For most dog owners, their pets are part of their family, and it is hard to leave family behind when you go on vacation. This is why camping with dogs is more popular than vacations at hotels with your pets. First of all, it is easier to find dog-friendly camping sites, it is better for your pets and you to be close to nature, and you can take longer stress-free holidays.
When planning a camping trip with a dog, you must also consider his or her comfort. Your car must have enough space for them, you have to ensure the campsite is dog friendly, and you have to pack dog items and food as well, so your trunk should be big enough to fit everything. Here are some essential tips for camping with dogs:
1. Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time
Planning beforehand is the best way to guarantee that you and your dog have a safe and amazing camping experience, even while a spontaneous vacation with your furry best friend can sound like a dream.
Planning ahead of time includes these steps:
- Asking the campground about its guidelines and policies regarding pets.
- Visiting the vet with your dog and arranging a checkup.
- Early campground reservations, especially during periods of high season.
- Choosing a route that offers numerous pull-off locations where your dog can relieve himself.
- Preparing your dog for interactions with people, possibly through obedience training.
- Purchasing high-quality equipment, including harnesses and collars that are the right size.
2. Never Leave Your Dog Alone
While travelling or camping with dogs, never leave your dog alone. This includes in the car, at the campsite, at dog parks and during activities. Just because your dog is friendly with other dogs or people doesn't guarantee that something unexpected won’t happen.
Watch your dog closely as they play in any pet areas or at the dog park to keep them safe and ensure they have a good time. They are just like kids, if you leave them alone for a minute anything can go wrong.
3. Snap a Photo of Your Dog
Having many photographs of your dog is a norm for dog owners. They are your furry friends and it is a lovely activity to snap some shots now and then. But when you go camping you should take a new and fresh photo in case your dog gets lost.
This photograph should be of good quality and sharp. Also, make sure that it was taken in natural lighting so that the colour of their fur is accurate. Print out a few copies of this photo so you can hand it out if you are searching for your dog.
4. Make Sure You Know How to Recognise Allergies
Like people, dogs can experience the symptoms of outdoor allergies. Spring is one of the best camping times but also the worst time if your dog is allergic to pollen. You can also research which areas are safer and what trees are near campsites.
Your dog may be experiencing seasonal allergies if they are wheezing, itching, sneezing, or have an obvious ear infection. Discuss treatment options with your veterinarian, and try to stay out of high-pollen areas as much as possible.
5. Have the Right Equipment
The best camping with dogs hack is to enhance your existing equipment. While a regular leash and harness are adequate for your vacation, there are a few enhancements you may make to make your dog's experience even more enjoyable.
There are dog leashes, for instance, designed expressly for swimming. They float on the water and contain anti-rust clips, making them simpler to hold onto. Reflective harnesses can help you and other drivers see your dog more easily at night.
Also, when you prepare food for your dog and yourself it is useful to have a heat source and cooling source like a fridge. Create a list of cooking essentials and equipment, as well as what devices need to be powered, and include a portable power station which is a must when camping.
6. Ensure Your Dog Is Hydrated
Even if you are not too active, your dog will need more water than normal because you are outside and in a strange environment - plenty of new things to smell! Your dog's weight, level of activity, and the weather outside can all be used to determine how much water they require. In general, adult dogs need one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day, but in the outdoors, your dog will need more.
Keep your dog hydrated while you're on the go by using a compact water bowl, and at the campsite, use a sizable, outdoor-safe bowl. Regularly check the bowl and clean out any debris or leaves that may accumulate there. Set it up in a shaded area to keep the water chilled for as long as feasible.
7. Bring Their Favourite Toys
Don't expect that taking your dog outside will provide enough fun for them. Although your dog will undoubtedly love the chance to run and play outside, keep in mind that the weather can change quickly or that your dog may get bored.
Always have some of their favourite outdoor-safe toys with you, such as stuffed animals, tennis balls, and rope chews. They can play while you read or make dinner, or you can play with them and add to the fun of their camping trip.
8. Your Dog Should Be on a Leash
Ensure your dog is leashed during the day in the camp. The majority of campgrounds require leashes, and it is the best method to have your dog secure. When taking your dog on their first stroll around the campground, a leash is extremely crucial.
A leash is the best way to keep them by your side since they may start to feel a little overwhelmed or stimulated by all the new sights, noises, and pets. Keeping your dog on a leash when engaging in activities, both on-site and away from the campground, falls under this.
9. Keep an Eye on Wildlife and Dangerous Plants
On your camping trip, there are other interactions besides those with dogs and other campers that you should be cautious of. Additionally, you must keep an eye out for any wildlife, including both plants and animals. When visiting the campground and taking part in outdoor activities with your dog, pay attention to your surroundings.
Be careful around lakes, ponds, and rivers that may be contaminated with blue-green algae and never allow your dog to drink from standing water. Before embarking on hikes or excursions, learn about the local plant life and how to recognise a potentially hazardous plant.
10. Plan Fun Activities With Your Dog
You likely enjoy spending time with your dog if you're taking them camping. Be sure to include lots of dog-friendly activities to make it enjoyable for all of you. Keep in mind that not all attractions welcome animals. Always check local leash rules and pack lots of dog waste bags if you choose to walk your dog in public in a town or city close to the campground.
Here are some fun activities you can enjoy when camping with dogs:
- Going on a walk.
- Going to the beach.
- Travelling by boat or kayak.
- Visiting nearby parks.
- Eating dinner outside.
- Playing games outside.
11. Do Not Forget to Pack a First-Aid Kit
Always include a pet-friendly first-aid kit on a camping vacation, especially if you want to spend a lot of time outside. When travelling, camping, or engaging in off-site activities, only leave home with your dog's first aid pack.
Among the necessities for a first-aid kit are:
- Vet records for your dog.
- A current list of any drugs or treatments.
- Stick-free bandages.
- Sticky tape.
- Eyewash for pets.
- A thermometer.
12. Ensure Your Dog’s Paws Are Protected
Your dog's paw pads are delicate to cold and abrasive substances, such as hot concrete, pests, ticks, sharp rocks, and more. Use a pet-safe or vet-recommended paw protectant or spend money on a pair of booties to shield your dog's paws.
Give your dog plenty of time to become used to wearing shoes or paw protectors at home before taking them camping if they have never done so. They do look very funny when they first start walking in these doggy boots, but once they are comfortable in them your life will be easier.
13. Bring Your Dog’s ID With You
Make sure you get actual ID tags for your dog in addition to having it microchipped at the vet so that people will know how to contact you if they locate your lost pet. Think about putting numerous forms of identification on your dog, such as an ID tag on their collar and information inside their harness. A temporary ID tag with your campground number on it should also be included.
14. Layer Blankets or Towels Inside Your Tent
The bottom of your tent could get damaged by sharp puppy claws, depending on how durable it is. This can be stopped, and spreading out a few additional blankets or towels will also make any post-camping dog cleanup much simpler. It is also much more comfortable for you and your furry friend to have many blankets to lay on, making the ground much softer.
15. Use a Dog Backpack
When camping with dogs a doggy backpack can come in handy for many reasons. In addition to serving as a convenient, accessible storage area for the aforementioned poop bags and treats, your dog's rucksack can assist keep them occupied and visible at the campsite. They look cute, and they are not heavy, so your dog will get used to them very fast.