For many families, a summer camping holiday is an annual event. Escaping life in the city, long days spent in the great outdoors...what could be better? But is it really a family holiday if someone has to stay at home? Your four-legged friend probably can’t come along on every holiday, but they definitely can join in the fun of camping.
Choose the right campsite
Not all campsites allow dogs, so do your research and make sure you book into a dog-friendly site or caravan park. This means you probably won’t be able to camp in a national park, as dogs are banned to protect native wildlife. Thankfully, there are plenty of other sites that allow dogs so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding somewhere that will welcome you and your pooch.
Make sure your dog is camping ready
If your dog’s last vet visit was a few months ago, it’s a good idea to take them back for a quick pre-holiday check up. Tell the vet about your camping plans and ask them to do a general health check to make sure your furry friend is in tip top shape to enjoy the trip. Check that their flea, tick and worming medication is up to date – they’ll be spending a lot of time outside, so it’s important they’re protected. You should also make sure that the details on your dog’s tags and microchip are up to date.
Find a dog-friendly rental car
If you need wheels for your camping trip, make sure your dog is allowed along for the ride. Car Next Door has plenty of pet-friendly cars for hire - filter your search for pet-friendly cars or look for the paw print symbol on a car’s profile. If the car is marked as pet-friendly, you can take your dog along – just be sure to clean up any pet hair before returning it.
Pack the doggy essentials
While your dog won’t need as big a suitcase as you, there are a few essential items you’ll need for them:
- Vet and vaccination documents in case something happens while you’re away and you need to see a local vet
- Pet first aid kit - you can buy one from a pet supply store or assemble your own
- Leash and stake so you can secure your dog at your campsite
- Food and water bowls - you can take your dog’s everyday bowls, but if you go camping regularly or boot space is at a premium it’s worth investing in some collapsible travel bowls
- Bed or sleeping mat
- Enough food for the trip
- Favourite dog toys
- Poop bags
Be good to your fellow campers
Don’t throw your responsible pet ownership out the window just because you’re on holidays. As well has having plenty of poop bags to clean up after your dog, keep your pup out of your neighbours’ campsites by having them on a leash or well-trained to come to you as soon as you call. Your dog should be near you at all times for their sake and for the sake of others staying at the campsite.