Chart a course for wild Wales with your favourite wild beasts, partners, children and things that go woof in the night. From long walks on the beach to pub lunches by the fire, they'll thank you for it.
If there is one thing that fills pet owners with trepidation, it’s holidays. You worry about kennels, dumping the dog on your relatives and organising care. However, you really needn't bother. Really.
Wales is about the wild and it is here that wild things love best. If you love lakes, rivers, mountains, beaches and an endless coastline, then let us begin.
Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula
On the Gower Peninsula, not far from Swansea, is Rhossili beach voted by The Times as the UK's best dog-friendly beach. It is a vast sickle of golden sand, its green headlands scrubbed by the breeze that blows in off the Atlantic. As a whole, the Gower is probably Wales' favourite destination for dog walking. There are four blue flag beaches here alone, with plenty of rock pools for the family to explore, sands to run, waves to splash, and shouts to call. They won't want to go home.
West of Gower, you come to Carmarthenshire the 'Garden of Wales.' This largely rural county has plenty of coastal and country walks, like the one at Pembrey Country Park; a wide open playground for kids and dogs alike.
Couple walking with dog on Coast Path near Bull Bay in winter, Anglesey
Further west is the UK's only coastal national park, the Pembrokeshire National Park. Clinging to coves, seafront villages and high trails, the coastal path runs the entire length of the national park. Along the way, many of the stiles have dog-gates. That's right; custom-built pooch doors. What's more, all 50 of Pembrokeshire's beaches welcome dogs (some have seasonal restrictions) and are universally clean.
It is the same story all the way north from Pembrokeshire to Flintshire; beaches, rivers and inlets that are perfect for boisterous pooches. Inland, the woodlands, forests, valleys and mountains of the Brecon Beacons; and Snowdonia; should prove a challenge for all but the most fire-breathing of hounds.
Dog, Brecon Beacons by Craig Goodwin
Many Welsh pubs will gladly welcome weary groups in from the cold, dog in tow and many will allow pooches and their owners to de-frost together in front of the warm glow of an open fire.
On the road home, there are plenty of pet-friendly accommodation options from self-catering places with enclosed gardens, hotels that won't bat an eyelid when guest number three's name is Bouncer. Everyone loves a well-behaved dog, but in Wales, we understand that out in the wild there is still a place for wild things.