Camping With Your Dog: Everything You Should Know
Is it even camping if you don’t take your dog? Not in our world! Because who could enjoy sleeping under the stars, exploring nature, and campfire sessions without their fluffy friend? Exactly. But before you head out on your camping-with-your-dog adventure, there are a few things to think about to make it a success. Read on to find out what they are.
BEFORE YOU GO
Check that the campsite you are heading to allows dogs.
Most do, but it’s always best to check, especially if you are camping in a National Park or State Park. (You can read all about dog-friendly National Parks here.) If you haven’t chosen your campground yet and want an easy list of dog-friendly campsites, check this link out.
Make sure your dog is up to date on his meds
Fleas, ticks, heart-worm… The great outdoors is wonderful, but also full of nasties.
Create a packing list for your BFF (best furry friend).
Don’t worry, we did it for you…
- Water bowl
- Spleash (say no to dehydration on hikes)
- Sealed container for food (because, wildlife)
- Tick tweezers
- Stake and long leash (give your pet some breathing room)
- Extra towels (wet dog on your mattress? No thanks)
- Blanket or dog bed
- Plenty of poop bags
- Access to vet records
CAMPSITE DOS AND DON’TS
You made it. Now the fun begins!
- Ask the camp host what kind of wild animals you should be aware of
- Walk your pup around the campsite on leash so they can sniff their new environment.
- Have your dog sleep in your tent or your van with you. They will be vulnerable to any passing wildlife outside.
- Leave no trace. While it may seem ok to leave dog poop in the wild (after all, bears do…) dog waste can actually carry parasites and bacteria that are harmful to the environment.
- Make sure your dog has access to shade at the campsite. Those fur coats can make the heat feel, well… pretty hot.
- Leave your dog alone at the campsite. Consider her your constant companion!
- Let your dog get dehydrated. When you are out of your typical routine – especially when you are hiking and exploring for several hours a day – it’s easy to forget about your dog’s water needs. That’s where a Spleash comes in handy. It’s always on hand as a constant reminder to give your dog a drink.
- Leave your dog in the car. Ever. Not even with the windows down. It’s summer, friends, and it’s just not worth the risk.
KNOW HOW TO SPOT DEHYDRATION
We know, we harp on about dehydration, but it’s because it happens so quickly in dogs, especially in the hot summer months. Here are some quick and easy ways to spot dehydration so you can nip it in the bud before it gets serious.
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting with or without diarrhea
- Reduced energy levels and lethargy
- Sunken, dry-looking eyes
- Dry nose
- Dry, sticky gums
- Thick saliva
That’s it, you’re ready to go. Now, let’s just hope you booked your campsite six months ago like the rest of America!
Written by Zoe Oksanen