Camping can be a great escape as well as relaxing for you and you do not need to leave your dog behind while you take in that fresh, clean air. It’s a much richer experience with your dog by your side. Most dogs love to be surrounded by nature to run around, explore the woods, and take in all the smells and sights that surround them while you take a break from the rush to the chaotic city. There are six essential tips for camping with your dog that will make the experience even more relaxing, safe and fun.

1. “Paperwork

The first thing you should do is “paperwork”. This means taking your dog to the vet for a check-up in order to make sure they can handle being in the great outdoors by the woods. While you are at the vet make sure that your dog gets a vaccine against Lyme disease and anything else that the vet may suggest.

—>Also, stock up on tick medication just to be on the safe side.  

Actual Paperwork

If you are planning on crossing a national border to get to the camping ground then it is a good idea to make sure that their papers are in order. The papers can include vaccines papers and prescriptions for their medicine if they take any. You may also want to research the closest vet to the campsite.

Choosing Your Camping Destination

Check in with the rangers about what would be the best spot to camp in. Note also, if your dog can drink the lake/river water. The camping spot can depend on your dog’s behavior. If they tend to get nervous or aggressive then finding a spot that is away from foot traffic (such as washrooms or water taps) would be a better choice. 

2. Packing Their Things

While you are preparing for the trip and packing your bag with the tent, sleeping bags and bug sprays etc. remember that you should also pack for your dog. You can use our list to help you out.

how to camp with a dog

Items can include:

  • Their food and water bowl that they use in the house. Using familiar ones can help because they are comfortable with them, and have learned to eat from them.
  • Their food, treats and bottles of water is a must as well.
  • Make sure to pack a lot of clean-up bags, you still have to pick up their droppings even in the woods since you will probably not be the only people there.
  • Also, make sure that you have something to make shade for them while on the campground. As if you are making a den for them to stay cool in and this would be great for shy dogs.
  • Plus, bring some towels to dry their wet fur or paws if they go swimming or find some mud.  
  • A comfortable place to sleep is a must. There are pop-up crates for on the go if that’s something you think would be handy!
  • A very long leash can be required because some campsites may ask you to put them on a leash for their and everyone’s safety since certain rules need to be followed.
  • As we are on the topic of leashes another thing you may want to consider is to bring a back-up collar with your address on it. The collar and leash should be durable and difficult for them to take off. Dogs like to run and they can easily get lost in the woods if you do not keep them in your sights. A lot of pets end up on a lost pet website because they run too far to hear their owners calling them back and get lost. 

3. Setting up Camp

camping with your dog

Once you get to your spot but before you pitch up the tent take your dog (on their long leash) around the perimeter so they can see what is there and where their temporary camping home is. You can also set up their food and water bowl as well as a screen to create shade for them. 

4. Sprays and Protection

Bugs are more common in wood areas than in the city or in your house. It would be a good idea to make sure you spray your dog with an anti-insect spray so that they do not get bitten and eaten alive by the insects.

Another huge thing to account for is the sun. Regardless of how often your dog is in the shade, the sunlight can bounce from the ground and hit their nose so make sure you gently rub some sun block there for their protection. 

5. Tent = Car; Safety First

Your dog can go inside the tent with you but you should also think of your tent as you would a car. You would never leave your dog alone in a locked car- zipped up tents are no different.

Tents can keep in heat and become boiling. Your dog may end up hurting themselves as they try to escape. It would be a bad idea to leave your dog unattended, zipped up inside a tent. 

camping with your dog

6. No Overfeeding

While camping you can relax and get a chance to do something that you do not usually do at home. However, not the same (well, not completely) can be said for your dog.

While they have more space to run and more to explore when it comes to their food you should try to stick to their diet as close as you can. You may even feed them a bit less than at home since they can get too caught up and excited about their surrounding that they forget to relieve themselves on time.

Giving them food that they usually eat, and feeding them at the times that they get fed at while at home, can decrease the chances of getting odorous droppings. You can mix in a bit of BBQ now and again but do not overdo it since their stomachs are not used to this and could end up causing a mess or unpleasant smells.

One of the main things about camping with your dog is to have fun together! Camping is a great way to get exercise, open up your lungs and for your dog to see something new every day.

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