PetLondon visits the National Pet Show

Here at PetLondon we know how to do Sunday Funday properly. The National Pet Show was calling our name, so on Sunday we decided to visit the show which took place at the London Excel Centre on the weekend of the 6th and 7th May 2017.

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For those who aren’t in the know; the National Pet Show is a bonanza for animal lovers of all ages. The show is jam-packed with of a range of activities and hundreds of stands for pet lovers. From facing painting & arts ‘n’ crafts in the kids zone, to the boutique  marketplace for those shopaholics; there was something for everyone.

The show was split into four main zones each with a focus and feel to them. The sheer size of the show, feels like each zone you enter into is like crossing into a different continent. The four zones were the: Dog Zone, Cat Zone, Small Furries Zone & Animal Zone.
Hidden away in the far corner of the show was the Super Theatre which hosted amazing spectacles such and captivating talks. Highlights included the Amazing Bird of Prey experience with Leigh Holmes featuring amazing acts with Owls, Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Vultures. We managed to catch Supervet Professor Noel Fitzpatrick’s Live Show where he talked about behind the scenes of Supervet on Channel 4 (just like we do on our blog) and the absolutely amazing stories he has from helping all sorts of animals over the years.

Noel Fitzpatrick Live at the #nationalpetshow .. who is coming down to see us tomorrow? #thenationalpetshow #teampets

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The dog zone featured a whole host of breed stands, where you could interact with dogs of all shapes and sizes and chat to the owners, many of which were associated with either breeders’ clubs or rescue charities. Everyone we spoke to was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and we chatted away for hours.

Over the day we photographed a vast array of the happy exhibitors; some of them posing for the camera perfectly whilst others wanted to get up close and personal. Two mini arenas were located within the dog zone: The School4Dogs and the Dog Activity Ring. School4Dogs had trainers and experts explain the training and requirements for dogs in a variety of circumstances, such as in the workplace, health and social care, and the show business. They also have shows explaining positive reinforcement and types of training for puppies to learn different commands and tricks. It’s all about progressing from one stage to the next, with lots of praise and treats as rewards!

We managed to see the end of the timed agility course which saw dogs zipping under, over, through and around tunnels, seesaws and posts. It was like a Mini Crufts that they called Scrufts (hehe!). The highlight of the Dog Activity Ring was the spectacular UK Disc Dog Associations show. It was amazing to see the Border Collie leaping through the air catching Frisbees, dancing through legs and leaping up onto the trainers’ back standing tall and proud. 

After a bite to eat, we wondered over to The Cat Zone where all the ‘Top Cats’ were on show. Here were a diverse range of domestic and exotic breeds from the classic British Shorthair to the playful Siamese. Many of them were rescue cats, and the exhibitors were more than welcome to share their stories, and provide insightful information into involving yourself into cat rescue and the benefits of such. At periodic times during the day, national level judges took time to explain to audiences how cats are judged at competitions. A fun fact is that it takes four shows within a year with at least ten cats being entered into a new category for a new colouring of a breed to enter the CCG. The presentations, and the Q&As were a bountiful fountain of information, with everything from cat communication to tips for cat grooming and care.

The small furries zone was a warren of activity. Rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas running around in amazing complex play pens and runs. It made everyone walking through stop and look… there was so much going on! Little bunnies were running around in a jungle-gym like run with a large open air central area, connected on each side by tunnels, tubes, hidey holes and a container deep enough for some serious burrowing. All the super furries looked super happy and healthy… just like we want to see. Once again this was a menagerie of information, with specific talks for rats, rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs. It was amazing to see young children absorbed by the speakers and soaking up all the information on offer. All the talks that we saw were engaging, slick and up-to-date.   

Also on show was a charity which saved and rescued working hens from across the UK and a pen with a micro pig and Shetland pony, where farmers were educating the public and raising awareness for miniature animals’ welfare.  At PetLondon we are passionate about animal welfare so this was very encouraging and we were pleased the organisers were promoting such great causes.
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Overall we had a lovely experience, enjoying and engaging with fellow animal lovers. It’s well worth a visit, especially for families considering to get a pet whether a small reptile or a big shaggy sheepdog. A top tip for our readers… tickets were slightly cheaper on Groupon! The National Pet Show took place in Birmingham and London this year. Head over to their website for more information regarding next year’s show!

