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Thinking of going camping with your dog? Any pup would certainly jump at the chance to experience the great outdoors with their pet parent and they are likely to adorably stick their head outside the car window while driving along. Camping with dogs is always a great experience for both pups and pet parents.
Camping with dogs, regardless of how big or small takes only a bit of extra prep and a few additional supplies. They hardly take up any room and once the camping checklist is finalized, your dog will be one happy camper. Heading out into the wilderness offers an extraordinary list of experiences. You can hike with your pooch, stargaze and listen to the beautiful sounds you can only find in nature. For the most part, dogs love exploring new places and they also love to relax with their pet parents.
To ensure you have that once-in-a-lifetime experience with your furry friend, you need to plan ahead. There are essentials which you should never forget, such as food bowls, toys and poop bags for a fun outing. Here are the best tips for camping with your pooch, as well as a checklist for the necessary items.
Find a campsite that is best for you and your dogs
As a pet parent, you should be aware that not all campsites are dog-friendly. Check parks and campsites online to see if they allow dogs to visit. In addition to calling the campground, you need to check the rules of local trails too. Once you know where you are going, you can go about packing the necessary supplies which you and your pooch will need.
Find a comfy spot
Downtime at the campsite means time for recharging, reading a book, enjoying nature or just taking a nap, especially after a long day of hiking and other activities. This is when dog sleeping bags or outdoor dog beds come in handy.
Keep your dog leashed
Although it is not nice to have your dog leashed, there are a few obvious reasons why you need to do so. Having a dog that is off his leash can make other hikers uncomfortable, can make your pooch an easy target for wildlife, and they can easily get lost if they wander off by themselves.
Pack all your dog’s belongings in a doggie suitcase
Packing all your dog’s belongings in his very own suitcase will make it easy for you to find things whenever you need them.
The Dog Camping Checklist!
Dog ID Tags
Your pooch must wear his ID tag at all times. Tags should have your dog’s name, as well as your contact information so you can be easily reached in case they get lost when camping.
Harness or collar
Your dog’s collar or harness should fit comfortably and securely. Dogs tend to wear the same collar for months on end and this can result in the collar getting loose. When you are at home there is no problem with your dog wearing a loose collar. However, it can be a problem when you are camping because new sounds or sites can easily frighten them and they may duck their head, slip out of the collar, and end up wandering and getting lost.
You might not need a leash in your home but when you go camping you need to take one and use it anyway. Dogs can easily get frightened in unfamiliar areas and your pooch may end up running up to people who dislike dogs.
A long lead will allow you to relax at the campsite and give your dog enough space to explore his surroundings. An alternative to the long lead is a portable fenced pen to keep your dog contained in a specific place without restricting him too much.
Food and water bowls
Bring enough food and water bowls so you can feed your dog properly in the campsite. Hydration is very important when outdoors and under the sun. Collapsible bowls are very convenient to use because they are easy to transport and they do not take up a lot of space.
It is never a good idea to change your dog’s diet while you are on a trip. Any change to his eating habits may bother his stomach and this can potentially ruin a very good trip. Make sure you bring your pup’s normal food, as well as his treats.
Pack up plenty of water for you and your dog to stay hydrated. Do not let your pooch drink standing water or saltwater because they can end up getting sick.
Stake for ground
Bring a stake to put in the ground at your campsite. Attach a long lead so your dog can roam around a designated area and allow you to still relax at the same time.
Bring poop bags and bring enough for your dog’s piles and other people’s forgotten piles. Pick up dog poop whenever you see it and remember to dispose of it properly. This will keep campsites friendly to dogs and their pet parents. No one likes stepping on a pile of poo and ruining their shoes.
Towels come in very handy during camping trips because it helps keep your pooch clean. When outdoors, it is highly likely for your dog to get wet and dirty so you will need something to wipe him clean with. No pet parent has ever said that they weren’t happy they brought towels.
First aid kit
Always pack a first aid when you go camping and while camping it is a must to remember that there are certain items which are specifically for dogs and not for humans. You need things that will help you handle simple injuries that may happen and you want something that will help you manage injuries before you can make it to the vet. There are pre-made canine first aid kits available today but you can also make your own. Here are a few things which your first aid kit must contain:
- Styptic powder
- Vet wrap
- Cotton swabs
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Heat and cold packs
- Oral syringe
- Antibiotic ointment
- Medical tape
- Non-stick pads
Dog tents not only look cute, but they are also practical. When it’s hot in the middle of the day, your pooch can use the dog tent as a shady retreat to protect him from the sun. When the temperature starts to drop in the evening, it can also be a warm place for him to nap in while you sit around the fire. Dog tents keep the chill out and block the wind too.
A reflective collar on your dog will make it easier for you to spot him even when it is dark outside. You can also buy standard glow sticks which you can manually activate by manually bending them.
Bring your dog’s bed to give him a safe, warm and quiet space where he can doze off. You can also use the bed in the car when driving and during the day in his designated space. It is also a good idea to bring a plastic tarp to put under your dog’s bed, otherwise the ground’s cold and moisture can chill your dog and nobody certainly likes sleeping in a wet and cold environment, even your dog.
Your dog is bound to have so much fun outdoors and he is likely to get dirty. He will end up collecting a bunch of things on his fur and coat so bring a brush to easily comb out all the pine needles, leaves, dirt and other things.
Booties will help protect your dog’s paws from the hot or cold ground, depending on the season. Today, there is a wide variety of booties available in different styles and colors.
Don’t forget to bring your dog’s favorite toys with you. Toys will help ease his anxiety and help him feel more comfortable in the great outdoors.
Camping is one of the best times for dogs to get out of the city life as well. Imagine if you had a nose as attuned as a canine, just the new smells alone are worth the trip! So we say, enjoy it. This list is more so for the extra prepared dog mom. But, the real essentials are just maintaining your dogs health and your mental health. Enjoy your adventure, and if you have any pictures to share we would love to see them 🙂