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A Tranquil Retreat Perfect for Reactive Dogs and Their Owners

A Tranquil Retreat Perfect for Reactive Dogs and Their Owners

My stay at Swallowdale in Trunch, Norfolk this past April was an absolute delight, and it proved to be the perfect getaway for both myself and my anxious dog, Bella. As an owner of a reactive dog the search for peace and relaxation is often overshadowed by different and new environments. In a world that needs more empathy and awareness for our #dogsinyellow finding the perfect dog friendly accommodations can be extremely stressful.

Location and Surroundings:
Swallowdale is nestled in a peaceful cul-de-sac, which means no noisy road traffic and minimal disturbances from passing dogs, unless they reside in the same street. This quiet setting was ideal for Bella, allowing her to feel more relaxed and less reactive throughout our stay. Trunch is a small and quiet village, making it an ideal destination for dogs that don’t like too much noise.

The bungalow itself is spacious, well-maintained, and comfortable, featuring two bedrooms. The interior is warm and welcoming, providing a cosy atmosphere that made us feel right at home. It also has a Floor for Paws textured hard floor especially designed for dogs.

The garden was a fantastic bonus, offering Bella a safe, enclosed space with a solid fence to explore and play without the worry of escaping or encountering other dogs. 

We also used the calming spray on Bella’s bed and blanket so she could feel calmer on arrival as it helps alleviate anxiety. Another lovely touch from the owners.

Dog-Friendly Features:

Understanding the challenges of travelling with a reactive dog, Swallowdale exceeded my expectations. To see a #dogsinyellow borrow bag” within the property was brilliant! It contained several yellow leads, a yellow anxious adjustable collar with an adorable yellow heart charm, a "keep your distance" lead slip which can hang on anyone's lead, a collapsible yellow water bowl, and a squeezy reward dispenser for putting squeezy cheese in—perfect for distraction work when you want to redirect their focus especially reactive dogs.

Using these yellow accessories shows that when out for a walk with a nervous dog in a new area, we can feel more confident as yellow lets other people know that your dog is anxious and needs space. There was also a big A4 sticker on the wheelie bin outside to highlight what a dog in yellow means too. 

This totally made Swallowdale a reactive dog cottage!

Local Area and Activities:
Trunch and its surrounding areas offer plenty of opportunities for peaceful walks and exploration. Norfolk has many quiet beaches to take your nervous dog to. Eccles and Waxham are both excellent. They are peaceful because they aren't as easily accessed as some of the bigger and more popular beaches.


The local community is friendly and understanding, which made our excursions even more enjoyable. Knowing that we could retreat to our quiet haven at Swallowdale after a day of exploring was a great comfort.


Overall Experience:
If you have a reactive dog and are looking for a tranquil place to stay, I highly recommend East Ruston Cottages. It provides a perfect balance of comfort, convenience, and calm, making it an ideal choice for both anxious dogs and their owners. Our stay at Swallowdale was incredibly relaxing, and to find a holiday cottage that promotes #dogsinyellow around their cottages is fantastic. Yellow gives me confidence when out walking as it shows others what my dog's personality is and what she is communicating to others. So finding a company that helps with awareness around the holiday cottages is so reassuring.

Swallowdale certainly is perfect for anxious dogs and their owners. The calming spray and the “borrow bag” was an amazing find for an owner of an anxious dog!

Not only do East Ruston Cottages go above and beyond to make your experience a perfect dog-friendly stay, but it also stands above any other reactive dog holiday cottage. Their attention to detail and dedication to making both dogs and their owners comfortable is unparalleled. 

I look forward to returning to another East Ruston Reactive Dog Cottage in the future.


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