We all know how much joy a dog can bring to a family, and those of us with dogs know how difficult it is to leave them behind when we go on holiday. The advantage of a motorhome or campervan is that you can travel with your four-legged companion in the UK and even overseas with a pet passport. But how does a dog fit into the world of motorhome travel? We’ve put together this ultimate guide with all the information you need for travelling with dogs in your motorhome or campervan.
Travelling with dogs
Make sure your dog is comfortable
Before you take your motorhome holiday, the first step is to prepare your four-legged companion for motorhome life. Dogs, like humans, want to be in familiar settings. You need to create a welcoming atmosphere by using essential travel items like a warm blanket or their favourite toy. This not only adds to the comfort and entertainment value of your motorhome, but also creates a familiar world of scents your dog can adjust to in your motorhome.
If your pooch is new to camping getaways, ease them in slowly. Travelling with dogs in a campervan may be both exhilarating and terrifying for them. Short journeys are the best way to introduce your dog to motorhome life, as they will demonstrate that living and travelling with dogs in a motorhome is an exciting and safe experience.
Space and sleeping
The size of your dog is the most significant factor to consider. Whether you have a Maltese or a Mastiff, consider the amount of space your dog needs and how you will make considerations for this.The size of your dog is the most significant factor to consider. Whether you have a Maltese or a Mastiff, consider the amount of space your dog needs and how you will make considerations for this.
What will your dog's sleeping place be?
If your dog is comfortable on the floor, make sure you have enough room to manoeuvre around them, especially if you’re inside on a rainy day. Some individuals, particularly those with large breed dogs, keep their dogs in the motorhome garage, which provides heating and lighting. You may also want to invest in a comfortable dog bed where they go each time they need their own space on their motorhome holiday.
Keeping your dog safe
In any vehicle, including motorhomes and campervans, your dog must be properly restrained. While there is no legal violation, proper support will give your dog protection and peace of mind.
When travelling with dogs, how do I keep them secure?
A dog harness is the best way to keep your dog contained within the motorhome. These attach to a seatbelt, keeping them safe in the event of an accident. It also prevents your dog from crawling all over the camper and distracting you while you drive. We recommend if you haven’t already, investing in a dog crate for your camper. Many of the crates have fastening points that can easily slot into your motorhome where you need them to be. Whether you choose a harness or crate, the approach you choose will need to be the one that your dog prefers.
Dogs are accepted at most campsites in the UK and Europe. However, we recommend double-checking before making a reservation for your motorhome holiday. Make sure the site is appropriate for your dog while making your decision. If your dog is apprehensive, look for a quiet, certified place with fewer people. There are several places near beach walks, the countryside, and even forests.
Love2Stay has its own dog agility course if you want to put your dog’s natural abilities to the test. If you enjoy travelling with dogs in Europe, there are plenty of destinations along the coast and on large lakes which are fabulous for dogs. You can travel through Europe by taking the ferry to France, Spain, or Holland or you can take the EuroTunnel to France in around 40 minutes.
It is recommended that you research the best campsite before beginning your journey so that you can completely enjoy your family holiday in the area. Discover Caravan and Motorhome Club’s list of dog-friendly campsites where tourists with dogs are welcome. Here’s a list of some dog-friendly campsites.
Cooling your motorhome in summer
In the heat, moist towels and plenty of fluids give nice cooling. When travelling with dogs, the use of a cooling pad in the dog cage in your motorhome or campervan can help protect sensitive four-legged companions from heat stress. To help your dog cool down in the hot weather, you can buy a Cool Dog Mat that will provide relief when your pet is just too warm. The temperature of the mat will usually be 5-10 degrees colder than the room temperature.
Drying off and maintaining cleanliness
Every dog owner knows that dogs become dirty and wet more frequently than you’d like. They always manage to find ponds, streams, and rivers despite the weather. It’s possible that you have a roller – a dog who is always looking for anything filthy to roll in. A wet dog shaking and rubbing on your furniture is the last thing you want in your motorhome.
A Doggy Bag is the most effective way to dry them off. This microfibre bag holds a lot of hair, dirt, and moisture, and you can shake it out once it’s dry. If you do let your dog on the furniture, several throws can help keep things tidy while also extending the life of your furniture. They also make pet fur less troublesome.
If you want to bring your dog on board, you may want to consider upgrading the inside with a unique, personalised design. Dark grey is a good colour to disguise the inevitable muddy paw prints. When it comes to flooring, avoid carpet in favour of wipe-clean vinyl, which is much simpler to maintain clean and free of dog fur. If your dog enjoys getting messy, invest in a folding silicone bucket for simple paw-washing after a muddy walk — before they dash back inside the campervan!
After the motorhome holiday
Allow enough time after your motorhome holiday for your dog to adapt to normal life, just like you would. If your dog appears unwell or is acting strangely, get medical attention as soon as possible. This is especially the case if you’ve visited areas where there’s a significant chance of contracting animal illnesses or have been swimming in dirty and infectious lakes.
Thinking of travelling with dogs in a motorhome or campervan? Our motorhome and asset finance experts are available to assist you anytime you need it. It’s never been easier to apply; simply click here to get started on your finance quotation.