Camping with a dog - what you should bear in mind

Camping with a dog - what you should bear in mind

Vacation with a dog. How about camping? No need to search for a suitable hotel. Lots of nature right on your doorstep. Sounds good? We've put together some professional tips for a successful camping vacation with your dog in our journal.
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When it comes to vacationing with a dog, the question "Where can I take my dog?" is at the top of the list. There are now many hotels that welcome dogs on vacation. However, such a hotel is not always located in the desired vacation region. We have a tip: camping vacations with dogs. For many, this is one of the most original ways to go on vacation. They rave about it: Freedom, independence, no dress code, no crowded hotel restaurants and lots of nature. There are now a large number of campsites for dogs throughout Europe that are dedicated to camping with dogs. Nevertheless, there are a few things to bear in mind when camping with a dog for the first time. We have put together a few professional tips for you.

Camping with a dog means driving with a dog

If you're camping with a dog, you have to get to where you want to go. This is usually done by car with a camping trailer or a camper van. While the first option still allows the dog to take its usual place in a familiar car, it becomes more difficult with motorhomes. The problem with traveling with a dog in a motorhome: many experiences show that larger dogs in particular tend to have a hard time riding in the back of the vehicle because it can be quite rocky there. If at all possible, try out a short tour to see how your dog reacts and tolerates it, and only then plan a longer camping vacation with your dog. And don't forget the three golden rules: Take breaks. More breaks. More breaks.

Pro tip for camping with a dog: make sure your dog stays in the front area of the motorhome. Lay out his favorite dog blanket or mat there and look for an opportunity to safely leash your dog in this spot. No one needs a dog that jumps at you happily while you are overtaking on the highway. A transport box can also be a good alternative if your dog is used to it.

Special motorhomes for camping with a dog

Some providers of rental camper vans have now specialized in dogs. The provider Camper Dogs from Schalkham in Lower Bavaria has also specialized in camping trips with dogs. Accordingly, you will only find large motorhomes that have been specially converted for traveling with dogs. The front area, which usually seats four people at a table, can be converted into a dog travel area with a seatbelt option. In the rear area, there is a sleeping area for the dog instead of the lower bed. Another advantage: if you book with Camper Dogs, you don't have to worry about the necessary equipment, as you receive an all-inclusive package. Find out more at Would you like to experience one of these motorhomes live? No problem: write us a comment on this Journal article. With the kind support of Camper Dogs, we are giving away a special motorhome for camping with a dog for a week among all commenters between January 17 and 31, 2020. The value: around 1,000 euros. Details of the rental conditions can be found here. Legal recourse is excluded, errors excepted.


What you need in your luggage for camping with a dog

  • Lots of towels for dry rubbing, sand rubbing etc., the Buddy dog towel has proved its worth.
  • A small broom to regularly remove dog hair and sand from the motorhome.
  • A dog brush to thoroughly fluff the dog before entering the camper.
  • A large supply of your dog's favorite food as well as treats and chews, you never know if there will be any near the campsite.
  • A leash to keep your dog on a lead at the campsite.
  • A water bowl like Bil, which is difficult to spill, because the water bowl will be permanently in the motorhome and can become a stumbling block for anyone.
  • Your dog's favorite blanket or a blanket like the Resor travel mat that you can easily take with you.
  • Even your dog's usual dog bed will quickly find a place in the camper van.
  • You must have a current EU pet passport and dog insurance papers with you, especially when camping outside Germany. Also familiarize yourself with the entry regulations if you are travelling to another country.
  • Enough walking bags and a water bottle for on the go.
  • And of course any medication, tick tweezers, aids or the like, i.e. a dog first-aid kit.

A campsite that allows dogs is not necessarily a dog-friendly campsite

If a campsite allows dogs, this does not necessarily mean that it is dog-friendly. If you are in a city, you will find fewer opportunities to walk your dog. Campsites that specialize in dogs offer agility areas, special exercise areas such as dog meadows, dog training and special dog showers. Dogs are taboo in the sanitary facilities. A first port of call for German, dog-friendly campsites is, for example A list of campsites that allow dogs can be found at the ADAC:

The best way to behave with your dog on the campsite

Even on a campsite where dogs are allowed, not every user necessarily has to be a dog lover. Many campsites require dogs to be kept on a lead. As a courteous dog owner, you will certainly be considerate of other guests anyway. For everyone else, there are house rules at every campsite. You certainly don't want to greet a strange dog at the campsite barbecue who is staring greedily at your meat. What's more, the many visible and abundant new impressions may not allow your dog to settle down. And there are always other motorhomes driving back and forth. For safety reasons alone, you should shield your dog as much as possible, for example by positioning him behind your motorhome away from the road.

The basic rule for camping with a dog: allow your dog to rest in the camper van or caravan. He knows the place to a certain extent, you won't disturb anyone outside and he won't be exposed to the sun in summer or have to lie on the cool spring floor. Of course, you also have to pay attention to the temperature in the camper, so if you can park in the shade, you're better off. In hot temperatures, you can also hang wet towels in the camper or place reflective panels in front of the windows to reduce the temperature. You should also equip your dog with a sign including your cell phone number at the campsite - you never know.

Camping with the dog

Pro tip for leashing your dog at the campsite: use something sturdy like a tree to leash your dog. Alternatively, use a fixed eyelet on the camper van, but the folding wing mirror is not a good idea.

Health tip for leashing: it is best to use a chest harness if you choose a drag line for tethering, so that the high forces generated when running loose do not cause injuries to your dog's cervical spine or larynx.

As you can see, there's not much more to consider when camping with dogs than when vacationing with dogs in general.

Top 3 advantages of camping with a dog:

1. you can simply take a lot of things your dog likes with you in the motorhome and are not limited to a few kg per person.
2. you don't have to worry about flight stress or the quality of the local hotel.
3. you are closer to nature, very flexible and more independent than in a hotel.

Do you have experience of camping with a dog? Do you know of a particularly nice, dog-friendly campsite? Let us know in the comments.

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