Camping Your Dog
Spending time camping with your dog is an ideal vacation or a weekend away for many people. This is a perfect opportunity to unplug, unwind and interact with your best friend in a place that is interesting and appealing to you both.
Planning a camping trip with a dog does take a bit of additional planning. By ensuring you have all the bases covered an all potential issues addressed, you can ensure the getaway will be a positive experience.
Check Rules for the Location
While in the past camping in local, state or national areas was largely unregulated, today it is very different. There are only some areas of many parks that allow dogs, so it is important to verify the rules each year and before heading out for your camping trip.
Some campgrounds may allow dogs, but they have to be one a leash or on a tether at all times. In other words, they cannot be roaming free around the campground. This may also mean that even for a well-behaved dog that will stay with you and is not aggressive, a leash and collar or a harness must always be in place.
It is also important to think about your dog’s barking level. If a dog is a constant yapper or if he or she is going to bark at every bird, squirrel or person that is in the area, it will become a problem. Training your dog to stop barking on command and getting them used to the sounds and sights of the great outdoors prior to the trip will help.
Pack a Dog First Aid Kit
A dog first aid kit can be purchased from most vets, pet stores and even some drug stores or department stores. If you are buying a pre-made kit, check to make sure it includes at least tweezers, scissors, disinfectant liquid or spray, bandages, tape, and gauze. It is also important to choose one that fits the size of dog you have as there are very different needs for treating a giant breed and treating a small size of dog.
In addition to the basic, be sure to add enough or any medication your dog may require. Many people also take some antihistamines such as Benadryl and a safe, vet approved pain killer that can be used if needed.
Brush Up on Recall
Out camping, there is a lot to see, chase and smell for a dog. If you don’t routinely have your dog off leash in these types of areas, take your dog for a few shorter day hikes and practice recall until you are confident the dog is safe to take off the leash.
Always keep a collar and ID tags on your dog when you are camping. Use your mobile number on all identification and keep it on you. Of course, there may be areas where the mobile phone isn’t working, so consider adding at least one number of someone who can be reached by phone so they can get word to you if the dog is found.
Be sure to bring dog food as well as safe, bottled water for your dog. Try to avoid having the dog drink out of ponds, puddles or even running water if there is any concern about bacterial, parasitic or viral issues in the area.