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Your Dog’s first stay

Choosing a home away from home for your furry family member is a big decision. Believe me, I once drove away from a kennels crying with frustration that I hadn’t checked it out first or had some other option. I then spent the entire weekend fretting. It’s especially difficult if it’s the first time your doggie has been away from home.

We encourage every pet owner to give themselves plenty of time to research all pet minding options. It’s important to visit any pet hotel or kennels that you think might suit your doggie.

Meet And Greet

VIRTUAL VISIT - Covid 19 Update

In accordance with social distancing guidelines, we are unable to offer viewing appointments at this time. In July 2020, we recorded a ‘ruff’ video of a viewing visit. If you are considering our facility, please contact us and we can forward it to you. We also post videos and photos regularly to Facebook.

During a visit we will meet you and your dog at our reception area. Dogs can be let off their leads to have a good sniff around and the humans can have a freshly brewed cappuccino from our top of the range coffee machine. We will then bring the human family members for a walk around the hotel. You will see the play areas and the chalets where the doggies sleep. We don’t bring potential doggie guests on the walk around as it is disruptive to the dogs already here.

We normally do not offer viewing appointments during Peak Season.

Everyone has concerns about their dogs first time away from home so please feel free to chat to us about any worries you have, big or small.

Every doggie has their own personality and habits, we understand. So, from giving your pup a belly rub first thing when they wake, to a treat before bed with a little cuddle or using their ‘words’ like ‘bedtime’ or ‘night night’, we prefer you to chat to us about all those things.

We schedule Meet and Greet appointments in the morning, Monday – Saturday from 10.15 – 11.45. You will be given a slot of 30 minutes. Please note we often have three viewings booked back to back so it is important that you arrive on time.

Children are welcome. It is very important if children are worried about leaving their best friend that they are reassured that their doggie is going on holidays too. While you are away the social media updates also work wonders for anxious children.  

Getting Here

We will attach a document with detailed directions to your booking confirmation email. We strongly advise that you save these to your phone or print them out. We are on Google maps BUT the internet coverage drops off about 500 metres from the house so you may be so close but still unable to find us!

If you do not have time to come for a Meet and Greet and your booking request has been accepted you can do a virtual visit online. We have a video we will forward to you. Also, there are lots of videos and photos on our social media platforms. It is not imperative that we meet your dog before their first visit. Some dogs, of certain breeds and temperaments always settle in very well here so although it is lovely if new clients have time to come for a meet and greet it is not essential.


Overnight Trial Stay

In most cases we will request that your dog come for an overnight trial stay. It’s best to book them in from 10am until 10am the next day. This is the best value and it also allows your dog to have the whole first day to settle in, explore and make friends before settling in for the night.

This overnight stay allows us to assess your pets’ suitability for holidaying with us and to give them a chance to experience the routine and activities over a short time.

If you are planning for a holiday, let’s say in June, we recommend that your dog come for an overnight in April.

Generally, we do not take dogs during peak season who haven’t had the chance to come for an overnight trial.

Peak season is always busy and we believe it’s not really fair on dogs coming for their first time when we are full as it may be too overwhelming. There are exceptions such as dogs who regularly attend day care or dogs of a particularly sociable nature.

As a general rule, all guests staying with us during peak periods will have had their overnight trials within 6-8 weeks before their arrival.

What to bring – When we confirm your booking, we will send you a document listing what items you need to bring for your dog’s stay. Please read this carefully and come back to us with any questions you may have.

Your Dog’s Day at Wicklow Pet Hotel

Our guests get a personal 8am wake-up call, after which they enjoy team supervised playtime.  Because we operate on an open socialisation, free play model, our team members are always in the company of our guests as they mix.  We have three large play areas that can be utilised as one or separated depending on the mix of size, age and exercise requirements. We often find that guests with similar energy levels will naturally come together in groups, so this allows us to cater to the particular needs of several groups during the day. Each play area has a huge range of toys, teddies and tennis balls available.  In addition to free play, the morning’s activities include playing ball (a favourite among our team members) and treat time (a favourite among our guests).

At lunchtime, our guests retire for a much-needed lunch and rest.  Royal Canin food is included in the stay or our guests can bring their own. Each guest has their own bed, made extra cosy with layers of vetbed and mattresses. During the day, access to the outdoor run remains open.

No work is done around the kennels during to this early afternoon rest period and calming classical music is played.

Guests then enjoy another few hours playtime later, stretching into the evening hours.  The grounds are floodlit, so not even the shortest of winter days can end the activities. Then it’s off to bed with a late-night snack or evening meal as required.  During the night, access to the runs is closed, ensuring a good night rest. 


As well as your dog having a lovely time during their stay with us we are very careful in doing our best that your dog’s health and wellbeing is nurtured.


