Our guest bloggers Robby and Stefan, known from their blog Campofant, give useful tips for Eurocampings for a fun camping holiday with your dog.
Especially for dog owners, camping is the ideal opportunity to spend the most beautiful time of the year without stress. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about camping with a dog.
Before packing our stuff, of course, we should first think about where we want to spend our vacation. Since you want to bring your four-legged friend, you should first make a few considerations:
Entry requirements for dogs of certain breeds
If you have a dog that is considered a “fighting dog” in some countries, you must inform yourself in advance about the admission requirements. Dogs of these breeds are not welcome everywhere, which is why there are often general access bans.
How are the weather conditions?
Especially in the southern countries, it can get very hot in the summer. This is not only a considerable burden for us humans. So if you have a very old or sick dog, think about which climate is pleasant for you and your darling.
How many kilometres do I want to drive?
Some four-legged friends don’t mind driving the car. On the contrary, they even love it. But some dogs last for a short period and want to get out of the car almost immediately after departure. Adjust the route to your dog and take regular breaks.
The above points will help you quickly find the ideal destination, but there are a few other important things before you leave.
Mediterranean diseases and prevention
If you want to travel to southern countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, etc., you will need to get informed in advance about Mediterranean diseases so that you can take appropriate precautions. Sand flies can transmit elephantiasis and many other diseases that are often not completely curable. Heart worms are also problematic in these countries. It is best to check in advance with your vet what he or she can recommend as preventative measures for a trip to these countries.
Vaccinations and tapeworm treatment
In addition to admission requirements for certain dog breeds, certain vaccinations are also prescribed. These are documented by the vet in the pet passport, which must be presented abroad upon request. If an important vaccination is missing, your dog may need to be quarantined there.
Norway, for example, is one of the countries that requires tapeworm treatment on the pet passport. In this case too, your vet can advise you.
Secure the dog in the vehicle
During the trip, the dog must of course also be properly secured in the car or camper. Incidentally, a pet counts as a load and not as a passenger when it is transported in a vehicle. The most common ways of fastening are probably using a dog box or seat belt. Some four-legged friends feel more comfortable in a box so they don’t notice what’s going on outside. Others like to look out the window while driving.
We advise you to transport your dog in a dog box because this is the safest solution in crash tests. This would also be safer than standard dog seat belts, which offer less protection in the event of a collision.
Whether you choose a box or belt, always check the markings ECE R17, ECE R 126, or DIN 75410-2 when purchasing. These indicate that the products have been tested in a crash test procedure.
Campsites where dogs are welcome
Many campsites allow dogs, but this does not necessarily mean they are welcome. Often the lots are divided into two different areas – one for dog owners, the other for those who don’t have a four-legged friend.
But how can you tell me that the campsite is dog-friendly?
What are the reviews of other dog owners? This can often provide information about whether you and your four-legged friend are welcome so that nothing stands in the way of the perfect dog vacation.
At a dog-friendly campsite, you will find great swimming and playing options for your four-legged friend. Even dog showers and large play areas aren’t uncommon, and they’re not just fun for our four-legged travel companion!
The perfect environment
Ideally, the campsite is located somewhere in nature, where there are plenty of opportunities for long walks in the area. Therefore, look not only at the campsite itself but also in the local environment.
For us, the cost to the dog is a negligible factor, as long as everything else is fine. Especially in the summer, dogs need to be able to cool off in the water. Also, we don’t want our darling to wait with our vehicle while we are on the shore of the lake or the beach.
How should I behave at the campsite?
The trip is finished and we have arrived at our holiday destination. Normally, you will be shown the code of conduct of the campsite in your hand when you check-in, which also provides information about the four-legged friends. Often the dog has to be kept on a leash, which is understandable, because not every camper is interested in dogs, and not every dog is happy with a companion who comes storming towards him.
It is therefore good to keep the rules to keep the sweet peace. If there is a playground on the campsite, your darling will certainly find a few other playful dog mates there, with whom he or she can romp to their heart’s content.
While at the RV or tent, you will need to secure your dog to the vehicle using a ground anchor or peg, which is either secured under the vehicle tire or simply screwed into the ground.
|Shade||At the campsite, make sure that the dog has the opportunity to lie in the shade. This can be shade from surrounding trees, but a small tent can also be useful. Our dog prefers to lie under the camper because that is where most of the cooling can be found.|
|Cooling mat||We have purchased a cooling mat. This is filled with a gel, which has a slightly cooling effect when you put pressure on it. And if our dog is not on it, I find it very pleasant.|
|Swimming opportunity||Swimming at the campsite or in the immediate vicinity is ideal. The water rats among our four-legged friends will love it anyway and dogs that don’t like water so much may also like a cooling foot bath in the hot weather.|
|Damp cloth||A damp cloth that you put over your dog can also provide cooling, but not every four-legged friend likes this. If in doubt, just give it a try. Your dog will let you know what he thinks!|
|Drinking water||It actually speaks for itself, but I will mention it anyway: Your dog should always have enough fresh drinking water.|
|Hot asphalt/sand||When the sun is burning, the asphalt becomes extremely hot. It is best, before taking a walk, to feel with your palm if it is too hot. There is a danger that your dog will burn the soles of his feet. Beach sand can also get quite hot.|
|Exhausts||In the heat of the day, it is advisable not to walk your dog for too long. A longer walk is better made in the cool morning or evening hours.|
|Heat in the vehicle||When the sun is burning on your vehicle, it can get extremely hot in a very short time. Don’t leave your four-legged friend alone and unnoticed if you don’t have air conditioning.|
Tip: If you fasten your dog with a long leash, it is better to use a harness instead of a collar to avoid damage to the neck area.
Many dog owners carry a fence. This is stretched around its piece of ground and offers free space for the dog in its area, to be able to move without a leash.
Some dog-friendly campsites offer pitches that are already fenced.
Dog and heat
If you go camping in the summer, it can be a challenge for you and your four-legged friend. However, there are a few preparations that can be made to make the warm temperatures as pleasant as possible for our furry friends:
As you can see, camping with a dog is a great experience for everyone involved. We love to travel with our dog and see how happy she gets every time we start the engine and she knows: it finally starts again!