Pet parents today are looking for ways to enjoy life experiences with their dogs. In fact, most pet parents don’t want to leave their beloved fur babies at home or with a pet sitter or at a boarding facility; just as they traveled with their children they now want to travel with their pets. How to camp with your dog is a question that comes up frequently in our offices.
Are you a camping enthusiast? Perhaps you’ve never set foot in a campground, tent or cabin would you be more inclined to explore the out-of-doors if your dog is by your side? We certainly understand that sentiment!
Getting back to nature is trending. Whether you want to unplug and get away from it all or if you want to try something new, camping should be on your agenda!
How To Camp With Your Dog
Before you load the car with your camping gear, consider what you will need and the arrangements you will need to make before you pack up your fur baby for this adventure.
Is the campground pet-friendly? Don’t assume that every campground is welcoming to dogs. They aren’t. Just because you’re in the great outdoors, doesn’t mean your camping neighbors want a dog invading their space. Do a Google search for “pet- or dog-friendly” campgrounds. Don’t hit the road intent on camping with your dog if you haven’t made arrangements first.
What records does the campground require? Some campgrounds — state and private — may require your dog be up-to-date on vaccinations and may require proof. Find out what the campground requires and when they need to see that information. It’s always wise to carry your dog’s medical records with you in case of an emergency when you are away from home and from your regular veterinarian.
Is your dog camp-ready? Be honest. Will your dog be well-behaved on a camping trip? Does your dog bark at every new sight or sound? Do you believe he will be friendly or grumpy toward other dogs? Whether you’re in a tent, cabin or camper you will be in close proximity to other campers; you need to make certain your dog will be a good camping neighbor.
Keep your dog leashed. Even if your dog has amazing recall and has never ignored a command, being in the woods will bring with it new sights, sounds and scents and your dog may not be able to resist the urge to hunt. Small dogs may do well in a portable “doggie playpen” or fenced-in space. Keep larger dogs on a leash. Don’t let your dog wander into another campsite, just because you say, “he’s friendly!” doesn’t mean the other campers want your pup in their place. Keeping your dog leashed will help assure he doesn’t run off and get lost.
Bring a first aid kit. Pack a first aid kit for humans and your pets. The pet first aid kit should contain bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze, antibiotic creams, any medications your pet requires, sunblock, mosquito repellant, etc. Be diligent in checking your dog regularly for ticks because these biting menaces thrive in wooded areas and can cause serious harm or illness to pets and humans.
Bring comforts from home. Your dog will be in an unfamiliar location and that could make him anxious. Therefore, bring his bed from home and a few of his favorite toys.
Stick to your routine. When you’re on vacation you may just want to kick back and not rely on the clock. However, your dog thrives on his routines. Walk your dog and feed her on the same schedule she is accustomed to when you’re home.
Choose a tent that will accommodate everyone. When you’re shopping for a tent, consider your dog(s) as another person and buy a tent large enough to comfortably hold everyone. Keep in mind that a tent is not a “safe space” to leave your dog if you leave the campsite. In fact, don’t leave your dog alone, ever when you’re camping. Many campgrounds will require you keep your dog with you at all times.
Be a good camping neighbor. Just because you’re in the woods, doesn’t mean you don’t have to pick up after your pup. If he poops, pick it up, bag it and toss in in a garbage can. No one wants to be out hiking and step in dog poop.
Take short, close-to-home camping trips with your dog to get her accustomed to the experience. Enjoy summer and the out-of-doors with your pup this summer and never camp alone!
Robbi Hess, Woman In The Pet Industry Solopreneur Finalist and award-winning author, is multi-petual. When not caring for her pets or taking them on walks, she is a speaker, efficiency and effectiveness guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words Matter, My Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof/Crimeless Cat.