Renting a Campervan with Your Dog: A 10-Point Checklist

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Love your dog? Love to travel? So do we! Camping with a dog is easy but you’ll need to think about a few things before you leave. Follow these steps to get ready for your next van adventure.

Renting a camper van with your dog is easy and fun

#1 The Legal Stuff

Your pet can travel throughout the EU with an EU Pet Passport. You can get these from any authorized vet in your EU home country. That’s 27 countries of open borders to explore with your dog!

If you live outside of the EU then it’s still simple but requires an EU animal health certificate (ask your local vet).

Generally speaking, your pet will need the following to travel throughout mainland Europe.

  • A microchip or clearly readable tattoo
  • A rabies vaccination card/ stamp
  • Recent tapeworm treatment
  • A valid EU pet passport or animal health certificate

You can find out more about European pet travel at the official EU website.

NB In some European countries, your dog will need a muzzle to travel on public transport. Here’s a useful list.

#2 Collar with Your Contact Details

Make sure your dog’s collar has your name and contact information clearly printed on it. If your dog goes walkies then a simple WhatsApp message or email is free and easy.

You could even go digital with a QR code collar.

A QR code collar can keep your dog safe when camping

#3 Pet Insurance

Travel insurance is just as important for you as it is for your dog. If you have pet insurance at home, check that it covers your dog for international travel. Your insurance company will normally be able to add travel cover quite easily.

If your dog doesn’t already have public liability insurance, this is a sensible add-on when traveling abroad.

#4 Compostable Poop Bags

The days of single-use plastic bags are over. As dog owners, we should stop using poop bags that are not 100% home compostable. It’s not always easy to know which bags are environmentally friendly, so read product descriptions carefully.

“Biodegradable” is not much better than plastic (it takes decades) and “compostable” only means compostable under certain environmental conditions (normally high temperatures at a recycling plant). Since doggie poop bags don’t go in the recycling bin this is not helping the environment at all.

We highly recommend these bags. They’re made from corn starch and are 100% compostable at home.

The ideal dog poop bags to take camping

#5 Doggie Medicine

As a dog owner you’re used to looking after your pet at home. Renting a van is not different, except your home now has four wheels! Here’s a quick list of things to make your dog’s holiday a healthy one.

  • Any regular medication that your dog takes at home
  • Medicines for travel nausea (only if you know they need it)
  • Wound healing ointment
  • Tick protection and tweezers
  • Suncream (for short-haired breeds)

#6 Car Training & Safety

If your dog is used to traveling in a car then a camper won’t feel much different to them. Your dog will show you where they want to be during the journey and by giving them their favorite bed/toy/ blanket you can show them where to lie down.

A seat belt/ harness is just as important for your dog as it is for you. We provide one free of charge.

If your dog has never traveled in a car before then try to go on a few trips with them before your holiday. By using treats and rewards your dog will associate the experience of driving with good things.

When you arrive at our friendly depot we welcome you and your dog. You’re both guests! We encourage you to let your dog explore the van freely, taking their time to get used to the smell and the layout of the new space.

Van camping is a holiday for you and your dog

#7 Grooming, Food & Fun

You’ll probably be bringing your dog’s favorite treats and toys but we know how hard it is to pack light. When you book with us, the dog package is not just about cleaning and safety. It’s also about comfort and fun for you and your dog.

Our dog package includes:

  • Seat protection
  • Doggie seat belt
  • Ground anchor
  • Dog bed
  • Towels
  • 2 x big bowls
  • Welcome treats!
We love dogs and they’re always welcome at Freeway Camper Dogs are welcome at most campsites in Europe

#8 Maintain Routines

Your dog loves to explore new places, but routines are also important. By planning your trip around your normal walking and feeding schedule, your dog will feel safe, relaxed, and calm.

#9 Find Your Perfect Campsite

Canmpervan people love dogs and in my experience, campsites are very dog friendly. There’s normally a small surcharge for dogs (a handful or euros) but this is nothing compared to the campsite social opportunities for you and your dog.

The Park4Night app is great and you can find plenty of places to camp near nature or other dog-friendly places, with or without human neighbors.

You can also book campsites that are suitable for dogs directly on our website. Here you will find a large selection of different campsites throughout Europe.

Just be sure to keep your dog on a leash at all times until you see the signs that say they can run free. If in doubt, ask other, local dog owners for advice. Dog people are good people!

#10 Meet Up or Fly Solo?

One of my favorite things about van camping with my dog is that I’m a self-contained social unit. We’re a team and we don’t really need anybody else. We can explore nature together or relax in a hammock wherever we like.

When we park up at a secluded spot I feel like we’re on a true adventure, human and dog together.

But that’s not the only way to camp. Are you looking to connect with other dog owners or socialize your dog? Meet Up is an excellent global platform for finding group activities with like-minded people.

Whichever way you like to travel, with a dog by your side, you’re never alone!

Whether at the campsite or beach - your dog is the perfect travel companion

Are you ready to go camping with your dog? Explore our dog-friendly campervans here.

Published on 01.07.2022

Written by Nath Portlock

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