Guest post by PIA Australia

Thinking of taking your four-legged companion on a camping adventure this summer? Pet Insurance Australia catches up with Camps Australia Wide to get the facts about camping with dogs. PLUS; some top tips to ensure you are prepared.

Being out in the wilderness alongside your furry companion is one of the most enjoyable experiences as a pet owner. Discovering bushlands and beaches on long lazy days is pure entertainment and enjoyment for most dogs.

“There are some wonderful places that you can take your dog to and they can enjoy as much as their owners,” Cathryn Fennell Owner of Camps Australia Wide and Author of Camps9 says. “We have over 4000 sites listed in the latest Camps9 book and over 3,200 of those are pet friendly.”

Cathryn has also noticed that approximately 80% of the new sites they’ve added since going to print are also pet friendly, which is great news for outdoor enthusiasts who are also dog lovers.

“I think that as more and more people are traveling with their pets, the towns that are offering RV stops realize that it is to their benefit to encourage as many travelers as possible.”

However, it is vitally important that you check a few things before heading off to guarantee that everyone has a good time at the camping area.

Vaccinations, Ticks & Fleas – make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date and that if you are travelling into a tick zone, the right preventative treatment has been organized and administered to your dog at least 24hrs before you leave.

Tags – have a special tag made up containing the place where you are staying or a contact back home that can reach you, just in case you and your dog a separated. Remember that some locations may have bad mobile phone reception.

Double check – it’s a good idea to call and check you are allowed pets. As sometimes this can change from certain times of year. Also remember that dogs are not permitted in National Parks.

“We always advise to check ahead first to make sure there are no restrictions or changes,” Cathryn advises. “A lot of commercial areas require a fee or bond and may only accept animals in off-peak times, or limit the size of the dog.”

Behaviour – your dog has to be well behaved and under control at all times. If you have a dog that has aggressive tendency towards other animals or people, it is best to leave them in the care of someone else when you head off camping. It is very important to remember that not everyone will appreciate having a dog at the campground so ensuring your dog is very well behaved and that their ‘humans’ are very respectful of others will allow pet friendly campsites to continue to exist.

“Not everybody is a dog lover. Make sure your dog is always under control and on a lead, never let them wander around or leave them unattended,” Cathryn says. “Always clean up after your pet.”

Poop bags – take plenty and make sure your dispose of them correctly. It is really important to always pick up your dog’s mess.

“Sadly, if people constantly do the wrong thing and don’t show courtesy to other travelers by not controlling their dog, picking up the poo and not following basic conditions, then all pets may be banned which would spoil the experience for those dog owners who are doing the right thing,” Cathryn says.

Hazards – Also be very weary of where you are and keep your dog on a leash. Call the local veterinarian and check for common problems such as ticks or snakes in the area. Being prepared is the best way to ensure you all have a great time, without any medical emergencies. Also have a pet first aid kit on hand.

“Be very aware of any hazards in the surrounding area of the campsite, especially in remote areas, often poison has been laid for feral animals which is tempting for dogs, and snakes are a real threat.”