Dog is Your Best Camping Friend
A dog is man’s best friend. They are great cuddle buddies, running companions, and tug-of-war opponents, but they can also be great companions for other activities you enjoy like camping. If you want to share a great outdoor adventure with your pup, here’s how to prepare for this activity.
Think about safety
Before anything else, you need to think about the safety of you and your pet. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use your first aid kit, but it’s better to have it with you. Most human kits can come in handy in case your dog has an accident, but there are specialized pet kits perfect for your four-legged companion that contain bandages that don’t stick to fur, tick removers, doggy emergency blankets, and various other items. If you don’t have a first aid kit with both human and pet items, you really shouldn’t risk going camping with your dog.
Pack all the necessary gear
Before you start picking out your camping ground, make sure you have all the necessary gear that will make your dog safe and comfortable in nature. Start by choosing a good dog bed—one that’s water-resistant, easy to clean, lightweight and compact.
Additionally, no matter where you decide to go, you need to have a practical doggy bowl or two. Collapsible ones are the best because they allow easy transport and cleaning and quick setup. Most even come with a carabiner so that you can attach it to your backpack for easy carrying or hang it up on a tree to dry.
Additionally, you must have a good tether system, especially if you have a dog that’s prone to wandering off. You can secure the ends to two trees and the zip line between gives your dog plenty of movement yet keeps them from disappearing in the woods.
Get a good tent
This is one of the most important gear pieces both for you and your dog. Depending on the type of your trip, you need the right tent model. If you’re hiking with your dog, you want something light and easy to set up. If you have a large vehicle to take you to your destination, you can get away with something bulkier. When choosing a tent for you and your pup, consider the space they take up (one adult human or just a few square inches) and their demeanor (are they prone to scratching). Also, if your doggy tends to run hot, make sure to get a tent model with plenty of ventilation.
Keep them warm
Nights in nature can get cold, and even if your dog has plenty of fur, it can still get a bit chilly when the temperatures drop. In order to keep your pet warm and cozy, make space in your tent and have a sleeping buddy. Sharing a tent with your dog is also good protection from nocturnal animals that can spook, cause it to wander off or even seriously injure your pet. Similarly, your dog can spook other animals and cause them unnecessary harm. If you trust your dog to stay safely outside and alarm you of any issues without storming off, make sure to get a thick pad or pillow for them to sleep on. Place it on a piece of tarp to keep moisture away and throw a blanket over for extra warmth.
And keep them cool
On the other hand, some dogs can get very hot during the day when the sun is strong and there’s no wind. In that case, you want to invest in a cooling vest. This stylish clothing piece is a light-colored vest you simply get wet and put on your dog. The cool water keeps your dog cool for a long time. When the vest dries, you can just get it wet again and repeat the process for as many times as your pup needs. As you probably know, dogs don’t sweat, so this handy cool vest will prevent heat strokes and allow your dog to stay active and safe even in the summer.
Keep them hydrated
All dogs need water and shade during your trip in order to prevent heat strokes. Learn some early signs of overheating so that you can prevent this accident in time, and take plenty of water with you. It’s best to bring your own water even if you’re camping near a lake or river. These water sources can be full of bacteria, viruses, and parasites, and you don’t want to give your pup an upset stomach.
Get the right collar and leash
If you’re planning to explore the area around your campground or hit some hiking trails, you’ll need a good leash. A hands-free leash is perfect for all sorts of activities since you can attach it around your waist and have your hands free for walking sticks, balancing acts and chores around the camp. Make sure to choose a leash that’s strong, adjustable, reflective and easy to attach and remove.
Additionally, grab a good collar for your dog and equip it with an updated ID tag that includes your phone number, address, and other necessary information. If you can, add a temporary tag with campsite information, date and your cell number, so people can return your little runaway quickly and easily.
Have a test run
If this is your first time taking your pup somewhere like a camping ground, make sure to have a test run in your backyard. If you know your dog is easily spooked, make sure to set up your tent, allow your dog to examine it and try to invite them inside. Make sure the entire experience is fun and stress-free. You don’t want to arrive at your destination and see that your dog doesn’t want to get into the tent or get near their cooling vest.
If you’re a nature lover, be sure that both you and your dog will have a blast—after all, dogs are animals and even though completely domesticated, they still enjoy the wilderness. With these camping tips up your sleeve, you’ll have smooth sailing in front of you.