We all know how much dogs love the great outdoors. They get to run around and explore, and there’s nothing they love more than a good hike. So whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-timer, taking your dog camping can be a great experience. However, if not well-managed, your pooch can get injured or, in worst-case scenarios, get lost.
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So if you want to go camping with your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind before heading out. Aside from ensuring your pet’s safety, you have to guarantee that it won’t disturb other campers by barking excessively or destroying their properties. So, here are some do’s and don’ts of taking your dog camping.
The Dos of Taking Your Dog Camping
1. Make Sure Your Dog Is up to Date on All Vaccinations.
This is important for both their health and the health of other campers. You don’t know what your dog may contract on the camping grounds; therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t forget to bring a copy of your dog’s vaccination history since it is mandatory when camping with your dog. Some jurisdictions will require vaccination records for you to be allowed to move around with your dog.
Your dog’s medical record can come in handy if it gets injured or if a venomous snake bites it. Take information from resources like Reptiles Life, so you’ll be able to identify and differentiate between venomous and non-venomous snakes. This will help you keep your dog safe while camping.
2. Pack Plenty of Food and Water for Your Dog as Well as a Bowl and a Leash
The last thing you would want is running out of dog food or clean water while out in the woods with your family and having to drive to the nearest town to restock. This may end up costing you more cash, and you may not get the right dog food for your family pet. Therefore, before leaving your house, you should ensure that you have the right amount of food and water for the days that you will be camping.
All camping sites have a source of water, but it’s not a good idea to let your dog drink just any water, let alone swim in the local river. There are chances that it could get infected with giardia or some other infections like leptospirosis, which can spread through water that wild animals have contaminated. Therefore, make sure you carry more than enough bottled water for your entire family and your dog.
Don’t forget to carry one or two leashes to help restrain your dog in the camping grounds or while hiking. The leash can help you keep your dog safe and prevent it from running after some small rodents or damaging other campers’ things.
3. Make Sure Your Dog Is Properly Tagged
If you are sharing the camping site with other campers and their pets, it’s always a good idea to ensure that your pet is properly tagged. Fit your pet with a proper ID collar and ensure it’s always leashed. If your dog runs away, then the ID tag can come in handy.
Dogs can’t find their way back to you in a new place, so you should ensure that it’s microchipped and register it when you arrive at the camping site to make it easy for others to identify it when found.
4. Bring Along a Crate or Kennel If Your Dog Isn’t Comfortable Spending Time in a Tent.
Some dogs are not comfortable sleeping in the tent the entire day, so you should also carry its crate on top of comfortable bedding. It’s not a good idea to leave your dog inside a hot tent the whole day; thus, carrying its crate will guarantee its safety, even when you’re away from camp.
The Don’ts of Taking Your Dog Camping
1. Don’t Leave Your Dog Unsupervised Around Other People or Animals.
As mentioned earlier, dogs can be unpredictable, and they could attack anyone or start chasing rodents all over the camping sites. Therefore, you should never leave them unsupervised for a long time. After all, you’re liable if your dog harms other pets or campers, and no one wants to spend more cash simply because their dogs attacked other people.
2. Don’t Let Your Dog Run Off-Leash
Unless you’re in an area that’s designated for dogs to be off-leash, you should not let your dog run off without its leash. Remember, you’re in the wilderness, and the last thing you want is for your dog to get lost or hurt.
3. Don’t Feed Your Dog Table Scraps or Food That Isn’t Meant for Them
Even if you run out of dog food, you should never entertain the idea of feeding your dog table scraps. Your dog has specialized dog food, which means that it may be allergic to some products. And giving it table scraps can upset their stomach and cause them to become sick.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Vetstreet, over 51% of vet professionals and 41% of their readers don’t feed their dogs from the table. Feeding them table scraps could result in your pet ingesting toxins that may end up making them sick.
4. Don’t Forget to Pack All of Your Dog’s Belongings When You Leave for Camp
Dogs love exploring new places, but they need their own space to feel comfortable too. So make sure you pack all your belongings for the trip. Plus, it is already used to its current beddings, and buying a new one for the trip may make the trip uncomfortable for your dog.
Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro when it comes to camping with your pup, make sure to keep the do’s and don’ts mentioned above. These will help ensure that everyone has an enjoyable trip! The most important thing to remember is that you do bring plenty of food and water for your dog—and yourself! Don’t forget poop bags, or be prepared to bury dog poop properly. And finally, do have lots of fun! Camping is a great way to get out in nature and spend some quality time with your loved ones.