Camping with your family is all about making memories. And for a lot of people, part of the family is their dog. So it makes sense that you may want to bring your pet with you when you go on holiday. But is it going to be as easy to travel in Australia with your dog as you think?
As a general rule you can take your dog when you go caravanning or camping, however you will need to find accommodation or a campsite that will allow your dog as well. This may take a bit more planning and compromise on where you can stay. You will also need to make sure that your dog is secure and safe while travelling.
The decision to go travelling with your pet can also come down to what you want to visit and how long you will be travelling for. A week away may be easy to do with a dog, but if you’re planning for year long trip around Australia, then travelling with your dog may be more problematic. So, let’s take a look at some common issues that can arise when camping with the furry member of your family before you make the big decision to take them along.
Travelling with a dog in Australia
Australia is a big country. And while there are plenty of places you can travel to with your dog, there are also a lot of places you cannot. This doesn’t mean that you should automatically leave your furry friend at home, but it does mean that you’ll need to plan a lot better. Travelling with a dog means that you can’t just head off in the morning and arrive wherever you feel like at the end of the day and expect to find somewhere to stay. Here are a few things you may need to think about when travelling with a dog.
Dogs in National Parks around Australia is a big no. You cannot take your pet into any National Park, except if they are service dogs. This includes leaving your pet in the car. If you want to see the many great sights available in Australia’s National Parks, you will need to find an alternative for your dog.
However, some states allow dogs into state forests and this can be a great place to take your dog for a walk.
Whether you are allowed to take your dog onto beaches depends on the beach and the councils that run it. There are many dog friendly beaches around Australia but make sure you check (there’s usually signs) before heading onto the beach as councils will fine you if you have a dog on a beach that’s not allowed.
Caravan parks and campgrounds
This is where you will need to do your research. There are some caravan parks that allow you to bring your furry friend, however a lot do not. Even in those that do, there are some that put a lot of restrictions on the dogs they allow, such as the size they will accept. Your best bet is to ring them and find out what, if any, restrictions are in place for dogs. Be aware that many campsites and caravan parks require your dog to be tied up a lot of the time.
There are other campsites that allow dogs. Our suggestion is to download an app such as WikiCamps which allows you to search for campsites with a filter of ‘dogs allowed’. This narrows down your search and you can then research a bit further to find the best campsite for you. You can also see reviews from people who have stayed there to see if a site is really as dog friendly as it claims.
Mostly, there is no problem taking your dog from one state into another. If you are travelling to Tasmania, you will need to have your dog treated for hydatid tapeworm within 14 days prior to arriving (proof may be required). If you want more information about what you can bring into each state including other pets, see Interstate Quarantine.
What to do with your dog if your want to go somewhere they can’t
Sometimes you are going to want to visit somewhere your dog is not allowed. If you’re wanting to go somewhere for a day or two and can’t take your dog with you, then there are options such as pet sitting or boarding that allow you to spend a few days without your dog. You can download an app like Mad Paws to help you find pet sitters in the area you are going.
Tips for camping with your dog
If you do decide to take your pet with you travelling, then there are some things to remember that can make the journey easier.
Get your dog used to the car
It’s important that your dog is happy to travel in the car. Australia is a big place and if you are planning on going somewhere far from home, you will need to make sure that your dog is comfortable travelling in the car for the trip. Take them on a few trips to get used to the car if they’re not a usual traveller.
Take their own stuff
Make sure you pack their regular bedding, food and water bowls. This will give them a sense of familiarity when you are taking them to an unfamiliar place. If you need them to sleep in something different while you’re away, start them sleeping in it earlier at home before you leave. Also take a supply of their own food to keep their comfortable and reduce the chance of them getting sick.
Make sure they are wormed and vaccinated
Your dog may come into contact with other animals on the road, as well as playing in unfamiliar terrain, so they are at an increased risk of catching diseases and worms. It’s important to make sure they are fully wormed, flea treated and vaccinated before you head off. Make sure to take all your dog’s current vaccination certificates as you might need to provide proof to stay at some caravan parks, or if you need to board your dog somewhere.
Make sure your dog has a microchip and collar
Dogs can easily wander off exploring unfamiliar territory, or get scared by something and run. Make sure that your dog has a microchip and that the details listed on it are up to date (with your mobile number as you won’t be at home). If you are travelling interstate, make sure that the register your dogs’ microchip is on is recognised nationally and not just by your state. Also put a collar on your pooch with a tag on it engraved with the dog’s name and your phone number so that if they do get found, you can be contacted and reunited easily.
Be careful where you are going
Australia has a lot of native wildlife that dogs love to chase. It’s important to protect these from your pet, and respect that you are bringing your dog into their habitat. Just as important to remember is that a lot of wildlife in Australia can hurt your dog as well, things such as ticks, spiders, snakes, cane toads and more. There are many things that could make your dog very sick and even cause death if they get bitten or eat something they shouldn’t. Be careful of baits in regional and outback areas, as they are used a lot, the most common is 1080 poison.
If you are travelling in the northern part of Australia remember that dogs look like a very attractive snack to crocodiles, so keep them away from the water.
Get pet insurance
As we’ve just said, things can happen to your dog that you may not expect. Illness and injury can occur, and you may need to find a vet in a hurry. Pet insurance can help ease the financial burden for any unexpected hiccups on your travels. If you don’t want to get insurance, then take other precautions to reduce the risk of problems, such as putting a muzzle on your dog to prevent them eating things like poison bait or cane toads.
Taking you furry best friend with you on the road can be a wonderful experience, but it’s up to you to weigh up whether the problems you may face can be overcome. If you don’t want to travel into National Parks and just wish to enjoy some time away we’re quite sure you can find somewhere fantastic to holiday with your family and pet. Remember, just like being a good camping human, be a responsible dog owner as well. Clean up after your pet, make sure they’re not disturbing other campers, and try to keep barking to a minimum.