So you’re planning to take your dog on its first camping trip, and you’re already anticipating the momentous event. Indeed, the first time camping with a dog in tow is a very exciting and unique experience for both dogs and their owners. There’s so much to look forward to – spending quality time with your dog, exploring new terrain, and just escaping from the daily grind.
However, in order to make sure your trip goes smoothly, you need to make adequate preparations before you leave. One of the most important parts of your preparation is making sure you have all the necessary items for your dog.
Obviously, you don’t want to spend too much money buying every so-called essential item for your dog. That’s why we’ve made it easy by narrowing down 5 truly essential items you’ll need to buy before taking your dog on its first camping trip.
1. Pet First Aid Kit
A pet first aid kit is without a doubt one of the most important things you should buy and put together before your camping trip. While of course, you don’t want to think about your dog being hurt or injured when you’re away on your first camping trip, it certainly pays to be prepared just in case.
If you don’t know what to buy for your dog’s first aid kit, there are many guides online which run through what exactly you should include. Just make sure that along with typical first aid items, you also pack camping-specific first aid items such as:
- Tick tweezers to remove ticks
- Foot Balm for when your dog’s paws hurt from harsh weather
- Dog-friendly antiseptic/rubbing alcohol to clean wounds
- Ear and Eye Drops for when your dog’s eyes or ears get irritated
- A variety of bandages to respond to multiple types of injury
2. Leash & Tethering Stake
A strong leash like our Sierra Leash will make all the difference when you’re camping with your dog. Although you may think that buying another leash is unnecessary as the one you already own has stood the test of time, the particular conditions of camping make owning an extra strong leash critical.
After all, do you really want your leash to prove less than reliable when you’re guiding your dog through unfamiliar and perhaps unsafe territory? It’s simply not worth the stress of trying to find your dog after your leash breaks. And as you don’t want to be constantly holding your dog’s leash, you might also want to consider buying a tethering stake for your trip, as this will allow you to keep a watchful eye on your dog, hands-free.
3. GPS Collar
While we’re on the topic of keeping your dog safe, there’s one handy piece of technology that dog owners should look into buying in preparation for a camping trip – a GPS collar. Erin Raub of Pet Life Today says that “investing in a GPS collar is a useful way of reducing the anxiety which comes with losing your dog when it runs away.”
As you can imagine, that feeling would only be heightened when you’re out camping, so a GPS collar would allow you to easily track down your dog in almost an instant. If you’re not sure what to look for, be sure to check out Raub’s article, which features a roundup of the best GPS collars on the market.
4. Dog Bed
You have your tent and pillows to ensure a comfortable night under the stars for yourself, but have you organized your dog’s sleeping arrangements? A dog bed is a must-buy item when camping with your dog.
Your dog’s current bed may be fine to bring along, but if you’re looking to upgrade to ensure your dog has an extra comfortable sleep, there are a number of different considerations you should make. For example, Meg Marrs suggests to ask yourself the following questions before you commit to a purchase:
- Can it be cleaned?
- How long will it last?
- Can it be packed easily?
- What does your dog want?
5. Waste Bags
When you’re busy thinking of all the big items you need for your dog, it’s easy to forget the basics. A waste bag, or “poo bag,” for your dog is one of those basic items you shouldn’t forget to buy in advance. Just like you’d pick up your dog’s poop when you’re out and about back at home, you should apply the same rules when in your campgrounds.
When you think about it, surely you also wouldn’t want to step in another dog’s poop when you’re trying to relax in the wildness, would you? Leaving dog poop around will make for an unclean and uncomfortable campsite for all. So make sure to be a courteous camper and pre-buy waste bags, so you’re ready and prepared to respond when the inevitable happens.