If you have a furry family member, you most likely want to take them on holiday adventures with you. Caravanning with dogs can be a heap of fun if you and your pooch are well prepared.
Before You Go
Firstly, you want to check that where you intend to stay will allow your pet. There are some parks that do not allow pets on-site or have conditions that may apply. National parks often do not allow domestic animals, so make sure you do some research before you head off and know what rules apply.
Ensure your dog is up to date with vaccinations, flea and tick treatments and any other medication they need. Your pooch will be exposed to new environments and potentially other unvaccinated dogs so it’s best to be covered for as many situations as possible.
Update the details on your dog’s identification tag and microchip. If your pet runs off you want to make sure they can be returned to you as easily as possible. It might even be worth including a temporary tag with the details of your campsite so they can be returned as quickly as possible.
If your dog has not had much experience with long car rides or unusual environments, take the time to do some extra training before your trip. Take your dog on a few extended car rides in the lead up to your holiday and visit a few new places. This will get your dog accustomed to new situations and should make the travelling experience a little easier to manage.
Know what agitates your dog and how to control them if the situation arises (or how to avoid the situation altogether). If your dog does not respond well to new people, other dogs or unfamiliar environments, it might be best to leave your pooch at home. If your dog tends to bark a lot make sure you take steps to ensure they do not disrupt other campers at night.
What to Pack
Always make sure you are well prepared before you travel with your dog. There are a few essentials to pack that will keep the whole family happy on your caravan adventure.
- Sturdy collar & leash. Make sure it is strong enough to withstand even an agitated dog. Many campgrounds also require your dog to be on a leash at all times.
- A long chain or running wire. This can give your dog a bit more room to explore your campsite without being at risk of running off.
- Any medication or treatments. It is best to pack a Doggy First Aid Kit with all treatments and emergency medical supplies for your pet.
- Food & water bowls. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Collapsible dishes are a great space-saving option while travelling.
- Waste bags. Like any other public place, you are responsible for cleaning up after your dog so be prepared at all times.
- A familiar bed or blankets. If you can bring something that is familiar to your dog it will make them feel more comfortable. Bringing their bed from home can usually help to settle nervous pets.
- Muzzle. Even if your dog is not prone to biting, unusual environments may cause uncharacteristic behaviour. It is best to take the precaution and pack one just in case.
Remember, when caravanning with dogs, your pet is your responsibility. You must retain control of your dog always and ensure it does not disrupt other travellers. With the right preparation and a little extra training, your whole family, furry members included, will have an enjoyable adventure to remember.
Looking for a pet-friendly caravan park on the Sunshine Coast, check out our recommendations here.