Tips on finding the perfect campervan for your next holiday with your dog
Most dog owners consider their dogs as family members and leaving them behind when going on holiday can be difficult. This guide will help to explain some of the things you may need to know when going on a campervan holiday with your dog. We have also provided a useful checklist so that you don’t forget anything and to give you peace of mind.
1. Renting a campervan with a dog
Some important things to remember when camping with a dog:
Bigger dogs need more space so ensure your dog has enough room inside the campervan as well as somewhere to sleep comfortably.
Check that there is enough storage space inside the campervan for your luggage and your dog’s things.
Whilst driving make sure that your dog is safely secured in a transit box or on a seat using a harness or seat belt for dogs. If possible, try and get your dog used to being in a transit box or wearing a harness before starting your holiday. This will help you and your dog have a more relaxed journey.
2. Dog friendly campsites
There are many dog friendly campsites in the UK, which makes the UK a great place for a campervan holiday with your dog. The average price for camping with a dog for three nights in the UK costs around £60.00. Some campsites allow dogs but may have specific regulations in place whilst others have special facilities available for dogs. Not all dogs enjoy travelling so the travelling distance and onsite rules need to be considered when selecting your campsite.
Below we have put together some common questions you may want to ask:
Are dogs allowed or are there designated areas where dogs can go? Dogs enjoy going for walks. Exercise also helps to reduce agitation if they have been in a confined space for a long time, so it is always best to check before booking.
How big are the pitches and are they enclosed? It is important to know how much outdoor space your dog will have and if you can let your dog off the lead.
Are there any dog friendly pubs or cafés nearby? This will help you to determine which campsite is best suited to you and your dog’s needs.
Are there any dog friendly beaches nearby? Unfortunately, not all beaches are dog friendly, so it is always best to check before booking. It is also a good idea to ask the campsite owner if they know of any dog friendly beaches nearby.
Are there any vets nearby? Good to know in the unfortunate event your dog has an accident or appears unwell during your stay.
The UK is a popular destination for a campervan staycation with your dog, but many also enjoy visiting mainland Europe. If you are planning a campervan holiday with your dog in Europe you will need to show your dog’s animal health certificate or a valid pet passport, along with proof of their microchip, rabies vaccination and tapeworm treatment (if required). All dogs also need to enter the EU through a travellers’ point of entry (TPE). The key points are summarised below but checking the gov.uk website before booking is also highly recommended.
All dogs must be microchipped.
Ensure your dog is vaccinated against rabies.
You must wait 21 days after the first vaccination before travelling.
Dogs need to be treated against tapeworm 24-120 hours before arrival in a tapeworm free country.
You must obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) for your dog up to 10 days before travelling to mainland Europe.
When returning to the UK, similar requirements apply. The animal health certificates are valid for up to four months and can be used to leave and return to the UK. Valid pet passports, including pet passports issued in the UK prior to 2021 are also valid for entry into the UK. Note that all dogs (except for those arriving directly from Finland, Ireland, Malta, Northern Ireland or Norway) require a vet administered worming treatment between 24 hours and 5 days after arriving in the UK and it must be recorded in your dog’s health certificate or pet passport.
The UK has a very strict policy about dogs entering the country and all vaccinations, especially the rabies vaccine, and worming treatments will be carefully checked.
4. Keeping your dog safe whilst driving
Rule number 57 of The Highway Code states that dogs must be
suitably restrained whilst driving to prevent injury or hazard. A seat belt
harness, pet carrier or dog guard are some of the best ways to keep your dog
safe whilst driving in a campervan.
Campervan holidays are ideal for exploring the British countryside with your dog but there are some things you need to think about. Most dogs love being in the countryside and open spaces, but this is often where ticks and fleas can be found, so checking that your dog’s flea and tick treatments are up to date is important. Before going camping with your dog, it also helps to think about the weather conditions. Many dogs do not like intense heat, others such as dogs with arthritis may feel uncomfortable in wet or cold conditions.Helpful packing list for a campervan holiday with your dog
Dog basket and blankets
Sufficient dog food for the duration of your holiday
Food and water bowls
Toys and treats
Any necessary medication
Enjoying a campervan holiday with your dog
Following this guide and considering your dog’s needs when planning a campervan holiday with your dog will help you prepare for a stress free, enjoyable holiday. When camping with a dog, remember new places can make some dogs quite anxious. Consider the weather conditions taking into account any planned activities and ensure flea and tick treatments are up to date.