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Travelling with dogs!

There is nothing more exciting then knowing you are finally going to be doing that dream trip somewhere around Australia! The only one downfall being if you're not sure to take your furry friend with you or not which is heart breaking for most! There is a lot of different information out there of what to do, we spent 3 months in 2019 on the road with our Golden retriever Jorja and it was the best decision we made! Read below for some tips and tricks from OUR experience to taking your dog on your journey around Australia!

Tip of Cape York 2019

First of all, your experience of travelling with your dog will vary MASSIVELY depending on your dogs behaviour, how well it is trained, will it listen to you under all circumstances? This Is all what you have to weigh up, we are very lucky Jorja is very friendly, obedient and will happily sleep or sit around in the van for half a day or so if we wanted to head off to a destination close by. If your dog is known for barking at absolutely anything, aggressive to other dogs or people, won't listen to you, this will ruin your experience and others around you, it will even put your dog in danger if you are in croc/snake country. This is just some of the things you need to consider if you think YOUR dog is right for travelling.

National parks

Will taking your dog wreck your experience with visiting national parks? Yes and no. If you are considering camping and spending nights in a national park site, then no if the parks rules are no domestic animals allowed it is highly reccomended to listen to that. Day trips can be done, this is how we did it. Some people may not like this answer and will vary on how big or small the national park is and what ranger you talk to. We pulled up and chatted to a couple of park rangers and were fine for us to head in to check out a couple of waterfalls as long as our dog didn't leave the car. Destinations such as Mossman Gorge, we had the van in tow and simply popped the tv and fans on in the caravan and she sat there for an hour whilst we caught the bus up to check out the amazing Gorge! Always do your research and use apps like to find out which campsites- day areas are dog friendly, you will sometimes be suprised some places you thought were full National parks are only sections, you may be able to visit/stay in other sections no dramas at all that are state park, as long as your dog stays in the car as you drive through the national park to get to the state parks we had no dramas. Take Cape York for example a lot of people assume it is all National Park where actually very little parts are, you can do the tele track and tip of Australia with your pet no dramas at all as it is not National park. Again this all depends on the behaviour of your dog, if it will happily sit in the car with the window down, it will make life a lot easier for you! Keeping in mind do not do this if the whether is crazy hot!

Day Trips

Another worry of taking your dog with you on your trip is what are you going to do with them if you want to go to Movie world for the day or want to go on an afternoon tour, there are ways you can still enjoy all of this whilst travelling with your dog! Some caravan parks these days actually offer dog sitting, you can drop them off maybe for a small fee and head off for the afternoon. Don't rule out making friends with your neighbours at the Caravan park! Depending on the friendship and if they happen to have a dog themselves they could watch them for a couple of hours if they plan on staying in. Pet sitters or a kennel, personally for us we didn't want to leave Jorja in a Kennel, no real reason we just don't like the idea of leaving her in one alone. Download the app Madpaws, this will give you trusted licensed pet sitters that do this from home and are Australia wide. The app provides you with ratings and reviews from other users so you can feel comfortable with who you are leaving your loved one with! Plan ahead, if you are just wanting to go for a half hour swim at a waterhole or to check out a waterfall, example the waterfall circuit in Cairns we were only at them for 20 or so minutes for a quick dip and with nice weather Jorja happily sat in the car with the window down. Another option which we used as we had the caravan in tow, do some of these day trips when you plan to have the van hitched on, depending on your power set up you could have the fans or air conditioner running and the tv switched on so they feel comfortable so you can head in and check out your destination! When we went shopping we took Jorja with us, she will stay out the front of a shop until we come back out, we don't love doing this and will always make sure we can keep our eyes on her but is good to know this is an option if we both need to duck in. The other option is if one of us wanted to go into a clothes shop for a browse, one would stay with the dog outside while the other went for a look! We were actually quite surprised in a lot of towns where they just said to bring the dog inside so they could pat her haha! Again this is all based on how your dog behaves or will deal with these situations, this is what worked for us and made us not regret bringing Jorja with us one bit!

Plan ahead/things you may need!!

I cannot recommend downloading Wikicamps highly enough. You can use a filter for dog friendly accomodation, camp sites, day rest areas, Iconic destinations it will give you the lot! This will avoid any disappointment and allow you to plan ahead for places you can or cannot go with your dog! Things are consistently changing and more and more Caravan parks and local shops are becoming more dog friendly. Pick up the phone and call ahead to the Caravan park, they may only not allow dogs for the busy periods and the rest of the year it is fine. One thing that caught us out at one Big 4 in the Gold Coast is we needed a copy of Jorjas vaccination papers to be allowed to stay with her at the park. This is something we haven't come across and had to call the vets back home to get a copy emailed to us. No major issue and we actually think this is a great idea and more parks should do this for the safety of yours pets! Something to think about if you are coming from down South up North where ticks may be an issue, I would reccomend going to your local vet/pet store and getting some tick and flea tablets. We gave Jorja these a few weeks before we got into tick country. Not letting her roam off into heavy bush, brushing and checking her daily we luckily had no issues. It is definitely worth doing some research on how to remove ticks on your own pet in case you are in a remote area with no reception and don't know what to do! One last thing making sure when you are at Caravan parks or and camp site, not everyone loves dogs as much as you may! We had a lead that was long enough so she could roam around about the distance of our awning, allowing us to clip her to the van so we can set up and do as we please without having to worry. We seen this a lot where people wouldn't tie their dog up and it would roam around the camps, your dog may be extremely friendly but some dogs can be quite protective of their campsites and it just isn't worth the drama of having to split up a dog argument 5 minutes into arriving!

We hope this information from our experience helps make it easier to decide whether or not to take your dog with you on your big trip! We couldn't imagine doing it without taking Jorja with us! Yeah there may be a couple of things you can't do, the amount of good times you will have with your dog on your trip will definitely outweigh if you never took them with you!

Any more questions please yell out on our social media we will be happy to help!

Josh and Mikayla :)

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