Camping not only offers fantastic hiking and scenery, but also, cooler temperatures during the dog days of summer. Setting out for a camping adventure with your four-legged best friend? You should know these 4 tips before you take your dog camping!
Canines are some of the best hiking and camping partners! In fact, camping with your dog is so popular DogFriendly.com lists over 20 dog camp sessions held throughout the United States and Canada just for dog lovers and their pooches!
But first, learn – and follow – these 4 tips below to safely bring your dog camping!
Do Your Due Diligence!
Before you head out, research the specific dog rules (including breed/weight restrictions and all required pet documentation) for the parks, trails, and campgrounds you are planning to enjoy! Bringing your pet camping can be fun, but nothing ruins a vacation or hike faster than a ranger handing you a hefty fine for you and your dog breaking a rule!
Regardless of where you hike and camp, always follow the National Park Service’s BARKRanger Rules:
- Bag – and carry out – your pet’s waste.
- Always leash your pet.
- Respect all wildlife.
- Know where you are allowed to go with your dog.
Leashes Are Mandatory
With miles and miles of wide-open space, it can be tempting to let your dog explore unencumbered by a leash. The same is true when everyone is relaxing or cooking around the campsite. But always guarantee your dog is safe and close.
When hiking, always keep your dog leashed to protect him from poisonous plants, dangerous cliffs, deadly blue-green algae in water sources, and especially from wild animals like bears, coyotes, wolves, and even mountain lions. A lone dog is no match for huge bears or a pack of hungry coyotes or wolves.
If you want to give your dog more freedom around the campsite, use:
- A sturdy cable dog tie-out (preferably tangle-free) around a large tree (safer than using a stake especially if your dog is large and strong).
- Set up the tie-out first before setting up camp or cooking to make sure your dog does not wander off.
The tie-out should:
- Safely handle your dog’s current weight to prevent him from breaking free
- Always keep him in view
- Safely keep him away from the campfire and dangerous sparks or embers
Bring your dog into the tent with you each night and make sure they are safely secured inside especially if wildlife may come sniffing around your campsite!
Pack for Your Canine Too!
Just like you pack for your own comfort and needs, be sure to do the same for your dog including:
- Dogs boots and dog-friendly paw wax to protect sensitive paws
- Pet-friendly sunscreen for noses, tips of the ears and tail, belly and groin and other areas with little hair or light or white in color. Avoid the eyes and remember to reapply
- Necessary medications and a basic first aid kit
- Your dog’s normal food and snacks
- Plenty of freshwater and lightweight, foldable bowls.
- A collar with current Pet ID
- An extra collar and leash in case one breaks
- Brushes and towels. Brush dogs every night to remove dirt, debris, and pests like ticks or fleas!
- Something soft for your dog to lay on
- A nightlight for your dog’s collar for the dark
Going Camping but Need to Leave the Pets Home Alone?
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Check out our Pet Care Services for your beloved pet and then reach out to us via email or by calling 530-219-3656 today.
Outside Online: The Most Dog-Friendly National Parks in Every Region
BringFido.com: Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in the United States
TripSavvy.com: Tips for Camping with Dogs
LifeStylesGO.com: 7 Pet-Friendly Campsites
RVshare.com: The Top 20 Pet-Friendly Campgrounds in the US (2020)