What to know when going camping with your dog
A lot of pet parents enjoy taking their dogs outdoors because it provides them with a lot of space to play. Outdoor environments also not only allow dog owners to share their love for nature with their canine companions, but also strengthen their bond with each other. This is why hiking and camping remain popular activities among many pet owners.
If you’re planning a camping trip with your four-legged friend, take note that it requires some additional preparation as their needs are different from yours. You must also ensure they’re safe and comfortable at all times, especially since camping exposes your pup to natural hazards such as wild animals, sharp rocks, and more. If you don’t take any precautions, your dog could get hurt or end up in a dangerous situation.
To ensure that these things don’t happen to your fur baby, here’s some essential knowledge to take with you before heading to the nearest pet-friendly campsite:
It’s best to bring portable versions of your pet’s usual items
Most pet products designed for the home can be quite bulky. As a result, they’re quite impractical to bring along on a camping trip, especially if you’ll also be packing other big items such as your own sleeping bag and tent. The good news is that you can find portable versions of some of the most commonly used pet products these days.
For example, instead of bringing your dog’s food and water bowls, you can pack a foldable travel food bowl and a collapsible travel water cup. You can even pack a dog teepee that’s easy to assemble and disassemble so that your pup has their own little camping tent! And if you need to organize your pup’s items but don’t have the room to bring plastic bins with you, you can opt for cloth baskets that can be folded and put away whenever they aren’t being used.
You’ll want to gear up for specific weather conditions
Before heading to the campsite, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast. Based on what the weather is expected to be like during your trip, make sure to pack the appropriate dog accessories like bandanas, coats, and hats, among others.
If you’re expecting a cool and breezy night, get your dog a jacket or doggie sweater to keep them warm. If you’re camping during the summertime, bring a doggie bandana with you. You can turn this seemingly simple accessory into a DIY cooling accessory by soaking it in cold water and having your pup wear it. Also, make sure to prepare your dog for the terrain they’ll be walking on. Pack dog boots that can protect your pup’s paws from hot pavements as well as rough and rocky trails.
You’ll need to keep your dog on a leash
Many national parks require pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash, with some places even having certain leash length requirements. To make sure you abide by park rules and won’t be asked to leave, get a sturdy leash that meets the minimum length requirements.
You’ll need to pick up after your pet
Just as you’d pick up after your pet if you bring them to public places like a mall or a park, you’ll also be expected to do the same when you go camping with your fur baby. So, pack plenty of waste bags so that you always have something clean to use when picking up after your dog. They’ll also come in handy for storing your trash until you can find a proper waste disposal area.
You’ll need to pack a sufficient supply of dog food and water
When you take your dog camping, remember to pack an ample supply of dog food and water based on how long your trip will be. This way, you can keep your dog nourished and hydrated the entire time you’re out.
It’s also best to bring dry pet food because it’s quick to prepare. You don’t need to mix anything in advance, and you only need to pour the food into your dog’s pet bowl once it’s time for them to eat. For mess-free storage, you can use airtight resealable plastic bags.
It’s also a good idea to pack extra food when you’re out camping. In case you need to stay somewhere for an extra day or two due to unpredictable events like your car breaking down or being caught in a storm, your pup will at least have something to eat.
An adventurous pet parent will enjoy camping with their pup and bonding in the great outdoors. But to ensure a safe and happy trip, take note of the pointers above. They will keep your dog comfortable, help you stay considerate to other campers, and allow everyone on the campground to have a wholesome good time.