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Camping with a dog: 10 (very) serious tips and tough facts.

Yes, camping with a dog is great. But there are a few things that are not talked about as often as the countless moments of happiness when camping with a dog. Here are a few (very serious) tips and insights into the "real" camper life with six legs.


As the title suggests, this article is written with a wink (= irony) and does not claim to be scientifically proven or any general validity for all dogs and campers in the world.

Camping with a dog is - yes, great anyway. Most of time.

Nothing has been the same since Coffee has lived with us. Our trips together now also focus on "nature" and "nature experience" instead of culture, refueling, sightseeing and visiting museums. Yes, there is always a plan: We always plan the long walks for the walk around natural beauties. Plentiful, several times a day. And because I am still - after decades - an enthusiastic camper, I am still involved in the direction of coffee "Enthusiastic high performance camping dog" to coach.

My list: The best campsites with dogs in Austria

First things first: Here comes MY personal list of dog-friendly campsites in Austria….

Camping with a dog in Austria: Tips for dog-friendly campsites

Camping with a dog: a challenge that requires good preparation and practice.

If I found out anything during our camping tours, it was: It's not that easy now, camping with a dog. It also wants to be well organized. It won't be any different when camping with children - good planning is half camping. And there are not just moments of happiness. No, really not. By the way - even with dogless camping, everything is not always bliss and washing trough: Tips for camping.

Out and about in Sardinia

And so that the long-awaited annual vacation with your four-legged friend does not become an organizational failure, one thing is needed above all: proper planning beforehand. How does the travel dog become an enthusiastic driver, how to behave properly on the train with a dog or a travel checklist? Well planned, half traveled. The holiday should be an enrichment for everyone, dog and person alike.

My personal, tough facts about camping with a dog

  1. Never without: plenty of floor towels, dog paw scraps and a shovel / broom combination. Yes it will rain. Plenty. Or there is Saharan dust in all the cracks of the campervan and the dog. Or you just go to Sardinia, where every (no matter how well-maintained) pitch is on sand. All over. Sand. The whole dog is sand. Ergo: The campervan is sandy. Not everyone likes.
  2. Do not believe that dog eating tastes better on site (wherever it is) than at home. Or that you will have time to look for dog cans in foreign supermarkets that Mr. Dog is comfortable with in the evening. No: It is better to take plenty of supplies with you from the usual Fressi - even if the cans of dog food then make up a full, unpackable, heavy, hardly portable box in the campervan. You will not regret it. The travel excitement with our four-legged friend Coffee should not be underestimated and it is good to know that at least in the evening he will recognize his food (after careful consideration) - if he does not know where it has ended up today.

    Camping with a dog: there is always some space.

  3. Wet dogs have a strong smell. Especially in the campervan. Incidentally, it quickly smells strong. Even the rubbing rags and dog towels don't help much.And every dog ​​owner knows what inevitably follows after the wet dog walk: Repeated shaking with pleasure. From the snout to the last tip of the tail. Yes, in the middle of the campervan.

Wherever the dog hair sticks, I probably don't have to go into extra detail. All the more uncomfortable with a rented campervan like ours. Some camping experts rely on dog raincoats (without any gimmicks, because they know how their motorhome would otherwise smell).

We're not that far yet - we're still cleaning. All the time.

4. Those who travel have more hair than usual. This is unwritten dog law. Because traveling is excitement and that is one of the many reasons for excessive hair. Plan a nice and friendly dog ​​brush hour in front of the campervan every day: While everyone else is sipping their beer and watching the neighbors (i.e. camping), take your four-legged friend in front of you, grab the popular Furminator and enjoy the next hour together.

Even when camping: grooming is a must.

Sometimes there is even a lot of freedom for dogs when camping.

5. Relaxed dogs lying on a leash in front of the campervan and just enjoying their vacation? We don't know, we don't have. Coffee is always highly alert, needs control and / or occupation. That is why we do what most campers do: tie the dog with a tow leash at the pitch. Doesn't sound like a vacation, but it makes sense and contributes a little to human relaxation. Yes, there are outdoor dog blankets, but Coffee ignores them. Sand (see above) or cool grass are preferred as lying areas. Read your book and don't let the dog, obviously suffering, distract you. But sometimes it really sleeps, the coffee. Very short.

Rare picture when camping with a dog. Coffee is sleeping. Nearly.

Camping in the off-season in Sardinia: dog.has.space

6. Let's be honest: the water bowl in the narrow motorhome is always in the way. And as often as you can trip over it, you will. This is what the “camping with a dog” law wants. Floods are the order of the day. Also because you like to step inside yourself so as not to accidentally touch a tail, a paw or an ear wash.

But leaving the dog waterless overnight will result in a bad conscience: Invest in an "anti-spill" bowl. Yes there is. And not without reason.

7. There is always too little space in the campervan. Firstly because you carry too much dog stuff (see our packing list), secondly because the dog eaters take up a lot of space and thirdly because dogs have not learned to lie down to save space. Why also.

He already finds a place. Do not worry.

Especially for dog boxes and dogs that should finally relax in the evening, there is always too little space per se. Yes, it could be under the table in the evening and keep our passageways to the refrigerator or rear bed free. But why should it? Coffee loves to stretch out and make it long - regardless of whether there is enough space to stretch out or not. So it will always be where there is little space. And that's everywhere in the campervan. So always walk like you are on raw eggs and never forget your glasses with you. Because a dog always takes on the color of the floor at night ... Otherwise: squeak!

Adventurous lounger variants

8. You read a lot about "always tired" dogs who fear rain alleys like the devil fear holy water and would prefer not to stick their noses at the door. Ours is not like that. It is never too early in the morning and never too late in the evening for us not to hike yawning across the campsite - with an enthusiastic, well-rested dog at the other end of the leash that is always ready to bark - and look for an inconspicuous walker route. As beautiful as a campsite may be, a walker should always be close by.

Note: leash, stretched.

9. Dog-friendly campsites? You can search forever. We are thrilled when it says: "Dogs allowed". We like to dream of "dogs are welcome at the campsite". The campers in Grubhof in Salzburg were really dog-friendly - but they are also excellent. Dogs are rarely brought along free of charge at the campsite. Leash is (of course) always mandatory. It is difficult for the inexperienced to combine walking with the toilet in the morning (the order is up to you), but you learn to be quick: When the sanitary building outside (again no hook for the leash there!) The four-legged friend is about to return waiting.

Optimal here: dog spots by the river and directly opposite the hiking trail with a walker route.

10. Dog alone in the campervan? As reprehensible as leaving "dog in the hot car". But now the campervans have air conditioning and camper-savvy dogs are sure to like to stay in their own, fragrant (i.e. after the dog itself) vehicle that they know well. At least for a short time. We didn't dare to do this, however, because: a guilty conscience, rented van, fear of Bell attacks and angry neighbors. Whereby you have to say: In terms of neighboring technology, we have never had bad experiences at the campsite - so far everyone has been enthusiastic about our good dog. It should stay that way.

Camping with a dog in a tent? Personally, I don't have any experience. All of the above points about hair attacks, rain gazing, tumbling bowls, confinement and supposedly relaxed chilling tent dogs should also apply here. Then just hang on with the famous stake and short leash. Left alone in the tent: No, sir.

Almost everything in one picture that I love: camping, dog, cycling, nature.

But I have experience of driving a ferry with a dog, even with a rented campervan and a long drive across Austria to the ferry terminal in Livorno: Coffee mastered the night crossing well with us in the cabin and that was clearly heading in the direction: High performance camping dog.