Some advice on what you need to know if
you want to take your dog away on holiday with you.
What camping/caravan parks permit animals? How to keep your dog safe
in the vehicle etc.
Travelling with Dogs
Many travellers when taking holidays, like to take their pet
with them. It is uncanny how your dog knows when you are
packing to leave on holiday and nothing beats the pure joy
expressed as he realises he is going too, and bounds into
the back seat of the car.
There is a lot to consider when you decide to take your dog
with you and you should first enquire if your pet will be
welcomed. A quick check with the relevant authorities of
the areas prior to departure is essential. Quite a few
camping grounds, bed and breakfasts, resorts and even
private hotels have now relaxed their policies to allow your
pet to stay with you, however there may be conditions that
you may need to know about, such as the type and size of
animals allowed, bedding arrangements and even the time of
year. Some campgrounds for example allow pets only in
A helpful item to purchase before you set out with your
beloved pooch is one of the popular books on dog friendly
parks. These can be purchased from any good bookstore and
are an invaluable reference tool for not only dog friendly
parks but also other areas you can stay with your dog.
Some caravan parks are not dog friendly whilst others
require a “bond” to be paid up front. Even the majority of
the dog friendly parks will require you to keep your pooch
on a leash at all times. Please remember to always carry a
supply of “poo” bags to clean up after your dog. This is
now the law in some States.
There are also a number of things to consider regarding the
safety and comfort for your dog. Is he registered and
vaccinated, do you have
the registration papers and vaccination card with you,
has he got clear identification (tags, collar etc). Editable
tags can be purchased to enable you to record the address of
your holiday accommodation so he is returned to you quickly,
and not your empty house at home. Perhaps take a printout of
your pet’s medical history in case a visit to the local vet
arises. Do you have proper bedding should he need to be
kept outside at night, does he require special food,
medication, his lead etc. Your holiday should be as
enjoyable for your pet as it is for you, so take time to
make sure you have packed adequately for him.
If you are travelling for a particularly long period of
time, a visit to the vet before you leave will give you
peace of mind. The vet can do a quick check-up of your
dog’s health and recommend any flea/tick treatments you may
need for the areas you are visiting, and also provide your
with a printout of your pet’s health to take with you.
Holidaying with Kids
This page contains some
useful advice on making your
trip with the family memorable for adults and children alike.
A little advice, preparation and old fashioned know-how can go a long way.
What do I need to know when taking my dog camping ?
Let’s presume you have rung ahead and checked your furry
companion is welcome at the campground, what additional
things do you need to keep in mind when sharing your camping
experience with your “best friend”?
– you may not intend taking your dog for a swim or there may
not even be water where you are camped, but there are many
ways your pet can become wet and cold whilst camping. If it
has recently rained there many be many puddles he may like
to roll and enjoy himself in. He may find that dead bird
from last week at the base of a nearby tree that he just has
to roll in because he thinks you will love his new scent.
Afterall, it smells wonderful to him ! That will mean a
definite bath before he crawls into your tent or van to
retire for the evening, and you’ll be glad you brought his
special towel. Perhaps he might decide something looked
good enough to eat and this doesn’t quite agree with him and
he becomes sick. Another great reason to have that towel
– this is a must as you will be fully responsible for your
dog and the best way to control his behaviour is to have him
on a leash when walking. Most campgrounds insist that your
dog is kept on a leash. Ensure you also have a light chain
or non-breakable lead with a strong clasp if you need to
leave your dog at your tent or van whilst you visit the
amenities block for example. It has been know for dogs to
actually chew through fabric restraints in no time at all in
an effort to follow their master. Try to make this lead
long enough to restrain your animal, but not so short that
he becomes agitated.
- Taking his own bedding with you will make him feel secure
and more settled at night. He will welcome the familiarity
amongst all the new surroundings. Remember to set up his
bedding in a sheltered area under a tarp or the awning of
your van. The dampness of the night can become quite cold
and he is bound to try to get your attention, or the
attention of the whole campground if he is cold and
uncomfortable. If it is common at home to have him near you
when sleeping, bring him into or close to the tent, or into
your caravan. He will know you are there and settle
quickly, allowing everyone to get a good night’s sleep.
– Always pack some of these to be a responsible pet owner
and pick up any dog droppings. Never allow your dog to
defecate in or near a river, creek or other water course.
– Just like humans, dogs also dehydrated. Have plenty of
clean fresh water available for when he gets thirsty.
Ensure the water from the campground is drinkable or perhaps
take your own. Water from creeks and rivers can contain
bacteria and other harmful agents that can make your and
your dog ill. A good check is – if you wouldn’t drink it,
why should your dog.
– If you want to be invited back to your favourite
campground with your companion, do not allow him to
interfere with the local wildlife. Keep him restrained when
taking him for a walk. He may take no notice of the birds
and lizards in your garden at home, but once he lays eyes on
his first wallaby, rabbit or emu, he could be off after them
in a flash – if only for curiosity. This will definitely
not get you in the property owners favour. Expect the
unexpected in non familiar places with your pet.
Can I take my pet to a National Park ?
The Parks and Wildlife Services throughout Australia clearly
state the following in regard to visiting, or camping, with
your dog, or other pets for that matter, within National
“National parks and reserves are refuges for native animals
Dogs and other domestic pets (other than trained assistance
animals such as guide dogs) must not be taken into national
parks, state recreation areas, nature reserves, historic
sites or Aboriginal areas, because:
Native animals see dogs as predators. The lasting scent
left by dogs can easily scare small animals and birds
away from their homes, often causing them to leave their
Dog faeces carry diseases, which can be harmful to
wildlife and people, and also add nutrients to the soil,
increasing the spread of weeds.
If dogs and other domestic pets have frightened native
animals away from popular visitor areas, there will be
no wildlife for other visitors to see.
Dogs can interfere with the enjoyment of other park
There are however certain State Forests that are tolerant to
the controlled access of dogs for day visits and overnight
What about travelling to and from my destination with my
pet? How can I keep him safe in the car ?
are a number of things to keep in mind when you travel with
your dog in a vehicle. These will ensure not only your
safety, but the safety of your pet.
can become car sick just as humans can. Make sure you have
adequate ventilation for him. If possible have a window down
to allow air to flow through. It is not a good idea to
allow him to poke his head out the window. Although he may
enjoy this, the rush of air can be harmful and he could be
in danger of being hit by objects. Ask yourself - would you
allow your child to travel in your car with their head out
intend using a pet carrier to transport your pet, ensure he
is familiar with it prior to departure. Take a number of
smaller trips to familiarise him with it. Ensure it is the
correct size and he has adequate room to turn around or
allow him to sit on the back seat whilst travelling, buy him
a harness for his safety. Many animals die each year in
even minor car accidents through not being harnessed
correctly. Harnesses simply loop through or click into your existing
seatbelts and prevent your dog from being thrown all around
frequent stops on the way to your destination and let your
pet run around, take a drink, go to the toilet etc. This
will make him much happier and a pleasure to travel with.
arrive at your destination when it is still daylight. This
will give your dog the change to familiarise himself with the
caravan park or campground and give him time to “settle
in”. Spend some time with him at this point to reassure him
in his new surroundings.
your dog cool. Never, ever leave your dog in the car. Dogs
are particularly susceptible to heat stroke. Cars can
become like ovens in a matter of minutes. Leaving the
windows open or a bowl of water will make no difference.
Dogs can die from heatstroke in less than 20 minutes.
some forward planning and thought you and your best friend
are guaranteed to have a terrific holiday time.