Planning a Dog Friendly Holiday in Australia

Want to go on holidays but don’t want to leave your precious pooch behind? I don’t blame you! After all, they are part of the family.

Travelling with dogs is not for everyone, and it does require more planning. So if you’re thinking of taking your dog with you on holidays but not sure where to start, you’re in the right place! 

Work from home, covid lockdowns, and travel restrictions over the last couple of years have meant spending a lot more time at home with our pets. But now that travel restrictions have eased and life has started going back to "normal" you find yourself wanting to travel, but also worried about how your pets will cope if they're left behind. So why not include them in your travel plans?

Sure, you can't exactly put your dog on a plane to Paris with you for a 2 week getaway. And although Australians love their pets, they are not welcome in all public places. But, there are lots of dog friendly places where your dog can definitely join you. 

About Me

I’m Sasha, Great Dane Mum and owner of Arctic Mist. Our previous Great Dane Pickle was part of the family and loved going on holidays with us. As she got older she developed a heart condition and a back issue. That didn’t mean she had to miss out on holidays, but it did mean there were a lot more things to take into consideration when planning a holiday with her. Before Pickle passed away in August 2022, we did a road trip from Brisbane, QLD to Dinner Plain, Victoria. Pickle absolutely loved the snow and had the best time, they are memories we will have forever.

We have since welcomed Pumpkin into our family. She’s an adventure pup that loves to party, and already loves the holiday life. We hope she will be able to join us on many more holidays in years to come. 
Where to Start

There are lots of things you will need to think about when travelling with dogs. For example:

    • Must be dog friendly. Ensure that they allow your size of dog as some accommodation will only allow small dogs or dogs up to a certain weight.
    • You will need to book in advance as there are usually limited pet friendly options and things can book out quickly.
    • If your dog sleeps inside make sure this is allowed. Some pet friendly accommodation only allow outdoor dogs.
    • How does your dog travel? Do they get car sick, or anxious? Do they need to stop for breaks regularly?
    • Can you fit everything you need in the car with enough room for you and your dog?
    • Do you need to get a car ferry or other public transport? If so, are they dog friendly and do they have any special requirements (i.e. dogs must be muzzled)?
Your Dogs Health
    • Is your fit and healthy? Do they have any health issues that need to be taken into consideration when planning a holiday with them?
    • Is your dog up to date with vaccinations, heart worm, flea and tick treatment? Some accommodation will request a copy of your dogs current vaccination certificate, so make sure to keep it handy.
    • Always check where the nearest Vet is before you go. If anything it will just give you peace of mind that you know where to get help if required. 
Dining options
    • Are there dog friendly dining options where you are planning on staying?
    • Do you have cooking facilities at your accommodation if you can’t eat out with your dog? Or are they happy to stay in a crate at the accommodation while you go out?
    • Can your dog participate in the activities you’re planning?
    • Will you need a dog sitter while you do activities that are not dog friendly, or are they happy to stay behind in their crate for a few hours?
    • Also keep in mind that some dog friendly accommodation does not allow you to leave your dog unattended

What to Pack

Your dog will likely need their own bag when you take them on holidays with you (trust me, it makes it much easier if you can just turn to one bag for all of their needs). Things I always make sure to pack when travelling with my dog include:

1. Dog Beds/ Matts

I always pack one of our luxury dog beds for my dog. They are great in the car, supportive for my dogs joints, and easy to carry and move around the accommodation. Plus, all our luxury dog beds have machine washable covers, so you don’t need to worry if they get dirty.

If you are planning on going out to cafes/ restaurants with your pooch, you should also take a travel mat that is easy to carry when you’re out and about.

2. Food, Water & Bowls

I try to take enough food for the entire trip so I don’t need to worry about finding the right dog food while we are away. But that may not always be possible, for example if you are travelling far and the food needs to be refrigerated. If you can’t take enough food for your trip, plan ahead by looking up pet stores at your holiday destination, and make sure they stock what you are after. If you’re travelling somewhere remote you might need to plan a stop along the way to pick up some food.

Make sure you pack your dogs favourite treats (and a treat pouch if you use one), and keep some treats and water handy for car trips. L'Barkery treats are my favourite. They have a huge range of healthy dog treats made in Brisbane by L'Barkery's very own Pet Nutritionist, crazy Aunty Lia. L'Barkery also have a range of meal toppers and puppicinos! Head to Bark N Meow and use code PICKLE20 to get 20% off any order, so you can stock up for your next holiday. 

Don’t forget bowls! Collapsible travel bowls are great, but if you don’t have any just take your dog’s regular food and water bowls with you.  

3. Walk Wear & Accessories 

Dogs are required to be on lead in most places, so make sure you take a collar, lead and any other items you walk your dog with, such as a harness or head halter. Our range of luxury walk wear, including collars, leads, harnesses and head halters, are perfect accessories to take away. All our luxury walk wear is washable and looks super stylish for any occasion.