 

 

Easter Bank-Holiday Explorers

As we flock from our offices to soak up some mid-day rays, ice lollies back on your weekly shopping list, and BBQ’s covers are dusted off it can only mean one thing…. The Great British Sunshine has arrived.

With the long Easter weekend upon us and sun promised May bank holidays, many dog owners, including us at PetLondon are taking these chances to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life to relax with a mini-weekend staycation. Whether you are tucked up in a tiny beachside cottage in the depths of Dorset, exploring an undiscovered trail through the Sherwood Forest or exploring a city from a converted factory studio from AirBnB; our brand range is perfect for those intrepid explorers out there.

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Inspired by the concept of outdoor recreation, the brand new Puppia Life range combines premium quality functionality and hyper-durable textiles with their opulently sharp design to create a truly exclusive outdoor collection for dogs. This seasonal range reflects trends in consumer demands for a robust and practical outdoor wear for their dogs; where design and style is key.

Inspired by nautical influences, the Wilderness jacket is treated with industry standard waterproofing and features fully adjustable toggles on the hood and hem to ensure a great fit and dryness in all weather conditions. With integrated harness, reflective bands and a handy zipped pocket; dogs will be safe and warm whilst finding their sea legs or dashing through puddles.

Pom in Wilderness Jacket

The Trek Harness range adheres strictly to Puppia Life’s philosophy of safety, style, comfort and functionality with these harnesses being much stronger and more durable than competitors. These veterinarian approved harnesses, are fully waterproof, and are available in a five different shapes, A to E, to suit each dog’s individual requirements.  For instance Type E predicates ease of fitting the harness with its doubles buckles on each side, and Type C allows adjustment for a wider chested breeds, which typical vest harnesses lack.

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Type A Trek Harness

The colour coordinated Trek Leads provide superior durability as with the rest of the Puppia Life range has three different length settings for varying activities and life stages of your pet. The padded handle offers premium comfort for the owner.

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Adjustable Matching Leads

Whatever activity you are doing, enjoy the sunshine (fingers crossed), enjoy the company and make the most of it! 

 

 

Marauding around Marylebone – The Ultimate Doggy Day Out

Nestled in the heart of London, Marylebone’s village-like atmosphere is the perfect place for a day out with your dog. PetLondon has been part of this community for over ten years; our showroom is a true-to-life Aladdin’s cave for all your doggy needs. The area is bursting with a variety of dog friendly activities and we want to share all the hidden gems with you. This is the only guide you will need for the ultimate adventure with your canine companion.

Start off your morning exploring Marylebone High Street, it’s a haven for shopping, food and culture – a perfect blend of individuality and character rarely found in a city centre.  This unique vibrant high-street is warm and welcoming, with a plethora of boutiques to explore as you stroll down the pleasantly bustling avenue.  Most of the shops are super dog friendly, but the winner all round has to be Lululemon – it hands out dog treats! We love their store, not only for their excellent range of premium quality and chic sports wear but also their ‘amour-propre’ laid back manifesto to life. It’s our guilty pleasure to indulge in some new apparel for the morning run with the dog. 

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After some well needed retail therapy, we implore  you to grab a luscious coffee at Coffee Fratelli’s on the corner of Wigmore Street, where the spacious seating outside is perfect to soak up some sunshine with your canine , and relax as the world goes by. Make sure to order their Cappuccino – it’s to die for! Don’t forget to visit us whilst walking up Wigmore Street. Our showroom is a paradise for dogs; we have a huge range of premium products, from grooming and garments to treats and toys. Just ring the buzzer of No.16,  we are on the fourth floor.

