If you are a seasoned camper, you probably know just about everything when it comes to going on a caravan holiday. Although that might be the case, caravanning with your dog is a different proposition that requires a certain amount of preparation.
There is no need to worry; it isn't hard to get ready for your trip, all you need is to know a few simple tips which will make a holiday spent with your best canine friend fun and comfortable. At the same time, you'll be making sure that the four-legged companion is safe on the road.
Travel Kennel or Enclosure Training
This is worth considering, especially if your pup needs to stay alone inside the caravan, training your dog to stay in a travel enclosure or crate. As a bonus, the training might assist you in managing dirt and mud in your vehicle, if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Many caravaners have reported that travel kennels do wonders when it comes to the actual driving portion of the holiday trip. Your dog might feel more secure and safe in their kennel while the vehicle is on the move.
Since life with a pet can get a bit smelly, especially in a small space, you might want to bring some wet wipes with you. Rags and old towels also come in handy and will keep the surfaces fresh and clean. If you're taking an extended holiday, make sure to give your pooch a bath and to brush them often. Some campsites have dedicated doggy showers.
Bring All of Your Dogs Papers With You
Before the trip starts, make sure that your dog has taken all the relevant vaccinations and treatments. Depending on your destination, there are various requirements for travelling pets.
In some locations, you'll have to show the necessary documentation. So we recommend bringing along all your dogs papers with you, including registration documents, deworming forms and vaccination-related files.
The First Aid Kit
It is essential to always have your dog's first aid kit with you as well. Don't forget to bring the vitamins and medicine your pooch uses, as well as their grooming tools.
Your mood will also go down if your best bud feels sick. An emergency can creep up on you at any time; if you are running errands around town, at your home, and when you're travelling on holiday with your caravan.
Specific dog first aid kits are available and usually consist of dressings and gauze, a couple of different size tick removers, a canine first aid manual, non-stick bandages and hydrogen peroxide.
Top Tip: Taking along the emergency phone number for your usual vet would be recommended.
This might come in useful if your dog becomes ill whilst you're away and you need to check their medical history or any prescription details.
Leaving your pet in your vehicle
Of course, we recommend you minimize the amount of time your pet spends alone in your vehicle, but occasionally this can't be avoided. Prevention is better than cure when making sure your friend doesn't overheat while you're out and about. A pet temperature monitor can give you peace of mind; if you're not sure which is the best to use, read this article on pet temperature monitors to help you learn more. Monitors can send you a text or email if the temperature in your van exceeds (or drops below) a preset temperature. They work either over WiFi or a phone network, so make sure you do your research before you commit and remember that the device is only as good as the signal in your area.
How to Keep Track of Your Buddy?
Dogs are intelligent, but in some environments, they can still get lost. Humans' best friends like to wander around, so when on a holiday trip, it would be wise to consider a tracking device, and you could obtain a collar with the GPS system. Make sure your details are visible on the collar as well.
Search for Pet-Friendly Places
Unfortunately, your furry roommate will not be welcome in every location you might travel to. For that reason, you need to find out in advance which caravan parks or national parks allow pets inside.
There is nothing like a road trip or holiday with your best friend, your dog. The wisest thing to do is to get well-prepared in case anything out of the ordinary happens.
If you have never travelled in a caravan with your canine, it's wise to educate yourself on what you should take with you; after that, the only thing left to be done is go on a long journey and enjoy the experience together.
You can check our online campsite finder and start looking for your dog-friendly campsite.
Editor - Alan Rogers Guides
Rob is the General Manager at Alan Rogers Travel Group, he is responsible for the ongoing development of the Alan Rogers website and publication of the Alan Rogers Guides.
He has been involved in the leisure industry since completing a BTEC in Travel & Tourism in 1993. Previous roles have included the promotion of tourism in Yorkshire and running a motorcycle touring company in the Australian Outback.