It has become increasingly acceptable for people to take their dogs on holiday. Pet friendly accommodation and caravan parks for campers are now much more common. But before you strap in your pooch for your next caravan and camping holiday, we’ve got some tips to make sure things don’t go off the rails before you’ve even arrived.
Dog Friendly Caravan Parks
Some major caravan parks, like Big4 promote that they are pet friendly, allowing people to have dogs with them under certain conditions. Discovery Parks also list pet friendly parks across Australia. Other privately run caravan parks allow for dogs and you can find out more either by ringing them or checking on their website. Dogsonholidays allows you to search for dog friendly caravan parks in a range of accommodation in Victoria.
If you plan on taking your dog on holiday and staying in a caravan park, it’s best to call the park directly to discuss bringing your dog and to find out about their conditions. Major parks like Big4, although having dog-friendly guidelines, are all run as franchises, so each park may have slightly different policies.
Getting Your Pooch Ready For Adventure
Health: The first thing to do is to cover off the big items. This includes making sure your dog is healthy and organising a vet visit for a check up.
Identification: You also need to make sure your dog is microchipped and that all ID tags are up to date and include a mobile number.
Practice Run: If you haven’t taken your dog on a long trip before, it may be a good idea to start going on some shorter practice trips. This will get your dog used to settling in the car for longer periods of time.
On The Road
Restraining your dog: Dogs need to be restrained when they are travelling in a vehicle. It can be dangerous for the dog and for passengers in the case of an accident.
Comfort: Make sure you provide your pooch with a comfortable place during travel, where he/she feels safe and can stretch out and sleep if it’s a long trip. Include familiar smells and toys.
Don’t make the mistake of buying your pet a new bed. Bring his regular bedding that will have his own smell.
Eating: Make sure your dog has eaten at least two hours prior to leaving. Like humans, animals can suffer from car sickness. It may be a good idea to get some approved ginger travel tablets from your vet just in case.
Breaks: Just like us your dog will need to stop on a long trip for toilet breaks and to stretch his legs. Make sure you provide regular stops every few hours and watch for signs that your pooch is getting restless and is asking to take a rest stop.
A Dog Friendly Holiday
Make sure you are familiar with the guidelines of the caravan park. Guidelines will likely include keeping your dog on a leash at all times and specifying designated dog walking areas.
Clean up: Make sure you always pick up and dispose of your dog’s poo to keep the park area clean.
Disruption: Your dog should be well-behaved and not disruptive to people around you To avoid your dog being a nuisance and barking, make sure your dog is regularly exercised and never left alone.
Familiarity: Just like us, if we are in an unfamiliar environment, it’s good to have some things around us that we know. It’s the same with your dog. Pack all his familiar toys, food bowl and bedding. Try to stick to similar routines of eating and exercise, so you pooch does not experience his entire world as turned upside down.
Change your dog’s I.D as you move: This is one of the most sensible pieces of advice for keeping your dog safe. It’s important to have your dog microchipped and be wearing a collar with up to date contact details. Always include your mobile number. If you are moving from place to place, update details on his collar with the next location you are staying. This way, if your dog goes missing and you can’t be reached on your mobile, anyone that picks up your dog will know a physical location where they can find you.
A dog friendly caravan: If you are living with your dog in the confines of a caravan, it will be harder to keep things neat and tidy. Make sure you pack two or three old towels for wiping his feet and drying him before he comes inside. Don’t make new rules for your dog on holiday that you don’t have at home. If your dog isn’t allowed on the bed at home, don’t allow him on the bed while on holiday. Inconsistent rules have the potential to confuse your dog and lead to behaviour problems.