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The ultimate guide for camping with a dog

Camping is a popular activity in Australia, and it reflects how much we Aussies love the great outdoors. You could go camping with the entire family, a small group of friends, or solo - but how about camping with a dog in Western Australia?

If you’re tired of making a hundred calls per day when you leave your dog at a boarding facility, perhaps it’s time for you to try dog-friendly camping in Western Australia. Besides, once you’re able to camp out with your furry pal, you’ll not only enjoy peace of mind but also avoid the high cost of pet boarding.

So, without further ado, here’s the ultimate guide for camping with a dog.

Assemble your dog-friendly travel supplies

To ensure a comfortable and hassle-free road trip and camping adventure for your dog, make a checklist of the following items you need to take care of prior to or bring on your camping holiday.

Keep all dog supplies in a dedicated container or tub so everything is kept together, separate from yours. This way, you also won’t need to go on a frantic search every time your dog needs something when staying at your favourite holiday park.

1. Health check

Before thinking of taking your dog camping, make sure their vaccines and tick/flea treatments are updated. They should also be healthy enough to withstand the stress of being in unfamiliar surroundings and around strangers - especially if you’re staying at one of your favourite holiday parks.

Also, don’t forget your dog first aid kit, which should contain a couple of essentials, including the following:

  • Adhesive tape
  • Anti-tick and anti-flea spray
  • Antibiotic spray or ointment
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Cotton balls
  • Digital thermometer
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Leash and collar
  • Magnifying glass
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Non-stick bandages
  • Plastic syringes
  • Scissors
  • Soft muzzle
  • Towels
  • Travel or collapsible bowls
  • Tweezers

Also, before heading out camping, get your dog microchipped at the vet and ensure your dog is wearing a current ID tag. If your dog gets lost, it’ll be easier for the local vet to contact you directly. You may also want to provide his vet details in case there’s a medical emergency involving your dog.

2. Dog food matters

Whether you’re going on a weekend beach camping trip or for a weeklong outdoor bush camping adventure, make sure you bring enough treats and dog food for your canine pal. If you expect to be out for one day, bring supplies for two days; if it’s a two-day camping trip, take food supplies for three days, and so on. It doesn’t matter if your dog eats dry or wet food.

For convenience, pack your dog’s meals in ready-to-eat portion sizes.

3. Sleep essentials

Just like you, you want to keep your dog warm and comfortable when you go to sleep at night.

Make sure you bring a pet bed, preferably an elevated one so it won’t be in contact with the ground or get wet. If you’re camping during winter, take some pet blankets or a sleeping bag your pup will surely appreciate.

If you have a big dog, they may also need his very own tent for the night.

4. Dog security

Dogs are curious creatures and are prone to wandering away when something new catches their nose or attention – something they’ll have plenty of during a camping trip.

To prevent your furry friend from getting waylaid or lost, it’s better to keep him restrained or on a leash, no matter how well-trained they are. If you have a small-breed dog, you may consider bringing a playpen. For bigger dogs, you may use a tethering cable so they can still run around whilst remaining secure in your campsite.

If you have more than one dog with you, you can assemble a DIY dog zip line using nylon rope and spring clasps.

However, dog zip lines are ideal if there are several trees you can use to wrap the nylon rope around. You can then use the spring clasps to attach the dog leashes to the makeshift zip line.

With a dog zip line, your dogs will enjoy more freedom of movement. If they have separate zip lines, you won’t even have to worry about tangles leashes.

5. Pet entertainment

Whether you’re at home or out camping, your dog needs stimulation. Even if you just want to lie down in your hammock or sit back in your chair and laze around all day, your furry buddy would want to walk, run and play, so keeping him entertained is paramount.

You can keep your pooch busy with a Kong or puzzle toy filled with treats, or you can give him toys or treats they can gnaw on for hours. By keeping your dog busy, you’re not only preventing him from manifesting inappropriate behaviour. You’ll also be reducing the chances of him wandering away in case they are bored and able to get loose.

6. Dog walking accessories

If walking is part of your camping activities, then you can get your dog a backpack for his essentials, including food and water. Give your pup a feel of the item and train him to wear it at home a few weeks prior to camping so they get accustomed to the sensation and weight.

For paw protection, get your pup paw protectors or dog boots that are comfortable, adjustable and water-resistant. These will come in handy when you're walking somewhere damp or where the surface is very rocky, dry or hot.

