For many people, myself included, your four-pawed-friend is an integral part of your family, and when you go away on holiday it can be heart-wrenching (and expensive!) to book them into kennels. Camping with your pooch can be the perfect solution, although it’s not for everyone (and not for every dog!)
Planning your holiday
If you’re taking your dog away with you, you need to keep them in mind throughout the planning process. First thing’s first; you need to find a site that is dog-friendly, and ideally has lots of suitable dog -friendly walks around the area. You can use a website such as Pitch Up to filter sites by those that allow dogs.
Plan how your dog will travel securely and comfortably, and factor in enough stops. Dogs can get car sick and of course will need toilet breaks – so have a look at your planned route and check there will be appropriate spots to pull over – not always easy on long motorway stretches, so definitely worth thinking about in advance.
On the campsite
Once at the campsite you might want to consider tethering your dog? We use a corkscrew stake for this, and always ensure he has enough length to find somewhere comfortable (with shade). Your dog might be fine without but we have a nosy parker so having him tethered occasionally means we can relax and turn our backs on him without fearing he'll wander off into the tent next door!
If your dog's recall is not great you need to seriously consider whether taking them along is the right decision. Camp sites are full of interesting people/smells/noises, and if your dog is tempted away, you need to be confident that they will return when called.
It's also worth bearing in mind that your dog might be able to unzip your tent with their nose! A handy tip is to tie a small bell to the zip pull of the exit zip. If pooch tries to go exploring, you’ll know about it!
Consider your sleeping arrangements – if your dog is used to being crated it can be helpful to take their crate with you. Alternatively, their regular bed from home can provide familiarity and help them to settle.
Check local guidelines/restrictions. If you’re near livestock you must keep your dog on a lead, no more than 2m long. Look out also for signs indicating nesting birds (bird nesting season is 1st March – 31st July) – this is another situation in which you must keep pooch on a lead. If you’re heading to the coast check for any restrictions regarding dogs on beaches. For example, at one of our favourite spots - Filey in North Yorkshire – dogs are allowed on any part of the beach during low season (Oct – April), but between 1st May and 30th September they are restricted from the main stretch and have to stick to a certain area.
Jack enjoying Filey beach to himself
Make sure they’re wearing their collar and name tag – I’m sure you’re in the habit of ensuring this anyway, but it’s doubly important when you’re far from home. It's also worth checking that your microchip info is up to date too, just in case.
Most importantly, enjoy the time you spend with your loyal pal.
- Water/food bowl
- Bottled water
- Collar (with tag)
- Poo bags
- Dog bed
- Stake or corkscrew for tethering
- Spare lead (just in case!)
- Old towels for when pooch jumps in a swamp