Useful Tips For Camping With Your Dog

The reasons for taking your dog with you on your next camping trip far outweigh making the decision to leave your furry friend behind. Yes, they may restrict a few of your plans, but the constant entertainment and enjoyment that you will be getting from your canine companion will only multiply when you take them on your next camping adventure. Here are a few handy tips to ensure you are well-prepared to take your dog with you on your next camping trip.

1. Prepare: Know Your Dog's Personality For Camping

Before you head out into the wilderness, you need to make sure your pooch is camp ready. If your dog is one of those lounge hounds, then a family-friendly, relaxed campground is probably a better choice. If you have a daring and athletic hound that loves the outdoors, you may be able to take that backpacking trip that you have been longing for. Make sure you make a realistic assumption about your pet's personality, and then plan the trip from there.

2. Choose The Campsites That Permit Dogs

Not every campsite welcomes or allows pets. Make sure that you only look at the ones where they have stated that dogs are welcome. There may also be certain restrictions and extra costs that will apply. So make sure you conduct your research well before you arrive at a campsite to know what you can expect.

3. Apply A Tick And Flea Preventative To Your Dog

The woods and forests are the prime spots to pick up parasites that are not only unpleasant for dogs but can also be passed onto you. Make sure you use a flea and tick treatment before you arrive at the campsite.

4. Adhere To Campsite Rules

Rules To Follow When You Are Camping With Your Dog

Here is a list of some of the standard rules that you should expect when visiting or staying at one of the pet-friendly camping grounds:

  • Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and leash all the time
  • Pick up your dog's poop
  • Never leave your pet unattended
  • Do not allow your dog to bark incessantly or uncontrollably
  • Make sure your dog stays away from children's areas

Unwritten Rules

For many dog owners, there are several "unwritten rules" that most of us adhere to. But to ensure that everyone knows what these rules are, here is a guideline that you should be using when you go camping with your dog:

  • Bag all the poops and take them with you
  • Do not allow your dog to wander around to other campsites. Some people are not as welcoming as you may think
  • Avoid constantly shouting at your dog, if he is continuously misbehaving or disobedient, then a camping trip might not have been the best idea
  • Do not allow your dog to bark continuously. When possible try to distract him/her with a game or take them for a long walk
  • Keep your dog close to you at all times and preferably wearing a collar and a leash

5. Make Sure You Are Prepared For An Emergency

Before leaving for a camping trip, laminate a card with your pet's vaccination record, identifying information, your contact information, and the health history of the dog. Your dog's tags and microchip information must be up-to-date.

Dogs are just as unpredictable as nature, so make sure you are prepared. The Forest Service in the U.S. suggests that you carry first-aid items that are specific to dogs. Many of these are probably in your usual first-aid kit. Here are a few items to stock up on for your camping trip:

  • A bandana (to make a makeshift muzzle)
  • Flat-bladed tweezers
  • Small container with mineral oil to remove ticks
  • A space blanket or emergency fold-up blanket to treat cold or shock
  • Needle-nose pliers to extract thorns or porcupine quills
  • Toddler socks or booties to protect an injured paw
  • A first-aid instruction manual on how to treat pets
  • The directions, phone number, and name of an emergency clinic for pets or a local veterinarian

6. Pack Light But Make Sure You Are Geared Up

Taking your dog on your next camping adventure might mean that you need to be prepared for the unexpected, but it is essential to avoid overpacking. Here is a packing list for your dog to help you prepare wisely:

Water bottle dedicated to your dog and lightweight or collapsible water and food bowl.

Depending on where you have decided to take your camping trip, reliable and clean water might not be readily available. For this reason, it is always a good idea to take a water filter that will keep a pet and human water safe.

Dog Backpack For Your Day Hikes

A doggy backpack is one of the best investments if you plan to go hiking with a dog, but even when your version of "hiking" is to hang around your campsite for most of the day, these packs are still handy tools for any camping adventure. A backpack for a dog helps to ensure they remain visible and busy at your campsite, and it's an easily-accessible and convenient storage space for treats and poop bags.

Dog Sleeping Pad

Make sure your pet is cozy and warm at night with a padded-sleeping surface. You may allow your dog to sleep inside your sleeping bag or even give your dog an inflatable sleeping mat, but for the ultimate comfort when camping with your dog, you may want to invest in one of the doggy sleeping bags.

Collar Light

Camping is one of the best ways to get in touch with nature, but it can also get extremely dark at night. Collar lights are among the more affordable ways to make sure your dog remains visible even when the camping site is at its darkest.

7. Activities You Can Do When Camping With Your Dog

Your dog should be easy to keep entertained, and with a few treats added into the mix, they will have the best time ever. Before you take your dog on one of the camping trails, make sure there are no restrictions when it comes to dogs.

Hiking With A Dog

Make sure that you take into account the distance of the trail to ensure your dog will be able to keep up with you comfortably. Keeping your dog on a collar and leash is a requirement in most areas. It may be a good idea to invest in a harness rather than a collar.

Canoeing With A Dog

For most dogs that love water, canoeing is one of the best activities to consider.

Trail Running With A Dog

One of the best parts about running trails rather than walking them involves covering a lot more ground in a shorter period of time. So for those pet owners with high-energy dogs, a trail run is one of the best ways to use up their energy.

Cycling With A Dog

If you have faith in your dog that they will not be distracted by a bouncing rabbit or other small critters that may cross your path, then cycling with your dog may be the ideal activity for both of you.

8. Practice Campsite Etiquette

When you arrive at any campsite, you must always be mindful and courteous when it comes to other campers. Make sure you use that recall command that is rock-solid or a leash to make sure your pet stays out of other people's campsites. It is also essential that you correctly dispose of and collect all of your pet's waste.

For maximum enjoyment and safety when you go camping, your dog needs to be as close to you as possible all the time. You should never even think about leaving your dog unsupervised in your vehicle, on one of the trails, or at the campsite. Keep in mind that when you are out in the wilderness, the weather is unpredictable, wildlife may unexpectedly appear, and many other types of unforeseen situations might arise.

In some instances, you might need to confine the dog for convenience or safety reasons. For example, when you are cooking food over the fire, you will want to protect your food and your dog from getting burnt. If your pet is "crate trained" a lightweight, portable, fabric-walled crate is a highly valuable addition when it comes to your camping kit.

9. Make Sure You Have Fun

Taking a camping adventure with your favorite four-legged friend is one of the best ways to bond with and enjoy the company of your pet. Not many things compare to snuggling up close with your pet inside a cozy and warm tent, with the aroma of a campfire and burning logs still lingering. With a bit more preparation and a few added precautions, your next camping trip could be much more enjoyable when you decide to take your dog along for the ride.