Every camper and proud dog owner sooner or later has to deal with the question: should we go on holiday with the dog or not? From the moment you purchase a dog, you spend every day taking short and long walks, playing, cuddling, feeding, brushing, taking courses and so on. There are people who enjoy not having any dog obligations during the holidays, they are happy to arrange a good holiday address for the dog. On the other hand, there are also people who would not even think about going camping without their faithful four-legged friend, they always take their dog with them. And there is a group of people who don’t really know what to expect when they go camping with their dog. What things should you take into account?
Not every dog likes (long) car journeys. Make sure your dog is used to driving in advance. If necessary, start with short car rides and gradually increase the distance. Teach your dog that driving is fun. Give a small reward along the way and choose a nice destination for your dog. Some dogs suffer from motion sickness. In consultation with your veterinarian, you can purchase pills against motion sickness. Especially on long car journeys, it is wise to transport your dog in a special dog seat belt or car crate or to install a dog guard. Remember that it gets hot quickly in the car. Try to shield your dog from direct sunlight during the trip and provide fresh air in the car. Always keep plenty of water on hand. Also keep in mind that you take a break every few hours so that your dog can do his business and stretch his legs.
If you go abroad with your dog, remember to have a valid pet passport and the correct vaccinations. Your dog must also be chipped. Depending on the country of destination, it is wise to take precautions against certain infectious diseases. In warmer countries, different parasites occur than in the Netherlands. Not all dog breeds are allowed abroad. An example of this is the pit bull, this dog breed is not allowed to travel in many countries. There are also dog breeds that are subject to additional requirements, such as a leash requirement or a muzzle requirement.
Of course, you can only go to a dog-friendly campsite with your dog. There are campsites where dogs are allowed, but where there are few or no special facilities for dogs. There are also campsites with more extensive dog facilities, such as a dog shower, an exercise field or natural swimming water where the dog can swim. There are also special dog campsites. A dog campsite is based on the principle that the owners and especially the dogs are central. It is the ideal place for dog owners and their dogs to meet in a casual atmosphere. Even at campsites where dogs are welcome, you must of course take your fellow campers into account. Not everyone is a dog lover! Excessive barking dogs, dogs that are not on a leash, do their business everywhere or react quickly are not appreciated by anyone.
The camping spot
To give your dog some freedom of movement on the camping site, it is useful to take a long leash with you that you can attach to a caravan, trailer tent, tree or ground stake. Consider in advance what a sensible sleeping place is for your dog. In the caravan or in a bench in the (front) tent? Take into account whether you have a dog that is alert or might try to escape. If you have a dog that quickly becomes overstimulated, ask for a quiet camping spot at the campsite with as few stimuli as possible.
Temperatures can rise considerably in the summer. Many dogs don’t handle it very well. Dogs with a thick and dark coat often have even more difficulty with the heat. A dog can only lose its heat through its tongue (panting) and through the soles of its feet. Provide a shady place for your dog and ensure that your dog always has drinking water available. What also has a cooling effect is an inflatable bath with a layer of water or special cooling products for dogs, such as a cooling mat and cooling collar.
A dog tag
Your dog ran away! It is every dog owner’s nightmare, especially if you are not in your familiar environment. Before you go on holiday, arrange a dog tag with at least your 06 number and the country code in front of it if you go abroad.
Ask yourself in advance how you want to organize your holiday. If you want to make a lot of trips, realize that a dog is not allowed everywhere, such as museums, churches, castles and amusement parks. Dogs are also not welcome at swimming pools and many beaches. Of course, there are plenty of activities that you can do with your dog, such as taking a beautiful nature walk, visiting an authentic village, strolling through a market, sitting on a terrace or cooling off at a lake or river.
If you are still unsure whether camping with your dog is something for you, you can of course go on a trial camping trip with your dog before the big camping holiday. Just spend a few days at a campsite not too far away, then you will at least get an impression.
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