Your dog can be your perfect running companion, softest nap partner and a worthy tug-of-war opponent. Well, free to add another activity to the list of things you can do with your pup: camping! If you and your dog are adventurous, you can be sure you’ll have a wonderful time exploring the outdoors and enjoying the gifts of nature. But, before you leash your dog and hit the road, there are a few things to handle.
Have a test run
If this is your first camping experience with your dog, make sure to have a trial run in your background. Take out your tent, set it up and see how your pup reacts to it. You can also turn on your camping stove or light a fire, just to give your dog as many new experiences as you can in a safe and familiar environment. Spend this mock camping night outside with your dog and you’ll know exactly how your dog will react once you get to your destination.
Pack emergency items
Safety always needs to come first, so make sure to grab a good first aid kit that contains items suitable for both human and animal use. Make sure to your kit has all human necessities, but is also equipped with bandages that don’t stick to fur, tick removing tools and other pet-specific items. Also, make sure to brush up on your dog’s training. Your dog needs to know certain commands like Come, Leave, Stop, Sit and such. These commands can truly be lifesaving, especially in such a new and unfamiliar environment full of distractions and dangers.
Protect your dog from extreme weather
Depending on the time of the year and the breed of your dog, you need to be careful when it comes to temperature changes. Larger and furrier doggies can easily overheat, so make sure to pack plenty of things that will keep them cool. There are practical cooling vests that work great during those nature exploration outings. Also, make sure to create plenty of shade for downtime. Luckily, practical caravan privacy screens are cost-effective, easy to install and great for providing shade, privacy and cooling air circulation. Both you and your dog will benefit from a nice sunscreen. On the other hand, smaller dogs need to be kept warm. Make sure to provide your dog with a warm place to sleep and even consider investing in some practical doggy clothing if the weather is really cold.
Get a good leash
Most camping grounds and hiking trails require that you keep your dog leashed for its own safety and the safety of other campers and wild animals. A long leash that can be attached to your waist or backpack is a great solution because it will keep your hands free as you navigate the campground or trail. Another great solution is one of those zip line setups that allow your dog to explore and patrol your campground yet keep it from wandering away. Also, make sure to update your dog’s tag and write your campground address and mobile phone.
Pack plenty of food and water
If you’re camping at a dedicated campground, you can expect good amenities, but if you’re roughing it in nature, you need to pack plenty of food and water for your canine companion. If you’re camping by a lake or a river, you might think it’s safe to let your pup drink from there, but you never know what sort of bacteria lurks in the water, so it’s best to rely on what you pack. Also, pack plenty of food for your dog is used to. This is not the time to experiment with new food—you don’t want to upset your dog’s tummy.
Bring doggy bags
You might think that you don’t have to pick up after your dog in nature, but you actually must. Even if you’re camping somewhere deep in the woods or high up the mountain, you still need to leave zero waste after yourself. Since your dog is not a wild animal, its dropping doesn’t belong in nature and you need to pick it up, so pack plenty of bags!
With some planning and preparation, your dog can be your perfect camping companion. Be sure your dog will love a change of scenery and all the interesting smells and sights of the great outdoors, so just relax and enjoy nature with your furry buddy. Camping with your dog can definitely bring you closer!