ID tags attached to your dogs collar with their name and phone number are a must! As well as waste bags and waste bag holders. I also like to pack a muzzle just in case, as we were caught out catching a car ferry once. I’ve found that a few places will only allow dogs if they are muzzled (e.g. Brisbane City Cat, and Stradbroke Ferries).

If you’re travelling somewhere cold, consider if your dog will need a warm coat or boots. All the beautiful coats Pickle wears are handmade on the Sunshine Coat by Mila+Me (use code ARCTICMIST for 10% off any Mila+Me order). 

Likewise, if you’re going on a beach holiday consider if your dog needs sun protection. Pickle was very white and prone to skin cancers, so she always wore a UV sunsuit at the beach (and sunscreen on her face).

4. Medication & First Aid

I recommend packing a first aid kit for your dog whenever they are travelling with you. The Roo Collection sell pet first aid kits that are perfect to keep in the car or take on adventures with you. They are packed with everything you might need, including an emergency information card and first aid tips, as well as things like antiseptic solution and bandages. The Roo Collection also sell other great products like pet sun balm and natural insect repellent (which is also a tick repellent!). And best of all, they are a small Australian business and all their products are handmade in Victoria! Head to The Roo Collection website and use code ARCTICMIST at checkout for 20% OFF!!

Coco Kaboo's Calm Companion Anxiety Treatment is great to have on hand as it will help calm your dog if they get stressed or anxious. Even if your dog doesn't get anxious at home, they might in a new environment. Coco Kaboo have great range of natural treatments such as Flea Bags which repels fleas, mosquitos and midges. Plus, check out Coco Kaboo's range of Pawfumes and Furgrances which are great for keeping your pooch smelling fresh, and are available in handy spritz bottles which are perfect to take with you on holidays. 

If your dog takes regular medication or supplements, don’t forget to pack these too! A pill dispenser makes travelling with medication much easier, and is a great way to ensure you have enough medication for your trip.

Great Danes are prone to GDV/ bloat, so I always carry De-Gas (Simethicone) tablets with me. If my dog showed any signs of GDV/ bloat, I would take them to the vet immediately. However, tablets like De-Gas can buy you more time or reduce the severity.

Make sure your dog is up to date with heart worm, flea and tick treatment, and vaccinations before you go away. Some places will request a copy of your dogs current vaccination certificate, so make sure you keep it handy.

5. Other Essentials

A few other things I always pack for my dog include:

  • A microfibre pet towel. You never know when this will come in handy. If you’re going on a beach holiday, you might want to pack a couple of towels for your dog
  • Toys/ enrichment activities. They are great to keep your dog entertained and tire them out while you’re lounging around
  • Pet wipes & deodorizer. These are a must! Especially if you have a dirty dog like me.
  • A collapsible crate. Especially if you plan on leaving your dog unattended at your accommodation


It doesn’t matter if you want to camp, stay in a caravan park, or a luxury villa, there are dog friendly accommodation options of every type and for every budget.

There are lots of dog friendly campsites around Australia, and Hip Camp is a good place to start. You can enter the number of pets in your search, and the results will only show pet friendly options.

If you’re looking for a holiday house/ apartment, Holidaying with dogs is a great website to find dog friendly accommodation. Each property lists pet friendly features such as if the property is fenced, if dogs are allowed inside, and whether or not they provide things like dog bedding, bowls and poo bags.

Stayz, Airbnb, and have pet friendly filters in their searches. However, make sure you read the terms and conditions, as some places will only allow dogs outside or dogs up to a certain size. If the terms are not clear, I recommend reaching out to the accommodation provider prior to booking. Whenever we travel with our Great Dane, I always reached out to the accommodation provider prior to booking. And although I’ve had places come back saying they only accept small dogs or outside dogs, I have never had an issue finding accommodation to our suit needs.

Check out some of my favourite dog friendly accommodation in South East QLD and read about our Great Dane friendly road trip to Dinner Plain for some dog friendly holiday ideas and links to some of our favourite places. 

Always make sure the accommodation layout is suitable, i.e. is your dog comfortable with stairs or a lift, is there a fenced yard or somewhere for your dog to do their business. If you're not sure, don't be afraid to reach out and ask. 

Also keep in mind that a lot of places will have a pet charge, extra cleaning fees, or higher security bonds when having pets stay.

So that’s my rundown on planning a dog friendly holiday in Australia. It can feel a bit overwhelming to begin with, but I promise it is worth it. After all, our dogs are part of the family and unfortunately, they’re not with us long enough.

I hope you are now feeling confident and inspired to get out there and have some amazing travel adventures with your dogs. Once you do it, you'll never look back!

And if your dog needs some practical but stylish accessories for your travels, be sure to check out our range of luxury walk wear

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