The decision to take your loved pet away with you for a long haul travelling adventure is tough for many families.  To take them or leave them behind.  Sometimes this can be a heartbreaking decision, however when we recently asked Larry from Roaming Oz In A Tin Can if it was tough to decide if they should take Shakira on their Lap of Oz – his response was very clear:

By Larry from Roaming Oz In A Tin Can:

For us this question was easily answered – yes, she was coming with us.

How could we go on holiday’s and leave her with family or friends, she is one of the family?

Shakira is our English Staffordshire Terrier who turns three in April. She has been with us since she was about 4 months old and we started taking her on trips away in the caravan almost as soon as we got her.

This time we are away for a 12 – 18month trip around oz with our 10 year old twin girls and Shakira.

We get asked a fair amount times about being held back and missing out on a lot of tourist attractions and national parks by travelling with a dog.

This can be true but there are always ways around this, it just takes a bit of forward planning on our behalf and if it gets to hard we just don’t go.

We plan a lot of our short activities in the mornings, such as grocery shopping or going to the library, so we can leave her in the car (if weather permits and we can’t take her with us), now I know this comment is going to raise a lot of red flags everywhere. But before the complaints start flowing in, we have got the darkest window tint that is legal with screens from the sunshade company on all the windows, and we also have a 12inch, 12volt 2 speed fan that we set up on the centre console to blow air onto her on the back seat and we leave all the windows down about 50 -75mm as well. If we can’t find an underground carpark we will also hunt around and find a park in the shade.

When we get into towns that have a museum or equivalent, that I or the kids want to have a look at, my wife Sonya always gladly puts her hand up to stay at the van and look after Shakira. This way it gives me a bit of Dad time with the girls and Sonya gets a bit of mum time and Shakira gets to have a rest as well.

If on the occasion, there is a full day event that we all want to go to we have managed to leave her at a doggy day care centre for the day. We have had a lot of other tourists in van parks volunteer to spend the day with her as well if needed.

Shakira at Port Arthur Historic Site – YES – Pet Friendly!


Since we have been taking Shakira away with us we find we have become more active as a family and doing a lot more outside activities, such as walking, going to the beach, parks and bike riding. Even the kid’s electronics are getting left off more and more which is a bonus.

Off for a ride with Dad!


Most days we find ourselves up early to take her for a morning walk, so she can do her business and then again at night before she goes to bed in her bunk in the back of our Land Cruiser.

Shakira has her own little bunk in the back of the Landcruiser!


When travelling during the day Shakira sits on the back seat in-between the girls, usually fast asleep within 5 minutes of heading off. Its not unusual to look in the rear-view mirror and see the three off them fast asleep, it’s just like having three kids in the back.

We have an attachment that clips onto her collar and then clips into the seat belt for her protection, just in case of an accident occurring.

Having Shakira with us also gives us a great excuse to camp out in the many bush camps around the place.

Even though there are more and more caravan parks becoming pet friendly, there still are a lot of places that aren’t. Although you will find one in most towns.

Then you have parks that are starting to talk about changing their status from pet friendly, back to no pets due to some owners not doing the right thing and cleaning up after their pets. Which in turn ruins it for the rest of us.

So, getting back to the original question at the top, Do We Take the Dog or Not?

It is a big YES from us. It would be like leaving one of our kids behind.

Hope to see you and your fur babies out and about this great country we call home.

Roaming Oz In A Tin Can.