Planning on taking the family pet on holidays this year? We give you some tips to make your ‘pet-friendly’ search a success.

Last June we researched pet-friendly accommodation online and found the pickings pretty slim. We’re happy to report that this time round the choice is better – from pet-friendly self-catering houses to hotels, B & B’s and campsites – the spectrum is pretty much covered; albeit a bit thinly in parts (both geographically as well as type).

Our top tips to find your perfect pet-friendly holiday pad:

Check out a number of different websites: this way you’ll maximise the number of choices. They vary in their user-friendliness, ease of searching and level of information you receive about the pet-friendly accommodation. We’d recommend the following websites for starters (the list is not exhaustive).

www.discoverireland.ie
www.dreamireland.com
www.imagineireland.com
www.ireland-guide.com

Always ring the premises to find out exactly what their ‘pet-friendly’ policy is: it can vary from one place to the next. For example, a lot will require 30 Euro or so for extra cleaning, some will allow pets indoors, others only in outhouse or kennel accommodation etc. You need to make sure that your requirements for your pet will be met – nothing worse than rocking up to find your luxury holiday is the holiday from hell for poor old pooch out in the dog house!

Engage in online forums: There are numerous forums with lively discussions on all things pet, including where to find good holiday accommodation (just do a google search for ‘pet forum in Ireland’).

Phone a friend…everyone knows someone who won’t leave home without their pet. Pick their brains for ideas, recommendations and warnings!

For the posh pooch

If it’s upmarket you’re looking for, there’s a splattering of five-star hotel accommodation around the country that welcomes your pet with open arms. The following article gives a great overview from a yorkie’s point of view:

http://www.independent.ie/life/travel/ireland/romy-and-me-discovering-irelands-dogfriendly-hotels-30454877.html

So wipe away those January blues and book that pet-inclusive holiday now!