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Dog Friendly Holidays - Your Guide To Taking Your Dogs On The Road

Wednesday 14th August 2019
By Jessica Goode
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By Jessica Goode
Pupperino parents face a range of challenges when it comes to travel. After you’ve convinced yourself that yes, it’s okay to take time out and leave your furry family member behind with a relative or boarding company, logistics take over and you remain mindful of how long you’ll be away. You want to enjoy yourself, but you can’t help but think of their big, gorgeous eyes staring back at you, waiting for you to come home... we get it, travellers guilt is real, particularly for pet owners.  

Never Book a Boarding Kennel Again!

What if we told you those terrible twinges could be a thing of the past? That you can satisfy your desire for adventure without excluding your pets? At Camplify, we believe travel is for the whole family - especially our four-legged friends - and the UK seems to agree. Whether you live locally or you’re visiting from abroad, taking your dogs on the road is easier than you think! 

Here is our unofficial guide to planning dog friendly holidays that the whole family will enjoy!

Step 1: Pin Down a Mode of Transportation
Pet friendly Campervan on - Bruce

You’ll need a comfortable home away from home to take you from A to B to C to D and back again. While finding a ride fit for Fido may feel too difficult at first, pet friendly RV, motorhome and caravan rentals do exist. As Camplify continues to change the caravanning conversation in the UK, we’ve noticed a shift in how VanLifers respond to pet requests from prospective hirees- a growing number of VanLife enthusiasts recognise you shouldn’t have to leave behind a family member just because they’re on the canine side. 
Pets are a huge part of our lives, and unlike days gone by, we’re no longer content to leave them behind. Whether you’re new to the VanLife game or you’ve toured in the past, there is a hire option to suit every member of your family.

Browse Our Pet-Friendly RV Hire Options

Solo travellers, couples, small families, large families, retirees, newlyweds or best buds - our Camplify van owners have something to please everyone. The trick is finding the right wheels for your well-earned jaunt across the UK. Let us help. We’ve separated a few options per travel type to get you started, focusing on comfort, storage, driveability and facilities, so you’ll never be limited to camp kitchens again. Of course, we won’t hit the nail on the head immediately for every reader, so if there’s something in particular you’re looking for but we haven’t hit the mark below, reach out to our experienced team of Camplify travel experts for one-on-one help.

You are a large family with 4-8 travellers. 
  • Stay in one spot with a solid home base to enjoy during your downtime. Explore the area by car - best of both worlds!  
  • Nature trail and dog walking area 
  • 15 minute drive from Bude 

You are a large family with 4-6 travellers.
  • Two large living areas
  • Packed with extras like winterised tanks, solar panels, an outside awning
  • Large fridge and freezer
    Automatic transmission 

You are a small family with 2-4 travellers. 
  • Two single beds and one double 
  • Gas central heating 
  • Kitchen and bathroom amenities for the ever-adventuring family 

You are a couple
  • Automatically lower the double bed when you need it and stow it when you don’t
  • Kitchen comes kitted out with an oven, hob, microwave and a full-sized fridge/freezer
  • Extras include a satellite TV, unlimited mobile WiFi, cooking utensils, an outdoor awning, BBQ and external furniture - what more could you want?! 

You’re going solo with your doggo
  • Easy to maneuver 
  • Comfortable for the dogged up couple or solo traveller 
  • Includes fridge, sink and stove 
  • Comfortable bed

You can search for all of our pet-friendly RVs HERE

Step 2: Packing for Your Dog

Congratulations! You’re THIS close to taking your first road-trip with your furry friend. But what should you pack? Successful pet friendly holidays come together through careful planning -  go through and tick off these puppy picks and make sure you have everything you need before you leave: 

Sleeping -  New environments are super exciting for humans, but less so for our doggy counterparts. Make the transition easier by bringing their usual bedding - including blankets or a dog bed - so they have somewhere familiar to rest their head. Stay with them while they nose around your chosen RV or motorhome, getting a feel for their temporary home base with a few words of encouragement from you and many delicious treats. 

Entertainment - Would you leave home without your phone or your favourite holiday read? No? Your dog feels the same way about their toys! Include a few guaranteed favourites to serve as a distraction and mix in a couple of new ones for a happy surprise. 

Grooming - Bring a grooming kit to minimise hair shed in the van and make sure you give them a regular once over outside, removing any dust or dirt from the day’s adventures. We recommend giving this job to any child who claims boredom - they’ll find something else to do quick smart! 

Toileting - Pack more than one poop scoop and many doggy bags for their inevitable messes. Don’t be the visitor who leaves waste on the beach because they forgot to bring enough doggy bags! 

Feeding - Bring their usual food and water bowls, with a few back-up bowls in case of loss or breakage. It’s a good idea to include a small bowl for on-the-go water, ensuring your pupper stays hydrated while you sample a holiday meal. There’s two ways you can attack food - you can either pack however much you’ll need for the time you’ll be away (plus a bit more), or you can start with a basic supply and top up along the road.

Exercise and Identification - Ensure your furry pal is wearing a collar with a name tag, completed by your contact information on the reverse side. Bring a few spares, just in case. In addition to collars, you’ll need leads, as some areas only allow dogs on lead during certain months or all-year-round. 