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With a new harness or lead in hand, head over to Paddington Street Gardens, located just around the corner, it’s a total hidden gem. Opened in 1886 by HRH Princess Louise, these beautiful public gardens are perfect for dogs and owners of varying energy levels to stretch their legs. This lovely secluded spot located between Marylebone and Baker Street is popular with local residents. Park dwellers  always seem to be  spotted relaxing on the deckchairs which can be hired, and these gardens are the home for the annual Marylebone’s Summer Fayre which takes place in June each year.  If you are visiting of a weekend, be sure to explore the nearby Marylebone Farmers’ Market which is filled with scrumptious goods from across the country with both locals and food enthusiasts alike sampling the best the capital has to offer.

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Whenever you fancy wander onwards to Il Baretto’s; their upstairs dining area is fully dog friendly. This lesser known spot is our hidden secret gem but we wanted to share this with you.  This restaurant is an ideal spot, to rest your feet and enjoy a spot of lunch. We have got to recommend fully their scrumptious Bufala pizza. It’s classically simple and authentic menu takes culinary influences from specialty dishes and regional produce of Italy.

Afterwards you must spend the afternoon perusing the  five floors of fashion and lifestyle goods at the globally renowned Selfridges, which is known for being extremely dog friendly. Just remember your companion has to be under-arm or alongside you in a carry bag!

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With so much to do, you consider staying a few nights in the area. For those visiting from near or far, we highly recommend The Langham. This prestigious and  iconic pet-friendly hotel has been praised by many for its excellent customer service for both owners and their pets and is ideally located to explore Marylebone. To top it off,  the glamorous Artesian  Bar has been dubbed the ‘World’s Best Bar’, winning  the coveted Drinks International Best Bar award for four years in a row.

We hope you enjoyed our suggestions for a dog friendly day in our beloved neighborhood.  We are proud to call Marylebone our home, it’s definitely the picture-perfect place to explore all year round, with plenty of fantastic shops and spaces no matter what time of year.

Visit Us At DOGFEST!

DogFest is coming up! If you are unsure of what the festival is about, checkout their website here: http://dog-fest.co.uk

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The DogFest event is Hosted by  by Channel 4’s Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick. A great day out for dogs and dog lovers, the show is sure to be full of fun things to do such as action activities, shopping, displays and loads of competitions and things you and your dog can take part in. There will be agility and even dog dancing! You can also speak to experts for advice about your pet.

REV12419On June 25th and 26th, PetLondon will be at DogFest in Windsor, UK’s summer festival for dogs. We will have a stand selling a range of our fantastic products. You can pick up some great bargains and special offers at the show as well as view some new exciting product launches.

 

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PetLondon Models will also be present at DogFest, on the stand next door. They will be scouting the grounds for talented canines to join the UK’s Leading Pet Model Agency. Hopefuls can come onto the PetLondon booth (booth #272) for an exclusive 5-minute chance to show off their skills. The animals will participate in both still shots and film footage. After the show, PetLondon Models will select the top 50 most talented pups to join the agency with a complementary membership.

 

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The lucky chosen dogs could become the Next Top Models for brands like Virgin, Mulberry, Vogue, Stella McCartney, Disney and so much more. This could be their chance to work with some famous British and Global brands. Owners won’t want to miss out on this FREE and exclusive opportunity.

 

Picture1PetLondon Model Scouts will be especially looking out for qualities such as:

  • Rare and unusual breeds
  • Photogenic qualities
  • Unusual, or advanced skill sets
  • Family groups (i.e. family groups living within the same household)

 

Come along to our stand #272 and say hi!

For a chance to win 2 FREE tickets to visit us at DogFest, comment below and tell us a little bit about your beloved pets at home. Two winners will be chosen. Each winner will receive a pair of FREE tickets to DogFest. Winners will be chosen at random. Good Luck!

Pet Friendly Florida

More and More pets now than ever are now joining their parents on family vacations these days. Travel to and from the UK is not easy but if you have a small dog and are willing to travel via France then getting to America with your animal in the cabin with you is possible.

Poppy our founding dog and mascot in the PetLondon logo is fortunate to have spent much time in Florida where her Daddy is from and would like to share with you some of her top tips for vacationing with your pet in this sunny paradise. Here are a selection of her top five favourite things about spending time in the Sunshine State.

