Going on a camping trip with your pet sounds like a great idea, but before you bring your furry little friend along it is important to know how to make preparations and take precautions so the trip runs smoothly. In this article we will list essential tips on how to enjoy camping with your pets, and what you should expect when bringing them along.
So get ready to unplug the television and turn off your smartphone, a once in a lifetime pet bonding experience awaits. Be sure that you have all the outdoor gear necessary for your trip, like a solid roof rack – be sure to check out Rackfact.com for the latest in outdoor gear equipment.
Know the rules and regulations
Some campsites are animal friendly and some are not. Before you venture on your journey make sure your pet is actually allowed to be in the campsite. You don’t want to be disappointed upon arrival and turned away because your doggo isn’t allowed inside. Entry rules aside, also be sure to follow the regulations once you’re inside.
Some campsites require animals to wear a muzzle or to be kept on a leash. If you plan to go hiking or want to experience to true outdoors, try finding a national park. Parks are often more relaxed on rules and will allow your animal to roam free. The rules are meant to make sure your animal and everyone enjoys their stay, they aren’t meant to deter you from having a good time. Nobody wants their breakfast stolen by a hungry animal, or having anxiety that their children are in danger. Every pet is different, so these problems don’t apply to most, however safety rules are always paramount.
Also, if you want inspiration be sure to check this article out about 5 things to do this summer.
How well do you know your pet?
As previously discussed above we stated that rules are important to keeping everyone safe and happy. Before you go camping, determine if your pet is actually sociable and easily adjustable to other animals. Your pet might think the world of you, but that doesn’t mean they are going to react the same to new animals and humans. Make sure your pet has been trained to be friendly if you plan to take them to public campsites.
You also have to consider if your pet will actually like camping? Sometimes they are better left alone at home and will find peace sitting around. The old dog might not be keen for running around the woods and climbing over rocks, however a young pup might be ever excited to go exploring nature with you.
Book an appointment with the vet
Ok, so you’ve decided your pet is suitable for camping and it’s going to be a great experience. Before you go ahead and start loading in all the camping equipment and your buddy’s favourite food, make sure their health is in order. Book an appointment at the vet to do a general inspection and see if they are ready for the trip. You wouldn’t want to travel far into nature only to find out your pet is sick, far away from the nearest vet. Additionally make sure your pet has been vaccinated and their flea or tick medication is up to date. Imagine coming home with your pet and your house is infested with fleas a few weeks later. It’s also a good idea to get pet insurance like Bivvy.
If you really want to make sure your pet is clean before taking them home, pack in some anti-flea-and-tick shampoo and give them a quick wash before leaving. Lure the little guy to the stream or river and wash away those nasty little critters hiding in their fur.
A pet first aid kit
Booking an appointment with your vet prior to your camping trip is important, but what happens when your pet has an accident while you’re exploring? Most pet first aid kits come with helpful items such as gauze rolls, tweezers for removing thorns and ticks, bandages, pet-safe sun screen and Benadryl. Benadryl contains diphenhydramine which can be applied to allergic reactions caused by bee stings.
A first aid kit is essential for addressing any injuries while on holiday. Sometimes you’ll be in remote locations far from any vets and it will be up to you to make sure your pet is taken care of. Rather be prepared, than need a first aid kit, and not have one.
No matter how well trained your animal is, it is essential to include tags around their collar if they will be venturing out with you. Mistakes can happen and dogs can get lost. Have a tag made that has your phone number, address or any further contact details you want to provide.
This will ensure that if your pet is lost, whoever picks them up will know who to contact. If you have the means you can also get your pet microchipped and have a GPS collar placed around their necks.
Pack a pet suitcase
It’s a good idea to give your pet their own suitcase if they’re coming with. As simple as it sounds you won’t believe how useful their very own case can be if you’re looking for something in the dark. You don’t want to be scourging through multiple suitcases trying to find their leash or medication.
This can also prevent any of their foods or liquids spilling over into your own luggage. If you’re camping with your wife or girlfriend, what’s an extra bag to the already crowded trunk?
Speaking about bags, don’t forget to pack in the poop bags. Yes, you’re out in nature and your pet is probably ever excited to mark their new territory, but be respectful to those around you. If you plan to stay in campsites where other people may reside, make sure you pick up your animals poop. Nothing is worse than stepping in some dog poop late at night while you run to the bathroom. Be considerate and everyone else will take kindly to your pet.
One of the benefits about bringing your furry friend along is that they are incredibly warm at night. If you’re comfortable enough, let them sleep inside the tent with you to keep snug. If you’d rather avoid all the additional hairs getting on you, have them sleep outside with a leash around their neck.
Don’t let your pet wonder off at night or have complete freedom to roam. You should always be awake and supervising your pet when they’re off the leash. Some dogs wake up relatively early and enjoy a good barking session to start the day. Again, be ready to wake up yourself and quiet them down if you have neighbors, don’t be the guy that lets their dog go crazy while they sleep in.
Food and water bowls
Food and water bowls can sometimes be rather large right? Not to mention they’re often made of plastic that can break easily if crushed within your luggage. Try investing in some foldable bowls that can save on space and prevent breakage. If you plan to leave your pet outside the tent while you sleep, have water ready for them to sip on during the night if they are tied to a leash.
Additionally remember to pack in clean water for your pet. Most people forget animals can have sensitive stomachs too and they can’t drink from any lake or water source. So have the food and water ready before you start your camping adventure.
Doggie life vests
So this tip only applies to those dogs who like to go fishing with their owners. Hey, it’s really amusing and fun to bring your dog out on the boat, but are they a proven swimmer? If your dog isn’t accustomed to swimming and you might be heading into big streams, consider buying a life vest. These can keep them afloat if they get too excited and decide to fetch the fish for themselves. You can also bring your kayak and kayak trolley from OutdoorPlay for a great kayak bonding adventure for your and your dog.
Protect their paws
When you’re camping we assume you’re going to bring some hiking boots right? The ground isn’t nearly as comfortable as your home so you can expect to walk along some rocky sharp areas. The same applies to your dogs, they are probably not used to various terrains and their paws can be sensitive. Get a pair of nice dog booties to prevent them from getting cuts and scratches while they run around. Better yet, these boots can be used when you return home and you’re thinking about walking your dog on a hot summer day. They should be an essential item for frequent dog walkers.
After all the safety regulations have been checked, and you’re well prepared, remember to make the most of your time camping. Take pictures to commemorate this special time with your beloved pet and bring treats along to congratulate them when they do something good. We’re sure your pet will enjoy adventuring just as much as you do!