27 Oct 2017
Updated August 2021
Want to bring the pooch on holiday? A pet is part of the family, and a family holiday doesn't feel the same without the whole crew. If it's your first time taking a dog on a road trip or at least to a caravan park, here are some tips and tricks to get them from point A to holiday.
1. Get ready for car travel
Before the big trip, take them out on a long walk so they're a bit tired when they settle into the car. Be sure to feed them and give them water at least 3 hours before leaving. It also goes without saying but make sure they use the puppy loo before you depart. Dogs' toilet schedule can be upredictable, so make regular toilet stops along the way so both of you can stretch your legs.
2. Everyone buckle up
Consider the safety of your animal by using either a seatbelt restraint or a portable kennel. Be sure to have a dry run with them getting in and out of the kennel or restraint.
3. Pack all the necessities
Wondering what you'll need for the journey? A drinking vessel, bottles of water, poo bags, treats, an extra lead, towel for wet paws or clean-up, as well as a favourite toy. We recommend packing dry food, as this is easier to keep if you'll be travelling long distances.
4. Keep them on a lead
This is a rule we apply to ensure for the safety of your pup and the safety of other dogs and guests in the park. Wandering dogs can get up to mischief around campsites, causing damage to other guests campsites within the park.
5. Prepare for the heat in summer
We all know how Australia can be in summer: very hot. Expect sun, bugs, and thirst. Gear yourself up with insect repellent, ice block treats (tip: dogs particularly love chicken wing bits in ice blocks), sunscreen for the nose, cooling pads for them to lie on (they are covered in a natural sweater, afterall), and a fresh bowl of water. These little things will keep your dog happy and comfortable.
6. Snug up for the cold in winter
Dogs coats are not only stylish, they keep them warm on winter evenings and early mornings. If where you're heading is wet, it may be worth buying a waterproof jacket. If you don't like the cold or rainy days, then Spot won't the biggest fan either. If a designer nighttime jacket isn't up your alley, then a hot water bottle or a heated mat will do.
7. Ensure they are all healthy
Make sure that your dog is up to date with vaccinations. They'll be around lots of other dogs in this new environment, so it's important to protect not only your pup but others as well.
8. Entertain them - they're on holiday, too!
At some of our parks, you can purchase a life jacket for your dog and take them out on the water. They can now join in at boating, standup paddleboarding, and kayaking along the Wallamba River at Discovery Parks - Forster, for example. Ask the staff at any of our pet-friendly Discovery Parks Holiday Parks and they will know where you can take your pooch off the lead in surrounding dog-friendly parks and beaches.
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