Travelling with Pets
If you are in the process of planning an epic caravan journey this question will have you torn between the practical convenience of leaving your pet behind or travelling without a member of the family.
The main reason you will hear nomads advocating for leaving the pets at home (with a housesitter of course) is visiting and hiking National Parks (NP). If you and your caravan have already seen a lot of this countries’ breath-taking NP’s, then the decision is a little easier, your four-legged friend will be the first thing in your van. If you are new to caravanning or plan on visiting many NP’s on your trip, then you have a hard decision to make.
It is not only that National Parks do not permit pets, travelling long term with a pet requires plenty of forward planning, additional gear and expenses.
Here is a simple pros and cons list for taking your dog with you in your caravan. If you have any more discussion points to add to, please put them in the comments below.
- Dogs! And all the joys that they bring on the road: trusty companion and substitute partner when your regular partner is driving you up the wall 😉
- Australia is so beautiful and there is an almost endless amount of beaches and lakes that are dog-friendly. So once you have made the decision just enjoy it.
- Having a pet is a nice way of meeting other animal loving travellers.
- Sometimes we can develop a few lazy habits when travelling on the road. 3 cups of tea in the morning or wine and cheese time gets earlier each day. Taking your dog for a walk is a great reason to get off your backside and explore the area.
- National Parks – Pets are prohibited from entering most NP’s. You will not be able to stay in any NP camping spots or spend any more time than a couple of hours visiting them. Of course, you can find a sitter for a few days but this can be a headache and additional expense.
- Pets limit the options of caravan parks you can stay at. Luckily the number of station and park owners who are happy to open the doggie door is increasing.
- Some dogs are not suited to travelling in vehicles for long stretches or get anxious with the constantly changing setting every time they are let out for a doggie stop.
If you are like us and would never dream of spending more than the weekend away from your fur baby, remember that there is still a lot of forward planning required. here are some great tips to assist you:
- Safety Restraints or pet cages for when in transit - The two reasons for restraints are in cases when you brake abruptly or to restrain dogs when a door is opened at a service station to restrain them from running out the door onto a busy highway.
- Identification – Ensure your pet is micro-chipped, current contact details are on their collar and are vaccinated.
- Pack a pet travel kit - Portable beds, steps and ramps (for when they are getting on in age)
- Pet grooming and 1st aid kit – You will know your pets health and grooming requirements.