To most dog owners, their dogs are an extension of the family. This means that when it comes to taking holidays, having to leave your dog behind can be heart-wrenching, even if it is only for a couple of weeks.
That is one of the biggest benefits of camping holidays - it makes bringing your dog with you a lot easier. All you have to do is find a dog-friendly camping site, make sure there’s enough room in the car for the pooch, pack a couple of extra essential items to keep him/her comfortable, and be on your way.
Although it is relatively simple to go camping with your dog, we thought we’d put this guide together with the advice of some of our favourite dog-loving bloggers. Hopefully it helps you make the most of your camping experience!
Finding A Dog Friendly Campsite
The first thing you’ll need to do is find a dog friendly camping site. One thing to keep in mind is that, as well as the campsite, you’ll want to make sure that nearby amenities also cater to dogs. For example, some beaches and pathways have restrictions, so you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty to do in the surrounding areas before you book your trip.
Thankfully there are some great resources out there to help make this easy. Here are some of our favourites:
Travelling With Your Dog
It’s likely that getting to the campsite with your dog often involves a bit of a drive, and it’s very important that your dog remains comfortable and safe for the trip.
The Highway Code states that drivers must, “make sure that dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop too quickly.'
The law also advises that a seat belt harness, pet carrier or dog cage should be used as a way of safely restraining your pet while on the move. Believe it or not, car safety harnesses and dog seat belts are readily available at your favourite pet stores.
It’s also incredibly important that you plan your route to accommodate regular breaks - as a rule, a 15-30 minute stop for every 3 hours of driving should be sufficient. This will provide ample opportunity for your furry friend to relieve him/herself and stretch their legs.
What To Bring Camping With The Dog?
One of the most important things to pack is a good quality lead. It’s not always possible to know how your dog might react to unfamiliar surroundings, or to potentially having lots of new companions for long periods of time. For this reason, it’s well worth bringing a quality lead, especially if you planning on taking him/her on lots of nice walks.
It’s also really important to bring some of his/her bedding and some favourite toys, as well as a form of identification.
We spoke to Paris at DogTipper.com and she said:
“Pack special items for your dog’s comfort during the camping trip. A bed, even a roll-up pet bed, can bring the scent and sense of security of home. A favourite toy is important as well, along with your dog’s usual diet and treats.
Pack collapsible bowls for food and water, and bring an extra leash and collar. You’ll also want an ID tag with your name and your mobile phone number; for an extra level of security, GPS trackers that attach to your dog’s collar can help you locate him using your smartphone.”
In terms of keeping your mutt well fed and watered, you’ll want to make sure you bring enough of his/her favourite food. The campsite should be able to provide you with fresh, running water, but it’s always good to bring some of your own bottles as a precaution.
You’ll also want to bring plenty of extra towels...a smelly, wet dog in a tent or caravan is best avoided!
What To Do With The Dog Camping?
There’s so much you can do if you bring your dog camping! Walking along the beach, trekking over exciting and unfamiliar terrain, playing with him/her at the campsite...the list goes on.
Ultimately, bringing a dog on a camping trip is a good way to keep the whole family engaged and the whole experience can be a tremendous bonding experience for everyone. It’s well worth it and we highly recommend it!
Other Top Tips For Camping With The Dog
Here are a couple more of our top tips when you bring the dog camping:
- Scoop the poop - don’t forget to clean up after your dog or risk incurring a fine up to £1,000
- Pitch the tent in advance - if you get an opportunity, pitch the tent in your garden before you travel so your dog can get familiar with the smell
- Don’t forget the vet - it’s good to take your dog for checkup before travelling, and it is also worth bringing an extra copy of vaccination records. It’s also worthwhile making a note of a vet nearby to the campsite, just in case.
- Make up a doggy first aid kit - Put together a first aid kit for your mutt with a vet’s phone number, vaccination records and all the other things you’d normally put in a first aid kit - bandages, scissors, tweezers, antiseptic and the like
- Keep him secure - you’ll want to bring a stake or something else you can anchor in the ground to keep your dog secure when you are busy cooking or eating
Don't forget that Winfields Outdoors sells top quality dog coats and accessories from leading brands, Regatta and Trespaws!
Find more tips and advice on the Winfields Camping Blog! You might like these posts...
5 of the Best UK Motorhome Driving Routes | Tips for Camping in the Rain & Wet Weather | Guide to Blackout Tents