Last week we embarked on a brand new adventure – glamping. As a big fan of my warm bed, running water and other creature comforts, camping has never really appealed to me and, while it is a great way to explore the country on a budget, with dogs it just seemed more effort that it’s worth! Luckily, when perusing the internet one evening, I came across Stanley Villa Farm Camping pods in Lancashire and before we knew it we had packed the dogs into the car and we were off. Of course, an adventure like glamping would not be complete without pals to share it with so we were joined by the dogs’ best gal pal, Tilly and her human Amy. We had the best few days exploring the Lancashire countryside, meeting new friends and generally causing chaos wherever we went! More on the glamping pods and our many adventures later, this post is our top ten tips for glamping with dogs – hopefully a guide that will persuade a few of you that it’s a great (and cheap) alternative to hotels or holiday rentals, it’s definitely an experience we’ll never forget!
1. Bring a dog bed. Sounds obvious but most places, even when dog friendly will not provide a bed for your beloved pooch. It is also really nice for the dogs to have something that smells of home if they are unsettled in their new environment.
2. Bring lots of blankets. The pods we stayed in, although well insulated, were not heated so lots of blankets were definitely required for dogs and humans when the temperature dropped at night! Also to prevent muddy paws on the human beds (and yes, as you can see, I did take my King size duvet and memory foam pillow).
3. Bring fleeces for the dogs to sleep in. See above about the temperature at night! As Colin and Rhapsody are not double coated and are both in a fairly short clip at the moment they are not able to maintain their body temperatures very well so fleeces were essential to make sure they didn’t freeze at night. Trust me, it’s very hard to sleep with a shivering dog on your bed!
4. Bring a stake to attach the hounds too. In the evenings it is lovely to be able to sit outside the pod (ideally with a fire burning – something we failed to achieve this time) without worrying about the dogs wandering off. Also very helpful if you need go to another part of the site and don’t want to lock them inside!
5. Bring lots of towels/drying robes! Even if your dog is not a water baby, I assure you a generous pile of towels is essential for any doggy glamper. Even just the morning dew in the grass seemed to make the dogs soggy and no one wants a soggy doggy in their bed! Plus Colin loves puddles.
6. Find a local pet shop. As raw fed doggies this one was essential for us as travelling with raw meat in the car can cause all kinds of issues. Much easier to find a local supplier and pick it up as you need it. It’s also worth checking what the food storage situation is, luckily we had access to both fridges and freezers so storing food was not an issue at all. Oo and don’t forget travel bowls!
7. Bring lots of chews/treats. As with any trip, there is always the need for some down time in between adventures, especially for tired humans! We made sure we brought lots of healthy chews to keep the dogs happy (and more importantly quiet) while we rested/did other things humans need to do like eat and shower.
8. Bring toys. A bored dog is not a happy dog and you definitely would not want them turning to furniture as a chew toy! Make sure your pack all your dog(s) favourite toys to keep them entertained, we packed a selection of plush toys (added bonus that they smell like home), interactive treat toys and balls. You can never pack too many balls!
9. Look up local dog friendly restaurants/pubs. Even with cooking facilities on site it is always nice to have someone cook for you, after all, glamping is still a holiday! There are loads of great websites out there to help you find the best local places to eat with dogs, whatever did we do before google?!
10. Look up local walks/dog friendly attraction. It’s always best to have a plan of action when heading out for a day of adventures, we found the website ‘Walkies‘ to be very helpful when planning our day trips. It is always worth checking rule about dogs being on leads and any seasonal restrictions, especially if you plan on visiting local beaches!
So there you have it! Our top ten tips for glamping with your dogs – I hope this post might inspire some of you to take the plunge and book your own glamping break – it really is such fun!