Getting away from it all on a weekend camping trip is great for your mind, body, and soul. It is the perfect way to relax and relieve all of that stress you’ve been storing up. But getting away from it all doesn’t have to mean getting away from your canine companion. Keep reading to learn some simple tips for enjoying a camping trip with your dog.
Things to Think About Before You Go
As much as you love your furry friend, not everyone is going to feel the same way. Before you hit the highway, do your research to find a dog-friendly campground. You should also familiarize yourself with any rules pertaining to dogs and dog owners so you don’t accidentally break one. For your dog’s safety, you should also talk to your vet to make sure everything is good to go.
You’ll want to ensure that your dog is healthy enough for travel and for some good old-fashioned outdoor time – he also needs to be up to date on vaccinations (especially rabies). If you don’t already, treat your dog with a topical flea and tick preventive as well so he doesn’t risk Lyme disease and make sure he is treated for heartworm as well, just in case he gets bitten by a mosquito.
Tips for Camping with Your Dog
Once your vet has cleared your dog for camping and you’ve updated him on his vaccinations and preventives, next comes the task of packing for your trip. You’ll want to make sure that your dog wears his collar and ID at all times and be sure to bring a leash if the campground requires it. Pack a portable food and water bowl for furry friend as well as any bedding and toys he’ll need during the trip.
You can’t necessarily count on there being safe water for your pup to drink, so throw a few gallons of water into your trunk and be sure to bring plenty of your dog’s food. If you’re going to be crossing state lines, bring copies of your dog’s health and vaccination records as well as an updated picture, in case he gets lost.
When you arrive at the campground, put your dog on the leash and take a look around – your dog will feel more comfortable if he gets to check things out. If you will be camping in close proximity to other people, let them know that you have a dog and make sure they are okay with it.
Always keep your dog close during your camping trip and, if you have to leave him at the campsite, make sure he is secure in a crate or carrier, not locked in the car or left tied to a tree. Check your dog frequently for ticks as well as for burrs and thorns – it doesn’t hurt to brush your dog every night just to be safe. And when night falls, snuggle up next to your pup and don’t hog the blankets!
Though it may take a little extra planning, camping with your dog can be enjoyable for the both of you. Just make sure that you pack smart to bring all of the things your canine camping companion is going to need before you hit the road!