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Camping with your Dog

Category: Practical Advice Advice | Author: |  Date posted:  | Impressions: 65780   7301

Camping with your Dog by Willie Bromehead.

A little research beforehand can prevent disappointment, and ensure a good time - for everyone. Plan ahead, especially in high season. Many resorts will take pets only in off-season times. Some only allow small dogs, or what they term “Lap dogs”. Some allow only one dog per site, although it is often possible to negotiate. Tell the park manager or owner what you will do to make sure that the dog will cause no trouble or damage - then be true to your word.  Most resorts do not allow dogs in their hire accommodation at all whether out of season or not.-

Think safety. Keep your dog on a leash at all times! Even in the Resort. We have made a special tent peg to loop the leash end over to restrain ‘Rambo’ our Miniature Doberman, from wandering around the resort on his own. Strange surroundings can override basic training in a dog. Why risk having your pet lost, hurt or killed while on holiday. Also remember, not everyone likes dogs (hard to imagine, I know). A lot of people are even terrified of small dogs. A strange dog, running loose, can cause outright panic in some children and even in adults. I love dogs, but even I don't like to see one off its lead and headed toward my small dog and me. Please respect the rights of others so that everyone can have a good time.”

Know your dog. If your dog is hyperactive in the car,  plan on some sort of restraint. We keep Rambo’s body harness on him at all times. It makes it easier to grab him quickly if necessary, and also it is quick and easy to clip his leash on when ready to get out of the car.

A portable dog kennel or some sort of gate or barrier between the front and rear seats will keep the dog safe and prevent him from driving. Dogs love to drive.

They're lousy at it! They are also very good at distracting you when you are driving, so prepare accordingly. A little training also goes a long way. Whatever you do, don't travel with a dog that hates the car. You'll end up hating the dog, yourself, the car, travel, and the world in general.

Start small. You might not be as lucky as we've been. Try an overnight trip or weekend getaway, close to home, for a start. Don't take your dog along if it’ll just be cooped up in the caravan the whole time. If they can't have some involvement they'd probably be happier at home. You'd be surprised at the number of resorts where well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome. Remember to clean up after them. ‘Poop-scoops’ are available from every reputable pet shop.

Watch out for children! Dogs are "kid-magnets". At festivals, flea markets, caravan parks, and rest stops they swoop down and wrap their arms around or try to pet or pick up your unsuspecting dog. Your dog may take offence or panic with disastrous results. Keep an eye out to avoid potential mishaps. This is also a valuable opportunity to educate children (and their parents) on how to approach a strange dog.

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