9 essential tips for camping with dogs
Thinking about camping with your pooch? Ensure two- and four-legged members of your camping crew have a great time with these essential tips…
To camp or not to camp?
Just like people, some dogs are camping fans and others not so much. Know your dog and before you pitch up consider their character. If they’re comfortable around new people and new places, and enjoy being outdoors for long periods of time, there’s a good chance they’re going to love camping (yay!) – but if not, sadly it may be best to reconsider.
Find a pawsome campsite
Here at Heligan Caravan and Camping we love dogs and they love us - we welcome them with open paws. Up to two well-behaved dogs are welcome on our camping and touring pitches, and four of our holidays homes are dog friendly too. And on top of that we’re perfectly placed for canine fun with a choice of fantastic walks, dog-friendly beaches, places to eat and doggie days out on our doorstep. Find out more about why we’ve got the woof-factor here.
Get a health check
Once you’ve booked your pitch it's a good idea to take your dog for a pre-trip vet visit. At this appointment, you can make sure your dog is healthy enough for the trip, as well as ensure that their flea and tick medication is up to date. This is also the time to replace ID tags if needed.
Pack for pooch
Leash, harness, poo bags, towels for muddy paws…all absolute essentials for a happy camping trip. While packing your bags also consider where your furry friend is going to sleep. Will they be treated to a spot on your blow-up mattress or given their very own corner of the tent with a crate or cosy bed of blankets? If you can squeeze their usual doggie bed in your camping kit, there’s no doubt that they’ll love you for it.
Choosing food and water bowls that can be easily carried with you is a great idea while camping, especially if you're going to be doing a lot of walking. Invest in a set of collapsible bowls to save space and lighten your load. Of course, you will also need enough doggie food to last the duration of your holiday.
You might also need a sun shade and many campers don’t pitch up without a tether and stake so that they can keep their dog secure but provide lots of room to move while staying hands-free.
Camping is super exciting – for dogs as well as humans – so with all that extra fun and stimulation it’s important to remember that even the best-behaved dog, on a less than normal day, in unfamiliar surroundings, can behave a little out of character.
Be prepared for unexpected changes in your dog’s behaviour. Don’t let them jump up at people and keep them close by at all times. Never leave dogs unattended in your tent or holiday home.
Camping is all about enjoying the peace and quiet of the great outdoors so excessive barking and yelping in the early or late hours is a big no-no. Even if it doesn’t bother you, consider the people around you who are enjoying sundowners on the balcony of their holiday home or tucking into breakfast outside their tent. If your pooch is getting a little noisy try going for a walk or giving them a little extra attention to calm and reassure them.
Lead the way
Lucky pups staying with us and Heligan Caravan and Camping can enjoy masses of dog-friendly beaches and walks nearby where they can run free but we kindly ask that all furry friends are kept on leads on site.
Pick up doggie do-do’s
The top doggie rule always applies. Scoop it, bag it, bin it – each and every time!
No over feeding
You might think you’re being kind by treating your dog to extra BBQ meat and other rich treats that they wouldn’t usually have at home when camping but you’ll both regret it in the morning. It’s not fun being zipped up in a tent with a gassy pooch (however cute they are!) and no dog wants an upset tummy. Stay as close to their usual diet and feeding routine as possible to avoid any upset, plus it means there will be no mad rush to let them out to go to the toilet at impromptu times.
By keeping these tips in mind, camping with your dog can be fantastic fun and turn a great trip into an even better trip. Wagging tails all round!
Find out more about dog-friendly holidays in Cornwall here.