Can we take dogs and pets on our Canal Holiday?

A Canal Holiday on a hire boat is Fun for All The Family, including your dog! But do check with the hire firm first, some may only have some dog friendly boats. Unfortunately pets can’t usually be taken on Hotelboat cruises.

  • Dogs will enjoys lots of fresh air and towpath walks at gentle cruising speeds.
  • Many hire firms allow dogs on some or all of their boats. Most Hotelboats don’t allow dogs though.
  • As always you need to keep your dog under control, a dog life jacket is a good idea.
  • Many canalside pubs now allow and even cater for your furry friends.

Can We Bring Our Dog?

A canal holiday is a great holiday for dogs! The countryside around the canal network is teeming with lovely walks, and because canal boats travel at about 3 or 4 miles per hour it is not difficult to keep up if you want to walk your dog along side. Why pay to put your family pet into a boarding kennel when you can enjoy their company, and they can enjoy yours, on a canal boat holiday?

Dogs on canal hire boats or hotelboats

If you are going to hire a boat you will find that most hire firms allow dogs on some, if not all, of their boats. There may be a small additional charge to account for the extra cleaning involved, but it’s usually minimal. Dogs are usually happy wherever they are provided they are with the family, so being somewhere they get extra walks and extra attention is just dog heaven!

However it is unlikely that any Hotelboats will be able to accept pets, unless perhaps you have booked the whole boat.

Things to consider

Of course it is your responsibility to make sure your dog is under control at all times. Fields alongside the towpath may hold farm animals, other dogs may be being walked on the towpath, and peaceful canal bridges can lead to busy main roads. No matter how much they enjoy the open countryside and how well behaved they normally are dogs will be in an unfamiliar environment, so you must be there to look after them.
Some boaters invest in special dog coats which help dogs to float and make them easier to see if they fall in the canal, some coats have handles helping you pull them out. Be specially careful at locks, it can be difficult to rescue a dog which has fallen into an empty lock.
And of course make sure you clean up the towpath after them!


Dog friendly canal pubs

A lot of canal pubs now allow dogs inside, at least to some of the rooms. Many actually welcome dogs and provide drinking water, we have even heard of one with a separate food menu for dogs! Check out our listings of Canal Pubs and let us know if you can to recommend any dog friendly pubs, lots of other boaters will be interested!

Dogs on Boats!

Lots of people have been sending in photos of their dogs on their canal holidays to our Facebook pages. Many thanks for everyone who sent them in and allowed us to use them. If you’d like us to include your pooch enjoying a canal holiday just add them to our Facebook pages!


All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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