7. Hygiene supplies and pet accessories

Don’t be that camper who doesn’t know how to look after their dog.

Bring the hygiene supplies your dog needs so they are clean and comfy. Bring pet wipes and poop bags. Also, have a travel dog shower on hand in case your dog needs a bath. You can easily attach this to a bottle and clean your dog if he loves rolling around in the mud or dirt.

For easy night-time identification (especially if you have a black dog), get your pup a fluorescent or glow-in-the-dark collar.

Keep a list of dog-friendly places

Wherever you are headed in Western Australia, it’ll be to your advantage to have a list of dog-friendly establishments, including restaurants and beaches. Doing this will make it easy and convenient to find places to enjoy or dine at as a fur parent with your dog tagging along.

Here’s a list of some pet-friendly restaurants in Western Australia:

There are several dog-friendly beaches in Western Australia, including the following:

  • Middleton Beach, Albany
  • Lights Beach, Denmark
  • Ocean Beach, Denmark
  • Emu Point Marina Beach
  • Peaceful Bay
  • Yanchep Dog Beach, Perth
  • Peasholm, Perth
  • West Beach, Esperance
  • Prevelly Beach, Margaret River
  • Cable Beach, Broome

For a smooth, stress-free camping trip, it would be best to create an itinerary including the dog-friendly places you’ll be visiting.

Observe campsite etiquette

Dog-friendly camping requires you to be considerate of other people who may or may not have their own pets with them.

For a fun and harmonious stay in a dog-friendly caravan park or camping grounds, it’s crucial to observe proper campsite etiquette:

  • Always clean up after your dog. You’re bringing dog poop bags for a reason, so make sure you pick up after your dog. Don’t let your dog wander off alone to do his business just anywhere. Be a good neighbour and fur parent.
  • Ensure your dog is wearing identification at all times. If it happens that your dog wanders away and gets lost, keeping an identification collar on him will help to bring your pet back to you, as whoever finds your pup can contact you right away.
  • Keep your dog on a leash. Doing so protects not only your dog but also other people and their pets. When you keep your dog on a leash, you’re also helping prevent the possibility of him running away or getting lost.
  • Train your dog to follow basic commands. To keep your dog in check, train him to follow simple commands, like sit and stay, prior to camping. These will come in handy when they start to engage in rowdy behaviour.
  • Stop your dog from nonstop barking. Dogs can’t help but bark, as it’s their primary means of communication. However, continuous barking could upset other pets and wildlife, and irritate your neighbours - especially during peak holiday periods. With proper training, you should be able to command your dog to stop yapping away.
  • Stay close to your dog. Never leave your dog unattended. Remember, the sights, sounds and smells are all alien to him, and these can stress your dog. Therefore, stay close or within his line of sight so your pup doesn’t feel scared, anxious or unhappy.

Summerstar’s dog-friendly camping spots

All Summerstar Tourist Parks provide some of the best dog-friendly camping spots where you and your family are safe and have access to various holiday park facilities to make your stay a truly memorable one. View our full range of family-friendly accommodation options.

With this comprehensive guide to help you out, preparing for a dog-friendly camping trip should be a breeze.

Have fun!

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I bring my dog camping in Western Australia?

    Yes, you can. Camping with your furry friend is an enjoyable experience and an excellent way to save money on pet boarding. It’s essential to take note of the necessary preparations and precautions before embarking on your dog-friendly camping trip.

  • What supplies should I bring for my dog on a camping trip?

    You should prepare a checklist of dog-friendly travel supplies before heading out on your camping holiday.

    Some of the essential items include dog food, sleep essentials, toys, dog walking accessories, hygiene supplies and pet accessories. Be sure to pack everything in a separate container or tub to keep it organised.

  • Where can I find dog-friendly places in Western Australia?

    Western Australia has several dog-friendly establishments, including restaurants and beaches. You can find a list of some pet-friendly restaurants and beaches in the article.

    It would be best to create an itinerary with dog-friendly places you plan to visit to ensure a smooth, stress-free camping trip.

  • What campsite etiquette should I observe when camping with my dog?

    When camping with your dog, it’s crucial to observe proper campsite etiquette. This includes cleaning up after your dog, keeping them on a leash, ensuring they are wearing identification at all times, training them to follow basic commands, and stopping them from non-stop barking. Remember to stay close to your dog and never leave them unattended.

4 January 2022

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