You can always go on a camping trip alone. However, if you have a pet dog, you will not have the heart to leave them behind. So, why not take your dog on a camping trip too? It might seem to be a difficult task in the beginning, but with a little planning, you will have a wonderful trip along with your dog.
Here are some tips that you can follow when camping with your dog for the first time:
- Bring Lots of Water
Water is necessary for both you and your dog. So, carry lots of water so that you can drink, cook and wash dishes if needed. Get reusable dog bowls for your pet which are lightweight and do not take much space in your backpack. You can also bring water-tight bowls which won’t spill water even if you fill them and carry them with you.
- Dog’s Food is a Must
You might fill up your backpack with food supplies for you, but do not leave your dog’s food behind. Carry dehydrated food as it is lightweight and produces less waste. You can always add extra water while feeding your dog to keep them hydrated.
- Choose the Right Campground
Many campgrounds do not allow camping with your pets. So, make sure you check out the rules and take your dog in a campground where pets are allowed. Do not travel too far from your home the first time you take your dog camping. They might not like to travel a long distance.
- Follow the Leash Laws
Many campgrounds which allow dogs, might not allow them to be left unharnessed. Check with the leash laws beforehand. Most of the campsites require your dog to be put on leash at all times and the length should be no longer than 6 feet. Do not use leashes which can be folded.
- Tethering your Dog
If you want to remain hands free, you can tether your dog to sturdy points which won’t break when they get frightened. Do not tether your dog near places which could be harmful for them like campfires, trash cans, etc. If you have camping neighbors, do not tether your pet where your neighbors could get disturbed. Keep yourself and your dog out of danger.
- Always Keep your Dog in Sight
It is not recommended to keep your dog unattended. If your dog is a first time camper, they might get frightened if you are not there in sight. Also, your dog could get disturbed by commotion other campers make and vice versa. So, always keep them in sight and bring some toys which they are familiar with.
- Bring Their Sleeping Bags
You can bring a pet sleeping bag or bed for them or you can get their regular blanket or bed. If your dog has the habit of sleeping with you, make sure you have plenty of blankets and protective layers to cover your air mattress. Their nails could ruin the mattress and you would be left high and dry.
- Dog Collar is a Must
For times when you are sleeping, you need a reflective dog collar for your pet. This will keep your worries away that your dog might get out of the tent at the middle of the night and get lost in the woods.
- Enjoying Outdoors
When you come on a camping trip, your goal will be to have as much fun as possible. If you are taking your dog with you, then also you can have the same fun. Go for a hike or a swim if you are near any beach. But make sure you keep a close eye on them, especially if they are inexperienced swimmers. If your dog and you both love swimming, you could invest in a life jacket or a floating device for your dog to keep them from drowning.
- Use Pet Safe Bug Spray
The bug spray that you use to keep ticks and fleas away is not suitable for your dog. So, don’t think of applying the same spray you are using, on your dog. Religiously follow the procedure for tick and flea removal when you go camping with your dog. Buy a pet safe bug spray.
- First Aid for your Dog
You must always use a first aid kit for yourself as well as your dog. Bring suitable bandages for your dogs and any regular medications. If you are camping in summer, make sure you have something which can protect the paws of your dog from burns or damages. If your dog has any allergies, carry suitable medications. If you are camping during winters, make sure you have woolen items to keep your dog warm. Your dog’s first aid kit must contain first aid tape, disinfectant, eye wash or saline solution, antiseptic spray or wipes, tongue depressors, ear cleaning solution, nutritional treats, skin and paw cream, poop bags, wound spray, nail clippers and many other things.
So, keep these tips in mind when you are out on a camping trip with your dog for the first time and both of you can have an amazing time. Even if you are camping in a group, take your dog along with you. Fun is guaranteed!
Have you taken your dog on a camping trip with you? What do you do when you go camping? Share your inputs in the comments below.