If you’re a dog owner who loves the outdoors, you hate to leave your pup behind when you go on vacations and camping trips. Besides, your pooch wants to explore the outdoors just as much as you do.
That said, there are a couple of precautions you’ll need to take if you want to take your dog camping. Whether it’s your first time or your 20th, use these handy tips for camping with your dog.
Find a dog-friendly campground
First, you’ll need to do some research to find pet-friendly camping options. Good news, most campgrounds allow dogs if you keep them on a leash.
But it’s not enough to look for a dog-friendly campground. You also need to consider the surrounding trails and determine whether they’re suitable for your pooch. While you may have some experience crossing bridges, your dog might not.
Pack doggy essentials
Before going on your camping trip, don’t forget to pack the best air mattress for camping. With this, you don’t have to worry about having a restless night or waking up with a sore back.
That planning applies to dogs as well. You need to think about their sleeping area and other accessories they likely will need. If your dog usually sleeps in a crate at home, then bring it along and ensure your tent is large enough to accommodate it.
Don’t forget to bring along a fleece blanket, especially if you’re camping in winter. Dogs are domestic animals, not wild creatures. Your dog needs something to help keep them warm in cold weather.
Invest in a strong leash
Essentially, the dog leash you buy ought to be much stronger and extendable. Since the campsite will likely require that you keep your dog on a leash, it helps if the leash is a bit longer.
That way, your dog can still explore a vast area without wandering off. You also will need to check the area to make sure your leash won’t get tangled on any hazards.
Practice camping etiquette
No one likes having insensitive camp neighbors. Therefore, it’s good to follow all the rules and regulations set by the campground.
For instance, don’t leave your dog alone in a tent or vehicle.
Also, remember to bring several poop bags for your dog’s waste. When dog waste accumulates, it contaminates the surrounding soil and water and becomes harmful to the environment. You can prevent this by getting rid of your pup’s waste in a proper way.
Here are some other rules to follow:
- Don’t allow your dog to bark uncontrollably
- Keep your pup away from children’s areas
- Limit the number of dogs per site
- Avoid shouting at your dog constantly
Bring a first aid kit
Dogs can suffer injuries in the same way that we can. When exploring a new environment, your pooch might not be a good judge of what they can or cannot do. As a result, they may end up falling off rocks or stepping on thorny areas.
For such situations, you should be well-prepared with a first aid kit so that you can treat your dog immediately. If you’re not sure of what to pack in a first aid kit, consult your veterinarian. Be sure to include any medications your dog takes, an antibiotic ointment, a tick key to remove pesky pests before they hide in your pup’s skin and Vetrap, a bandaging tape that won’t stick to your dog’s hair or fur.
Acclimate your dog to new surroundings
After being locked up in the car for hours, your pooch will be eager to stretch his legs when you get to the campsite. So before you start setting up your tent, give him a treat by taking your dog for a walk. This is especially important if this is your first time camping with your dog.
Be sure to take the time to let your dog sniff to his heart’s content. A stroll around the campsite will help him become familiar with the area, the smells, and the sounds.
For your brief campsite adventure, ensure you have the following: a dog collar, a sturdy leash, and a Dicky bag, a neoprene bag that can hold your poop bags until you can dispose of them.
Overpack dog food
It is not only humans who get the urge to eat more when camping. All the vigorous activities of mountain biking, kayaking, and hiking cause your pooch to burn more calories as well. Bring plenty of food and water for both you and your dog.
For safety reasons, only bring food out during mealtimes. If your dog is a grazer at home, you won’t be able to leave your dog’s kibble out in the open when you’re camping. Any food, including dog food, may attract wild animals to the campgrounds.
Taking your dog camping is an exciting venture. With proper planning and the right camping equipment, your dog will have plenty of fun camping in your tent.
Pack dog camping gear that includes your dog’s essentials, a dog-specific first aid kit, and a high-quality leash.
Ashley Casey is the author of AdventureGearsLab.com, a travel writer by profession, and a lover of world cultures, food, oceans, languages, souls, wild spaces, and urban places by nature.