Canine campers: Dog etiquette and rules on a campsite or caravan park

dog on vacation and campsite rules
Chris Stoddard
Chris Stoddard

As summer fast approaches, many of us are planning a holiday or short break that we can take the dog along on too, and this can in many cases limit your options of where to go and where to stay.

However, dog-friendly holidays are becoming more popular every year in the UK, and today, a great many places like hotels and resorts that previously did not accept pets will allow dogs to come along, with certain restrictions in place.

One good option for a holiday that your dog can join you on is going away in a caravan or motorhome to a caravan park or resort, or taking your dog to a campsite with you to enjoy the facilities and use as a base.

Caravan and camping holidays and campsites are usually very welcoming of dogs, and holidays of this type are generally very popular with dog owners as a result.

If you are considering taking your dog to a caravan park or campsite with you for your holidays, the chances are that they will have a great time.

However, it is important to understand that environments of this type often have special rules in place for dog owners, to protect the facilities themselves and to keep other guests safe, and there are also simple good practices that dog owners should follow in such situations too, whether this is dictated in the site’s rules or not.

In this article we will share the etiquette and sensible rules that dog owners should follow when taking their dog to a caravan park or campsite. Read on to learn more.

Find out the rules first

Most caravan and campsites welcome dogs, but they will often have specific rules for dogs that stay with them, and if you breach them, you may be asked to leave. Find out for sure before you make a booking whether or not dogs are welcome, and if there are any additional fees or restrictions in place for bringing them along.

Additionally, when you check in with your dog, let the site’s owners know that you have a dog and ensure that you are offered a suitable plot for them. It can also be worth asking if any of the other guests nearby have dogs of their own too, and letting them know that you’ve got a dog with you as well, and finding out how well their dogs get on with others so that you can manage introductions.

Use good judgement

Even if there are no formal rules in place for the site you’re visiting, always display good judgement and consider the impact of your dog’s presence on others. For instance, your dog might be allowed everywhere on the site with no restrictions, but even so, keeping away from some spots may be wise - such as dedicated children’s play areas. Additionally, if there is a bar or clubhouse on site, this might also be somewhere you can take your dog to, but avoid busier periods and be prepared to take your dog out if they aren’t having fun, or are bothering other people.

Always clean up after your dog

It should go without saying, but the normal rules still apply to picking up dog poop when you’re on holiday, and you should be vigilant about ensuring that you always bag and bin your dog’s waste. Dog owners that don’t pick up the poop give other dog owners a bad name and might directly impact upon the willingness of campsites to allow dogs to visit in the future.

Keep your dog contained and under control

Your dog should not be allowed to wander around or find their own entertainment when you’re chilling out by your caravan or tent, and even if you know that your dog is impeccably trustworthy and friendly with both other dogs and people, other guests might not want to have a dog hanging around.

Keep your dog on a lead when walking around the site, keep them close by when you’re using your tent or caravan, and don’t simply allow your dog to wander around and approach other people without an invite. Be particularly vigilant about your dog scavenging food from others, especially when other people are cooking or barbecuing.

Make sure your dog is healthy and fully vaccinated

Your dog should be healthy and up to date with their vaccinations before you take them on a holiday of any type, both to protect them and to protect other dogs too. Check your dog’s boosters are up to date, and take proof of their vaccination status in case you are asked to show this when you check in.

Keep their flea and worming treatments up to date

Campsites that welcome dogs will often have lots of dogs there, which means flea and worming treatments are essential to keep your dog from picking up parasites - or passing them on to others. Once more, check your dog is up to date before you travel.

Find out where your dog can run and play off the lead

Many campsites will have a dog walking field or set area, so ask about this when you check in so that you don’t miss it. The site’s owners might also be able to recommend other nice areas to walk in, and those that are best avoided.

Think carefully before leaving your dog on their own

If you need to leave your dog alone while you are on holiday, think carefully about this. A dog may not be sufficiently securely contained in a tent without a crate, and caravans can get very hot in the summer, potentially as hot as a car - which all dog owners know can be dangerous. Don’t leave your dog in the caravan if the temperature is rising, and never use your car to leave your dog alone in either.

Manage noise

Something else to think about is how noisy your dog is - if your dog is apt to bark for half an hour or more after you first leave them alone, all of the neighbours will hear through the walls of a tent or caravan, so consider the impact on others before you leave your dog unsupervised.


Finally, make sure that your dog is micro-chipped with up-to-date information recorded for them on the database, and that they display a collar tag with you contact details on it too. It is also a good idea to let any immediate neighbours and the site’s owners know what your dog looks like and where you are staying, so that if they do wander off, people will be better able to return them to you safely.


(Article source: Pets 4 Homes) 


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