So…you’ve decided to go camping with your dog! First things first, don’t forget your first aid kit. As the Boy Scout motto goes, be prepared. As a responsible dog owner, you have to prepare for the outdoors to be responsible camping with your dog. You wouldn’t hit the road, set up camp or hit the trail without popping your first aid kit into your pack. Same goes for your dog.
Don’t worry – chances are, nothing will happen while camping with your dog. We like to say, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. Preparing for your outdoor adventure with your furry friend is something you should definitely overdo! Just like you, your dog needs a first aid kit. A successful camping trip is fun and safe for both you and your fur-kid.
#1 Thing Not to Do Camping with your Dog
House rules still apply in the great outdoors. Just like you have first aid kit for home, it’s important to have a first aid kit for travel. Dogs are smart and resilient, but camping with your dog introduces new environments and new hazards. You never know what will happen, so it’s best to overdo preparation.
Remember, camping with your dog takes you and your fur-kid far away from immediate help. The vet is not down the street, and the comforts of home are not down the hall. Camping is a great way to bond with your dog, but you don’t want to bond over a camping mishap or something going wrong.
Don’t Forget your First Aid Kit
As much as we wish this were true – dogs can’t talk. That means it’s easy to miss the signs if your dog is hurting. They can’t tell you that something is wrong. They can’t evaluate risk like humans. They can’t ask for help when they’ve had enough.
Use common sense, look for the signs, and bring a first aid kit. The only way to prepare for camping with your dog is to over-prepare. Add these items to your first aid kit. The good news is they work for humans and furry friends alike!
10 Things for your First Aid Kit
Nothing beats exploring the outdoors with your four-legged best friend! Before you go, make sure you have all the supplies for your dog’s first aid kit. (Bonus: you’ll probably already have these items in your own kit.)
- Styptic Pencil – Even minor dog injuries, like a badly broken nail, can bleed a lot. You can seal small cuts in almost instantly with a styptic pencil. They are available at most pharmacies.
- Rubber Gloves – Rubber gloves have more than one use. Yes, they are great for keeping first aid sanitary, but they also can serve as an emergency or temporary dog bootie, if you don’t them.
- Gauze and Heavy Duty Bandages – If your pup has a deeper cut that requires a bandage, then you’re going to need something sturdy and stretchy. It has to stand up to full-body movement.
- Eye Wash or Saline Solution – More likely than not, your furry friend will get a foreign object in his or her eye (think skunk spray, dirt, or insects). Pack a small squirt bottle with a saline rinse.
- Lights, Bells, and Whistles – Attach lights, bells, and whistles to your dog’s collar. Okay, it’s not what you think…We know they don’t know how to whistle. This one isn’t for them; it’s for you!
- Pliers, Tweezers, and/or Multitool – If you encounter porcupine quills, thorns, or ticks – who knows what your fur-kid might get into – you’re going to want the right tool for removal.
- Slip Lead or Muzzle – While we’re on the subject, we know you love your dog loves you, and you love your dog. But, when injured, frightened or in pain, animals revert to animal instincts. Protect yourself and your furry friend from the trauma of a dog bite.
- Foldable Bowl, Water, and Food – Just like us, dogs need water and food to survive, especially when enjoying the outdoors. Remember to pack a bowl and the necessities for on-the-go.
- Mylar Emergency Blanket – This item is clutch in a true emergency! Mylar emergency blankets are compact and light, but they can be your most important tool to help your injured pup. They maintain body heat and keep wounds sterile. Available at most outdoor stores.
- Pain and Anti-inflammatory Medicine – Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like Aleve (Naproxen), Advil (Ibuprofen), and Tylenol (Acetaminophen) can cause bleeding ulcers, kidney damage or worse. Buffered aspirin is the best non-prescription pain medication for your dog.
If your dog shows hives or a strong allergic reaction, opt for Benadryl. Benedryl is also recommended for snake bites. A good rule of thumb is 2mg of Benadryl per pound of body weight every eight hours.
Note: Dosages tend to be higher than normal human dosages and may cause drowsiness. Your best option is always to consult your vet for a canine-specific prescription.
Our dogs are important members of our family, and we can’t imagine leaving them behind for important family trips. If you bring your first aid kit, you’ll never leave your furry family member behind, and you’ll never camp alone. Trust us – you’ll be glad you did!