Nothing sounds more idyllic than bringing your best friend along for the ride on all of your summer adventures this year. But there are a few things to consider before packing up your pup and taking them to your favorite campsite.
Although you might think the camp grounds would be an excellent place for your dog to stretch their legs and run wild for a few nights, not every dog could be up for it.
To start, you should assess how trained your dog is to see if they can handle being in a new and unfamiliar environment. If you just got a new puppy, bringing them along might be more trouble than you’re up for. If your camping trip is a few weeks or months away, consider bringing your dog to a training facility in your area first. Getting your dog in training courses is also a great way to socialize them, which can come in handy when taking your pooch on a trip. At a campsite your dog is likely to be around new people and even other animals enjoying the outdoors. You don’t want your dog to feel uncomfortable or startled when they come across new things at every turn.
If you're wondering how to go camping with your dog successfully, here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Even though you’d think an outdoor area might automatically be a place where dogs belong, it isn’t always the case.
Different campgrounds have different rules for which pets are allowed, and it mostly depends on environmental threats in the area. If there’s a wild animal in the area that could threaten the dog or there's an uprise in ticks, dogs might not be allowed in the area.
Some dog breeds get overheated easily, and even if you’re comfortable in a certain temperature, your dog might not be.
If you’re ever unsure about bringing your dog to a new environment or fluctuating temperatures, double check with your vet to see what they think. If you know your dog can barely last five minutes in your backyard without running back in for water, they probably won’t enjoy camping in hot temperatures. Plus, it can lead to overheating and even heat stroke in serious cases.
Older dogs might be more used to the comforts of home at this stage and won’t enjoy camping the way you might think they will. Again, it’s important to consider your dog’s temperament and what they’re used to. If your dog mostly spends time indoors, first try bringing them on an extended walk or to a local park to see how they do in that environment.
If you feel like your pet is up for the adventure, this list of puppy-approved tools, trinkets, and accessories can help their experience go smoothly.
Water bowl: Your dog is going to get more thirsty than usual if they have more room to run around and play all day in the woods. Make sure to bring a collapsible doggy bowl like this one that can help your dog stay hydrated all day long.
Food canister: This dog food caddy can pack all the food your dog will need and completely seals up so you don’t have to worry about other animals getting into it.
Cooling bed: This pressure-activated cooling mat will keep your pet cool for up to three hours without having to pack it with ice or freeze it. It’s perfect for making sure your dog stays cool in the peak warm hours of the day.
Warming bed: Camping is an activity that’s not just reserved for the summer. If you have a winter camping plan set up, consider this extra toasty dog bed that will keep your pup warm as they sleep in colder conditions.
Doggie first aid kit: You always want to be prepared for the unexpected. Learn what should be in a dog first aid kit and make sure you pack one for your trip.
The right harness for your dog: Bring multiple harnesses for different purposes. Consider this one with extra pockets for a long hike.
An insulated sweater: If it’s cold out, your dog will need to be protected for longer than just when they’re sleeping. Keep them warm as they stay active with this insulated down sweater.
The most important thing to remember when taking your dog camping is keeping them safe and healthy while you’re away from home. Don’t risk it if your dog was recently experiencing health issues or has a strict medication regimen and routine that you won’t be able to stick to when traveling.
Leaving your dog at home with a sitter, trusted friend, or even in a boarding facility is always a good option to utilize when you’re traveling.