Travel Checklist for Camping with Dogs
Your dog is very much part of the family and camping is a great way for you, and your canine companion, to build a stronger bond as you discover new sights, sounds, smells and scenery together.
Travelling with a dog gives you a lot to think about, including your hound’s health. With that in mind, we have compiled this handy checklist. Why not print it out and tick these off your list before you venture out to one of our stunning, dog-friendly Club Sites?
The Caravan and Camping Club’s Canine Health Checklist
- Microchip the dog (that’s one off the list if you’ve already done so).
- Check pet insurance is up to date.
- Ensure dog’s vaccinations are up to date.
- Obtain dog’s veterinary records.
- Get the dog checked over to ensure they’re fit to travel.
- Get business cards from your veterinary practice in case of an emergency.
- Get the number of a vet in close proximity to where you will be staying.
- Administer preventative flea and tick treatments.
- Practice simple commands at home to ensure dog is properly socialised.
- Check all leads and collars for signs of wear and tear, replace if badly worn.
- Check ID tags have dog’s name, my name, address and mobile phone number on.
- Pack a first aid kit containing – One of your vet’s business cards, gauze to wrap wounds or to use as a muzzle, bandages to protect wounds or control bleeding, sticking tape, scissors, tweezers, large syringe for oral treatments, vaseline, a blanket, a towel, gloves, cotton wool and antiseptic.
Transporting your canine companion requires some careful thought, particularly from an insurance perspective. Dogs need regular travel breaks too, plus they can get travel sick. You should make planned stops during your journey to give your dog time in the open air.
To ensure you’re covered en route to your chosen Camping and Caravanning Club campsite, tick the following off your check list:
- Valid pet insurance.
- Crash protection travel harness.
- A travel crate (preferably with rigid plastic walls).
- Boot guard.
- Leave a window down at least six inches or install a pet vent.
- A small cleaning kit (in case of sickness).
It’s worth understanding how to regulate the temperature in your vehicle too. This will prevent your dog from becoming too hot or too cold. The heat and cold can cause your dog distress when travelling because they don’t dispel heat in the same way that humans do. Ideally, you want to keep your vehicle at room temperature (18oC – 21oC).
Most vehicles tend to provide the external temperature. If you have a smartphone, it’s worth downloading a thermometer app to measure your vehicle’s internal temperature. Failing that, try not to have the heaters or air conditioning on for extensive periods.
Campsites can be busy places, especially during peak seasons. With people moving on and off site, there are always vehicles around. Cars, caravans and motorhomes pose a potential hazard to your dog. On-site, your four-legged friend must be secured on a lead at all times to prevent them getting into an accident.
At the height of summer or winter, the weather will affect your dog. With that in mind, here’s a simple checklist of items to bring so that you’re prepared whatever the weather:
- Plenty of bottled water.
- Collapsible water bowl for offsite adventures.
- A canopy to provide shade.
- Dog coat.
Sticking to your dog’s diet is very important for their health too. It can be tempting to indulge your four-legged friend with the food you’re eating, but this could lead to stomach upsets. With that in mind, add these to your camping inventory:
- Dog’s regular food
- Doggie treats
Seasonal Canine Illness
Seasonal Canine Illness is a mystery sickness affecting dogs during the autumn. It's important to know the symptoms and to keep your dog on a lead whilst in woodland during the autumn months. To read more on the topic and understand what to look out for, please visit the Animal Health Trust website.
Unfamiliar surroundings could spook your dog, which is why it’s worth doing a pre-camping boot camp with your canine companion. Understanding how your dog will respond to camping scenarios prior to your trip will better prepare you for your adventure, and will help you to maintain your dog’s mental health and well-being. Here’s a list of activities you can try:
- Set up a tent in your garden or outside space (your dog will get used to being around camping equipment).
- Take day trips similar to those you will be taking while camping (hikes, canalside walks, lakeside walks, riverside walks and days at the beach).
- Spend time at dog-friendly pubs.
When out on excursions - especially riverside walks for instance - if your dog is the ‘dive in head first type’, keep them on a lead at all times. Your dog could be swept away by strong currents. Equally, lake, canal and river water can contain parasites harmful to your dog, just something to bear in mind before your pooch goes for a swim.
Try to avoid over exerting your dog too, especially on hot days. Taking your pooch jogging, cycling and hiking can lead to dehydration. If you’re planning an all-action day trip, make sure you take regular breaks to allow your dog a bit of recovery time and have plenty of water on hand that they can lap up on the go.
It’s a lot to take in, but it’s all in the best interests of your dog. Keeping them safe, well and happy makes for an enjoyable camping adventure with your canine companion that will live long in the memory. Why not take a look at our Club Site locations and start planning your trip away with your four-legged friend?