We love camping, not just because it’s so much fun sitting by a campfire with friends and family, but because we can take our lovely dogs with us on holiday. They are such an important part of our family that I love having them along for the ride and part of the childhood memories for the boys.
I have been Camping with Dogs a couple of times already and all went well, but we stayed quite close to home. This up-coming camping trip will be in Cornwall, so they will have to make the long drive and this has really made me think carefully about the holiday and possibly the temperature we will be holidaying in! (I am still hopeful that we will have a scorcher of an August!!). Here are my ‘Top 10 Tips’ for happy dogs on your camping holiday.
1. Make sure your dogs are up-to date with all their vaccinations, and have been de-flead and wormed.
2. Always ensure your dogs wear their collar with the identification tag attached, which should include your name, address and mobile number. If you were considering getting your dog micro-chipped (soon it will be law to have then micro-chipped), then it might be a good idea to do this before you go on your holiday.
3. When travelling, make sure your dogs are as comfortable as possible in the car, have the windows down a good 6 inches so they have fresh air.
4. You will need to stop regularly to let your dogs have a chance to relieve themselves, but also to stretch their legs a little. My hubby and I take turns, I spend 10 minutes walking around the grass area at the services whilst he grabs a coffee and looks after the kids, then we swop over. Remember you will need to factor these breaks into your journey, so a 5 hour journey, could well take 7 hours!!
5. Take some fresh water & bowl with you, so that your dogs can always have a drink, they certainly wouldn’t feel great travelling a long journey without a drink. I would probably not give them a huge meal just before you leave, maybe a little breakfast an hour or so before, just in case it makes them feel travel sick.
6. I will be taking along a first aid kit, which will include some bandages, some sterilised pads, some antibacterial rinse, sticking tape, scissors, tweezers, large syringe for oral treatments, vaseline, blanket, towel, gloves, cotton wool. I obviously hope to never need it, but I would much rather have it, just in case.
7. I intend to do a little research before I go and find the contact address and telephone number of the nearest Vet to the campsite, again a precautionary measure, but I don’t want to waste precious time looking up on Google for information if an accident occurs.
8. Once you arrive on site, (which of course, you must have already informed them you have dogs with you, not all sites are dog friendly!) give them a chance to have a walk around to get acquainted with their new surroundings. I like to leave hubby and kids with the tent shenanigans, much to their enjoyment, whilst I meander around with the doggies letting them have a good sniff and snuffle.
9. Most sites will insist that your dogs are kept on a lead and under control whilst on site, so we bought a fantastic ‘Tie Out Stake’, which cost no more than £5 from the camping shop and is readily available on line. It is great as it means they can still walk around, close to us within proximity of the tent, but don’t feel tied up either. Remember, if it is hot, then find a shaded area to put the stake, don’t leave them out in the sun, they will over heat and become very ill. I am also taking a cheap paddling pool, cost me £4, to leave next to them with cold water in it, so they can roll in that or sit in it if they start to get hot. Of course, ALWAYS leave them fresh water to drink and don’t leave them unattended.
10. Our favourite thing to do on holiday is play on the beach, of course with the dogs playing too. However, in the summer months, certain beaches don’t allow dogs on the beach at all during peak time, so you really need to do some research on this before you go on holiday. I found a great guide on the Visit Cornwall website, so use the internet before you go to avoid disappointment. It is really important that you remember to take fresh drinking water for them, plus we always take a small beach tent which offers some shade for the kids and the dogs.
I could probably think of another 10 things, but you may think I’m a bit neurotic!! So, have lots of fun with your dogs and please remember to take poo bags with you!!
I will put another blog on the site after our trip with some great photos and stories. If you have a camping trip and want to share your story, we would love to read it and share it here on our blog page. Just send me an email and I will post it for you.
Have a fabulous summer everyone