Camping with your dog is one of the best experiences to share with your furry friend. Not only do you get the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, but your dog will certainly have an amazing time running around in the open, taking in all the sights and smells of nature.
Dogs and camping works in virtually every scenario too! Solo campers get to benefit from some quality companionship on their trip, while families can benefit from having someone to play around with the kids.
Of course, it’s important to properly prepare when camping with dogs. From finding a suitable camping location to knowing what supplies to take, there’s a lot to consider when planning a camping trip with your dog.
Here’s some worth remembering when camping with your dog!
Bring the right supplies
There are a few essential items you will need when camping with your dog, including:
- Collar with contact info
- Food and water (providing the campsite doesn’t have a standpipe)
- Sleeping pad or blanket for inside the tent
- Plenty of poo bags
- Collapsible water bowl
- Blankets (expect them to get very messy)
Smaller dogs may benefit from taking a small crate for keeping them out of troubling at the campsite, while you should also have all their info updated if they’re microchipped. Consider brining a dog coat too if the weather is going to be cold. Even if it is just you and the dog on the trip go for a 3 man tent at the minimum or better still a good 4 man tent to allow room for the dog to move about.
What type of camping suits them most?
For first time dog-campers, it’s worth thinking about what type of camping best suits them. For instance, if your dog loves to explore and spend lots of time outside, then a wild camping trip may be a great choice. This may also be the best idea for dogs that aren’t great around other pets or people, or if they tend to be noisy or aggressive.
A good idea if your dog has never camped before is to trial it in your garden. Set up a tent, see how they react
Look for dog-friendly campsites
If you are planning on staying at a campsite then it’s a good idea to research dog-friendly options. That last thing you need is to arrive at a campsite only to see dogs aren’t permitted, so always take the time to find a dog-friendly site.
Should you plan on hiking a trail, find out how suitable it is for dogs, and whether it’s dog-friendly. Also check to see for specific rules at any site or trail, such as being allowed off leash.
Refresh your dog’s training
There are few commands that you really want your dog to obey when camping, so be sure to take the time to refresh their training. For instance, a recall command will likely be used throughout the camping trip, so it’s a good idea to go to wide open areas and practice this prior to your trip.
Always keep an eye on them
Most dog-owners will not need to be told this, but never leave your dog unattended when camping. Whether at a campsite or camping wild, you never know what your dog might encounter during your trip.
You don’t want your dog pestering other campers, while it’s important that you keep an eye on them around other dogs. Even if you have the friendliest and most approachable dog ever, other dogs may not react well to being approached.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to bring a tie out steak. This lets you secure your dog nearby while doing things like cooking, but it’s also handy for giving yourself a break from constantly monitoring them.
Don’t forget campsite etiquette
When visiting a campsite with your dog, it’s important to be considerate of other people and their pets. This is why you want to refresh their training and always keep an eye on your pooch, as the last thing you need is for them to be causing problems.
Make sure your dog isn’t constantly barking either. Nothing can be more inconsiderate for fellow campers than letting your dog incessantly bark in the morning or in the evening, so don’t allow it. If you think your dog cannot keep quiet on your command, then a campsite isn’t the best place for your trip.
Clean up after them
Another obvious one but one worth mentioning – never leave your dog’s waste lying around! This is especially true at campsites and on walking trails, as it’s very disrespectful to other holiday-goers that may end up stepping it.
That means bringing plenty of poop bags!
Maintain regular feeding habits
It’s easy to get carried away and spoil your dog when you’re on a camping trip with plenty of tasty foods and snacks, but you will probably regret doing so!
For one thing, you dog will likely make a fair few smells during the night, which is never a nice experience inside a tent! More importantly, their toilet routine will likely be affected, meaning you always need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t suddenly make a mess.
The odd scrap from your BBQ shouldn’t go amiss, just be careful not to overdo it!
Be ready for an emergency
To be on the safe side, it’s good to prepare for an emergency should your dog get hurt or go missing. Get copies of their vaccinations and medical history, along with contact information. If you don’t have one already, buying a collar with contact information is a great idea for camping.
Also, be sure to pack a first aid kit should they get injured. You may also want to apply some tick treatment to avoid having to remove them during your trip. Make sure you have researched the nearest veterinarian clinic from your camping location too! As with trip having a handheld gps with you can help you out if you are lost or need to give directions to your location to others.
Have a great time!
Camping with your dog is an incredible experience that every owner should enjoy. Nothing is quite as rewarding as seeing how happy and playful your dog is when out camping – they truly make you appreciate nature that but more!