Camping With Your Dog: Everything You Need to Know
Camping with your four-legged best friend is a great and rewarding experience that shouldn’t be underestimated. You must take into account your pet’s needs, safety, and comfort before setting off. Some supplies you will want to bring on your trip may depend on the weather, the destination or type of camping you choose, and your particular pet. With that said, here is an extensive checklist of everything you will need to take with you if you plan on camping with a pup.
Vaccinations & ID Tag
If you plan to take your pet on a camping trip, you should make sure that your dog is up to date with all vaccinations/vaccinations records and has an identification Tag, including all relevant contact information. Campsite rules may also require proof of vaccination and proof of a rabies vaccination is available from most 24/7 Homestead Animal Hospital locations usually providing documents that must be signed by the attending veterinarian.
If you are travelling long distances, it is a good idea to take along a copy of your pet’s veterinary records to help you should an emergency arise on your trip. It is also important for the safety of your pet and others to ensure that your dog has any other medication it may require, such as flea prevention or heartworm treatment.
Food, Water & Treats
Before leaving, it’s important to ensure that your dog’s food and water is well-stocked. You should plan for a little extra in case your trip takes longer than expected. Bring along a collapsible canine bowl that you can easily pack and carry with you. Mineral supplements can also be a great way to provide your pup with added vitamins and minerals that they may need while camping.
Treats are a must for your camping trip. Choose something that is lightweight, nutritious and that won’t spoil while you are travelling. A variety of long lasting chew treats are also a great option.
Toys & Leashes
Leashes are essential when camping, especially when it comes to health and safety regulations in certain areas. Choose a leash that is well-made and sturdy and consider getting several in case one breaks or is lost. Some owners prefer to bring tie-outs or long flexible leashes as an alternative to keeping your pet on a short leash – but remember to secure all four ends to ensure your pet’s safety.
To keep your pup entertained, you’ll want to bring along several of their favourite toys. From frisbees, to balls, to rope toys, as long as they fit in your bag, feel free to bring them along.
First Aid Kit
Accidents and injuries can and do happen. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to be prepared for any situation and having a first aid kit with supplies specific to your pet is essential. Your canine first aid kit should include a variety of items such as: bandages, gauze, tweezers, scissors, antiseptic wipes, flea and tick spray or shampoo, eye wash, ice pack, antibiotic ointment and antihistamines.
Bedding & Sleeping Options
Just like their humans, your pup will need a comfortable place to sleep while camping. It is recommended to bring a sleeping bag or pad specifically for your pup or you can opt for a self-inflating bed pad which will provide your pet with extra cushioning. Blankets, towels and blankets are also great options to provide warmth and comfort to your pup and can also be used as a cushion for your pup’s crate in case the ground is hard and cold.
Grooming supplies are a must for your camping trip. If you’re camping in a remote area or have a particularly furry pup, you may want to bring along a brush or comb to help maintain the cleanliness of your pet’s fur. Pack a nail clipper and keep your pet’s nails trimmed when needed. You may also want to bring along dog shampoo and a few wipes to help keep your pup clean. Do not forget to pack your pet’s toothbrush and toothpaste; you should brush your pup’s teeth before, during and after your camping trip.
Safety & Comfort
Nothing says “Safety and Comfort” like outdoor gear for your pup. Make sure to bring a collar and/or harness for your pet. This will provide extra security if something unexpected should happen. Be sure to bring a flashlight to provide extra visibility in dark waterfront campsites.
If you are planning on spending a considerable amount of time outdoors with your pup, protective clothing is a great way to make sure they remain comfortable. Invest in lightweight, breathable clothing such as a cooling vest with reflective fabric to keep your pup cool on hot days, a raincoat to protect from rain and wind, and a high visibility dog vest to keep your pup seen in low light conditions.
There are some additional items that every pup should have when travelling, such as an extra collar, leash and the aforementioned ID tag for when you and your pup are out and about. Depending on the activity, you may need additional items such as a harness for hiking or a life jacket for swimming. This is especially important if your pup is not a strong swimmer.
Don’t forget to include water-resistant pet carriers or crates as well as refuse bags and dog-friendly cleaning supplies in order to keep things organized and the campsite clean. Having a few extra zipped pouches to store your pet’s items in is also a great idea.
Camping with your pup is a great experience. With the right preparation and a checklist of items, you will be able to keep your pet safe and comfortable while creating a memorable experience for your family. Remember to plan ahead and to bear in mind the needs and safety of both you and your pup. So, pack up the car, grab your pup, and head out on your camping adventure!