Many animal lovers enjoy an outdoor holiday; camping in beautiful, natural surroundings. Of course it can be even more fun if your dog comes on holiday with you. But what should you keep in mind if you decide to share your tent or caravan with your faithful friend? Here are 5 Tips for a successful camping trip with your dog!
1) Check vaccinations, worming and local regulations
Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding camping with your dog. To be on the safe side, make sure that you satisfy the requirements of the state you choose to camp and always make sure your pooch is microchipped and up to date with their vaccinations and worming.
2) Find a suitable campsite
It goes without saying that you must pick a campsite where dogs are permitted, but you should also research other on-site facilities. Is there a (dog) bathing area where your dog can cool off when it gets warm? Is there sufficient space, are there designated play areas and can you readily walk your dog in or around the campsite? Research and book your campsite(s) well in advance, in order to avoid any unwelcome surprises.
3) Take the right gear with you
Dogs are not allowed to be off leash at most campsites, so take a ground stake and an extra-long lead. And, as it will take your four-legged friend some time to adjust to his or her new environment, it's a good idea to bring along some familiar items, such as a basket to nap in, squeaky toys and favourite blanket. Obviously you'll also need to take sufficient food and plenty of chewy snacks or treats. Bear in mind too that you'll unlikely have access to a fridge or freezer if you're camping in a tent. If your pampered pooch is used to fresh raw meat, then pick a suitable alternative well before your trip to allow your dog time to slowly get accustomed to it.
4) Ensure that your dog remains cool or warm, depending on the weather!
Dogs can't cope with heat as well as we do. Make sure that your dog has access to a pleasant, sheltered spot (under the shade of some trees for example) and ensure that there's plenty of fresh drinking water available at all times, even when on the road. Always take a few large bottles of water and a bowl (these days you can purchase some nifty, all-in-one bottles and travel bowls) and make regular stops to allow your pooch to stretch his or her legs. Most importantly, never leave your dog alone in a vehicle on warm days, not even with a window open. Overheating occurs rapidly and can be fatal. In turn, be sure to have a nice warm spot for your dog to curl up and keep dry when it rains or gets chilly at night!
5) Sharing your tent or caravan
Allow your dog to sleep as close to you as possible. Ideally you should provide your dog with their own sleeping compartment, or place their basket in the front portion of the tent or near you in the caravan. It's best not to let your dog sleep at too great a distance, as this may make him or her stressed and insecure. It also increases the risk of your beloved pet being stolen. So that your dog can become accustomed to sleeping in a new environment, set up something similar at home and treat yourself and your dog to a fun trial holiday before you leave!
You might want to take an occasional day trip away from your campsite; for a bike ride or a visit to a country town nearby. But what should you do with your dog in this situation? Did you know that Pawshake has pet sitters all over Australia? So, if you decide to go camping in Western Australia, Tasmania or Queensland (and anywhere in between!), you can also find a suitable dog sitter or dog walker via our website or app. Now that is handy!
If your dog is a bit vocal (particularly at night) or not partial to camping, then you should ask yourself whether you're really doing your dog and yourself a favour by bringing them with you. Don't forget, you can always find a reliable dog sitter at Pawshake. Someone who'll make sure that your faithful friend has a great holiday all of their own, right here at home. Search for a dog sitter