Camping is a fun activity which we all love to do. Whether in spring, summer, or even the cold season, camping interests people of all ages. Not only people but also our furry friends love to camp with us.
Some people might feel like taking their dogs out camping is not the right thing to do. It could distract other campers, and what if you lose your dog?
Well, our paw friends need to have some fun out camping as well. Read this article for a complete guide on how to take your dog out camping and make it a fun activity for both of you.
Where to Camp with Dogs
First and foremost is to ensure that your camping site allows dogs. There are a number of campsites that prohibit dogs or any pets from entering. However, enough camping areas welcome your dog to have some fun.
A number of national parks and state parks allow dogs to enter the camping site. You can confirm this through individual websites of these parks.
In addition, you can also check the National Parks Service website, which has a map of dog-friendly campsites in the states.
Things to Do Before Camping with Your Dog
Taking your dog with you means that you have some extra preparation to do. Apart from getting ready yourself, you need to ensure that your dog is also prepared to camp with you.
You need to keep in mind a few things before taking your dog out camping with you.
- Check the rules and regulations of the campsite to ensure that pets are allowed.
- Schedule an appointment with the vet and ensure that your dog is up-to-date on its vaccinations.
- Speak to your vet and put your dog on a form of tick and flea prevention.
- Ensure your dog is well-groomed before camping.
Dog Camping Gear: Things to Bring
Packing is a vital part of any trip or adventure. It’s the same with camping, where you have to ensure that you have packed everything you need for yourself and your dog.
While you may be familiar with what you might want when camping, there is a chance you might miss something important that your dog needs while camping.
So, here is a list of dog camping gear that you might want to pack for the adventure.
- Collapsible bowl to hold water
- Pet first aid kit
- Grooming wipes
- Bags to put dog poop
- Dog brush
- Sleeping bag for the cold weather
- Paw protection for hot sand, rock, snow, or ice
- A light-up collar to locate your dog at night (optional)
- Dog playpen (optional)
Tips and Tricks for Camping with Dogs
Camping with a dog is so much work and needs a lot of preparation. You need to think ahead of time to ensure you are geared up to have a good time camping.
The last thing you want for you and your dog is to find out that you have missed out on something important while on an adventure miles away from home.
So, here are the 10 best tips and tricks to keep in mind when you camp with your dog.
Plan Your Trip in Advance
Prepare well ahead of your camping day. Check the campsite to see if pets are allowed. It’s always better to book early to avoid disappointments. Ensure that your dog is up-to-date with its vaccines.
Keep a checklist of all things you need to do and tick them off once done. It will help you remember and not miss out on any crucial point.
Do a Trial Run Before the Actual Day
If this is your first time camping with your dog, you need to check how your dog will respond to it. You don’t want your dog to be barking excessively and running haywire at the campsite.
Take a tent out to your backyard to use as a shelter for a dog owner and keep your dog inside it with some of his favorite toys. Check how he responds and make him get used to the campsite setting. It will ensure that your dog feels more comfortable with the camping experience.
Pack Lots of Water
Your dog needs to be hydrated just as much as you do. Make sure to pack a collapsible dog bowl for ease of use. Also, bring double the amount of water you think you might need to be on the safe side.
You can also check if there are any water pits near the campsite. Some campsites don’t offer this feature which is why it’s always better to bring lots of water for your paw friend.
Keep Your Dog on a Leash
Most campsites do require you to have your dog on a leash. Irrespective of campsite rules, always keep your dog on a leash so that you don’t lose it while camping.
Never keep your dog alone or unattended, even if you are going away for a while.
Bring Things to Keep Your Dog from Getting Bored
Your dog could easily get bored while camping. You must take some of its favorite toys along with you.
These toys will keep your pet occupied while you can enjoy all your camping activities or some time by yourself.
Bring a Large Tent
Camping with your dog is so much different from camping by yourself. You need to think from your and your dog’s perspective.
That’s why it is vital that you bring a large tent with you so that both you and your dog can fit inside comfortably.
Pack a First Aid Kit
A first aid kit for your pet is just as important for you. There are many chances of your lovely pet getting hurt, even on a minor scale.
Some things to pack are gauze, non-stick bandages, iodine for small wounds, tweezers for tick removal, scissors, Benadryl, and an emergency fold-up blanket.
Keep Your Dog Clean
Dogs can easily get muddy and enter the tent. Therefore, take enough towels to dry your dog before entering the tent. Also, carry grooming wipes for its feet.
A dog brush will help shed hair and remove any stickers that your dog might bring from outside.
Be Prepared to Keep Your Dog Safe in All Weathers
You might have to face hot days and cold nights while camping with your dog. Therefore, you and your dog must be prepared to face any weather.
Bring along a sleeping bag to keep your dog warm during cold nights. Also, don’t skip the booties to protect your pet’s paws from the snow.
Leave No Trace
You need to camp responsibly so that anyone who comes after you can enjoy camping just as much as you do. Ensure to pick up everything and not leave behind any traces of your dog.
Carry dog waste bags with you to easily clean the camping site afterward.
Dealing with Aggressiveness and Excessive Barking at Campsites
Most campsites have strict regulations for dogs that bark excessively, which could distract other campers. Pet-friendly campsites also don’t permit aggression in dogs. Other campers need to relax and feel comfortable at the campsite.
If your dog barks excessively at night or is very aggressive in unfamiliar surroundings, then it is not advisable to bring it camping with you. You need to work on dog behavior training before going camping with it.
There are many programs out there but don’t opt for popular programs like TrainPetDog which is a dominance-based training according to this TrainPetDog review.
Positive reinforcement training is an excellent way to train your dog. It is 100% safe and can be used on any dog breed. It is reward-based that uses praises, toys, and other things dogs consider as rewards. Once your dog is well-trained, you can take it out camping and enjoy your adventures together.
Camping with your dog is so fun and something you don’t have to be nervous about. Ensure that you’re well-prepared with all you might need to enjoy your adventure.
As always, act responsible and make sure you pick up every trace before leaving the campsite.