Camping with a dog is one of our favorite summer activities. It is funny, cozy, and brings a spirit of adventure to life. When we planned it for the first time, we faced many questions that I will answer in this article to help you prepare for camping with a dog in Germany and other European countries such as Austria or Italy.
First of all, wild camping is not allowed in Germany and neighboring countries. You can not just choose a spot in the forest or near the lake like in Russia or Scandinavia, and place your tent there. But there are many camping places with all the facilities that you can easily find just everywhere, including the best tourist spots in the Alps. Those camping places are good organized and comfortable but it makes you follow some rules, which you need to know in order to have a good time without any problems.
Can you go camping with a dog at all? It is allowed in a tent?
From our experience, around 85% of campings in Germany and Italy are dog-friendly and allow you to bring a dog with you if you have your own tent or camper. This information you always can check at the camping’s website before you go or ask directly at the camping if you want to find something while traveling.
However, if you want to rent a cabin or use a tent provided by the camping place, it could be not allowed to bring your pet with you.
How much does it cost?
In general, camping in Europe is cheap, compared to the hotels. For the tent, two people, one car, and one dog, it will usually cost around 25-35 euros per night in a high season. Once we compared the prices at Lake Constance (Bodensee): we paid 32 euros/night for a camping spot (including a dog) while the hotels there cost around 150-200 euros/night.
At the camping’s website, you can usually find all the prices. They usually charge around 5 euro/night for one dog.
What to bring with you when going camping with a dog?
You need to have enough food for your pet, waste bags, a blanket, maybe some toys, a leash that you can fix around a tree. Additionally, we always have a pet passport if somebody will want to check the vaccination.
Will the dog sleep in a tent?
Scout is just sleeping in a tent with us, inside a sleeping bag or near it if it is too warm for her. When she is tired, she just goes to sleep in a tent alone while we have dinner nearby. In the beginning, dogs can be nervous there because of all the noises and new surroundings, but if you do a lot of hiking during the day, they will go to sleep without any objections.
If your dog likes a special blanket, don’t forget to take it with you to create a familiar atmosphere.
Are there some facilities and rules for the dogs at the camping place?
It depends on a place but big camping places provide a lot of things for pets: dog showers, playground, special routes for walks, poop bags, dog bars with water.
As for rules, they may vary. It is what we saw in Germany, Austria, and Italy:
- Dogs always have to be on the leash
- They are not allowed to go to the toilet facilities and to the swimming pools
- You have to clean up after them (actually not only at the camping place)
- Dogs should not bark the whole time but they can do it a little bit 🙂
- You can’t leave a dog there alone – but it is the whole point! Because when we go camping with Scout, we just want to spend all the time together.
So, it is nothing difficult and a lot of fun! We already stayed like this in the Alps (several times), at the Lake Constance in Germany and at the Lake Garda in Italy and it was very cool.