5 Things You Should Know When Camping With Your Dog
By Elena Pressprich
There are two things in my life that I love very much; the outdoors and my pup! It’s even better when I get to combine the two! Here are some things I’ve learned when it comes to safely taking your pup on a one day or multi-day outdoor adventure.
Bring extra food and water
Bring the expected amount of food, and then some. I always count the meals I expect my pup will eat, and then pack 2 more meals just in case. Hopefully it never happens, but if you end up in a situation where you are out longer than expected, you will want to be prepared. Treats are also an essential trail item. I give my pup treats quite frequently along the trail to not only provide some much needed calories, but it helps keep him on his best behavior.
Bring plenty of water. If you’re camping and you’re not sure if the site has potable water supply, I would plan on bringing some. Always better to be safe than sorry!
Dogs need a comfortable place to sleep
Dogs are creatures of comfort and routine so bring some items that they are familiar with and have their scent. I usually bring a Ruffwear car camping pad with me.
As far as sleeping, I’ve heard there are two ways to do it. Some dogs are comfortable sleeping in their own tent type situation, or they sleep in the tent with you. I prefer to sleep with my pup. He is more comfortable being with me and adds extra warmth! I give him the ruffwear pad to sleep on or I bring an extra lightweight pad for our multi-day trips.
If the weather is going to be exceptionally chilly, I bring an extra lightweight sleeping bag for him. This is probably only necessary for short haired dogs. I imagine a husky type pup wouldn’t need the extra warmth!
Make sure they're tagged and up to date on vaccinations
Make sure your pup has a collar with identification tags that include their name and your cell phone number (ideally the one you have with you!) and have your pup micro-chipped.
Have your pup up to date on vaccinations and give them any preventative vaccines for the specific area you are traveling in (heart worm, flea and tick, water-borne illnesses, etc). Many times, your regular annual vaccines may not be the same or safe for other areas you may travel to. Ask your vet!
While on your adventure, check them regularly for signs of fleas or ticks as well as plant jabs and stick-like thorns.
Pack a first aid kit in case of cuts or other injuries.
I have a Ruffwear light that blinks on my pup's collar that I turn on at night time. It's really helpful in keeping an eye on him when it gets dark.
Consider a Doggie Pack if You’re Hiking
Always pick up after them
There are few things my dog likes more than pooping in the woods. It's like he lives for it. For that reason, I always make sure to bring plenty of extra cleanup bags. Keep an eye out for when your dog goes. You don't want to leave it lying around where you or other campers can step in it.
Pack it until a receptacle is available. If it’s going to be a while, you can bring a shovel and bury it.
Now get out on the trail and get after it with your pup!