Two years ago the Burton family sold their house, packed up their belongings, bought a motorhome and have been travelling Europe ever since with their two dogs Ozwena who is a beagle and Uluru a fox red Labrador.
Read on to find out what Ozwena has to say about travelling Europe with her parents.
What is it like for a dog travelling in a motorhome?
At first it was a little strange. Moving from a fairly large house to a small motorhome took a bit of adjusting. I have never enjoyed travelling in a car so I’ve been surprised as to how comfortable travelling in a motorhome is. We recently had a hire car and I still detest travelling this way so can only presume the additional size and space in the motorhome, along with slower driving speeds suits me.
My bed is different as it’s raised off the floor and is now the front seat of the van but I’m used to this now and this is where I call home. I always feel safe in the motorhome and the company from my sister Uluru makes it so much better.
You must have had quite a lot of preparation to do before your trip. Tell us about it.
I had to visit my local vet to get a pet passport that allowed me to travel in Europe. At my appointment, the vet gave me an examination that included checking I had a microchip and then scanning me to find my identification number which is now written on my passport. I also had to for me and of course one for Uluru my sister. I also have to wear a scalibor collar as to protect me from leishmaniasis which is a tropical and sub-tropical disease spread through sand flies that can be found in some parts of Europe. More importantly, this also covers me against ticks.
What did you take with you?
I took my doggy bag with me and packed my favourite toy, my lead and a blanket that I’ve had since I was a puppy. I also have a collar with my name and number stitched onto it which is important in case I run away which I tend to do quite frequently! Other things that I took are some tweezers in case I do get any ticks so that these can be easily removed. I also have medication for fleas that I have dabbed on my neck every few months. I got fleas once and it was an awful itching experience.
How did you manage with the differences in foods in Europe?
My favourite interest is eating and I’m not a fussy eater at all. I dine out on many delicacies and have tasted foods from all around Europe to include octopus, anchovies, polish stew, with my favourite being tapas. I get dried dog biscuits each morning and night (with a spoonful of tinned dog meat) and these are similar to the ones I used to get back home. Most supermarkets in Europe sell the same or similar brands so it’s not a problem.
Are there any dog laws in Europe?
There are frustrating dog laws in Spain where dogs are not allowed on any public transport which
In Italy, I’m allowed onto trains, buses and boats but only if I wear a muzzle, this can be embarrassing
If you are a dog in Norway then you have to stay on the lead from the 1 st April until the 20th August and this is to protect wildlife as many new animals are born at this time so fair enough really.
The other places I’ve visited have been very dog friendly.
Ozwena at Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps
Tell me the best bits of travelling in a motorhome.
Being with my sister Uluru and my parents Paul and Emma 24/7 is the best thing about travelling. And my walks last much longer than they used to and I love having the freedom to go where I like and to explore the endless beaches and woods in Europe. I’m an active dog and as a beagles I like to sniff out places and have found endless scents that take me running and exploring for miles and miles.
Everyone travelling Europe seems to have a dog with them and this is partly due to the relaxing of quarantine laws which means us dogs can travel which is so much better than staying at home whilst my parents go off and have fun!
And you’ve wrote a book about your travels, tell us about this?
I’m a well travelled beagle and have covered over 25,000 kilometres and visited 19 countries. I’ve been as far North as the Arctic Circle and as far south as Morocco. You can read about what I get up to in my book where I was kidnapped in Spain, washed out to sea in Italy and fell from cliffs in Portugal. Travelling Europe really is the best thing that has ever happened to me after realising life is for living before turning to DUST.
We are leaving the UK again shortly and heading east to explore that part of Europe. We didn’t get that far the last time so it will be great to go and explore further afield. My parents have researched these countries and they seem to be dog friendly places but I will however let you know how I get on. You can read about my trip by visiting my blog: beagleburton.wordpress.com
TV presenter Declan Donnelly with a copy of DUST
If the Burton family adventures have inspired you, you can enter and win your very own copy of ‘DUST’ as told by Ozwena, comment below telling us why you would like to win a copy (keeping your email address hidden behind your username).
Two UK winners will be chosen at random.