How to Safely Take Your Dog With You When You Go Camping

List: Posted: 10/03/11

People all around the world consider their dogs as members of their family, and this is why so many take them along on all kinds of family vacations and trips.  One of the most popular ways that people include the dog in a family outing is to take it camping.  Naturally, it would seem that a dog would be easy to bring on any kind of camping trip, but there are a few things to know about before packing up your best friend and taking them out into the great outdoors. 

 

In this article, we’ll take a look at some great tips for a fun, safe, and successful family camping trip - with the dog too!


Camping With a Dog

 

No matter whereabouts in the world you choose for your camping vacation or trip, there will always be rules where your dog is concerned, and the primary thing to remember is that almost every urban area these days has leash laws.  This means that you are expected to keep the dog on a leash or harness – even if on a hiking trail or out in the forest.

 

This is a rule put in place to keep the dog safe, but it also ensures that people and wildlife are safe too.  Consider that even a sweet-tempered pet can become aggressive and frightened when in new surroundings, and a campsite or nature trail may actually overwhelm the dog and lead to unanticipated behavior.  A leash ensures that the dog stays under your full control no matter what happens.

 

This brings us to the second tip, which is to try to prepare the pet for the adventure.  Your dog may never have been outdoors in the wilderness before this trip.  That can be a positive factor if the dog is not nervous, but the outdoors can also be a bit overpowering if he or she is an 'indoors-only' dog.  Try to do some preliminary excursions with the animal before going on the full-blown camping trip in order to be sure that he or she will have fun rather than being scared of everything.

 

How to keep Your Dog Safe

 

The third issue of concern is the dog’s health.  Be certain that all mandatory immunizations and shots have been done, and consider using a flea or tick medication to prevent the dog from bringing home any kind of infestation. 

 

Also be sure that the collar and ID chip has your up-to-date identification information – including your home address and cell number.  If your pooch escapes out on a trail 100 miles from home and someone catches him, his ID will be practically useless if the person is calling your old (out of service) cellphone number.  They may only call once before turning your dog over to the local pound.


Supplies You'll Need

 

The fourth tip is to think hard about the extra supplies you’ll need.  While you may put a lot of effort into packing the right foods and bedding for the rest of the family, you should also think about the needs of the dog as well.  Make a stop off at your pet shop before you leave and stock up.  What kind of food, dishes, bedding, and other items will the dog need to have an enjoyable and healthy trip?  Don't forget the poop bags!

 

Finally, when thinking about your dog’s camping adventure, also think about the experiences of the other people and pets in the camping area.  Don’t just allow your dog to roam the site as they can get into fights, cause trouble and leave messes.  Also, be very vigilant about your dog’s bathroom habits.  No one enjoys unexpected “surprises” in their camping areas, particularly where there are small children present, so be sure to clean up after your pooch.

 

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