Last updated on 7 December, 2022
Are you planning a road trip or a big lap? Are you unsure, should you travel Australia with your dog? You are right to think it is a big decision. There are ramifications no matter what you decide.
There is more to travelling with a dog than simply putting your dog in the car and setting off. Giving it your adequate consideration shows you are a responsible and caring dog owner.
No pressure from us, but if you decide to take your dog, our post on How to Best Plan a Trip Around Australia with Your Dog may be helpful.
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Should You Travel Australia with Your Dog?
Should you travel Australia with your dog? Ask yourself these more specific questions to help you decide if you are unsure one way or the other:
How Much Time Do You Have For Your Road Trip?
Daryl and I travel with our dog Chika and as full time travellers who can spend as much time as we choose in any destination, having Chika with us does not create any time constraints that we cannot work around. Not everyone has the luxury of time.
I am all for families taking their dogs on their laps of Australia. Travelling Australia with dogs is possible (actually, it is a lot of fun), but it would be amiss not to highlight that they take up time. Time, of course, to feed, walk and all the day-to-day care dogs need as well as arrange pet sitting if you want to visit national parks.
Related read: How to do National Parks and Travel with a Dog
If you have limited time and it is your once in a lifetime trip unless you can commit to meeting all your dog’s needs and making arrangements for them when you want to do things your dog is not permitted to do, you may want to consider not taking your dog.
Also, consider the distances you will be driving, if your time is limited, and how much time this will mean your dog will spend in the car. Every dog is different, however, from our experience with Chika, two to three days in a row of long haul driving or us doing things without her, is her absolute limit and we have only done it a couple of times in nearly five years.
Will Your Dog Enjoy Travelling?
Plenty of dogs love a road trip and camping. Some dogs do not. Be it because of old age, poor health or simply liking the familiarity and creature comforts of home, the nomadic life is not for all dogs. It is up to you to decide which applies to your dog.
Chika loves being on the road. She loves nearly everything about it – new places to explore, she gets a lot more walks, beach runs, campfires, swims and more company than when we lived in a house.
Travel is great for so many dogs, just not all.
Are You Willing To Deal with Restrictions and Include Activities Your Dog will Enjoy?
There are endless ways to include your dog. Regardless, more places that are not dog friendly than other national parks. You will need to plan for and make arrangements if you want to do any of these activities. Also, it is integral to your dog’s adjustment and happiness that you include activities that they can do and will enjoy regularly.
Daryl and I plan and pick things to do just because we know Chika will enjoy it. On the one hand, we do not feel bad if we decide to check at a national park knowing she cannot come with us and on the other, it is not unusual for us to do something for Chika’s enjoyment.
If you take your dog travelling around Australia with you, you have to be willing to involve them in what you do as much as possible, do things they like and do some activities without them. Get the balance of all this right and you will have a fantastic trip with your dog.
Are You Willing to Pay Additional Costs for Your Dog?
Dogs cost money. Not as much as husbands and children this is true, still some. Costs for dogs add up when paying out for pet sitting or boarding, having to stay longer in places waiting for pet sitters to be available, sometimes paying more at caravan parks (although this isn’t too often), and buying the camping gear your dog needs and so on.
The argument that your dog will cost you money if you leave them with someone while you travel is also valid. Also, that cost is not a factor you need to consider.
The point is you will need to spend money on your dog.
Can You Live with Missing Your Dog?
I consider this a fair question to ask. Is it enough that you will miss your dog to warrant taking your dog on your road trip? It could be, but it may not be a good enough reason if you are time limited, you are concerned about how much your dog will restrict you, your dog does not travel well or some other reason.
Who Will Look After Your Dog if They Stay Behind?
It is all well and good to make the decision, it will be best if your dog does not travel with you, but then you have to find someone trustworthy who can commit to caring for your dog.
Should You Travel Australia with Your Dog? Only you can answer this. Whatever you decide we wish you happy and safe travels.