Top tips when bringing your dog to a BIG4

Smiling blonde woman in tank top holds up small fluffy brown dog outside.

Holidaying with dogs provides pet owners with plenty of joy.

If you’re a pet lover you’ll appreciate the joys of holidaying with your dog. When your pet joins you on a break it produces a feeling of completeness and ultimate happiness – as if the whole family is together. Conversely, a dog-less trip evokes a sad feeling; like a part of you has been left behind.

Considering that roughly 70 BIG4 parks now offer pet-friendly accommodation, there’s so much choice for those who wish to holiday with dogs. However, travelling with pets can have its challenges: unfamiliar surrounds, a change in routine, and other factors ensure that good preparation is essential. Then there's the need to be prepared when on the road with your pet.

That's why we have put together a bunch of helpful tips when staying at your pet-friendly BIG4 accommodation that will ensure you, your dog, and other park guests have a relaxing, fun, and memorable break.

Fluffy white dog picks up silver bowl with mouth while sitting in long green grass.

Dogs feel more relaxed when they have familiarity.

Dogs like familiarity

Travelling with pets is like holidaying with small children: the emphasis is no longer on what you need to pack for you, but what you need to pack for your companion. Therefore, before heading to your pet-friendly caravan park, be sure to bring along your dog’s regular bedding, water bowl, leash, doggy snacks, toys, and any other relevant equipment.

In addition, when you first arrive at your dog-friendly destination, allow your pooch to familiarise itself with its new surrounds to help alleviate any anxiety or stress. Also, dogs, like small children, thrive on routine, so keep to your pet's regular setup as much as possible. Think about the timing of such factors as walks and meals.

Do not leave dogs unattended

One of the key points to remember when at BIG4 parks that accept dogs is to not leave your pet unattended at any stage of your stay. It is crucial that you know the whereabouts of your furry friend at all times to avoid that sinking feeling of losing your pet and to prevent any unfortunate incidents where your dog interacts adversely with other park visitors or pets. This helps to protect you, your pet, and other park guests.

Boy in orange t shirt and Labrador dog sit side by side on sandy beach watching the waves on a sunny day.

When travelling, ensure your pet is always by your side.

Exercising your dog has its benefits

A well-exercised dog is a happy dog. And a happy dog means happy guests. Why? Because if your canine has plenty of exercise it is likely they won’t be bored and will also sleep better. A dog that’s not bored often equates to a dog that’s not disruptive. And a tired dog that sleeps soundly increases the chances of you – and other park guests – having a decent sleep.

Brown and white dog splashes through shallow water on sunny day.

There are multiple benefits to exercising your dog while travelling.

Avoid disruptive barking

If you do face the unfortunate circumstance where your dog is barking excessively, it’s important that you address the issue immediately to avoid disruption to other park visitors.

There is no quick fix for stopping a barking dog – and the RSPCA does not condone the use of anti-barking collars – so preparation is essential in this case. To help, consider taking your pet on a trial run (perhaps to a friend’s house) and see how it reacts when it’s away from its normal environment.

Much of the expert advice to prevent dogs from barking isn’t easily implemented when it is 2am, you’re (dog) tired, and you’re not in the familiar surrounds of your home. Try to calm your four-legged friend rather than yell at it, or take them on a quick stroll (we realise it’s 2am but it might do the trick).

Play by the rules

Before arriving at your dog-friendly accommodation, take note of the BIG4 Terms and Conditions when Travelling with Pets. When at your dog-friendly accommodation, familiarise yourself with areas in and around the park that may be off-limits to dogs to ensure the comfort and safety of all guests. Speak to park staff if you have any questions.

Keep it clean

This tip applies whenever you are out and about and not just when you are at your pet-friendly accommodation: be sure to pick up after your dog. And remember to start things off on the right paw by holidaying with a dog that is clean and well-groomed. A well-presented pooch is hard to resist and more likely to endear itself to any guests who show less enthusiasm to dogs than yourself.

Golden brown farm dog smiles into sunshine in green grassy field.

Who can resist this?

We understand that travelling with pets can be an emotional and sensitive topic, but it’s important that comments on this blog comprise of helpful advice and tips that are of benefit to readers. We’d love to hear your thoughts that will assist those guests who are travelling with dogs. Please leave your tips in the comments section below.

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