Tips for Travelling Australia with dogs.
Harry (Fox Terrier x Cavalier) and Barney (Maltese x Toy Poodle) are a part of our lil family and there is no way we could have left them behind with friends or family. So anywhere we go, they go.
First step to hitting the road with your dogs is comfy travelling spots for everyone involved. We only have a small four wheel drive (Ellen), so she is fairly well packed with every bit of spare space utilised. Our back seats are folded down with all our gear packed on top. Behind the drivers seat, on top of some of our gear, we put the dogs bed. Our big dog, Harry is quite happy to travel here and he settles in quite nicely and attentively watches the scenery go by.
On the other hand, our little dog, Barney, doesn’t settle so well. His only aim in life is to sit on my lap. So you guessed it, he spends most of our travelling time in the car on my lap. When it gets a bit warmer, then he is content to stay in the back. (I secretly don’t mind him snuggling on my lap). Once he is on my lap, he sleeps the entire way, only waking when he senses the car slowing down.
Even though our dogs travel really well and settle once they are in their “spots”, we still have them “tied” in. There are a few reasons for this. We have a light rope tied to Harry’s collar, along with carabina and a light lead on Barry’s collar, again with a carabina. We latch the carabina onto the passenger handle in each of their spots. In our early travelling days, there was one occasion where we had pulled over to quickly check something on the camper. As quickly as Mikey had opened his door, Harry was out of the car, and running around on the main highway. Luckily there were no cars around. It caught us off guard as he had never done this before. So for a safety level, no matter where we stop, we know the dogs are secure and safe, no matter what temptations may be close by.
The carabina are amazingly handy to have already on the dogs for quick pit stops, rather than sorting out leads once we have pulled over. The last and main reason is for the easy transition from travelling in the car, to setting up the camper. When we find our spot for the night, I grab both the dogs, take them for a little wander to mark their territory, then latch them onto the back of the car while we set up the camper. From there, depending on where you are camping, it’s easy to latch the dogs here and there around your campsite without too much bother.
So if you don’t have them on your list, add “carabinas” to it right now!
Water. Mikey and I always have a bottle of water or two in the front of the car with us. I also keep a small plastic container down the side of my chair and offer the dogs a drink regularly. They have become experts on having a drink while we are travelling along. Once we are set up at a camp spot, I’m yet to master the trick here. I’m continually refilling their water container after they have knocked it over. This is only an issue when we are in places that require the dogs to always be on a lead. I’d love to hear how you have your dogs water bowl set up around your campsite.
We like to travel with things that are light weight, but maybe it’s time to get something a little more sturdy for the dogs water bowl?
Ticks & fleas. Stay on top of it!
This is one thing not to slack on. You will need a good brand. Ask your vet, as we have found there is a difference of opinions out there. Originally we were using Frontline Plus as a vet recommended that brand. Our next vet visit with another vet, the recommendation was Advantix. If you’re travelling to the Northern parts of Australia, then ticks are an issue and you will need to apply a flea/tick treatment every two weeks. I have a reminder set on my phone so we can not miss it.
We so far have found both brands to be effective. The only time we have found a tick was on our smaller dog, just after he had been socialising with another dog. Plus I did forget to do their flea/tick treatment bang on the two week mark (hence why I now have a reminder set). Luckily it was not a paralysis tick and we found it very early on and was able to get it out with no dramas.
On the road, as there is no weekly schedule (like working Monday to Friday), each day rolls into one another. So I also have a reminder set for the dogs monthly worming tablets. We take the dogs to the vet every 12 months for their vaccinations when we are in the big smoke.
We are aware of the fact that sometimes we could be a day’s drive away from a vet, so we do all that we can to keep our dogs healthy and safe. We have both our dogs microchipped and we have updated the contact information to be a family member that lives in the big smoke and is likely to always be within phone reception. As both Mikey and I are travelling together, if one of our dogs went missing, we could be in an area with little phone reception, so making it hard for authorities to get hold of us. At least then our family member could be persistent with getting in contact with us.
So far, no matter where we have stayed, we have been able to find camping spots that are dog friendly. So the camping side of things has not been restrictive.
If we pull into a town before we reach our camping destination and we are stocking up on a few things. Generally I will pop into the grocery store while Mikey finds a shady parking spot and stays with the dogs, usually taking them for a little wander around a grassy park. Then I return with the shopping, while Mikey is packing the fridge, I pop back in to grab some grog. (There always needs to be a cold beer ready when we have finished setting up camp).
We have missed out on a few experiences due to the dogs. For example, we stayed for one night a Coober Peedy. We arrived quite early in the afternoon. It was stinking hot (January), so it would have been nice to get out of the heat. We have heard from a few people that it’s worth doing a underground tour, however we obviously couldn’t do this as we have the dogs with us. If we were there during more of a touristy season, I’m sure we could have asked someone to look after the dogs for a few hours if we really wanted too.
As yet, we have never left our dogs with overs watching them, but I’m sure this could be an option in the right situation. Most touristy things we are not that interested in, we enjoy spending time with our dogs, taking them for a swim or a walk around a new area. That is our entertainment and hobby while we are on the road. I’m happy that we made the right decision with including our dogs for our big adventure around Australia.http://www.naivenomads.com.au/wordpress/tips-for-travelling-australia-with-dogs/http://www.naivenomads.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/image14-900x675.jpghttp://www.naivenomads.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/image14-140x140.jpgTrip Blogs and StoriesHarry (Fox Terrier x Cavalier) and Barney (Maltese x Toy Poodle) are a part of our lil family and there is no way we could have left them behind with friends or family. So anywhere we go, they go. First step to hitting the road with your dogs is comfy...MikeyMichael Cunninghammichael@back9media.com.auAdministratorNaive Nomads