8 Tips to Keep Pets Safe and Happy while Camping
Camping with your furry friend can enhance your adventure and strengthen the bond between you and your pet. However, camping can be stressful, especially if your dog rarely goes outside.
But with a few tricks and a little planning, you can bring your dog on your camping trip and help them have fun. They might even end up enjoying the adventure more than you do.
Here are a few helpful tips for keeping your dog happy and safe while camping:
1. Consider Your Dog’s Personality
Before you set off for your camping trip, it’s essential to understand how your dog behaves when taken outdoors and assess their readiness for the adventure.
Is your dog a cautious and calm pet who needs encouragement and permission to engage in new activities? If yes, planning activities to entertain your furry friend and keep them comfortable in the wild would be best.
If you are dealing with a daring and aggressive doggy, you’ll always need to keep them in check. You can achieve this by keeping your dog on a pet lead.
Dogs that love long walks benefit more from hiking than a car or RV camping trip.
One of the best ways to know whether your dog will adapt to camp life is by taking them on a few day trips before embarking on an extended camping trip.
You can also pitch a tent in the backyard and bring your dog nearby to see how they react towards the camping set-up.
2. Choose a Dog-Friendly Campsite
When researching your best camping destination, checking whether your coveted campground allows dogs is vital.
You can call ahead or ask around to find out whether the area is dog friendly to avoid breaking the rules or subjecting your pet to life-threatening situations.
If your preferred campground allows dogs, you must check their leash laws to ensure you comply with all the rules and regulations.
That said, checking the rules every time you visit is crucial, as they may change in different seasons. For example, peak summer months can have more dog restrictions since the campgrounds are usually full of people.
3. Pack the Right Gear for Your Furry Friend
When camping with a dog, their packing list is as essential as your gear. Otherwise, your dog will suffer while out there.
For campers who want to visit designated camping areas with their pets, it’s essential to remember that most campgrounds will ask for a dog’s identification info, health history, and vaccination record.
So, if you want to camp at a designated campsite, you can make a laminate card with this information.
You must also include your contact information in the tag for easy retrieval should your dog get lost in the wild.
Apart from the tag, here is a list of the things your dog might need when camping:
- Small backpack
- Enough dog food
- Dog treats
- Food and water bowls
- Dog poo bags
- Pet wipes
- Waterproof sleeping pad
- Dog-friendly toys
- Light collar
- Warm blankets
- Dog towels
- Heat-resistant booties
- Spare pet leash
- A tether
- Dog first aid kit
If your dog is on medication, remember to bring all the medicine they need during the trip to avoid inconveniences.
4. Always Keep Your Dog Under Control
If you plan to camp near other campers, it’s essential to keep your dog under control all the time.
Remember, not all campers love dogs, and some will not want to have a Fido near their tent.
Besides disturbing other campers, keeping your dog unleashed exposes it to the risks of being bitten by other dogs or hit by a car. If this happens, you won’t have anyone to blame other than yourself.
Keeping your dog under control will prevent it from biting small pups or fighting with other dogs, which could cause chaos around the campsite.
You also don’t want your dog to chase porcupines and skunks the whole night, as they risk sustaining injuries.
Nevertheless, if you are camping in the wilderness and trust your dog to obey your commands, you may not need to keep them on a lead.
5. Bring a Spacious Tent
When camping with your pet, it helps to bring a spacious tent to ensure that you and your furry friend have enough space to spend the night.
You will have a comfortable and relaxed night with a spacious shelter for you and your pet. If you aren’t sure how your dog will react to sleeping in a tent, you can try it at home to avoid anxiety in the wild.
But this is not the only way to spend the night with your Fido while camping. If you don’t want to sleep in the same tent as your pet, you can bring a dog crate or an extra tent and pitch it in a safe and secure place near your sleeping area.
Not all dogs love sleeping in a tent, though. If your dog is more comfortable sleeping outside than inside the tent, you can cover them with a warm blanket and let them enjoy its space outdoors.
6. Keep Your Pet Clean
The camping environment only gives you a little space if you stay in a tent. So, things can quickly get messy and make you feel uncomfortable.
You can prevent this by cleaning your pet regularly and ensuring they don’t enter the tent with mud.
If you are camping nearby a waterbody and your dog goes to play in the mud, it pays to clean and wipe them off before allowing them into your tent.
Cleaning your dog regularly when camping will make them comfortable and keep bugs like fleas and ticks at bay.
7. Find Activities to Keep Your Dog Engaged
Dogs used to their home can quickly get stressed when taken to the wild. So, incorporating some enjoyable activities is essential to entertain and keep your dog busy.
The best thing to do is to bring their toys and let them play whenever they feel bored. This way, your pet will have something to do while you engage in activities like cooking and cleaning.
If your dogs love the water, they can join you in water activities like canoeing, swimming, or playing at the beach. But you must ensure your pet has a life jacket for such activities.
When camping in the backcountry, activities like hunting will keep your dog engaged throughout the adventure. Plus, you’ll both have a reward when you make a catch.
8. Be Cautious of Warm and Cold Weather
As mentioned before, the camping environment may be harsh for pets used to staying at home.
So, you want to be cautious of extreme weather to ensure your dog remains safe and happy throughout the adventure.
Your dog will need a warm blanket at night since temperatures can be incredibly low. You don’t want to assume their fur will help them cope with the cold on a chilly night.
During the day, protecting your pet from excess heat that could damage their paws or cause dehydration is paramount.
You can use heat-resistant dog booties to protect your pet’s paws from excess heat and bring more drinking water for cooling down.
If you are car camping, never leave your pet locked in the car during the day, even for a minute, since the heat can be fatal.
What to Include in a First Aid Kit for Your Dog
Most dog first aid kits come with everything you need to take care of your pet in case of injuries. However, if you want to make the first aid kit yourself, you might wonder what to include.
Here are the essentials things to include in a dog first aid kit:
- Liquid bandage
- Tweezers for tick removal
- Emergency fold-up blanket
- A folding multi-tool
- Instruction manual for treating injured pets
- Contact details for a nearby/emergency vet
Q: How Do I Control My Dog While Camping
A: You can use a leash to control your dog while camping. Another practical way to keep your dog under control when camping is using a dog pen.
With a leash or a dog pen, your furry friend will not wander in the wild or find themselves in risky situations.
Q: Where Do Dogs Sleep When Camping?
A: Dogs can sleep in the same tent with their owners or individually in a different tent when camping. Dogs that find it uncomfortable to sleep in a tent can sleep outside with a warm blanket, provided they remain leashed.
Some dog owners also bring a dog crate for their furry friend to sleep while camping in the wild.
Q: Is Camping Stressful for Dogs?
A: No. Camping is not stressful for dogs. Most dogs find camping to be an enjoyable experience.
However, not all dogs will be happy to change their routine and explore the great outdoors.
New environments can trigger anger in aggressive dogs and make them feel uncomfortable. Exposing your furry friend to extreme weather conditions could also result in illnesses.
If you plan to go on a camping trip with your dog, it’s essential to prepare them for the many scenarios you’ll likely encounter outdoors.
Getting your dog used to such experiences will ensure that they have fun and make your camping trip stress-free and more enjoyable.
Dogs can enjoy camping like human beings or even have more fun than we do in the wild. If you plan to bring your Fido on your next camping trip, consider planning well and bringing everything your pet needs for a safe and happy adventure.