Should you take dogs on a camping holiday?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

You and your family may be looking forward to a camping holiday once the weather improves, but what about your dog? Join Flogas, a supplier of camping gas bottles, as they look into how popular dog-friendly campsites are across the UK and if you should indeed take your four-legged friend camping or look into alternative options instead…

Are there many dog-friendly campsites in the UK?

You will never be hard pressed to find a campsite across the UK which will welcome your dog with open arms. In fact, Cool Camping lists 787 dog-friendly campsites on its website — expands on this number further by listing 981 such locations.
Here’s three popular sites in particular that you and your pooch should consider visiting once the temperatures begin to rise:

Dunstan Hill Camping & Caravanning Club Site

When is it open? Dates vary from year to year — for 2018, the site is open from March 29th to November 5th.
How to find the site: Dunstan Hill Camping & Caravanning Club Site, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 3TQ
Contact number: 01665 576310
What is there not to love about the Dunstan Hill Camping & Caravanning Club Site? After all, the area plays host to breathtaking views and is frequently visited by an abundance of friendly wildlife. There’s also a selection of hardstand and grass pitches available, so it’s up to you how you’d like to set up camp.
There’s so much to see around the surroundings of the campsite too. Take the time to seek out Dunstanburgh Castle — which has the glorious Embleton Bay as its backdrop — as well as the imposing Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle, the latter of which Harry Potter film fans will surely recognise as it was used to represent Hogwarts School in the movie franchise.
Key amenities for dog owners:
The campsite is one mile from the North Northumberland Heritage Coast | Designated dog walk
Size: 150 pitches

Secret Valley

When is it open? From the week before Easter until the end of October
How to find the site: Secret Valley, Cobbs Cross Farm, Goathurst, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 2DN
Contact number: 01278 671 945
If you want to try your hand at glamping, look no further than the Secret Valley farm. Located within the Quantock Hills of Somerset, all the accommodation options at the campsite are home to their very own fire pits — barbecuing or stargazing long into the night will never have felt so pleasant!
Step away from your campsite and you’ll come across footpaths which will lead you to lookouts at the top of family-run, working organic farm boasting views which can stretch across into Wales on clear days.
Key amenities for dog owners:
Communal BBQ | Horse Riding Permitted
Size: Space for the following accommodation: 1 Big Yurt, 1 Tipi, 2 Shepherds Huts, 3 Lodges, 3 Lotus Belle Tents 3 Yurts, 8 Big Chief Wigwams, 11 Small Wee Brave Wigwams
Further information:

The Sunnyfield

When is it open? For 2018, between May 26th and September 3rd but on weekends only.
How to find the site: Maxted Street, Nr Stelling Minnis, Canterbury, Kent CT4 6DJ
Contact number: 01233 750024
Whether you are looking to camp in a tent, a campervan or experience glamping, The Sunnyfield campsite caters to all needs. Furthermore, each pitch is not only spacious but come complete with their own campfire pits. You’ll also find hot showers uniquely designed inside horse boxes around the campsite, as well as a horsebox coffee shop, a straw bale breakfast café and a wood-fired pizza oven.
It’s encouraged that you take the time to explore the surroundings of The Sunnyfield campsite too, due to the historic city of Canterbury being a 15-minute drive away and the beaches of Folkestone, Dymchurch and Sandgate each within a 30-minute drive.
Key amenities for dog owners:
All pitches located in a car-free meadow | Found in the heart of the Kent Downs, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty
Size: 6 pitches available across 8 acres of grassy space.
Further information:

Advice for taking a dog camping

By now, you’ll have an idea of where to go camping with your four-legged friend. The next thing you will want to consider is what to pack and, indeed, whether it will be wise to take your dog with you to a campsite or if it will be better arrange for them to be looked after at home by someone you know or checked into your nearby kennel.
The following tips should help you make up your mind:

Make sure your dog is fit and healthy

You and your dog could be in for a rude awakening if you go camping despite your dog never being out into the open countryside before. Therefore, give them a trial run to ensure they are fit by taking them for a long walk around a local park or through a forest if you have one near where you live. Both experiences will also give your pooch an added opportunity to get used to the sights, sounds and smells of nature — aspects that they will need to get used to when camping.
You’ll want to make sure your four-legged friend is healthy ahead of a camping trip too. Are there vaccinations up-to-date? Have they been wormed recently? If you have answered no to either question, you’ll want to get your dog booked into the vets prior to a camping holiday.

Will your dog cause trouble or a fuss?

Most people choose to go on a camping holiday because they want to relax in the countryside away from the hustle and bustle or their everyday lives. However, they are not going to get much of a chance to unwind if the peace is constantly being interrupted by a dog barking.
If you feel that your dog needs to become more obedient, provide them with some training sessions before you go away.
However, if you honestly cannot guarantee that you’ll be able to control your pet or that they will not be well behaved around people and other animals, it will be best for you and other campers if you opt not to take them.

A packing checklist for your pooch

Happy that your dog is fit, healthy and well behaved for a camping trip? Then here a checklist of what you will want to pack for them:

·        Their favourite toys — these will be perfect for keeping them entertained during car journeys, as well as reducing the risk of them picking up dangerous and hazardous items when walking around a campsite.
·        A collar that includes a tag with their name, address and a mobile phone number for their owner — you don’t want to think about your pet getting lost from you while camping, but it’s best to be prepared should they wander away.
·        Their bed — dog beds are often small enough to fit into a car, and they will also give your pooch so much comfort once they are at a campsite.
·        Towels — you want at least two sets of towels for your dog; one for if they need a wash and another to keep them clean after they have been walking outdoors.
·        Their lead — take note here that UK rights of access guidelines state that you must use a fixed lead measuring no more than two metres long between March 1st and July 31st (the period known as the ground-nesting bird season across the nation), as well as whenever they are near livestock.
·        Dog poop bags — something you won’t want to forget if you want to reduce the risk of getting slapped with a maximum fine of £1,000 if you don’t clean up after your dog.

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