What makes a holiday perfect for dogs? Here’s Milo’s holiday wishlist.

While a human’s hit list may include a rustic cabin, lovely views and manageable driving distance, it’s important to make sure your holiday ticks lots of boxes for your furry best friend, too. After all, who is better at letting you know what brings them instant joy than a dog? Milo the springador has his own wishlist for a great holiday and if he could talk, this is what we think would be on it:

Written by Lucy Thackray

5 minute read

Plenty of off-the-lead frolics

Living in a city, the chances to roam for unbroken stretches of time are limited. In a country setting, we look for big stretches of National Park, forest or coast that will let Milo spring through the thicket like the half-springer he is. Once we’ve assessed nervy sheep and country roads, we can unclip him and let him dash off to explore.

Lakes or waves to plunge into

Medium to large dogs are often strong swimmers – and with their labrador and spaniel blood, springadors are natural retrievers, too. So a holiday where Milo can splash into the sea or a nearby lake and retrieve a stick or two is absolute heaven. Calm shallows or small lakes are perfect for a four-legged paddle.

With private beach access, Logi’s Boathouse is heaven for seafaring hounds.

Giant branches and logs

Every pet has their ‘unique’ habit, and Milo’s is all too evident when we head out on walks. He loves a big stick. And “stick” is an understatement: there is no branch, log or cross-section of tree trunk too ambitious for this pup. He’ll take time to make his selection, then carry his chunky prize for hours on end, prompting chuckles wherever he goes. A stretch of woodland or park with ample timber is what it takes to shift a holiday from pleasant to perfection.

Lots of forest undergrowth

He likes the fields and loves the beach, but this boy's preferred terrain to snuffle and scramble through is dense forest undergrowth carpeted by bracken or bramble. Spring! 

A Frame at The Fold sits in 18 acres of wildlife reserve, filled with endless sniffing possibilities!

Squirrels to chase

Oh, poor squirrels. They may just be going about their business, but to Milo, they’re targets to take out in the daily game of his walk. Does he really want to catch them? Probably not, but the sight of a fluffy tail zooming towards a tall tree never fails to spark determined dashing.

Cuddle zone: identified

Milo may love adventuring by day, but by night there's nowhere he'd rather be than wedged between our legs on the sofa. A cottage or hideaway with a good snug area for a glass of wine and a snuggle is non-negotiable. Throw in a crackling fireplace and you'll get a look that says: Can we stay here forever? 

Cosy up with your four-legged friend at The Workshop in Bath, where there's a roaring wood burner and dog blankets for relaxing on the sofa together.

Somewhere cool to curl up

Especially if there’s a fire – when his thick, black fur gets too warm, Milo likes to take himself off and cool down, away from the party. A tiled kitchen floor or outdoor deck is perfect for this.

Home comforts

At two-and-a-half, the toddler needs are real. Milo’s own favourite blanket, his food bowl with his name on, and his favourite toy elephant are our must-pack holiday items. Whatever new smells and trails are available at our destination, there’s nothing like coming back to base to chuck elephant around, chew his tail and cosy up with the scents of home.

A dog-friendly pub

Springadors are loyal, cuddly and intrepid, but they can suffer from separation anxiety. So choosing a holiday spot close to a pub or restaurant they can come along to is a top priority. Give our boy a flagstone floor, a bowl of water and a bar full of friendly punters, and wagging will ensue. 

Visit The Acorn Inn in Dorset, where their motto is "we like dogs and muddy boots" then head back to stay at Murgatroyd for the evening.

New friends

One great thing about being in the countryside is the wealth of other jogs to sniff and play with. These country dogs, with their shepherding skills and their guard-dog barks, may be a bit hardier than those you'd find on Hampstead Heath, but they'll always be welcoming to a city softy who wants to play. 

You can see Milo's stick collection on Instagram at @alifeinsticks.

Check out our dog-friendly places to stay >

Written by Lucy Thackray

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