We love when our Labrador dog “Tiger” travels with us. We all have so much fun and he enjoys being outdoors all the time, lying in the grass, long walks in the woods, swimming, and sure the interesting sounds and smells of nature.
When we took him on our first trip in our motor home he was a bid uncomfortable. It was the noise and shaking when driving, although we had never had a problem with him with our regular car. So we had to look after him and give him very special attention during the first days. We just made more and longer breaks for a walk and slept in the same space to make him feel comfortable to his new and second home.
But traveling with your dog requires a bid more planning ahead of time. Get enough food and treads, visit the vet, check the papers, and vaccinations, their toys, extra towels, check campgrounds online to make sure they allow dogs, etc….
And yes we learned a lot and made our experiences. So we thought let’s put a list together and share this with you. It might help you when preparing your trip.
- Regulations of your destination Country
- Don’t forget your pet’s papers, ID, and documented vaccinations.
- Visit the veterinary before you go on trip for a quick check-up and extra good advise.
- Check the legislation and regulation of the destination country. You don’t want your pet being arrested and put into a dog shelter. For the EU check this site:
- Pack your pets bag
- Food and treads. Make sure you pack enough and more in case you will spend a couple extra days on your trip.
- ID tags with your address and phone number.
- Towels for rainy days and when returning from the lakes, or beaches. Outdoor and camping shops offer towels made from microfiber fabrics. These towels are extremely light and dry very quickly. We also use these kinds of towels for ourselves. They also use little space in your backpack when going for longer walks, or hiking.
- Your pet’s bed, teddy bears, and toys for the beach. Your dog wants to feel home and comfortable when travelling with your motor home or stay at unfamiliar places.
- Medication, first-aid kit, tweezers to remove ticks, and supplements when you need to add extras to the food bowl.
- Plastic and disposal bags to pick up their droppings on the beach, campground, or rest areas along the way.
- Sunscreen for pets if needed, especially for a beach vacation.
- An extra leash if one gets wet on rainy days or from the beach.
- A long leash if required on the campground.
- Buckle up and security
- Make sure your dog is well secured in your campervan. Being free and running around the van while driving is dangerous, and you might get a bill when the police stop you.
- Check with your pet shop or online for alternatives to secure your dog while driving. Some manufacturers offer harnesses that are really comfortable for your dog.
- Breaks along the way, Routine with food, and Bedtime
- Your dog needs a walk and should relax from driving. The campervan, the noise, and the shaking during the drive are making your dog very uncomfortable and it could be stressful, especially when they are not used to this. Regular breaks are a must. We usually plan a picnic on our way. It’s fun for all.
- Make sure to keep your pet’s routine when it comes to their food. Routine helps a lot to make them feel comfortable.
- Routine is also important for their bedtime and time to rest. It is also important that their bed is close to you, so your pet can see and hear you while resting. We already mentioned before, that especially during the first days it is crucial to sleep in the same room, or space.
- Be aware of the weather
- Your dog can quickly get overheated in summer months. Don’t leave your pet in a hot car. It’s important to keep them cool and supply as much water to them as you drink. And remember blankets, capes or sweaters for cold weather. On our trip to Masuria in January the temperature was down to -18°C. Therefore, we brought extra blankets and a cape to keep him warm.
- Beach live is great
- Our dog loves it. You barely can get him out of the water. But you always should watch your dog when other people and families are around. I remember our dog once visited the neighbours and they fed him with all funny and unhealthy food.
- You should also make sure that you bring a sun bouncer on sunny days. Your dog can’t stay out in the sun all day without getting any shade.
- Bring water bowls and bottles with lots of fresh water for your dog that your pet stays hydrated.
- Check online for campgrounds that allow dogs. It happened to us, when travelling along the North Sea, that we had to approach various campsites before finding a place to stay for the night. You rather spend more valuable time with your dog than driving around.
- Bring a short and a long leash so you are prepared when the campground rules tell you, that your dog must always be on a leash. It could get uncomfortable if your neighbour doesn’t like dogs.
- And we understand well why some people don’t like to see dogs around and are very upset. It is because of bad behaviour of other dog owners, when they are too lazy to clean and pick their pet’s poop. And yes, we heard many very un-nice stories. Just look around rest areas along the road, which some time is contaminated with dog poop. This bad behaviour of one respect-less pet owner will come badly back to all of us. So, please follow guidelines and rules of the campground, and PLEASE always clean or picking after your dog.
- Hiking and Camping
- A first aid kit for your dog is good to have. When playing, running through the woods, or maybe there is broken glass around, and don’t forget tweezers to remove ticks. Just be prepared.
- Watch your dog when going hiking, walks though the woods, and camping. Your dog might smell wild live or other animals, and will go for a hunt.
- Please check for signs and rules for pet owners a long the way or in national parks.
- Respect the wild live, breeding grounds and new growing’s.
- We all would like to return with our dogs.
We hope this “short list” gave you some tips when preparing your next trip with your dog and let us know if we need to add more items to think off.
We are sure, that you will have a great time together.