second place with 192 dog friendly restaurants on offer, while Cambridge completes the top three with 132.

When it comes to dog friendly drinking spots, London leads the way. There are 615 pubs in the capital where your pooch will be just as welcome as you, letting them enjoy a well-deserved drink of water as you sip on your favourite tipple.

Nottingham comes in second with 221 dog-friendly pubs, while Edinburgh comes in third with 212.