Camping With Canines: How To Set Yourself Up For Success
Escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life for your annual vacation is a fantastic way to relax, unwind and recharge your batteries. But for some, getting away can be easier said than done. If you share your life with a four-legged friend, I’m sure you’ll agree with us that our dogs are part of the family… which can make it really difficult having to leave them behind when it comes to your summer getaway!
We are most certainly dog people at Longberry Farm - so we understand that when it comes to countryside adventuring and family memory-making, you want your dog to share in the magic, too.
This is why we allow dogs to stay on site and join in the fun...totally free of charge!
Never been camping with your dog before? Check out our top tips below on how to set yourself and your dog up for success when it comes to your next holiday…
Travelling With Your Dog
Obviously, in order to enjoy all the fun that's to be had in our beautiful little corner of Kent… you’ve got to get here first! When it comes to travelling with canine passengers, the law requires your dog to be ‘suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop too quickly.'
This means that dogs riding shotgun with easy access to your lap whilst you’re driving are not allowed; however, if your dog wants to ride in the car, there are safety harnesses & booster seats specially designed to keep them comfortable and safe, whilst preventing any dangerous free-roaming.
Alternatively, for larger breeds who travel at the rear of the car, you will need to either fit a large enough crate in your boot space to ensure your dog is secure, or alternatively invest in one of the many barriers now available, designed to separate the car’s boot space from the passenger area, so your dog cannot climb through (depending on your car, you may already have one in place.)
If you’ve never driven the route before, it’s worth taking 5 minutes to plan in any pit stops required for your dog to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and have a drink. Aim to stop every 2-3 hours to allow your dog the opportunity to leave the car for 15-20 minutes at a time.
If you’re planning on taking your dog adventuring whilst you’re away (which I’m sure they'd be very grateful for!) it’s worth taking the time to ensure that your pal’s microchip details are up-to-date with all your current contact details.
If you lose your dog off-lead, they are less likely to be able to find their way back to base camp in an unfamiliar area, so ensuring that anyone who finds your dog is able to contact you easily, is important.
For added security, you may even wish to invest in an ID barrel, which is a small capsule you can clip onto your dog’s collar, just like a traditional tag. Inside is enough space to hold a scroll of paper, on which you can write the details of the campsite you’re staying at, so that your dog can be returned to you effortlessly, without the need for a trip to the vets, to be scanned.
Keep Your Dog Secure
At Longberry Farm, our only request is that your dog is kept secure during their time on site - for their own safety and that of the surrounding livestock nearby. Now we know you don’t want to have to hang onto your dog’s lead all day everyday, so we recommend investing in a ground stake and dog line, for those lazy evenings after dinner, or well earned naps after a busy morning’s adventuring! Simply secure the stake in a spot outside your accommodation that allows your dog comfortable access to his bed, food and water, and clip the line to their harness or collar. Now you can relax hands-free, safe in the knowledge that they can’t get lost (or get themselves into trouble!)
Brush Up On Campsite-Friendly Training
The last thing you want to do on your relaxing break is end up getting overly stressed out by your dog’s behaviour. Hindsight is a beautiful thing… but foresight is a whole lot better!
Take the time ahead of your holiday to rehearse a few basic commands with your dog, so you know they're ready to make you proud when the time comes. A couple of good campsite cues to have up your sleeve include ‘Leave it!’ (particularly useful if your dog finds their way into the bin, into something unsavoury whilst you’re out exploring, or into your snack stash!) and of course, a reliable recall, should your dog ever get loose from their lead during their time on site, or stray too far whilst out and about.
Remember that whilst they can be great fun for your dog, campsites are very different environments to the ones they’re used to at home - so bringing a familiar bed, mat, blanket or crate that your dog can retreat to for familiarity and security is a great idea, too.
Last But Certainly Not Least…Have FUN!
It goes without saying… but camping presents a wealth of opportunities for you and your dog to have some SERIOUS fun! If it's a dog-friendly vacation you're looking for, then you'll adore the wide green space of our campsite itself, as well as exploring all the offsite walks and adventures that the gorgeous Kent countryside has to offer.
There are plenty of incredible beauty spots, beaches and rural towns and villages (filled with dog-friendly pubs!) all within a daytrip’s distance of Longberry Farm. You could venture to a new spot every day, then return to the quietude of Longberry Farm, for an effortless BBQ dinner, whilst your dog snores soundly beside you… sounds perfect to us!