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The Daily Mail reported last week on a luxury hotel with a difference - The House of Mutt. This five star accommodation in Suffolk is exclusively for pampered pooches and has the seal of approval from none other than the world's most famous luxury department store, Harrods. Guests at this top end dog kennels can enjoy grooming, training and sleeping in handmade beds and to top it off they can even have their portrait painted during their stay.

Owned by Sarah and David Mountford, the hotel provides the ultimate door to door service and the five star treatment begins as soon as the lucky dogs leave their front door with a chauffeur driven ride to the hotel in Fakenham Magna.

The House of Mutt is pitched at holiday makers who like the luxury touch but don't want their beloved dog to miss out, but for those who can't bear to leave them behind at all there are plenty of options to ensure that pets can enjoy the family getaway too. In the UK there are hundreds of holiday homes prepared to accept guests with pets and once on holiday the doggy day trips don't have to stop. Information on dog-friendly beaches is available at www.goodbeachguide.co.uk and listings of cafes, restaurants and attractions that welcome pets can be found at www.dogfriendlybritain.co.uk.

Even for those who want to travel further afield with dogs, life is now much easier. Recently the UK Pet Travel Scheme was introduced enabling travellers to take their dogs, cats or ferrets with them abroad without the need for lengthy and expensive stays in quarantine, provided certain criteria are met and the animal in question has a pet passport.

To qualify for the scheme each pet must be fitted with a microchip by a vet and vaccinated against rabies and, in order to take proper effect, this must be 21 days prior to travel. After these procedures are completed, a government-approved vet can issue a pet passport to the animal enabling travel to a list of countries accepting the programme. In the case of dogs, they must be treated for tapeworm at least 24 hours before re-entering the UK. Travel with pets under the scheme must be with PETS approved travel providers although most well-known companies are approved. Additional rules apply to travelling with multiple pets or to countries outside the scheme.

Full details and advice on travelling with pets is available from www.defra.gov.uk.

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