With the summer season quickly approaching, many of us are looking forward to getting started with our favourite summer activities, camping being one of the most popular. If you are thinking to yourself, ‘I want to go camping, but I could never leave my dog at home’, then you have come to the right place! In this article, we tackle the essentials to camping with your dog for summer 2022. From items to bring to behaviours to breed, everything you need for you and your dog to have the best camping trip yet can be found below!
What to Bring for Camping
Besides many of the more apparent items to bring whenever you bring your pet to various locations—such as food, treats, or poop bags—there are also a wide variety of items you should pack for camping specifically to ensure a happy and safe camping trip for your dog. Some great dog-specific essentials for camping are:
- A pet first aid kit
- Your dog’s vaccine records
- A current photo or your dog and a list of emergency contacts, in case they get lost
- A collapsible and portable food and water bowls
- A LED collar or a reflective vest or collar for ensuring your dog stays visible at night
- Dog boots or paw wax to protect your dog’s paws from rougher ground on walks and hikes
- A jacket for cooler temperatures and a dog raincoat for rainy days
- A sleeping bag for your dog
- A dog life jacket, if you intend to also partake in activities such as swimming, canoeing, or kayaking on your camping trip
- Tweezers for tick removal
- A folding multitool, useful for extracting thorns, porcupine quills, or anything else that may get stuck in your dog’s paws
What to Prepare Before Camping
Along with making sure your dog-specific packing list is checked twice, there are some other precautions you should take before camping with your dog.
The first thing you should do before camping is make sure that the campground or hiking trail you intend to take your pet to is pet friendly. Do your research on the policies of the area you plan to visit in order to understand the further efforts you would have to undergo in order to camp there. There may be specific rules on whether dogs have to remain on leash, areas they can and cannot be, or the campground may be not dog friendly altogether, in which case it is better to know now and change destinations accordingly.
Refreshing Camp-Friendly Training
Another major step in the preparation process before taking on a camping trip with your dog is teaching or refreshing camp-friendly training for your dog. Your dog will need a reliable recall command to answer to as well as strong walking skills that will help keep them safe and out of danger, and also out of the way of other campers you may run into. Although it is general good precaution to keep your dog on a leash while camping, there may be instances in which it is better to give them a break from the leash or where they accidentally break free. In those cases, having a strong recall command is essential.
What to Do While Camping
The first thing you should do when arriving at a campsite is establishing a perimeter and boundaries for your dog not to cross. Set a perimeter and walk your dog around it on a leash, to help them familiarize themselves with the area and establish their new ‘territory’. This makes your dog less likely to run away from the campsite if they manage to get off leash, and also helps them feel safer in the new area.
Monitor your dog
While engaging in the various camping activities you and your dog undertake on your trip, it is crucial to monitor your dog and make sure they stay fed and hydrated. Dogs are very quick to overheat, which can lead to heatstroke, an especially concerning factor when camping far away from the nearest veterinary clinic. Make sure you are well aware of how much water your dog needs each day and be sure to have more than that on hand. You can also take other precautions to ensure the best summer care for your dog by having the proper shelters or other cooling items, such as a cooling jacket, ready to go.
Respect other campers
Finally, it is also important to be courteous and aware of the other campers around you, some of which may not be the most dog friendly. Be sure to keep your dog close to you, especially in more crowded areas, and always clean after your dog. A great way to make sure your dog is not disturbing other campers by barking or making noise is to bring durable dog toys so they can stay entertained.
Equipped with these tools and tips, you will be able to tackle any possible challenge that may come your way as you and your dog embark on camping adventures. Just remember to have fun!
If you are looking for a nice summary of all the tips just discussed, feel free to refer to the infographic down below. Which tip was the most helpful for you? Let us know in the comments!