How to take your pet caravanning

Dogs sat under a table where owners are enjoying a drink in front of a motorhome

April is National Pet Month, making it the perfect opportunity to talk about the implications of taking your dog or cat away in your caravan.

Having your furry friend with you on a staycation or trip to the continent can enhance the experience, but it takes a little bit of planning to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Prepare for your pet

Caravans can be safe spaces for pets, but it’s important to think carefully about certain elements to ensure they remain so. These include:

  • Ventilation – this will stop your vehicle and pet from overheating.
  • Boundaries – zone your caravan to limit where your pet can go, as some human foods and other items can be dangerous for animals.
  • Pet space – bring a play tent or wind breaker to allow your pet space to move around.
  • Safety accessories – equipment to keep your dog or cat secure while travelling.
  • Pet-friendly campsites – choose sites that not only allow pets but have the facilities to make them feel truly welcome.
  • Creature comforts – pet beds, blankets and toys will help make them feel at home.
  • Pet passports and vaccinations – if you’re travelling abroad, you’ll need all the right documentation for your dog or cat.

Touring with dogs

Dogs are a fairly common sight at holiday parks these days, as they tend to be quite adept at travelling, but it’s important to take your own dog’s temperament into consideration when planning a trip.

It’s a legal requirement for dogs to be restrained during the journey and there are a number of ways to achieve this from harnesses to dog crates, so you can select the most suitable.

Even dog-friendly campsites won’t take too kindly to pets wandering free and onto other campers’ pitches, so make sure you’ll be able to control your pooch.

Think carefully about the activities you’re intending to do during your touring holiday. If you’re likely to be doing lots of walking and going to lots of beaches where dogs are allowed, then bring Fido along.

Trips that are based around a hobby that won’t include your dog could mean lots of time left alone in the caravan and therefore it might be better to make alternative arrangements for your four-legged friend.

Caravanning with cats

You’re likely to see fewer cats in caravans than dogs, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to take your feline on a touring trip.

Cats can become anxious with change, so it’s important to ease your cat into the caravanning lifestyle gently.

Start off by introducing your cat to the caravan before you leave home. As well as letting them explore your leisure vehicle, take them on short journeys in the towcar before embarking on a longer trip.

Your cat should be secured in a pet carrier for the journey and you’ll need to set up a litter tray when you pitch up to prevent cats pooping elsewhere on site.

Kit out your cat with a collar or tag in case they escape out of the caravan, and set up fly screens over your caravan doors and windows to help keep your cat inside.


Photo credit: Unsplash/Carolina Rincon