  1. Dog Strollers are the Norm and Dogs are Welcome to Shop

Chances are you will want to partake in some retail therapy during your trip. Our top recommendation is the Town Centre Mall in Boca Raton. Its never too crowded and has a good selection of shops. One thing you will quickly notice if you visit any mall in Florida is that if you take a second look at all those strollers rolling past you, probably about 75% of them will contain not the usual two-legged infants but some very adorable four-legged friends. It seems the general policy is that so long as the pet is being carried or is in a stroller then they are very welcome in the shops.

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Over the years, Poppy has owned a selection of strollers and here she is in her three-wheeler. The nice thing for Poppy is she can see where she is going, interact with people and then when she has had enough, there is plenty of room to curl up and go to sleep in peace and in her own private space. Its also got a handy storage space underneath to hold all the shopping and even a cup holder for your cappuccino!

Whilst strollers can of course be used in any country, if you have ever used one in the UK you are probably used to a lot of looks of surprise and shock. In the USA you will fit right in and be amongst many others using the same mode of transport for indoor shopping!

Here are a selection we saw on one shopping trip to Town Centre; A West Highland Terrier, A Cavalier King Charles and Maltese, all enjoying a day of shopping with their pet parents.

Another really useful item for shopping malls is a pet sling. If you are just quickly nipping in then this is fast and easy to use. We spotted this really cute little guy in Shaper Image. He seemed to be really chilled and is just “Hanging Out”!

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2. Dog Beaches are a blast

One of Poppy’s true zen moments in life occur when she is on the beach. There is something about the feel of sand underneath her paws and the smell of the fresh ocean breeze that seems such a far cry from pounding the urban pavements of Marylebone. Poppy who is not much of an athlete usually, will happily run and frolic in the sand for hours or enjoys just digging in and inhaling the ocean breeze.

Dogs are not allowed on all beaches in Florida so you will need to do some research but most areas have a designated patch of beach that you can use at certain times of day. Be aware of one important thing though, you may need to purchase day permit to use the beach for a day or a weekend which can normally be done at an office right next to the space.

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Poppy’s favourite spot is the Dog Beach in Boca Raton (Spanish River Park 3001 North Ocean Blvd., Between Lifeguard Towers 18 and 20). It is not as busy as you would expect and we practically had the place to ourselves on her last visit. The one thing you do need to be aware of though is that at certain times of year there can be jellyfish right by the waters edge. This is the last thing you want your dog to step on or touch, so check carefully before letting them off lead. The beach is very wide so you can easily stay above the tidal line if needed.

If your dog is the type that will enjoy a swim then stay safe and make sure you bring a dog life jacket with you too.

3. Dog Parks are a lot of fun

Florida is very pet friendly with special dog parks in most areas. A quick google search will help you to find your closest one. Normally there are separate areas for small dogs and larger breeds so that you can safely let them off the lead to interact with some new friends as long as they are well socialised.

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Our recommendation is the Joseph Scavo Park in Hallandale. It has recently been renovated. Its a nice place to enjoy the fabulous Florida weather and there are lots of activities to do including a fitness path and equipment for adults and a children’s playground.

There are always plenty of dogs around, especially at sunset and a very freindly community feel. Don’t forget your pick up bags, a water bowl (it can get very hot and you need to make sure your pet stays hydrated) and make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations before letting them interact with others.

4. Dog Menus are available

Another great thing about Florida is that the weather is so warm that you can dine outside at most places with your dog. Some restaurants even offer dog menus. Max’s Grill in Mizner Park is one of these places. You can select from a huge choice of dishes breakfast to dinner and a great brunch on Sundays.

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Your dog can choose from the Mizner Bark Menu, which ranges from a simple snack of some biscuits to a 8oz Filet Mignon.

When you are travelling its not always easy to prepare food for you dog, so this can come in especially handy.

You can also help your pup cool off on a hot day with a frozen peanut butter pupcake.

Poppy’s favourite is the “Chasing Chicken”.

Max’s Grill is located in Mizner Park, which is a nice place to stroll around for a few hours with shops, restaurants and a very luxurious movie theatre. It is always full of dogs so there will be plenty of new friends to meet.

