Want to take the family pooch camping? Here are a few tips for the road!


Most dogs love the great outdoors just as much as we do, which can make them quite the companion when we’re out exploring the great outdoors. But camping with your doggo can throw a spanner in the works if you and your pooch aren’t prepared, so we thought we’d run you through the basics of K9 camping. 


A dog that doesn’t have basic obedience training will be a nightmare on a camping trip. Commands like “sit” “come” “lie down” and “stay” will be used quite frequently to keep your pooch under control. More importantly, they need to listen to these commands when other dogs and people are present.

Teaching the “Leave It” command can be a life saver if they’re in hot pursuit of something dangerous, like a snake or a dog bait. And even something as simple as staying in the car until you give the all-clear can make life easier around camp; it’s nice being able to access your luggage without them bursting out the door!      


Unfortunately, not all places are dog friendly, which can throw a spanner in the works when you’re on the road. It’s little things like whipping down to the shops or the pub on a hot day that can become a nuisance with a dog. We all know National Parks are usually no-go zones, as are a whole lot of caravan parks, especially around the more populated tourist regions. The good news is once you break free of the hustle and bustle the rules are a bit more relaxed, with most State Forests, State Parks and farm stays being dog friendly. 


Wild dog baits, paralysis ticks and snakes are a real concern for dogs. Obviously, Wild Dog Bait signs indicate where baits have been laid, but these baits can be moved all over the place by other animals, so always keep an eye out! Anxiety, frenzied behaviour such as running or howling, hypersensitivity to sound or light, failure to respond to owner, vomiting, urinating and defecating inappropriately, convulsions and seizures are the typical symptoms of bait poisoning.   

Paralysis ticks are another problem altogether. Early detection can really pay dividends, so it’s worth a daily check; simply run your hands firmly against your pet’s fur, especially around the ears, arm pits and stomach. If you feel any bumps, pull back the fur and check what’s there. Ticks can vary in size with the larger or engorged ones indicating they have been there longer. To remove a tick, grasp it as close to the skin as possible with a pair of fine tipped tweezers. With a steady motion, pull the tick out backwards. Avoid crushing, touching or allowing a piece of the tick to break off as this can still cause infection. If your dog shows signs of poisoning, like wobbly legs, vomiting and laboured breathing, visit the vet as soon as possible.

It goes without saying flea and tick preventatives are worth their weight in gold, and keep up to date with all their vaccinations to help protect against viruses encountered during your travels. 


If you’re at a caravan park or a popular campsite you’ll find a dog crate is a great for securing your dog, especially for smaller breeds. It adds a bit more security for your doggo and buys you a bit more time if another dog wonders into camp. If you’re more inclined to tie your dog up around camp, it’s best to use chain instead of cable or rope to tie your dog up with; it usually hangs to the ground, which prevents tangles. Either way you should never leave your dog chained up unattended, anything can happen!   


It’s safe to say if your dog doesn’t listen very well, it will probably wind up being a real nuisance. At the end of the day, you’ll need to take the time to train your furry mate before you can really enjoy their company out on the tracks. One thing’s for sure; when you get it right, it’s hard to imagine camping without them!