Whenever my husband and I went on holidays abroad, as beautiful and fun as they may have been, there was always one thing missing…Cosmo. Even when sunning myself on an exotic beach, I’d always think about my boy and how he was doing; wondering if the other boarding dogs were being nice to him and whether he was getting enough cuddles. So, when it came to planning our 2018 summer vacation last year, we decided that it was about time that we brought our pup along, too!
I’m currently writing this blog while stuck at home with the flu, so thinking back to our UK staycation in Cornwall is giving me all the summer feels. By chance, we picked the most beautiful, sunny week (sandwiched between two weeks of standard rainy British weather!) We had so much fun running on beaches, visiting quaint seaside towns, and eating our body weight in fish and chips. And best of all, we had Cosmo there to enjoy it with us.
If you’re thinking about booking your first camping trip, I’ve listed a few ways you can plan ahead to ensure a great time is had by you and your furry friend.
Although “wild camping” appealed to our inner adventursits, we decided that a campsite and caravan park would have more creature comforts for our first canine camping experience! And if your dog is anything like Cosmo, they’re sure to love exploring the campsite, busy tourist spots, and local towns where they’ll get plenty of attention from passers by.
However, there were lots of new sounds and smells at the campsite and it could be a scary place for a more nervous dog. If you worry that your dog won’t enjoy the experience, you could consider booking a caravan, cottage, or BnB to make your pup feel more at home.
THE PAWFECT LOCATION
When picking a dog-friendly venue, it’s a good idea to first look at things to do — come rain or shine — in the neighboring towns. We found that an itinerary was very helpful, although we didn’t stick to it rigidly, we had plenty of inspiration to choose from including mini golf courses, stunning coastal walks, and seaside shops — all of which we could visit with Cosmo.
We also mapped out local dog-friendly places to eat — some restaurants even had menus especially for our four-legged friends!
Remember that if you’re heading to the coast, you may also want to look at the beach rules in advance, as some areas have dog bans in place during certain seasons.
CANINE CAMPING CHECKLIST
In the lead up to our holiday, not only did I create a packing checklist for our own belongings, but I also made Cosmo his own doggy checklist, too. Here are just a few things that I put on it (or wish I had!) You may want to consider:
- Portable doggy shower and quick dry towels to keep the tent from getting dirty
- Dog crate because tents are easy to escape out of (we know this first hand!)
- Back up ID tag and replacement collar/lead
- Blankets and padded mats — at night time temperatures in tents can really drop, so you’ll want to keep your pup off the ground
- Cooling mat/cooling coat — keep an eye on the weather forecast, as canvas can heat up pretty quickly in hot temperatures, which can spell trouble for our furry pals
- Metal stake to knock into the ground and tie your dog to during lazy evenings at the campsite
- Doggy water bottle — these actually exist and were so helpful for our day trips!
We’re already looking at booking our next camping adventure for this summer. Have you ever been camping with your dog? What are your top tips and must-haves?
Hi, I’m Gaby (better known on Instagram as Cosmo’s momager)! We are an inseparable pair from the UK, sharing a love for snuggles and adventure in equal amounts. What can you expect from us? Top tips, stories and of course a spot of silliness too!”