Planning a UK or European camping trip and don’t want to leave your furry companion? Camping with a dog is easier than you think.

In this guide to camping with dogs, we’ll help you find the perfect campsite, explore some of the challenges of travelling with your dog and provide expert tips on how to enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

Follow our guide and you’ll have a ‘totally pawsome’ dog-friendly camping adventure!

Choosing a dog-friendly campsite

While many campsites are dog-friendly, not all are! Thankfully, loads of campsite search tools enable you to filter results to show only those that will let you bring your dog.

Some of our favourites include:

Once you’ve found a suitable dog-friendly campsite, read some reviews to get an honest appraisal of the quality of the campsite and its facilities. Some campsites are busier than others and you’ll need to find one that suits you and your dog.

Be sure to look at the local facilities, activities and amenities near the campsite. Some beaches and pathways, for example, have restrictions on the times and dates that dogs can use them.

Planning a dog-friendly camping holiday is all part of the fun and the investment you make will give you the best chance of booking a break that you all enjoy.

Travelling with your dog

You’re already likely to travel regularly with your dog, so we’re not going to bore you with the basics. We’re guessing you already know your dog should be secured with a seat belt harness or inside a dog cage or pet carrier. (Start by checking out our range of pet travel products.)

Beyond basic safety precautions, your treasured pet deserves to travel in a bit more style. The TAVO range of pet car seats provides high levels of protection and comfort, with the luxury dog car seat secured in place with a rigid base. It’s been impact-tested and proven to provide the highest levels of protection.

Dogs – like humans – need regular breaks while driving. When planning your route, aim to take breaks every 1.5 – 2 hours. Find a dog-friendly service station and take some time to refresh and refuel (you, your dog and your car!).

If you all need to stretch your legs, the Driving with Dogs website has a list of walks that are close to the UK’s motorway and major A roads.

Essential dog camping gear

Every dog is as unique as you are, so this list won’t cover everything – but here is a list of dog camping gear you should consider packing for every trip:

  • Lead, collar and harness (including spares!)
  • Dog tie out cable and stake
  • Favourite toy
  • Blanket/dog camping bed
  • Collapsible water and food bowls
  • Food and treats
  • ID tags
  • Dog medical kit (including any essential medicines they regularly take)
  • Details of your vet, dog vaccinations and other relevant health information
  • Poo bags
  • Dog collar safety light
  • Dog towel
  • Coat and jacket

When camping, you’ll need to be self-sufficient at all times. If you have the space in the car, it’s always worth packing extra for things like leads, bowls and blankets in case of losses or accidents.

Dog-friendly camping activities

Camping is a chance for you and your dog to get out into the great outdoors. Whether you’re into walking, swimming, cycling, trekking or taking it easy with an ice cream, now’s the time to do it!

Once you’ve booked your campsite, you can check out local dog friendly days out. You can also check out local Facebook groups to ask locals and other tourists for tips on the best things to do while camping with a dog.

It’s tempting to get carried away and plan a full itinerary, but unfamiliar sights, sounds, people and places can be tiring for everyone – including your dog. If you’re planning a long trip but worried about your dog’s little legs, then G-Train K9 pack is a great solution. Your dog can be secured inside for safe travel. They’ll get to enjoy the view while you do all the work!

Staying safe while camping with your dog

Camping with a dog is a huge amount of fun, but there are risks including your dog being stressed and anxious. In rare cases, dogs may run away if they are let off leads and allowed to run free.

Introducing your dog to your tent before travelling and bringing familiar toys, blankets and bedding can reduce their anxiety. When you settle down for the night, be sure to secure all exits and make sure your dog is comfortable, safe and happy before getting your head down to sleep.

It’s important to keep your dog on a lead or secured at all times. Always pack a spare harness or collar and lead if your current set-up breaks. If you want to sit back and relax, the RAC dog tie-out cable and stake provide up to 15m of travel for your dog to exercise while staying close. The spike screws deep into the ground and should be strong enough to keep most dogs safe.

On the small chance your dog becomes injured on holiday, we also recommend taking a medical kit and jotting down details of a local vet just in case.

10 top tips for camping with a dog

Here are ten tips to keep your dog friendly break fun and stress-free.

  1. Create a dog-camping list and tick items off as you pack.
  2. Plan your journey with suitable refuelling, walking and toilet stops.
  3. When packing your car, be sure to have dog treats, water, poo bags and some toys handy for when you arrive.
  4. Let your dog get familiar with the tent smell/feel in the garden before you go.
  5. Pack everything in one place (a lidded plastic container, bag or suitcase is ideal).
  6. Pack a pet first aid kit/find a local vet before you need them. This is especially important if your dog has any health conditions.
  7. Bring a stake to secure them on your pitch.
  8. Take a familiar toy for comfort.
  9. Always keep an extra ID tag for collar in case they run off.
  10. Bring a form of shade for the warmer months, including window shades.

Start your dog-friendly camping adventure at Halfords

Camping is an incredible way to get closer to nature and bond with your pet. The key to a great dog camping adventure is planning and preparation. Take your time to research and find the right site in the right area. Then, make your travel plans and follow our guide to ensure you’ve packed all the essentials.

A great place to start your dog-friendly camping adventure is your local Halfords. Online and in-store, you’ll find a huge range of pet travel products and dog camping gear to make your getaway as easy and efficient as possible.