With almost 1 in 10 UK families now owning a dog it is becoming the norm for families to want to take their dogs with them when they go away. A caravan or camping holiday is a great holiday idea as it is one of the few options where you can take your dog along with you. If you are a dog lover, going on a camping trip is the perfect way to make sure your dog gets a holiday too.
Our dog friendly campsites are some of the best in the UK. Almost all of the Best of British holiday parks welcome responsible dog owners on their campsites where you can enjoy dog-friendly facilities such as dedicated dog walking areas, long walks on the beach, forest walks and lots more. BoB Parks represent some of the best holiday parks and campsites in the UK so you can be sure that your dog is going to be well catered for and have plenty to keep them occupied when they are on-site.
Holidaying with your dog should be easy, so we have pulled together a few helpful tips and advice on what to consider when taking your dog camping and making sure you have a safe and enjoyable time.
First time camping with your dog
We all know that your dog is going to be excited going camping for the first time – so it is worth being a little bit prepared when the day arrives. It goes without saying that your dog should be healthy and up to date with all its vaccinations. There are going to be lots of opportunities to explore new places and meet new people, so having an obedient and well socialised dog will help them settle in to its new holiday routine quickly. Make a note of any restrictions, where your dog is allowed off its lead, is there livestock nearby and if you are visiting the coast – when are dogs welcome on the beach.
If it is possible try and familiarise your dog with its new home before you go. If you are staying in a tent, why note pitch it in the garden beforehand just so your dog gets used to the new sounds and smells.
Staying away from home can bring its own challenges for most humans let alone your pet. The confines of a tent, lodge or caravan can present a brand new playground for an excitable dog. It is worth having a plan as soon as you arrive to get your dog used to its new temporary home.
Setting out your dog’s sleeping basket will establish the place for your dog to call his / her own – he will certainly appreciate some familiar items from home. Don’t forget a plastic ground sheet for the dog as well – just so his / her bed doesn’t get damp on the ground.
Bring plenty of towels and be prepared to dry off wet paws as soon as your dog comes back indoors (particularly with the dew first thing in the morning) – or you will soon end up with muddy paw prints all over your belongings.
Dog Safety whilst Camping
Embracing the great outdoors is what camping is all about and that also means ensuring your dog is safe and secure at all times, particularly at night. There will be lots of opportunities for your dog to make run for it as soon as they spot a new doggie-friend, or take their first glimpse of a squirrel up a nearby tree.
It is worth ensuring your dog has a collar on at all times showing your name, address and mobile number. Have plenty of treats on hand so your dog knows to come back when it is called.
If you are walking your dog within the holiday park watch out for guy ropes, cooking equipment and bits that may have been left out by other campers. Keep an eye out for poisonous fungus and other edible things that could be within easy reach of your dog. It’s also important to ensure that your dog has enough water and shade at all times.
Taking your dog to the beach
Dogs are generally banned from most beaches during the main summer season or even all the year round. Find out about any restrictions before taking your dog onto a beach - the holiday park reception will have all the information you need to know.
Keeping your dog under control
It is worth remembering that not everyone appreciates dogs as much as you do – a boisterous dog can seem quite scary to a small child even though all they want to do is make friends and show some affection.
Dogs can be walked on public rights of way such as public footpaths, bridleways and byways. However, by law, farmers are entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their livestock, so be warned and keep your dog on a lead if you are around other animals.
Cleaning up after your dog
Just because you're in the countryside, don't forget to scoop the poop. People, especially kids are more likely to be wandering around bare-footed and dog mess contains some nasty infections. You can be fined on the spot or prosecuted through the courts to a maximum fine of £1,000 for not cleaning up after your dog.
Every BoB park reception will have details of the nearest vets should you need to see one. If your dog has a condition don’t forget to take their veterinary details and tablets with you just in case.
Holidaying with your dog should be a great experience. By following some of these helpful tips and advice you should have a fantastic time away with lots of great memories to share with your dog.