Camping is much more enjoyable with your best friend, but there’s some things you need to think about before trekking with Fido or snuggling up to him in a tent under the stars.
Keeping him safe is the first step toward a more successful camping trip.
1. Call Ahead to Ensure Campsite is Dog-Friendly
Verify that the campground, national or state park that you’re going to allows dogs. Ask if there’s any rules that you should show about. For example:
- Does your dog need to be on a leash at all times?
- Does the leash need to be a specific length?
- Are dogs restricted to certain areas (some camps don’t allow dogs near the lake or picnic table areas)?
- Is there an extra charge for taking your dog?
2. Have Dog Insect Spray
You bring bug spray, so make sure you have a pet-friendly version for your dog too. He also needs to be up to date on his flea and tick medicine and heartworm prevention.
Fabrics for dogs—such as clothing, blankets and beds—that are treated with an insecticide (permethrin) are another option.
3. What to Pack when Camping with Your Dog
Make sure you pack everything your canine needs to her trip, for example:
- Plenty of poop bags
- Dog food
- Water bowls or travel bowls (that you can easily attach to your belt or backpack)
- Dog toys
- Extra leash and a long leash/rope that you can use to tie him up
- Illuminated collar or harness so he’s easily seen at night
- First-Aid kit for dogs
- Mobile fencing or large exercise pen to play around in
- A photocopy of his vaccination records and vet details
4. Watch Your Dog
Your dog is in a new area and should always be supervised. Make sure you keep any food out of his reach. Hot dogs, burgers and other snacks are often laying around but can make your dog sick if he eats too much. He may also attempt to get into any garbages around, so you’ll need to keep an eye on him. There will also be cars driving by so make sure he stays off the path or road.
5. Don’t Forget ID
Place an ID tag on your dog’s collar and ensure that it stays on him after bathing or swimming in the lake, etc. If he tends to lose his ID tags or if you want extra security, consider microchipping your dog.
6. Tailor Activities to Your Dog’s Fitness Level
If you’re an active person who enjoys hiking and going on adventures when you’re camping, you need to make sure not to overdo your dog. A dog that’s healthy will have the stamina for a long uphill hike. But if your dog is typically a couch potato or had a flat nose, he may tend to get tired very quickly.
Your dog may also be affected if the weather is too hot, so make sure to watch him and have plenty of water on hand in case. You should also check his paw pads throughout your walk or hike to make sure they’re not getting sore.
Deann Rebello – I’m a founder at BearinForest.com, a Camping blog that shares everything about traveling and camping. I’m just a young lady who loves camping out and always eager to share my bonding experience to the world. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter