Going on holiday with your family is usually filled with fun, laughter and joy but too often we leave a little piece of our heart at home, and arguably, our favourite family member – our dog!
As we embark into Spring and the days get warmer and nights longer, families up and down the UK are jumping at the chance to get away and spend some time outdoors. A caravan or camping trip is the perfect opportunity to spend time with your family, whilst also being able to bring your beloved dog.
Bella & Duke’s Natural Canine Behaviourist, Caroline Spencer, lists her top 10 tips for bringing your dog on your caravan or camping holiday with you to help create perfect memories:
Make a doggy check-list – Being organised and writing a list will help make sure you have everything you need for a seamless holiday. Remembering your dog’s favourite toy might make all the difference to how they settle in and enjoy the trip.
Get to know where you are staying – Get as much information about the area you’re staying in as possible, from simple things like ensuring where you are going is dog friendly, to finding the best walking routes. Forward planning prevents any unforeseen hiccups and will ensure you have a relaxing and fun time with your family dog.
Travel in style – It’s so important that your dog is comfy and kept cool when travelling, especially during long car journeys. Doing things such as putting the air conditioning on, shading out the back windows to protect them from direct sun, and stopping at service stations for short walks will make sure your dog feels calm and looked after. Don’t forget a bowl and water!
Bring some home comforts – Bringing your dog’s bed guarantees some quality R&R time for you both. Hold back from freshening it before your holidays, its usual home-smell is sure to make your dog feel comforted and relaxed.
Let your dog get familiar with the new space – When you get to your destination, take your dog for a play and a pee before you unpack your car. Give your dog time to sniff about and explore their new surroundings.
Bring supplies to keep your dog’s food fresh and tasty – If you’re camping, a cool pack with ice packs and ice will help keep their food fresh for a couple of days during slightly cooler weather or alternatively, for campervans / caravans specifically you can bring a small plug-in freezer – going on holiday shouldn’t mean you need to ditch the frozen, raw diet and means you keep meals healthy for pets whilst away.
Bring treats – Treats are a great way to reward your dog after a long journey. Our chewy treats are also great for calming dogs, reducing anxiety and keeping their mind occupied if you’re apart for a little while.
Remember it’s a holiday for you and your dog – Think about what your dog likes and dislikes – If they are not happy sitting in a crowded coffee shop, find a quieter place where they feel safe and less hemmed in.
Be yourself – Be as you are at home with your dog, relaxed, fun and inspiring on your walks. This is a great opportunity to spend some quality time together.
Don’t over-do it – You may be taking your dog on longer walks and engaging in more strenuous activities when you’re away. Your dog might be used to only a couple hours of exercise a day, so try to increase this gradually and make sure they are always hydrated – especially in the hotter months!
Caroline Spencer, Natural Canine Behaviourist at Bella & Duke, added: “Going on holiday should be fun for both you and your dog. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together, away from work and other distractions. It’s important to find the right balance between bringing some home comforts, like their cosy bed or favourite toy, and going out, exploring nature and having new adventures.”