Camping with Canines 101

 

Photo by J. Warren, Article by T. Morrison.

With summer in full swing, the camping season is here, and what better bonding experience could you ask for then to bring your dog along? Although your dog may be even better equipped for the elements then you are, it’s easy to forget some of the key aspects to bringing your furry companion on vacation. Here’s a quick list of things to consider and items to pack to ensure you are both prepared to have a great time in the woods.

Check if your desired camp ground allows dogs and where the dogs are allowed within the campground.

It seems like nature is a weird place for a “no dogs” sign, but actually, a lot of dog -friendly camp grounds have rules to where your dog can and cannot go. You may be envisioning spending your days together playing by the beach only to find out that your dog is not welcome there. To avoid disappointment, make sure to properly research the guidelines to bringing animals with you.

Get your dog flea and tick preventative and make sure their vaccines are up to date.

Your dog will likely encounter other animals or insects during their trip so its worth having the piece of mind that your dog is protected if they do come across some infected wildlife.

Pack a lot of clean water and keep clean water on you even on short trips.

Puddles, lakes, sea water and even camp water that are not designated for drinking, can be potentially harmful for your dog. To reduce the lure to drink from puddles and lakes, make sure to offer your dog clean water throughout the day. Additionally, if your dog happens to become injured during your visit, cleaning the wound will be imperative. Your dog may need to drink more water than they do at home because they are expelling more energy or may need to regulate their temperature.

Pack a tie out and a place where your dog can escape the elements.

Most dogs are not equipped to handle the outdoors all day especially in extreme heat or cold. Tents can get incredibly hot throughout the day so having a canopy with netted walls and covered roof can be a great escape from the heat, bugs, rain and even protect against wildlife. Additionally, having a tie out can keep your dog from visiting other sites or getting lost. Even if your dog has gotten some great dog training or is the best-behaved dog at their dog daycare the lure of meat being cooked on the fire may entice even the best trained dogs to wander.

Pack a pet first aid kit.

Even if you regularly pack a human first aid kit, a pet first aid kit is a little different. If you’ve never needed to provide first aid to your pet before, the guide that comes in most versions of pet first aid kits can be helpful. Depending on your dog’s breed, you may also want to pack some items for dog grooming like a brush to avoid the dog becoming matted during your stay and to help remove burs if safe to do so.

 If your planning on being in the water, buy your dog a life jacket- even if they are great swimmers.

Some dog breeds are better equipped for swimming than others but even for strong swimmers it’s a good idea to get a life jacket. Most life jackets are equipped with a handle and if your dog is unable to swim or becomes tired while swimming it affords you more time for rescue.  This can be really useful if you dog comes into contact with quick moving water, falls or jumps off a boat, injures themselves while playing or any other reason you may need to quickly lift or move your dog in the water. They are also easier to spot from far away as they often come in bright colours. A good practice when boating is to attach a rope between your vessel and your dog, so you can retrieve the dog quickly.

Enjoy yourself.

Camping with your furry companion can be a great bonding experience. When your fully prepared you can enjoy yourself knowing that you and your dog are ready for the wild outdoors.