02 June, 2020
Last updated on 14 March, 2022
Posted by Spaceships Crew
Did you know you can take the whole family on a #spaceshipsroadtrip? You can even take your dog in a Spaceships campervan or motorhome!
We have a lot of customers who asked if they could bring their dog on a Spaceship road trip in a campervan or motorhome. We had to "paws" for thought about it but to cut a long "shaggy dog" story short, we decided to launch a dog-tastic dog-friendly fleet of campervans and motorhomes! We hope this will give you and your pooch a perfect Spaceships holiday that is out of this world!
It's a Dog's Life in a Spaceship!
It couldn't be easier to take your dog. Once you've chosen your vehicle and dates on our online booking page, just select the Pets option - it's at the top of the Extra Items For Hire box on the left of your quotation. It's just £10 per day, so not only can you go on holiday with your dog, it's cheaper than a boarding kennel.
Here are our top tips for taking your dog in your campervan or motorhome.
Packing for your dog
We want you and your dog to have a fantastic Spaceships road trip. It's an exciting new environment for both of you, and while you will love your new surroundings and life on the road immediately, it may take a little while longer for your dog to adapt to your temporary new home. You can help your dog to settle in by taking a few familiar items with you, as well as a bit of extra kit to help keep your Spaceship clean and tidy.
You will also need to make sure your dog is safe and secure in the campervan or motorhome. Rule 57 of the UK Highway Code says dogs should be suitably restrained when travelling. This may be a carrier, cage or a harness to keep you and the dog safe. You'll also be able to relax and enjoy your road trip without worrying about your dog.
Here is some of the kit you will need:
Your dog's collar & lead
Food & water bowls
A supply of dog food
A travel carrier, cage or harness
Your dog's favourite toys & treats
A mat, blanket or dog bed
A towel and brush to keep your dog clean
Plenty of dog poop bags
A long lead or extension and portable corkscrew tether
A dog harness is cheap, easy to fit and use
Another top tip is to plan ahead for your road trip with your dog. You will need to make sure your dog is microchipped. This is a legal requirement in the UK and will help you to be reunited with your dog in the unlikely event of it becoming separated from you. You also need to make sure all your dog's immunisations are up to date and it's a good idea to carry your dog's vet's card with you, just in case he or she requires treatment on the trip. If you have travel or pet insurance, check that your dog is covered to travel and stay in a campervan or motorhome.
If you get the chance, try to get your dog used to the carrier or harness you intend to use on your road trip. You can do this in a car before you collect your Spaceships campervan or motorhome. This will help them become familiar with how they are going to travel.
Also consider your route. You're going to need to build in some stops where you can safely park up to exercise, feed and give a toilet break to your dog. Most motorway services have a dog-friendly area, or you can choose attractions that welcome dogs, woodland areas or public footpaths. Remember to respect other people, pets, livestock and the environment and keep your dog on a lead.
Create lifelong memories with your dog on a Spaceships road trip
If you are using a ferry as part of your road trip, please check the company's pet policies. Some will have pet-friendly cabins, but in some cases, your dog will need to stay in the vehicle. You will need to be prepared, making sure your dog has adequate ventilation, food and water.
If you are travelling by ferry to Ireland or any EU country, your dog will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). Your existing pet passport is no longer valid for travel to the European countries following the the UK's departure from the EU. Allow at least 1 month to apply for an AHC, which can be provided by an Official Vet. The AHC is valid for travel into the EU from 10 days from date of issue, so you will need give your vet your travel dates.
Your dog will need to be microchipped and have a rabies vaccination that is carried out at least 21 days before crossing the border. This is also important for bringing your dog back into the UK. Without an AHC, microchip or rabies vaccination, your dog may be prevented from travelling or quarantined for up to 4 months on your return to the UK. You can find out more about AHCs and vaccinations here.
Finally, check out some dog-friendly campsites. You'll need to plan your overnight stops at sites that accept dogs, so please check and book in advance. You can use our campsite finder to help you find dog-friendly sites all over Europe. Take a look at our campsite finder here.
Road trip tips for dogs
Before you take-off with dog in your Spaceship, here are our top 5 tips that will help on your road trip.
Walk before you fly! Give your dog a walk before getting on-board your Spaceship
Home from home. Familiar treats, toys and blankets will help your dog feel at home
Stick to your routine. Where possible, keep feed times and walk times the same
"Paws" on the road! Take plenty of exercise and toilet breaks
Have fun and make memories! It's a holiday for you and your dog, so enjoy it and take lots of pictures
Camping with your dog
Once you've found your perfect dog-friendly campsite, there are a few things you can do to help your dog get used to vanlife. Your dog will be ready for a walk, so take a stroll around the campsite. Not only will this be exercise after the journey, it will give your dog a chance to get accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells around the site. Some dogs can be territorial: you can put up a windshield to help define the perimeter of your pooch's pitch!
If the weather is fine, the campervans and motorhomes can get hot. Make sure you keep windows and roof lights open. This will help keep the vehicle well ventilated and your dog cool. You can also use the blinds and window screens to help keep the vehicle cooler.
Opening your motorhome roof lights will help to keep your dog cool and safe
Finally, please ensure the safety and comfort of your dog and other campsite users. However friendly and good-natured your dog is, some people may not want to make friends - or lose their bacon butty! Always keep your dog on a lead. This is where the extended lead will come in. You can help to control his movements and restrict him to your pitch. And of course, it goes without saying, but everywhere you go, always pick up your dog's waste and dispose of it responsibly in a designated bin.
We would love to see pictures of your dog in space! You can email them to us at [email protected] or post them on your own social media tagging us at @spaceshipsuk (Facebook & Instagram) or @spaceship_uk (Twitter). We'll happily share them, and who knows, you might see your dog in the blog or as a Spaceships social media star!