 

5. Pet Products are everywhere

There are loads of pet product shops in Florida. You cannot drive more than a few blocks without coming across one. Whether its the mass chains like Pet Supermarket, grooming salons, dog health food shops or independent boutiques, you will find a great selection of items that are not available in the UK. Our top recommendation is the Dog Bar in South Beach.

 

Finally, we want to leave you with a serious HEALTH TIP! Florida struggles with Heartworms, something that is not commonly a problem or treated for in the UK. Any dog owner planning a vacation or trip to Florida with their pet should discuss Heatworm prevention with their veterinarian before the trip. Its very easy to handle with the correct preventative drops or tablets during your trip but something you need to be aware of.

 

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Globe Trotting with your pup

Travelling with your pup may seem daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. The key to success is preparation- as a wise old dog once said, ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’. So I have put my thinking hat on, and written a fool proof doggy suitcase list to help your trip run as smoothly as possible.

ID (and documentation): If you’re taking your dog out and about it’s always good to have an ID tag on them- and you could even make an extra ID with your holiday details on for while you’re away. Check what documentation you need for your pet before you travel, and carry it with you at all times.  The UK government have a lot of information up on their website to help you.

Harness: Our bestselling harness is now available with Cool Pup technology. Using lightweight and heat resistant SPF fabric with a cooling ice pack inside- that will keep your pup cool for up to 6 hours. Perfect for a sunny holiday!

Recent Photo: Every dog owners phone is full of pictures of their pup, print out a couple to keep with you in case your dog gets lost in an unfamiliar location.

Lead: Why not bring a spare too- you don’t know how far away you might be to a pet store if your lead goes missing.

Bedding: Bringing bedding from home that smells familiar is an excellent way to keep dogs calm during travelling and when they first arrive in a new location. A blanket that smells like home can be easily squashed up and carried with you for the journey.

Jacket: If you’re travelling to somewhere nippy bring a jacket with you- especially for thin or short-haired breeds like whippets or greyhounds.

Towels: Nobody wants wet fur all over the place when you’re a visitor, or to ruin guest towels with your pups muddy paws! Having a designated dog towel will help keep you in everyones good books.

Old Sheet: Easy to stuff in the bottom of your bag, you can use an old sheet to cover furniture or carpet, this is especially handy if you’re going to a hotel. Keep that cleaning to a minimum.

Lint Roller: A must for any furry pet owners bag, keep that dog fur off your bikini!

Food: Dogs are prone to an upset tummy when they travel, and you could risk making it worse by changing their diet while you’re away. Keep it simple and pack enough of their regular food to last while you’re away.

Bowls: Our collapsible travel bowls are perfect for the summer, they fold down small enough to pop in your pocket. Great for on the go.

Plastic Mat: Super useful if your dog is a messy eater.

Poo Bags: In your suitcase, hand luggage, rucksack, purse and pocket. Stuff these bad boys everywhere.

First Aid Kit: You can pack up a few essentials and pop them in a bag to take with you, or to be extra safe invest in a Hi-Travel Pet First Aid Kit. With everything from tweezers to a foil blanket.

Sun Screen: Our Luscious Locks 2-in-1 Aloe Vera and Tangerine Oil formula will detangle your dog’s coat and protect its sensitive skin from harmful UV rays all at the same time.

Life Jacket: Made of the same material as human life jackets, doggy life jackets will help keep your pup afloat in water. Our life jackets have a reflective stripe which will help you keep an eye on your dog in the water.

Let us know if you have any extra travel must haves for you and your dog- and Happy Travels!

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

It has been over a year since London’s first ever cat cafe opened, despite being over the moon with excitement when it first opened I have only just got a chance to pop in!

There are twelve cats at Lady Dinah’s, all beautifully looked after. This is not a place to come and bother cats, but a little oasis of furry calm in the middle of London. The cats were all very chilled, especially Wookie who I had the pleasure of cuddling up to mid-tea.

Although there are walk-ins allowed, I would recommend booking to make sure you get a spot (especially if there are more than three of you wanting to go).

I treated myself to a High Tea, and although I was there for the cats I was definitely more than happy to stay for the food. It was top notch!

