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If you’re an avid camper, there’s no reason to leave your best friend at home. Dogs can make great camping companions and add a lot of enjoyment to your trip. Here’s what you need to know about bringing your dog camping, from why you should do it to how to make sure everyone has a great time and stays safe.
Why You Should Bring Your Dog Camping
They’re Great Companions
Dogs make great camping companions! They’re always happy to be around you, they love being outside, and they’re great at keeping you company around the campfire.
They Love the Outdoors
Dogs love exploring the great outdoors! Camping is a great opportunity for them to get some exercise and experience new smells and sounds.
They’re Good for Your Health
Not only are dogs good for your mental health, but they can also help you stay physically active on your camping trip. Going for hikes with your dog is a great way to explore the area and get some exercise at the same time.
How to Prepare for a Camping Trip with Your Dog
Camping is a great opportunity for your pup to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. You’ll need to prepare for the trip beforehand. Plan your route, figure out how much food & water you need, pack extra food in case of emergencies and make sure you’re packing safety equipment like first aid kits.
Choose the Right Location
The first step to preparing for a camping trip with your dog is choosing the right location. You’ll want to find a place that’s dog-friendly and has plenty of space for your pup to explore.
There are many campgrounds across the country that allow dogs, so do some research to find one in a location that interests you. Once you’ve found a few potential places, it’s time to start making some decisions on which is the best one for you and your dog.
Pack the Right Gear
In addition to packing all of the gear you need for yourself, you’ll also need to make sure you have everything you need for your dog. This includes food, water, bowls, bedding, a toy, and anything else your dog might need while away from home.
It’s also important to pack any medications or supplements your dog takes on a regular basis, just in case they get sick or injured while camping. If you’re unsure of what to pack, ask your veterinarian for advice.
Train Your Dog
If you’re bringing a new puppy camping with you for the first time, it’s important to train them beforehand so they know how to behave around other people and animals.
This includes teaching them basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. You should also socialize them as much as possible so they’re comfortable being around new people and environments.
If you have an older or reactive dog who isn’t used to camping, it’s still a good idea to brush up on their obedience training and introduce them slowly to the idea of sleeping outside in a tent or RV. A trial run in your own backyard could be a great, low-risk way of acclimating them to it!
Know Their Limitations
When Roxy and Rico were rescued, they were both on the reactive side. Rico even more than Roxy. One time, we were walking in the neighborhood we lived in shortly after rescuing Ri.
Passed by a kid inside one of those giant ZORB clear plastic balls. OMG Rico panicked! He was so terrified, didn’t know which way to go, and ended up having nervous liquid diarrhea. It was such a mess!
Years of working with them, durable + comfy leashes and harnesses, and tons of treats, positive reinforcement, and patience got them to where we can now take a hiking trip through Garden of the Gods here in Colorado on a busy day, and they successfully enjoy the day while also ignoring the wildlife like deer and mountain sheep that pass by!
If we had tried a hiking/camping trip with them when they were younger and more reactive, it definitely would’ve led to some stressed puppies, frustrated pawrents, and wouldn’t have been a pleasant experience for any of us!
Tips for a Successful Camping Trip with Your Dog
Keep Them Hydrated
One of the most important things you can do for your dog on a camping trip is to keep them hydrated. Bring plenty of water for both you and your dog, and make sure to give them breaks often to drink.
It’s best not to rely on natural sources of water like a river or lake, because they can be dry depending on the time of year, or even be contaminated and deadly, like during the summer months when some lakes get a buildup of cyanobacteria that can kill dogs after swimming or drinking it.
If you’re hiking, bring a portable water bowl so they can drink on the go. It’s also a good idea to pack some coconut water to provide a boost of electrolytes to keep them from getting dehydrated.
Protect Them from the Elements
Another important thing to consider when camping with your dog is how to protect them from the elements. If it’s going to be cold, make sure you have a warm sleeping bag for them to sleep in at night.
If it’s going to be hot, pack some cooling pads or towels that you can dampen put down for them to lie on during the day. Just make sure not to go out if it’s too hot to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke!
If there’s going to be any chance of rain, pack a waterproof coat or blanket for them to wear.
Snow booties are perfect for keeping your dog’s toesies from getting frozen if you’re hiking and camping during the winter months. A warm jacket is also a good idea. We like this Kurgo jacket for fall, and this warm coat for more wintery conditions.
Keep Them on a Leash
Even if your dog is well-trained, it’s always a good idea to keep them on a leash while camping. There are many hazards in nature that they may not be used to, such as other pets, wildlife, steep cliffs, and fast-moving rivers. By keeping them on a leash, you can help prevent them from getting into dangerous situations. Plus, it’s a requirement in many areas.
If you’re looking for the best camping trip ever, be sure to bring your dog along! Dogs make great companions and love being outdoors, plus they’re good for your health.
To prepare for a successful trip, choose the right location, pack the right gear, and train your dog. Once you’re on the trip, keep your dog hydrated and protect them from the elements. By following these tips, you and your furry friend are sure to have a blast!