Before you head off on your holiday, it’s important to make sure that your dog is ready for the getaway. Make sure before you leave that your furry friend is up to date on any vaccinations or vet checks as these will likely be considerably harder to sort while you are away in your caravan. If your pet requires any medications, make sure you have stocked up enough to cover the duration of your trip, and put them in a safe place in your luggage so you don’t forget them.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that your doggy pal’s microchip details are up-to-date, just in case of any emergencies. Hopefully your dog will stay close to you throughout your trip, but in the event that your pet goes missing, the microchip will be the easiest way to recover them. If you are going abroad to your caravan, make sure you have your dog’s pet passport and all the relevant documentation so your trip is smooth and successful.
Handy things to bring include your dog’s favourite blankets, toys and bed, which will help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings and obviously lend them some entertainment. Collapsible water bowls are also a good idea to bring for when you head out on walks, and cooling mats help your pup keep from overheating in the sunnier months.
Possibly the most important thing to consider before you head off on your caravan holiday - is your intended caravan site dog-friendly? Many sites are, but there are also caravan sites that don’t allow dogs - take time to research your intended destination online so you don’t have an unfortunate surprise after driving all the way there.
Whether you are travelling in a touring caravan or driving out to your static caravan, your dog deserves to feel comfortable and secure while on the move. UK law dictates that dogs are suitably restrained in either the towing vehicle or motorhome, and you can do this by clipping a lead to your dog’s harness, or having your dog travel in a crate. The space in which your dog travels should also be well ventilated, so your pup doesn’t overheat.
While travelling with a dog, make sure you take regular stops every few hours, so your furry friend can stretch their legs and also enjoy a snack and some water from a bowl. If you’re driving during a particularly warm period, you may need to take extra stops to let your dog cool down and hydrate more frequently. Don’t leave your dog unattended in your car or caravan, even if the weather is mild - these vehicles can reach deceptively warm temperatures.
Once you’ve made it to your caravan site, you can start to enjoy the local area with your dog - but there are a few things you should consider first. Much like how you would keep your dog at home, make sure to keep your neighbours in mind - frequent, loud barking can be bothersome to other campsite users. Always clean up any mess that your dog makes, and make use of any specially designated areas to allow your dog to go to the toilet or run free off the lead. Make sure your dog doesn’t roam onto other people’s pitches, and be sure to control your furry friend around other dogs on the site.
There will likely be occasions when you have to leave your pup alone in the caravan, for example, when you are using the on-site washroom facilities. At these times, try to be as quick as possible to minimise the time that your dog is left alone, but also make sure that you leave them with water, shade and ventilation. Of course, if it’s a hot day, you should not leave them alone in the caravan at all.
Make sure to familiarise yourself with the Countryside Code and treat nature with respect. Keep your furry friend in sight at all times and ensure you carry bags for cleaning up any dog poo. Having your dog on a lead is the safest way to keep it under control, but if you do decide to let them off the lead make sure that you are in a place where you have full recall and you are confident that your dog will return to you when prompted.
Adam Summersby is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.
Date: October 10, 2023