Dog Friendly Holidays
Travel by ferry to Ireland and take your dog abroad with ease - no passport or quarantine when you travel to Ireland. There's also no charge for your pet on many ferries. Plus, there are dog-friendly holidays of all kinds available in Ireland - from five star to rustic.
Dog Friendly Ferries
Holidaying in Ireland with your pet is simple when you take the ferry.
Your pet can either remain in your car (which is free) or for a longer sea journey they can spend the time in one of the on-board kennels so you can visit if necessary. It’s easy on the pocket too with prices starting at a mere €20 to add a dog kennel to your ferry travel arrangements. Travelling to Ireland by sea is plain sailing with 15 ferry routes from Britain to Ireland and 277 crossings each way every week. You can be there in as little as 90 minutes so you can begin your holiday straight away and start soaking up the Irish culture.
Most of the major car hire companies have desks at ferry terminals at cities across Ireland. Click here for info on car hire, and bus and train services in Ireland.
Crossings to Ireland from the UK are operated by Stena Line, Irish Ferries, Isle of Man Steam Packet, Norfolkline Irish Sea, P&O Irish Sea and Fastnet Line.
Dog Activity Holidays
Dog activity holidays are increasingly popular according to the Dogs Trust, and Ireland is the ideal location. Clarissa Baldwin, Dogs Trust CEO, says: “We’re lucky to have this great, dog-friendly destination on our doorstep. Dogs love a change of scenery just as much as their owners and I think Ireland makes a wonderful holiday destination for them. They don’t need a pet passport, ferry transfers are quick and easy and the stunning countryside and coasts are every holidaying hound’s dream! Our top tip is to make sure you do your research before you go and check the beach is dog-friendly.”
Dog Friendly Beaches
The beaches in Ireland are gorgeous and woofers love them! Beaches have different rules for dogs (so do check your local tourist office) but overall dogs are welcome as long as they are on leads and you clean up after them.
Here’s a few to get you started:
- Murlough National Nature Reserve, Dundrum, Co Down
- Greystones beach, Greystones, Co Wicklow
- Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow
Dog Friendly Accommodation
Once in Ireland, there are numerous hotels and B&Bs which welcome dogs, such as Rathmullan House in Donegal who have a special doggie hotel room or Hayfield Manor Hotel in Cork, where your pet can stay in luxury surroundings. B&B Ireland has over 150 members who accept pets into their homes all over the country.
Four-star Rathmullan House hotel in Donegal offers a superior doggie room that has an internal room for your dog complete with a special dog bed and toys. Your dog has access to the gardens and beach area through their own patio door, and of course the hotel kindly provides pooper-scoopers for them.
In the lap of the dogs
Five-star Hayfield Manor Hotel in Cork offers dog kennels (marked Lord and Lady) in the hotel grounds to ensure that much loved dogs can now experience the same 5* hotel service that their owners enjoy. To really treat your pooch, why not order them a treat from the Very Important Pooch doggie gourmet selection? Or relax while one of the Hayfield Manor team take your dog for a walk.
Cosy Brown Trout Golf and Country Inn in Aghadowey, Northern Ireland, welcomes all sorts of pets. Says Jane: “We’re very happy to welcome pets as long as the owners are well-trained! You can stay in our hotel or lovely cosy cottages with your pet. The cottages are on the golf course and there is a river close by so there is lots of scope for exercise.''
Top events for dogs
Dogs are social creatures and it’s a well known fact that the Irish are a friendly race, as are their pets!
Why not enter your dog in the Bantry pet races on Friday nights in July and August? Or head to the Sunday market in the Peace Park in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin where a wide range of pooches meet up! Agricultural shows are a great day out. You can bring your dog and even enter them in competitions with the locals.
Fermanagh County Show, 3 - 4 August
Clogher Valley Show, in County Tyrone 28th July
Republic of Ireland
Tullow Agricultural Show, County Carlow, 15 August
Iverk Agricultural Show, County Kilkenny, 28th August
Come and visit!
Whatever you choose, and why ever you choose to stay, Ireland has a holiday which the whole family will enjoy. So get packing, and don't forget the dog biscuits!