If ghastly toddlers are allowed in fancy hotels, dogs should be too

Annabel Fenwick-Elliott
Would you rather share the lobby with someone else's stroppy infant or a nice spaniel?

Lots of us will be holidaying closer to home this year – let us bring our hounds

It’s the year of the dog. Those of us who mercifully haven’t lost jobs or loved ones have forfeited smaller privileges during these months of lockdown. Pubs. Frivolity. Hair control. But, as ever when disaster strikes, there have been gains, too. Time. Perspective. And dogs. 

Indeed, the Kennel Club group has reported a 180 per cent rise in inquiries from people wanting to acquire canines compared with last year. It makes sense. Introducing a new pet requires presence and dedication; something many of us have had, unexpectedly, in spades. 

I am one of them. My 13-year-old dog, Pringle, passed away recently and, pre-lockdown, getting another one would have been infeasible. But given that I knew I’d be working from home for the foreseeable future, it was the perfect time to welcome Bear, an 88lb German shepherd, into my life. I couldn’t love him more.

Another thing many of us will be doing this summer, with our skew-whiff DIY haircuts and new four-legged companions, will be holidaying closer to home. No surprise, then, that PetsPyjamas, a British dog-friendly travel specialist, has seen a 40 per cent rise in month-on-month bookings ahead of the UK’s grand hospitality reopening last weekend.

A year before Pringle died, I took her to Cliveden House – the lavish Berkshire estate that often hosted Queen Victoria and her beloved spaniels. It’s proof that even the finest establishment can cater to man’s best friend.

It is my hopeful prediction that more and more decent hotels will accommodate dogs from now on. If not with open arms, then at least grudgingly, as part of the family package; the way they must with toddlers, who are infinitely more inconvenient. 

Generally speaking, dogs do not squeal, fling food, or cry for no apparent reason. Almost always, and perhaps I am being as biased as any parent, my docile, giant-eyed hound elicits warm smiles wherever he goes, and bothers no one. So here’s to today, Britain’s independence day, and the freedom to bring our dogs.

Should dogs be allowed in hotels? Share your view in the comments section below