April 24, 2013
Holidays with horses… and other pets! by Carla Francis
Australia has one of the highest pet ownerships in the world, and many people are now opting to take their faithful companions with them. As the travel industry becomes aware of this new trend the easier it is becoming to travel with a pet – and the good news is this no longer just applies our canine friends, but horses and other animals too.
As any animal lover knows, a holiday can be mixed with feelings of excitement at the thought of your impending departure but also sadness because you are leaving your best friend behind. So, it comes as no surprise that the amount of pet-friendly accommodation all over Australia is now on the rise.
When the research for the new guidebook, Pet-Friendly Accommodation on Australia’s East Coast, began the amount of properties that welcomed horses was nowhere near the amount that it is today.
Over the last four years there has been a marked increase. That said, horse-friendly properties still seems quite underrepresented comparatively, however the places you can enjoy with your horse, and other types of pets, is now much easier to find.
When asked whether people with horses often travel with other animals, Ned’s Horse and Dog O’Tel owner Jenny said: “Dogs and other critters are often a part of the team of a family travelling with horses. Horses are approximately 30% of our business, dogs and other animals are the rest”.
This is a pet-friendly hotel that has welcomed all manner of creatures from hermit crabs to snakes as well as travelling horses and dogs.
Finding suitable places
The best way to go about finding pet or equine-friendly accommodation is by doing a lot of research prior to departure. There are a number of great websites available, which offer a large amount of information but the problem is the time it takes to find the most suitable place for your requirements.
Hours could easily be lost when searching for the best kind of accommodation for you and your four-legged friend. It’s best to err on the side of caution and always check with the property owner first, as many properties, which claim to be genuinely animal friendly often turn out to only accept dogs, and sometimes only outside the property.
The best thing to do is to email the property directly and ask them questions about your specific needs.
Properties are always changing their pet-friendly status so it’s best to check that this hasn’t changed.
It is also worth enquiring about what facilities and house rules they have for animal guests.
Generally, most properties are more than happy to help by answering your questions – those that aren’t are perhaps the best ones to avoid.
Another tip is to look on the property’s website and to view previous guest comments this can give you an indication of the level of hospitality you might receive.
Planning your trip
In order to plan your trip effectively it is essential to think of everything your animal companion is likely need while away from home.
Jenny of Ned’s Bed says; ‘I guess it’s like travelling with children, if they use it at home, chances are they will need it on the road’. And of course you can never underestimate the risk of ticks when travelling, this is one thing that could ruin your animal companion’s holiday. Jenny offers horse owners some sound advice, ‘know your horse, they are easy to read when they are sick. And of course prevention is a much easier option. I constantly check my horses and dogs. Unfortunately, we almost lost a little dog to tick poisoning (out of tick season) again so prevention is much better than the cure!’.
Check the area you are staying in to see whether there are pet-friendly parks, off-leash beaches or trail rides close by. This can seriously effect the outcome your holiday because obviously if you are not permitted to walk your dog, cat or ferret, or ride your horse nearby the holiday won’t as enjoyable as if you could.
An Essential Guide
Pet-Friendly Accommodation on Australia’s East Coast has an in-depth guide on featured dog-friendly beaches and parks in the back section of the book and is planning to include a trail guide for horses in the next edition. Alternatively, maps of places to ride your horse can be obtained from local councils or by enquiring with the property upon booking.
Pet-Friendly Accommodation on Australia’s East Coast by Woodslane Press is available in all good book stores.
Visit the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/petfriendlyaccom or the website www.pet-friendlyaccommodation.com.au for more information.
You can find more information and maps about horse trails and beaches by visiting the section on parks and forests and trail rides on the following websites:
QLD – Useful links
NSW – Useful links
VIC – Useful links
Photo credit: Neds Bed