Travelling with a dog in a Camper - this is what you have to bear in mind!
If you look around on the campsites and camping sites, you can see that in almost every second Camper - if not more often - one or more dogs of different sizes and breeds travel along. This is not surprising, because after all, there is no more comfortable, beautiful way to travel for two and four-legged friends than in a Camper. However, even if it seems so simple, there are some things, consequences and requirements to consider. Let's briefly summarize below what to consider regarding traveling with a dog in a Camper.
Travelling with a dog in a Camper - pros & cons
Those who have a dog on board certainly know the pros and cons. However, there may be some non-dog owners reading along here who are considering getting one. A dog is not a disposable item! Therefore, the purchase wants to be well thought out.
- Camper travellers prefer to go "into the countryside", i.e. exactly where the dog feels most comfortable. Long walks and hikes are therefore pre-programmed.
- Deviating from other forms of travel, in the Camper dog and owner can always stay together, make travel stops when needed, and take their own equipment on board - including larger amounts of familiar food.
- Dogs are a sort of four-legged alarm system. Depending on breed (Not necessarily size!) they are very alert and will lash out at danger. Useful especially if you are standing "wild".
Because of the many dogs at the place it can come to (loud) territorial fights among themselves. But if you have your dog well trained and well under control, this is hardly a problem.
You have to go out with your dog in wind and weather, which you already know from home. But who once had a wet and dirty dog in the camper knows what I am talking about....
All the other drawbacks apply to all other types of vacations just as well:
- Dogs are banned from many beaches as well as many restaurants.
- In summer it can get very hot - especially in the camper. (So never leave the dog alone in the closed camper).
- When vacationing in other countries, different regulations apply than in this country.
Conclusion: Who loves his dog, enjoys the advantages and accepts the "disadvantages". If you are not sure, it is best not to get one in the first place.
But attention: Dogs - depending on size and breed - as well as dog food etc. weigh a lot! In a Camper over 3.5 tons should be less of a problem.
What does a "dog-friendly" Camper look like?
When buying a camper, "real" dog owners not only look at what suits them personally, but also at what is ideal for the dog. I assume here from an own Camper. Who rents one, there are not so many options available. However, there are more and more landlords who have specialized in dog owners. One finds offers for example under www.fellnasenmobil.de, www.4pfoten-mobile.de, www.pfotencamper.de or https://waumobil.de. But there are also landlords who only rent to dogless customers from the beginning.
You should pay attention to this in detail:
- Does the dog have enough space to lie down? Ideal are benches or space under the table.
- Are there devices to secure the dog sufficiently during the journey?
- Are there fastening possibilities for the dog also in the outside area? In case of need you have to be inventive.
- Are upholstery, furniture and above all floor coverings "dog-friendly", i.e. scratch-resistant or easily washable?
Pitch or campsite?
This question is often asked by many Camper drivers, especially if you are travelling self-sufficiently with your mobile. If you are travelling with a dog, you should be aware in advance that not all campsites - especially in the high season - tolerate dogs. In addition, sometimes quite horrendous prices per dog are demanded, which often borders on impudence! If you're going to pay for it, you should at least be sure that you'll find dog waste bags at the campsite, a nearby dog beach and maybe even a dog shower and/or dog area.
On pitches there are usually no problems in this regard. Although extras such as dog showers are rarely available, you will often find poo bags. Dog bans have never happened to me here so far. Consideration is, however, also taken for granted here!
What do you need to pack for the dog?
Just like for yourself, you have to think of some things before you leave. If you are often on the road, you can either leave a lot of things in the Camper or - as I do - get some kind of "secondary equipment" to make it easier to put things away. The following items are essential:
- Dog leash(s); perhaps a longer and sturdier one to tie the dog to the outside of the camper.
- dog basket or dog blanket, depending on what the dog is used to
- Dog toy
- grooming utensils like brush, comb, scissors (depending on the coat) and an old towel
- Food and feeding bowl
- Dog food (Not every dog tolerates and eats every food. In foreign countries you often get only other brands).
- EU pet passport with the necessary vaccinations
- Emergency medication (Ask your vet for it!)
- tweezers or tick pliers
What do I have to consider when travelling abroad?
It's best to find out in good time on the websites of the respective countries or at the ADAC. Here you will get detailed information about what is allowed and what is forbidden or what you have to observe. Of course, you should only travel with a vaccinated and healthy animal - no matter where you are going.
You should consider this or take it with you:
- EU pet passport with the necessary vaccinations (rabies etc.)
- A visit to the vet beforehand, who will certainly advise you on tick and parasite prophylaxis.
- Microchip registration; ideal if your dog is also registered with a database such as www.tasso.net.
- Listed dogs are allowed in different countries under different conditions; in some not at all.
- In some places puppies are only allowed to enter from a certain age.
The journey can begin
Packed, filled up and full of anticipation, you can now set off. Hopefully your dog sees it the same way, because unfortunately there are always dogs that either can't stand driving (then talk to your vet about it beforehand!) or don't like to travel with you. You should keep the following things in mind while driving:
- Take sufficient breaks! Preferably away from the motorway in the countryside to go for a walk, which is good for both humans and animals.
- Always offer water on the way.
- If possible, do not feed before the start of the journey.
- During a stopover, if the dog has to stay in the Camper for a short time, always provide sufficient fresh air supply (Heki or even air conditioning). In no case it may come to a heat accumulation!
- According to road traffic regulations §23 StVO, the dog is considered a "load" that must be adequately secured. For this there are some possibilities in the trade:
- Transport box (requires a lot of space for large dogs)
- Safety harness / seat belt. Pay attention absolutely to the fact that the dog does not hurt itself with it. Wide straps and padding are advisable.
- Whoever installs hooks to secure the dog in the Camper should remember that the lightweight construction of our rolling homes does not necessarily guarantee stable security at every point.
- There are special dog belts to match the seat belts in the back seats.
And now have fun with your Camper travels with dog!
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