My sister-in-law loves their dogs, so when it’s time to head out and camp, it’s only natural that they bring them along. If you’re a dog lover, it can be hard to leave your canine friend home while you go camping.
If your dog is well-behaved, people-friendly, and trained, there's absolutely no reason you can't take your dogs camping with you. Before you head out into the woods with your four-footed friend though, make sure you’re prepared!
Tips for Camping with Your Dogs
Be Prepared for Emergency Situations with Your Dogs
There are a few things you need to do for your dog's safety before making the journey to your designated campground. Your dog can't fully communicate when he's feeling under the weather and an outdoor vacation may exacerbate his (or her) ailments.
Schedule a check-up with your vet to ensure your dog is in good health and is able to travel and vacation with you. It's imperative to have your dog's health history, vaccination records, identifying information and your contact information readily available during your camping trip in case of an emergency. And of course, always keep your dog's tags up to date as well as his microchip, if he has one.
Instead of bringing original documents, make a copy and carry them with you. You could also scan them and upload them to the cloud, so that you can access them from anywhere.
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Pack Dog Essentials and More
Going out in the wilderness with your dog requires you to pack more than he uses on a regular basis. Things like food, water, and even shelter need to be considered. In fact, you may need to buy a few extra items to keep your fur baby as comfortable as possible and ensure he's being well taken care of.
One of the most basic tools for people who enjoy outdoor traveling with their dog is a portable food and water bowl. Most portable pet bowls are collapsible, making it easy to store in a backpack or hook on a belt loop or keychain.
If you plan on braving rough terrain or hiking for an extended period of time, you may want to invest in shoes for your dog and durable weather-proof clothing. If your dog is big and sturdy, a doggie pack might also be an option.
When you're not sure what to include, there are helpful lists online to help build a "doggy first aid kit." These kits are designed with your dog in mind and include items helpful for treating injuries your dog might sustain… like tick bites, injured paws, hypothermia and coming face to face with a dangerous critter, such as a porcupine or skunk.
Be Mindful of Your Camping Neighbors
For your dog's safety, as well as the safety of neighboring campers, he needs to be with you at all times. If your dog is a known wanderer, always keep him on a leash – not a retractable leash! The area you’re camping in is home to wild animals that may pose a threat to your dog. For this reason, as well as others, you should never leave your dog unattended, no matter how safe you think he might be at the time.
This includes leaving him at your campsite while on a hike and in a car or camper. Last but not least, as a responsible dog owner, it's important to always clean up after your dog - bathroom business included! Not only is it impolite to leave behind dog waste, it’s harmful to the environment. Use small plastic bags to pick it up, keeping your campsite clean. Other campers and Mother Nature will be glad you did!
Have fun camping with your furry friend!