Campervanning with a Dog (or pet)
Posted on October 21, 2019
Campervaning with an animal companion is a wonderful experience, whether it be a dog, cat, ferret or another furry (or scaly) friend. However, if you’re going to take your pet on this adventure with you, then you’ll need to make sure that you (and them) are fully prepared for the journey, as you want them to be as comfortable as possible and enjoy their campervanning trip as much as you will. So, how can you achieve this?
Top Tips for Campervanning with your Pet
Pack for your Dog or Pet
Your dogs’ suitcase is even more important than your own and therefore, you need to ensure that you have everything they need for the duration of your campervan trip. Things that you should remember to pack are:
- Food and water bowls
- First aid kit
- Documents needed
- Grooming kit
Anything else that your dog or pet needs, be sure to pack it as you won’t know where you can purchase a replacement and they may not like it!
Consider the Weather
Whichever country(s) you’re visiting, you need to be prepared for all weather situations. A common killer of dogs is heatstroke from being left in a car on a hot day, and you definitely don’t want your dog becoming sick in unfamiliar surroundings. If you must leave your dog in your campervan for a short period, then come prepared with thermal blinds/screens as these keep the sun out, cool jackets to keep your dog cool and preferably, have an air conditioning system installed in your campervan.
You should also be prepared for the colder days by bringing lots of blankets, bedding and have a heating system in your campervan.
Keep a Routine
Most pets have a routine; they know what times they’re going to eat and when they’re being taken for a walk. Dogs and cats are brilliant at knowing when their dinner or playtime is due and if you’re overdue, you’ve got one very unhappy pet on your hands. It can be hard to feed them on time, especially if you’re on the road and have a tight itinerary to stick to but try your best to keep a routine for your pet as this can help them feel at home, calm their nerves and reduce stress levels which is better for everyone involved!
If you plan on wild camping during your caravanning journey, then you shouldn’t have to worry too much, other than finding a suitable place for you and your dog to camp. However, if you plan to stay on campsites during your trip, then you should do your research and ring ahead; not all campsites will allow pets and you don’t want to turn up after a long days’ drive and be turned away. You should also consider the type of dog or pet that you have, for example, are they territorial? If so, it might be better to reserve a space that is enclosed and away from other pet owners.
Even if it doesn’t feel hot to you, your pet has a layer of fur that you don’t have which can make them overheat in hot weather. Whether you’re going on a hike, a walk or parking up somewhere on a sunny day, make sure there are plenty of shady spots around where your dog can retreat to, taking a break to cool down and catch their breath.
Know the Local Vet
Knowing where your nearest vet is couldn’t be more important. Of course, we hope that accidents and illnesses never happen, especially when you’re on holiday with your dog. However, you should always prepare for the worst and know where the nearest vet is in case of an emergency and make sure to have your insurance policy papers with you.
Know the codes and laws of the countries that you’re visiting. When a dog is in the front seat with its head hanging out the window, there’s no doubt that it makes your dog happy and many people smile when they witness them. However, it isn’t very safe as they can distract you from driving and many highway codes require you to have your dog safely contained in your vehicle. Make sure you have a designated area for them to stay in when required. This area should have water, food, enrichment and a cosy place for your dog to sleep.
Keep your Campervan Clean
Whether your dog has long or short fur, it’ll most likely malt to some degree and when you’re living and travelling in a small space, this fur can accumulate very quickly. Be sure to regularly clean your campervan for fur and any muddy pawprints that your dog may leave behind.
Campervanning with your dog or another pet can be a wonderful experience as pets become one of the family and you can make unforgettable memories with them on holiday. However, if they’re on the guestlist for your campervan trip, there is a lot to consider and you may be restricted to which activities you can participate in as you shouldn’t leave your pet by themselves in an unfamiliar place. However, by preparing and making sure that you’ve taken the right precautions, going campervanning with your pet can be ten times better than without them.