For many dog owners, leaving their beloved pet behind as they embark on a holiday or short break can be both heartbreaking, and expensive. Pet sitters or kennels don’t come cheap, and why should your dog miss out on the family holiday fun?
I love taking holidays with my dog, and one of the best ways to do it comfortably is in a motorhome or camper van. You just can’t beat the freedom it brings, being able to travel around multiple cities and countries at your own pace, a motorhome holiday is perfect for dog owners. But before you start planning your next adventure, consider the following to ensure a stress free and enjoyable time for you and your pooch.
Choosing the right motorhome
Whether you’re taking a break at home or abroad, a motorhome is the perfect solution to comfortably accommodating your family and your pooch. Start your search for dog friendly motorhome hire on Goboony using the pet filter and you’ll be given a list of motorhomes that accept pets. Choosing the right motorhome will depend on the size of your dog, you’ll need more floor space if you have a large Labrador compared to a compact Chihuahua! Plan out how you and your dog will be able to relax and sleep in the motorhome and don’t automatically choose the largest vehicle if you’re not comfortable driving it, find a happy medium.
If you’re crossing a boarder on your motorhome adventure, your dog will need an up to date EU pet passport. This enables you to travel home again without your dog needing to go into quarantine. Which is great news for dogs and their owners, but there are a few countries with extra requirements. The UK, for example, specifies that dogs coming back into the country need to have been given a worming treatment by a vet in the country they are coming from. Vets in other EU countries do tend to have the same standards of cleanliness and practices, and you can often turn up without an appointment for simple procedures such as these.
Best destinations for dogs
Every country has a list of prohibited breeds of dog and those on these lists are required to be muzzled in public and kept on leads under strict control, some of them are banned altogether from entering the country. Quite often they are larger breeds, but do double check as up until 2003 breeds such as the Border Collie and Welsh Corgi were on the prohibited list in Italy! My Dobermann would have to be kept muzzled in Ireland, Dubai and parts of America, which neither he nor I would be happy about!
Some countries are more dog friendly than others when it comes to welcoming them in public spaces. In the UK there are hundreds of dog friendly campsites and public houses, but that doesn’t mean they all welcome dogs, so it’s best to check with each place you plan on visiting, well in advance.
Create a home from home
Just how us humans miss our beds when we’re away, dogs will too, but its a lot easier to take theirs with you! Making it cosy on board your motorhome or camper van will not only reassure your dog it’s a safe space, you’ll keep them from hurting themselves. You’ll find if they are not in a crate, that dogs should learn how to lie so they don’t move around when you’re driving.
As space is limited in most motorhomes, it’s a good idea to limit what you take with you if you can plan to buy things at your destinations. So take enough of their food for the first few days, but then pick it up as you go. For their water, I prefer a collapsible bowl and filling it up with bottled water regularly when we stop. No need to take treats if you plan to cook in the motorhome and sample local delicious dishes, your dog will welcome some freshly cooked fish or scraps of meat. Just be sure not to overindulge them, just as you would be careful with this at home.
It’s easy to forget things like this, but it’s a great tip I was given before taking my dog on holiday for the first time. Get a new tag for their collar with up to date phone numbers and the location(s) of where you are staying. Just in case the worst happens and you lose sight of your dog, they can be returned safely and quickly.
Visiting vets away from home can be a hassle with language barriers and costs involved, so for minor cuts and scrapes pack a first aid kit especially for your dog. You can buy these ready made, or put one together yourself with things like bandages, antiseptic solution, a tick removal device and flea treatment. If your dog does get a cut and you need to keep him from licking it, there are a number of alternatives to the large plastic Elizabethan collars traditionally used. These would be problematic in a camper van! So opt to take a blow up version that can be easily stored away.
Begin your search on Goboony for dog friendly campervan hire and we promise you and your dog are in for so much fun! Your dog will adore spending so much time with you and imagine all the new smells and sights he will get to enjoy. Remember to take lots of photos to record the memories you’ll be creating - why not start an Instagram account to save them in one place? You’ll be sure to get some great photos whilst you’re on the road and what could be better than looking back at those memories of seeing the world with your best friend by your side.
Author: Jessica Maccio lives with her family and much-loved Dobermann, Lupo, who is the inspiration behind her blog www.velcrodog.co.uk. She loves discovering the best pet friendly destinations, to ensure Lupo doesn’t miss out on the fun!