Marylebone Summer Fayre

One of the many perks of working at PetLondon is having the beautiful Marylebone High street on our doorstep- and this Sunday we are excited to be spilling out on the streets to take part in the Marylebone Summer Fayre. We will be carting off some really exciting bits and pieces to share with you all over at Blandford Street!

The Marylebone Summer Fayre takes place every year, with the whole community getting involved. It is the perfect place to spend your Sunday getting lost in, as there is something there for everybody, lots of food and drink, crafts, children’s activities and even a music stage featuring some of the most exciting new acts in the country.

Most excitingly of course, lots of local businesses will be there, we are super chuffed to be a part of this and would love to see as many of our canine chums as possible on the day. We will be selling our most popular items at incredible discounts, and will have more exclusive offers for everyone who comes by the stand. You will also have a chance to get your paws on our bumper hamper, through our exciting social media competition. At 2pm we will be giving away pup friendly ice cream to every dog who comes by, don’t be late, as we only have limited amounts!

It is going to be pawesome!

Dog Friendly Trips in the UK

The PetLondon community is the best bunch of dog experts we know! So, when we wanted to write about the best doggie friendly spots we turned to Twitter to reach out to you all- and we weren’t disappointed. We have shortlisted your Top Five places to visit with your pup this Summer

Whitby Abbey- Recommended by Roary!

First up is the gothic splendour of Whitby Abbey, a stunning English Heritage Site in North Yorkshire, Whitby Abbey was the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Just a short climb from the picturesque Yorkshire town of Whitby, you and your pup can sink your teeth into incredible history and views. Roary loves exploring the ruins of the abbey, and also recommended other English Heritage sites around North Yorkshire. We spoke to English Heritage and they wanted to add that all all pups must be kept on a lead- and that we should be respectful of dog waste.

Dalby Forest- recommended by Lady

Next up is Dalby Forest, a beautiful spot nestled in the North York Moors. No two trips to the forest need to be the same, there are miles of fantastic walks- dogs are welcome on all of their walking trails and outside the visitor centre there are dog bowls for a quick refresh after walkies! Dalby Forest were really pleased to have been picked by Lady, we spoke with the centre manager who wanted to add ‘Dalby Forest is a great place to spend time with your four legged friend, my favourite walk is the Adderstone Rigg Trail which starts and finishes in our open grassy field- so there is plenty of space for a game of fetch!’. Lady loves Dalby Forest, here is a pic of her looking windswept and interesting mid-walk.

42 The Calls, Leeds

Once an 18th Century Mill, 42 The Calls has been beautifully converted into an award winning- and dog friendly- boutique hotel. Each room has a unique character, a mix of quirky original features and luxurious modern touches, with many of them overlooking the River Aire. What makes 42 The Calls so special is the attention to detail, as well as the homemade fudge laid out for you, the hotel will provide you with doggy treats for your pup to tuck into! This was recommended by doggie owner Donna, who also tipped us off that many of the surrounding pubs are dog friendly too! The team at 42 The Calls are lovely, they were excited to be part of our list and commented ‘we love giving owners the flexibility to travel with their beloved pets’.

Salcombe Harbour Hotel and Spa

Another little gem for you, Salcombe Harbour Hotel and Spa is a taste of luxury for you and your pup. Recommended to us by Scooby, who loved his stay, and his owner Sarah who fell in love with her view of the Estuary. The hotel and spa are tucked into the Salcombe Estuary, you can wake up to stunning views of the Devon landscape. Spend the day with your dog exploring the coastline, before returning to snuggle up on the rooftop terrace, looking out across the water as the yachts sail by.

The Orchards Tea Room: Dogs, children and muddy boots are welcome in the Orchards Tea Room, nestled in a working apple orchard on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk Border. Everyone in the team loves dogs, and they have plenty of dog biscuits and water on hand for canine visitors! Work up an appetite for the delicious freshly prepared food by exploring the orchard with your dog. They also host charity dog shows, the next one is the 4th July.

Thank you so much to every dog and owner who helped us out, and happy travels everyone!