Seeing dogs bounding along the beach or scampering through the forest is a source of joy for many of us. Most dogs are perfect travel companions when it comes to camper- and caravan holidays. But do keep in mind things like regular stops to break up the drive, the age and fitness level of your dog when choosing where to go, and always ensure the campsite or accommodation is dog friendly. Have a travel checklist ready with all the essentials your dog may need and make sure your vehicle is equipped to travel with a pet.
Check out Visit England’s guide on dog-friendly holidays for inspiration. Choose a destination based on your and your dog’s needs. An older dog will benefit from gentle walks along flat ground, whereas a younger dog will be happy tackling more varied or uphill terrain.
What to take
There are lots of products that you'll need to take with you to keep your dog comfortable whilst traveling to your destination but also for whilst you're there. WaggyCaddy.com is a one stop shop for all things dog! Their clever Waggy Caddy Kit is a weekend bag & travel carryall loaded with all the things your dog needs for weekend getaways and breaks - 19 items are included in this clever kit, from safety products, travel items, toys, treats and grooming items all packed into a smart carryall travel bag to keep it all organised - think of it as a suitcase for your furry friend (and something to calm your OCD!). It's been used by celebrities around the country for their famous pooches! If you have all the bits, then the carryall weekend bag is available to purchase on it's own for you to fill yourself. Perfect for over night stays and weekends away.
If you're looking for specific products to keep your pup safe in the car then look no further than the 'Safety' & 'Travel' section on WaggyCaddy.com, which includes dog car boosters seats, car seat covers, seat belt harnesses and lots of other innovative products.
Planning is key
Once you’ve decided on a destination, work backwards to plan pit stops along the way. Dogs need regular breaks when driving – every 2-3 hours is ideal. Choose service stops with dog-friendly facilities, ensure your dog has access to water (pack a minimum of 5 litres) and the chance to stretch its legs. It’s also worth researching dog-friendly spaces and designated areas where they will be able to relieve themselves.
To avoid car sickness (and accidents), avoid feeding your dog within two hours of starting a long car journey, and pack a favourite toy or blanket to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
The Highway Code states that dogs in cars must be restrained to avoid distracting the driver and causing potential injuries. A dog seat belt or car harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are all effective solutions.
Whilst it may look like they are having fun, don’t allow dogs to put their head out of the window while driving – your dog could be at risk of serious injury and it will be a distraction to other road users.
It goes without saying that a pet should never be left in a hot car. Ensure the windows are always slightly open to allow adequate airflow, use sunshades on the windows to prevent sun glare and overheating.
Camping is a great option for those travelling with dogs and there are plenty of choices around the UK. Check out this round-up of top dog-friendly campsites which includes dog-friendly beaches, attractions including country homes and castles and pooch friendly pubs.
Ensure you pack a dog survival kit before arriving at a campsite. This needs to include food, blankets, toys, poo bags, collar/harness with ID, a short and long lead, plenty of shade and a first-aid kit.
A four-legged friend bounding along the beach and into the waves is a joy to see but remember that other people (and other dogs) may be wary of your dog. Ensure your pet doesn’t become too boisterous or a bother to other beach dwellers or local wildlife and put them on a lead if necessary.
Keep an eye on the tides to avoid getting into difficulties in the sea and remain vigilant of other dogs and children. And always dispose of dog mess in the appropriate bin.
Best walking spots
A day trip is also a great way to explore a new place. Check out this National Trust guide for the best places to walk your dog, with top spots across all areas of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Take extra care on cliff paths and keep an eye out for information signs.
When booking your vehicle, just remember to double-check that it’s dog friendly. Check out the full supply of vehicles from Camptoo using this form; we already filtered the dog-friendly campers for you!