Quick Tips for Camping With Your Dog

Quick Tips for Camping With Your Dog

The summer is peak camping time, and what could be better than taking your best canine friend along? Whether you and your dog camp all the time, or you've only just started thinking about it, we have tips to help you make the most of your camping time and most important, get your dog prepared. Read on for our top tips.

camping with a dog

What's Your Dog's Camping Personality?

For first timers, this is a key element to assess. Is your dog athletic? Or is he more of an indoor dog? In either case, it might be better to start out with a short, overnight trip at a campground, instead of alone in the wilderness. You can't change the dog's personality, so it's best to be honest about that. And if you're not sure how well your dog would do on a camping trip, try taking him on small hikes and picnics to find out. The last thing you want while camping away from home is an unhappy, tired or sick dog.

Teaching Commands

Dogs will be dogs! If your dog sees a squirrel or another animal out in the wilderness, his instinct will be to go chasing. For this and many other situations it is necessary that you teach your dog a few commands and ensure that he responds to them. One of the most important commands to teach is a reliable recall command, like 'come' or 'here', to keep him away from chasing dangerous creatures like snakes or going off on his own. Another is the 'leave it' command. Your dog should immediately drop whatever is in his mouth when you give this command. Other commands like 'stay', and 'down' are self explanatory and should be in every dog's repertoire. After all, your dog's safety is a priority.

Packing Gear

Seasoned dogs usually carry their own gear. Remember that you should never make your dog carry a pack weighing more than 25% of their body weight. Here's a packing list we use:

  •        A water bottle just for your dog, and light or collapsible food and water bowls.
  •        A sleeping bag and a blanket for cold nights. A child sized sleeping bag is ideal.
  •        A good harness and leash that are comfortable for your dog and will not chafe.
  •        A first aid kit.
  •        And finally, a backpack for the dog to carry his stuff in before you break ground for the night.

It is definitely not a good idea to have a first timer carry a lot of things. So start off with just a backpack and his water bottle, and gradually build up from there.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Before you plan a camping trip with your dog, it is important to get him checked out by the vet. Make sure that his vaccinations are up to date and his microchip is operational. Going out into nature can be fun, but also unpredictable, which is why we recommend carrying a first aid kit, just like you would for yourself. Here are some items that should be in a first aid kit:

  •        Booties to protect their paws
  •        Tweezers for tick removal
  •        Some sort of antiseptic or rubbing alcohol to clean and disinfect wounds
  •        Bandages
  •        Aspirin in case your dog is in pain

First aid kits specifically for dogs are easily available, and it will be worth your while to make sure you have one at hand while camping.

Camping with your dog

Now that you have all the gear ready and your dog is excited to go camping, the last important thing to keep in mind is campsite etiquette. Whether you're using designated camping grounds, or just pitching a tent somewhere in the woods, it good etiquette to be courteous to your fellow campers and other hikers. Keep your dog on a leash, or ensure that he knows to stay when you tell him to and come when he's out nosing around other people's camps. Of course, make sure that you pick up and dispose of your dog's waste. This is your responsibility!

Don't leave your dog unattended at any time, whether that is on the trail or at the campsite. Remember, that outdoors the weather can turn unpredictable, or wild animals can appear and it is always better to be prepared and safe.

Ok, enough with all the heavy stuff! We know that you love your dog and want him to have fun and be safe. Follow our tips and you and your doggie best friend will have a blast! Happy Camping!

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