Anyone who needs to escape the city and take a break from the daily grind might want to give camping a try. It is one way you can spark the spirit of adventure and experience nature at its finest without distractions. And who better to take with you than man’s best friend because unlike humans, your dog’s schedule is as free as yours could ever be. Plus, this way you can get all the bonding, fresh air, and exercise with your dog. Don’t you worry if this is your first time, we’ve got you covered so all you need to do is take note of these quick tips on how to camp with a dog.
Check campsite regulations
Not all parks or campgrounds allow dogs since they run the risk of disturbing wildlife or other campers. It is always smart to check the rules and regulations before heading out. A good basis is that campgrounds that are more developed or permit cars would most likely be welcoming towards furry friends. That said, your chances are quite slim if you’re looking into an exploratory hike or trek wherein it will be harder for dogs to stay away from poisonous plants.
Never leave your dog out of sight
Once you’ve decided to bring your dog, there is no turning back. It is pretty standard for campsites to require that your dog be kept on a leash that is no longer than 6-feet away from you for everyone’s peace of mind. This way, your neighbors won’t give you a dirty look when your dog rambles over to their site and so that you won’t be chasing after them when a squirrel comes in to play or when something else has piqued their curiosity.
Leave nothing but footprints
As the saying goes, “take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.” Part of being a responsible pet parent is picking up after your dog and the same rule applies when you’re in the great outdoors. You should always have poop bags ready and never resort to leaving it out on the trail as it cultivates the growth of weeds and parasites or bacteria from it can contaminate bodies of water. And since the terrains are generally left unbeaten, you might want to protect your pup’s paws by purchasing a snazzy pair of dog booties.
Consider co-sleeping arrangements
The safest and most secure place your dog could be at is beside you. The last thing anyone wants is to wake up with a dog that’s been sprayed by a skunk or next to a coyote. So do consider getting a big enough tent to fit both of you, preferably one with two entrances for ample ventilation. As for sleeping bags, they don’t just make them for humans now. Nowadays, you can snag a separate pet bed or sleeping bag so that everyone’s warm and comfy through the night.
Keep food under wraps
You may have trained your dog to eat only at certain times or when they’re given treats but then other wildlife might just see it as “finder’s keepers.” It is best to store food in resealable or reusable containers that have lids to safeguard your rations.
Packing the bare essentials for your dog
When it comes to camping, it helps to be an efficient traveler with the bare essentials in check. Remember that the key to every successful travel is in the preparation. So here’s a shortlist of what you can’t live without besides what we have already mentioned above.
- Bring plenty of water. It is important that you and your furry friend stay hydrated at all costs. You might want to have a collapsible travel dog bowl in hand. Plus, you’ll also need some for cooking and cleaning because nobody wants to risk drinking contaminated water that can make you feel ill later on.
- Pack your dog’s comb. Just in case your dog gets a bit too playful in the mud, water, or gets close too something pricky or spiny, a brush or comb is all you’ll need to keep their fur tangle-free.
- Don’t forget your dog’s favorite toy. You can think of your dog’s favorite toy as their security blanket. This will help ease their anxieties and allow them to adjust to their new surroundings.
- Have a pet first aid kit ready. The good news is you don’t have to be a vet to know this. You’ll basically need an antiseptic, bandage, vet wrap, wax paw protector, tweezers, a tick removal tool, and chopsticks or popsicle sticks that can be used as a splint for the worst-case scenario.
- Bring along their utensils. Nowadays, you can opt to get collapsible and lightweight water bowls that are ideal for camping and hiking.
- Have a print-out of their vaccine records in hand. Some parks may require that you have proof of your dog’s vaccines to assure that they do not compromise anyone’s safety in the vicinity.
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