Are you planning a rustic getaway? It’s time to schedule a dog-friendly camping trip!
If you ask me whether or not I love to travel, I’m going to guess that you don’t know me very well. Of course, I love to travel! It’s pretty much my favorite thing to do besides eating, playing, sleeping, and meeting other office dogs. One thing I can’t wait to do is go camping again with my parents. We always have so much fun hiking, swimming, and simply relaxing together. If you want to camp out and experience nature with your furry pal, check out my list of dog-friendly camping tips to make it your most successful trip ever.
1. Plan ahead before you leave home
The number one way to ruin a dog-friendly camping trip before it even begins is to not plan ahead. The first step to planning is making sure the campground allows animals. There are many campgrounds that do not allow pets, and you wouldn’t want to book your trip, show up with your dog and then get turned away, would you?
Another thing to do before leaving home is familiarize yourself – and your pup – with the campground rules. Every campground can make their own rules, and you want to be sure your dog behaves during your trip.
You might also want to check in with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is up-to-date with all vaccinations and is healthy for travel. Remember, even the most dog-friendly camping trip could be ruined if your dog gets Lyme disease from a tick or gets a bad mosquito bite.
2. Pack for your pup
Again, there’s a lot to do before traveling to the campground with your dog. You need to help them pack. I mean, you could ask your dog to pack for himself, but I guarantee you he’ll just grab his favorite toy and head for the door. Dogs aren’t known for being good packers. There’s a lot to consider before traveling with a dog, especially when you’re roughing it in the woods.
First, make sure your dog’s ID tag is current, and that they have a safe and sturdy collar and leash. Is your dog microchipped? Well, you might want to make sure the microchip company has your current information. These tips are basic things you should do before any type of vacation with your pet.
There are other things you should consider packing especially when camping. The number one most important thing is water! Dogs need lots of water to stay healthy and hydrated. Whatever you do, don’t allow us to drink from standing water, such as ponds or even puddles. Your dog will also need food for the trip. Don’t think he can or should consume human treats the entire time. Bring more than enough dog food for your pet when you travel. When you’re camping, it’s not as if you can just run to the store quickly, which is why it’s important to bring more than you need. Oh, and don’t forget bowls for the water and food!
It’s important to bring along a comfy bed (or even a bulky blanket) for your dog to sleep on. Don’t forget toys as well. The more space your dog has to play, the more he’ll want to! And finally, if your dog takes any medications, don’t forget those!
3. Camping-specific tips
Is your dog so well behaved that you allow him off leash regularly? If so, that’s great. I love it when my friends behave. However, it’s never a good idea to leave a dog unattended at a campground. This means your dog should be leashed or kept on a tie-out (with adult supervision of course) at all times. There are a few reasons for this. Some campgrounds require leashed dogs. Also, other campers traveling with dogs who are leashed might be uncomfortable with an unleashed dog around. Finally, there are wild animals in the wild! You wouldn’t want your pet to get loose and introduce himself to a bear, snake or coyote, would you?
Make sure your pet is kept far enough away from any fires. Your pet may be curious about fires – or may want to eat one of those marshmallows you humans put on the ends of sticks and could get badly burnt.
How will your dog react at bedtime? There are many different sounds in the wild, so it’s best to make sure you plan a place for him to sleep. If you’re sleeping in a tent, and your dog doesn’t do well with new sounds, he might not do very well sleeping. Which means, he’ll probably keep you up with his whining or barking too. You may have better luck if you’re sleeping in a camper.
4. Pick up the poop
Now this one should be obvious to all pet owners, but I find myself saying it over and over again. If you find yourself in the great outdoors with your furry friend, you need to pick up after them. Yes, you may be in nature, but that doesn’t mean you should leave the mess after nature calls!
Have you ever taken your furry friend on a dog-friendly camping trip? If so, let us know if you have any more tips for us in the comments.
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