Camping with Dogs

July 30th, 2019

Camping and caravanning is one of the most popular holidays in the UK during the summer months, and right here in Snowdonia is one of the best places to bring your tent – there’s hundreds of brilliant sites to choose from and loads of activities and days out to keep everyone entertained. And when you need a big feast and a change from campfire cooking then the Oakeley Arms kitchen is open for a delicious meal and some local ales to brighten up your day.

But, in the meantime, we’ve got a series of blogs for you to make your camping trips go smoothly! Today, we’re focusing on taking your four legged family member with you on your camping trip. No need for pooch to feel left out and no need to feel daunted! Here are some top tips for camping with dogs in Snowdonia.

One of the most important things about taking your dog camping is that your dog is happy to do so. An easy-going, sociable dog and fairly well behaved dog will have lots more fun on a camping trip than one who is not so well socialised. A dog used to being out and about in the outdoors and good around other people, children and dogs.  If your dog is disobedient, excessively noisy or nervous and aggressive around strangers, then it would be a good idea to try some obedience training before you go. It may also help to have several short day trips into the countryside to get your dog used to unfamiliar sights, sounds and people.

The next obvious point on the list is to check that the campsite you intend to visit accepts pets. There’s a helpful, but not exhaustive, list of dog-friendly campsites at dogfriendlybritain.co.uk. If you’re going to a new area, it’s also a good idea to check on dog admittance policies of attractions and pubs close by, in case the weather turns and you need to take shelter.

Next is to ensure pooch is adequately packed for. You’ll need plenty of food and fresh water. Dried food is good, because it’s not as messy, smelly and doesn’t go off as quickly. But, if your dog is used to wet food, it’s a good idea to test out their reaction to dried food a few days before you go. There are several ranges of collapsible food and water bowls on the market, but pooch’s usual bowls will do just as well.

A tether (a giant corkscrew shaped contraption that is twisted into the grass and the dog’s lead is clipped or tied to the top) is perhaps the most essential item. It means your dog can be tethered while on the pitch – most campsites insist that dogs are kept on leads around camping fields and pitches. They are widely available in camping shops.

Bringing your dog’s own bed from home will mean that it is in comfortable and familiar sleeping surroundings. Don’t forget to pack an extra blanket in case the temperature drops (especially for short or thin haired dogs), and a plastic-backed blanket to put under the bed is essential to ensure damp and cold don’t seep through the groundsheet.

Don’t forget a plentiful supply of poop scoop bags (biodegradable ones are best); you can never have too many, and a sturdy lead.

And, once you’ve arrived at the site check where the dog walk areas are located. Most sites will have a list of rules concerning dog behaviour; the most common are the obvious ones. Keep them under control at all times, and never, ever leave their excrement on or around the camping field.

It’s also good etiquette to control barking and noise, especially late at night and early morning and don’t let your dog stray and disturb other campers. There are some people who dislike dogs or would rather not be pestered by a wagging tail and a slobbery nose. It’s essential to respect other people’s opinions.

 

When it comes to bed time, opinions vary as to whether your dog should be inside the tent with you, outside in the porch (if you have one) or even in the car. This may well be dictated by the size of your tent.

Above all remember that your dog will love camping as much as you do, so long as he’s happy and comfortable, much like humans. He’ll enjoy being around the new sights and experiences, and he’ll love having the chance to spend lots of time bonding with his family. Remember to involve your dog in whatever you do and reward him for good behaviour.

It’s also likely that you’ll meet and chat to lots of people you might not otherwise have, as one thing’s certain, your dog will attract much more attention than you will. Here’s to a wag-tastic camping holiday.