Step 3: A Happy Pup is Safe Pup

We all suffer from anxiety at one point in our lives and your favourite pupperino is no different. Dogs can get stressed about a range of things, from thunder and lightning to physical illness and doggy PTSD, so knowing what sets your pup off before you leave is key to keeping them calm along the way. Every dog is different, but this quick list of common signs may help to identify if your four-legged partner is in need of some extra TLC on the road:

  • Persistent barking or howling 
  • Panting when it’s not hot
  • Pacing, running away or cowering
  • Shivering 
  • Destructive tendencies, including property damage and self-harm (excessive chewing and licking)
  • Hunger strike
  • Frequent urination 
  • Restlessness and general irritability

So what should you do before you get going? Aside from long-term behavioural management that goes beyond holiday strategies, keeping your pet safe may be as simple as a trip to the vet to discuss doggy anti-anxiety medication. We also suggest creating a safe space in your hire vehicle and most of all, make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise and positive reinforcement! 

Step 4: Book Pet-Friendly Accommodation and Plan Your Holiday Accordingly

If it’s your first time including the family Rex, aim for something simple, fun and relaxing, and nothing says all three like a bit of beach hopping. Sun, sand, rockpools and more, you’ll both be spoiled with long stretches and splashing waves, in addition to walking paths aplenty in some of the UKs most beautiful places. Get inspired by our top 3 dog-positive campsites, perfect for RVs, motorhomes and caravans.

Doggy Beach: Westward Ho!
image source:
Where to stay: Adventure Camping Bideford is the perfect site for families and laid-back couples seeking somewhere close to the beach. Book a range of activities through the attached centre and or use it as a homebase after a day of enjoying 
Electric grass and gravel pitches begin at € 25 per night for two adults.
What to do: Westward Ho! Is surrounded by quiet delights, from surfing lessons on the beach to a long stroll along the South West Coast Path, couples and families alike will find something to soothe their need for magical moments. 

Where to Stay: Sandy Glade Holiday Park has a pitch to suit touring type. From campers with tents or would-be glampers, the onsite facilities and amenities justify the various travel awards JFH has earned recently and historically. Although pets are allowed on-site, extra charges do apply. Caravans, RVS and motorhomes are free to use the hardstanding electric pitches, with a one car limit per pitch. Contact the property for specific pricing information.
What to do: You can’t visit Berrow Beach without witnessing at least one sunset - spend a day or two at the beach and wait for low tide to sneak around for a chance to capture what remains of MV Nornen on camera. Be careful though, dangerous areas of mud and soft sand can cause problems for the family pet.  Brean Theme Park is one of the few dog-friendly attraction activities in the world. Make a day of it and let loose with some silly fun. 

Where to stay: Penrose Holiday Park is the place to park overnight if you're taking both the human kids and fur kids on a Cornish adventure. Packed with playground equipment for toddlers, young children and older ones too, you won't hear 'I'm bored' very often - they’ll be too busy on the swings, monkey bars, climbing wall and slides. Touring families will love the laundry - including a sink for those hard to budge stains - and the easy walk to the local shop for supplies. Or you could skip cooking altogether, as the on-site takeaway specialises in pizzas, burgers and even breakfast! 
A basic powered grass pitch begins at $34.49 for 2 adults per night. 
What to do: Put one hoof in front of the other with Reen Manor riding school, catering to all levels and ages. When you've had your fill of horsing around, take the fur kids for a ramble along the Perranporth to St Agnes Clifftop walk or explore the sand dunes, discovering the curiosities of St Piran’s Oratory, including a treasure hunt for St Piran’s Cross. Feeling daring? You could always try hovercrafting! 

Step 5: Memorise the Do’s and Don’ts of Dog-Friendly Holidays 

  • Do take a lot of breaks on the road. Pups need to stretch their legs and taste the air, no matter how well trained they are. 
  • Do make them feel special and included. Find activities that include your canine pal, at least most of the time, and if they are left behind, make sure you take it in turns to who stay back with them. 
  • Do eat communal meals near or with your dog. There are countless pubs and cafes down the Cornwall coast in particular that welcome paw prints to their tables. 
  • Do ensure your dog is always wearing a collar an ID tag at all times. 
  • Do check if your dog’s breed is listed on the Dangerous Dogs Act. If their breed does make an appearance, you’ll find your pitch options quite limited. 
  • Do play with your dog everyday - they’re enjoying an adventure too! 
  • Do bag any dog waste and dispose of it correctly no matter where you are. Dog-friendly beaches have designated poop bins for this reason and you’ll find many touring parks have them too. 
  • Don’t leave your pet unattended in any vehicle, including RVs, cars, motorhomes and caravans. This rule extends to any holiday homes you book along the way. 
  • Don’t let your dog roam freely unless there’s a designated dog walking area. Even if your chosen park has a space for doggos to play, a responsible adult must supervise and be on hand if needed. 
  • Don’t let your dog enter camping park facilities or kids play areas. Service and assistance dogs are an exception to this rule. 
  • Don’t forget to have fun with your pet. 
A quick note for RV, motorhome and caravan owners: 
Dogs are life. If you’re wondering if and why you should allow pets to inhabit your much-loved freedom wagons for a short time, the simple answer is definitely. More detail? You’re more likely to attract consistent bookings if you open your doors to all sorts of families and travelers, including those with lolling tongues and an addiction to chasing tennis balls. It’s a big step to take, we know, but we’re here to guide you through the decision.   

Have a pawsome time with the whole family and plan your next UK holiday with Camplify. Isn’t it time you all escaped together? 

So what is Camplify? 
We are the UK’s largest caravan & motorhome RV sharing community, helping connect thousands of holidaymakers with RV owners. 

What does that mean?
We provide a unique service where owners of caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes, and campervans list their RV for hire while not in use. As a holidaymaker, Camplify helps you find an RV that is perfect for you so you can experience the joys of caravanning  - without having to own one yourself. 

Interested? Learn more about Camplify here > 

To find out how Camplify can work with you and your RV, register today here.

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