Holidays with a Hound
We've not long come back from a lovely week in Worcester, England, with Ralph. We often spend weekends traveling to shows and working trials, and on this occasion, we had a 3 day stint at Crufts which is held each March at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.
We were helping out with The Bloodhound stand at Discover Dogs, and In the Dog Activities area. We were also competing on Sunday, which we really enjoyed. It was our 2nd time showing at Cruft’s, and It is always a great experience with lots of spectators, and a lovely large ring to run around! For us it was a great excuse to make the trip into a mini break, so we took the plunge and booked our first AirBnb for our first Holiday with Ralph.
Here are my useful tips when holidaying with a hound:
Accommodation: Set out a wish list of what you want to find first
I haven’t used AirBnb before, but I found it really useful when browsing, that I had a set criteria on the facilities we wanted. We were not hugely specific on the location, so this gave a broad area to search. but after adding all the filters for the things we wanted, there were only a handful to choose from. I wanted a secure garden, a large bed, a Kitchen and of course pet friendly, and we were lucky to find The Stables Cottage!
The Criteria was really important to me, so use all the filters and be picky! read reviews and check out the area on google maps- see what’s in walking distance.
I wanted something which allowed pets, had a kitchen, had a garden, had nice countryside around for dog walks, walking distance to a shop.. think of all these things before you start searching and you'll be sure to find the right place.
Packing for the trip: I honestly felt like we were going to need a mountain of things for a week’s holiday with Ralph. I am not the lightest of packers anyway, but being in the UK, the weather is so changeable and its hard to know what type of attire to get ready on the best of days.
We did end up taking quite a lot of stuff and we definitely made the most out of the large roof box!
I found the easiest way to pack was to have a few different bags for different purposes. It was a lot easier than getting one large suitcase and putting everything in that.
So, Darren had one large bag for his clothes/ toiletries/ electricals etc
I had one large bag for all my things and Ralph had one for all his things.
I then had a backpack for our daily things we needed- water bottle, phones, charger, shopping bag, hand wipes, etc. which I would organise at the start and end of each day.
We then had a bag with all Ralphs things for the day.
This meant we were only carrying what we needed on us... and if you know the NEC, you know it can be a long way to the car if you forget something.
My best advice is to segregate items into smaller more manageable bags, and have a daily backpack check so you can add/ remove things you need for that day!
See things through your pets eyes:
We have been lucky with Ralph, and we have well socialised him with an array of things in his life. but this was still an adjustment for him, like most hounds, he likes his routine, and is happy at home where he knows what’s going on.
We were not worried that he wouldn’t settle in a new place and we knew he is great on long journeys. (he actually gets SO excited and bay's all the way to the motorway when we get up and it’s still dark and head off to an event).
So, when planning the holiday, we planned lots of extra time, as we wanted to take it easy and make it a relaxing time for all of us.
Make sure you are putting your pets needs first, they may be unsettled in a new place, especially overnight.
When we arrived, Ralph came to check the place out first, and I settled in straight away, in the Kitchen with Ralph, and started to make us a brew- while Darren was unpacking the car.
The whole time we were calm and relaxed and not rushed- this is so important for making sure your hound has a nice time too! Bloodhounds are very sensitive so always be conscious of how they are feeling.
Make sure they have their bed/blanket/ toys, these are their home comforts- just like me with my green tea & pyjamas :-D
Plan your meals
We had some very long and busy days at Crufts, But we made sure we were eating and sleeping well- which helped any unnecessary stress. We planned out our meals, so we knew exactly what we were having on each day- this takes SO much stress out, as when your busy all day, the last thing you want to be doing is bickering over what you are going to have for tea.
We spent an hour or 2 in the kitchen every evening, one of us was making a fresh meal, the other was making packed lunches for the following day. (this also saves a lot of money- as events/ tourist places can be expensive and add up if you are doing this every day for a week! )
Take lots of pictures so you can keep the memories!! Crufts went by in a whirlwind, and I am still enjoying looking at all the pictues we took.
Loves and Hugs
Daisy & Ralph