Camping is one of our favorite pastimes. We often travel with our dogs, and they enjoy the outdoors just as much as we do. Camping is a great way to travel with your pets and we recently had the opportunity to do just that. We’ve put together a list of helpful travel tips for camping with your dogs.
Many people are afraid to take their dogs on vacation with them, because they’re not sure what to pack, or how to make sure they will be comfortable while traveling. Dog friendly camping isn’t difficult at all. In fact, it’s pretty easy once you follow a few simple travel tips.
What to Pack for Dog-Friendly Camping
When planning on taking your dog camping, it’s important to pack a separate doggy bag just for them. Much like when you road trip with dogs, it’s wise to pack a few key items to keep them comfortable. We always make sure to bring treats, a blanket from home, a plush toy, a chew toy, and insect repellant for dogs. Don’t use Off or similar human products, as they aren’t designed to be consumed and your dog may try to lick the spray. In a sperate bag we pack their food and all the bowls needed for mealtime.
Getting Them Comfortable With Their Surroundings
Once you arrive at the campground, take a few moments to familiarize yourself and your dog with the area. Don’t just unleash your dog and let them run around. You’ll want to walk a full circle around the area and let them sniff around. That way you can make sure they know what their boundaries are before letting them off the leash. This will also prevent your dog from running off, and give you an opportunity to make sure the area is safe.
Keep Your Dog Safe
Speaking of safety, it is very important that you make sure your dog is safe during your whole camping experience. Make sure to check your campsite for things like ant piles and burrows for small animals. You also want to pay close attention to loose brush piles, to make sure there aren’t any snakes near by. Be very careful when starting your campfire as well. Don’t let your dog get too close to the fire or he may burn his whiskers.
Give Your Dog a Space of His Own
Much like preparing your hotel room for dogs, you need to prepare a space for your pet at the campground. I don’t recommend leaving them outside the tent at night, since there may be large animals that can hurt them, or a small animal they may want to chase. Take the blanket from your doggie bag and make a spot inside your tent for your pet. Leave them in there for a bit so they identify the space as their own. Then they can retreat to that space during the day if they are feeling stressed.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
It is important to pay attention to how much water your dog is drinking while camping and hiking. To make sure they are properly hydrated we take the time to set up a water bowl near the tent. Additionally, we take a canine water bottle with us on hikes and give them water when they start panting too heavily.
It’s also ok to allow your dogs to drink fresh water from a spring or river, just make sure the water is healthy and ok to drink. If the water is fast moving it’s usually clear, but be careful with stagnant canals and puddles.
Hopefully these dog friendly camping tips will make your next outdoor excursion a success.
Lauren Bassart, is a full-time traveler and writer. She travels the world with her husband and their two dogs Zoe and Punkin. You can find more travel articles and dog friendly travel tips on their blog theconstantrambler. You can also connect with her on facebook and twitter.