Camping with Dogs: Tips for an Enjoyable Time
Whether you own one dog or multiple dogs, you most likely love them as if they were your children. Taking them camping is a time to enjoy family, friends, and good ole’ relaxation. Dogs can be a big part of this experience in either a good way…or a bad way. Being prepared is most important so make sure you are prepared when choosing to take your dogs camping.
Before You Leave
If you are camping in an area not owned by you or someone you know, make sure you check if dogs are allowed. Some camping sites and parks don’t allow dogs so make sure you are able to bring them with you. If dogs are allowed you’ll also want to make sure you abide by any rules they’ve put in place.
While it may not seem necessary, if you’re planning an extended camping trip check in with your veterinarian to make sure there aren’t any health reasons not to take your pup. Ask your vet about vaccinations and preventative care for Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease, as well as flea control. Heartworm preventative medicine is also crucial as dogs tend to drink any water they can find when they are thirsty. Stagnant water, a breeding ground for mosquitoes, can lead to your dog getting mosquito bites and potentially heartworm.
Make sure your dog has appropriate identification. This can be done with a simple collar that has your cell phone number on it or, the more expensive route, a microchip can be implanted under the dogs skin. This microchip acts as a GPS of sorts and helps you track down your dog should they decide to run off.
What to Pack for Your Dog
Try and determine if there is a fresh water supply available at your campsite. Keeping your dog hydrated is extremely important to their health regardless of whether it’s hot or cold. If no water is available, and you are able to determine that before leaving, pack enough water to last the trip and then some. Do not let your dog drink standing water.
Even though you aren’t home your dog should maintain the same type of diet they are on normally. Pack your pups food and water bowl, bed, a few treats, and any toys the dog enjoys playing with. If you are going out of state then make sure to take any health and vaccine records. Also make sure to bring a leash, carrier, plastic bags for waste removal, and a medical kit designed for basic canine health care.
Enjoy Your Dog
When at the campsite make sure to keep your dog on a leash. Most parks require pets to be on a leash and it also helps keep other campers at ease. Always make sure to keep an eye on your furry friend and know where he is at all times. If you decide to take a hike and don’t want to bring him along then make sure he is confined in his crate or, if well behave, your camping tent.
Make sure to check your dog frequently for fleas and ticks as well as any scrapes, cuts, and splinters. You know your dog better than anyone and can typically tell if your dogs behavior is not normal. When she is acting differently it’s important to physically check her for any signs of issues. Snake bites can be common but unnoticeable until it’s too late. Proper care is a essential in having a good time camping with you dog.