All dogs must be fully vaccinated before coming to say at Wicklow Pet Hotel. There are three vaccines required.

DHPPi: Every three years by injection, though some vets may give them annually. Please check that the record of when it was given last is on your vaccine card.

Lepto (L4): Annually by injection, no exceptions. (injection)

Canine (Kennel) Cough: Annually, liquid squirted into dog’s nostril. No exceptions. Canine, or Kennel, Cough is a debilitating cough requiring antibiotics. It is highly contagious and spread via airbourne droplets. Any dog that is mixing with other dogs, even on walks, should be vaccinated against it. However, this does not form part of your annual booster regime, and you must ask your vet specifically to administer this vaccine. Likewise, if you have adopted your dog from a rescue facility and have been told that all vaccines have been given, Canine Cough was most likely not included.

Vaccination Notes:

Vaccination Cards – please try to being your vaccination card with you to the vets each time so it is up to date. We will need to see dates of vaccines going back three years.

Bring them all together – If your booster date is different to your Canine Cough date, we always recommend that on your next vet visit you get all the required vaccines done together even if one is not due for months.  In our experience, clients are much more likely to miss a vaccine if they have several different dates to deal with.

Time Frame – If vaccines are given by their due date there is no time frame requirement. Eg: If vaccines were due on the 4th June 2021, and given on this date the dog can come that day.
If, however, you don’t get the vaccines done by the date due you will be required to have them done a minimum of 72 hours before check in date.

Emergencies – Over the years I have found that when family emergencies occur and we are requested to take dogs at very short notice it can be so disappointing for the owners if they haven’t kept up the vaccines. We will always do our best to help in an emergency situation but if your dog’s vaccines are out of date, we will be unable to take them.

Your responsibility – Please be aware that you are required to provide an updated vaccination card when you bring your dog to stay at Wicklow Pet Hotel. Asking us to ‘just ring the vet if you want to check’ will not be entertained. If for some reason you arrive without your card and our records show that vaccinations need updating, your dog will not be checked in and will be heading home with you. Over the years this has happened on several occasions. It is awful sending people home with their dog when they are meant to be heading to the airport. Please organise this in plenty of time. If you do not provide up to date vaccination details any booking deposit paid will be forfeited.

Puppy Vaccinations – Your puppy must have had their vaccination programme completed before coming to stay. It is so important that young puppies learn to socialise. They are welcome to come for their first stay two weeks after their vaccinations have been given. Remember to check with your vet that your puppy has vaccinated against Canine (kennel) Cough. Lots of vets do not automatically include this. Any dog who is meeting other dogs even on walks needs to have this vaccine.

Rescue Dogs – Generally, dogs and puppies who have found their forever home after a time in a rescue centre will not have had a vaccine for Canine (kennel) Cough. So, if you were told that your new doggie ‘has had all their jabs’ please don’t presume they are covered to stay with us. If you are unsure, please give us a call.

Dogs from Overseas – If you brought your dog to Ireland, you would have been required to have certain vaccinations to allow them entry. However, these may not have included the vaccines required to stay at Wicklow Pet Hotel. In particular dogs arriving from the USA are not given certain vaccines that we require. Please check with your local vet in plenty of time to ensure they have what they need.

Flea & Worm Treatment

Your dog must be treated prior to arrival for flea and worm prevention.


We understand that some dogs have naturally weepy eyes. However, please ensure there is no sign of infection or congestion in the eyes before you arrive to check your furry friend in. Eye infections are highly contagious, so dogs playing together pass it on. If we have any concern that a guest is suffering from an eye infection when they are checking in we will unfortunately be unable to take them. If you think your dog may have an eye infection this can be easily treated before they arrive. Please consult with your vet who will give you drops to put in daily. This is for the health and safety of all our guests.


All of our team are experienced in administering a variety of medications. Medication dispensing is monitored and documented. Documentation is provided at check out. No there is no extra charge for administering medication. If there are serious or complicated health issues present, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your options.

Unneutered Male Dogs

When male dogs reach puberty, they give off a dominant male smell (regardless of their breed or personality). Other male dogs who have been neutered can feel uncomfortable and threatened by this smell. Having an unneutered male staying upsets the calm, fun atmosphere we love here at Wicklow Pet Hotel. It doesn’t matter how sweet natured your dog may be if he is giving off that smell to other dogs. Also, boy dogs who have reached puberty don’t generally enjoy themselves playing with other dogs because they are driven crazy by the lovely smells of the girl dogs. We do not take male dogs who haven’t been neutered once they have reached puberty. This is a different age depending on the size and type of dog. Please check with your vet about when is the best time to have him neutered. It can take 2-3 months for the hormones to settle after neutering. If you have decided not to have your male puppy neutered when they grow up it is best to get them settled into a kennels or pet hotel who will take them un-neutered.

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