Dogs love the great outdoors. They enjoy expelling the massive amounts of energy they build up stretching their legs and exploring their surroundings – it’s when they’re at their happiest. So wouldn’t it be a fantastic treat to take them along to the ultimate excursionary experience of camping?
Camping with dogs adds a new dimension to any camping trip. Provided you’re adequately prepared for the trials and tribulations bringing along your furry friend offers up, camping with dogs will provide endless memories to take home and share forever. It’s not easy though – there are several important aspects to consider in order to ensure that your dog remains safe, healthy, entertained and out of trouble for the entirety of the journey.
But why go camping with dogs in the first place? We know in this day and age – where dogs are like family members – this may sound like a bit of a silly question, but the reality is that some choose to keep their dogs home because the alternative is just too bothersome. Besides having your faithful companion beside you where they belong, there are several benefits to considering dog friendly camping: For example, you may want to save some money on paying for a short-term kennel or the expenses of leaving them with friends or family as many dog friendly camping sites accommodate dogs free of charge. You might be hoping to intensify the bond between you and your dog by enjoying a lot of quality time together on walks and treks. Or you may simply just feel guilty about leaving your dog to wallowing at home, causing all kinds of havoc on your fancy new furniture.
Whatever the reason may be, you need to know that the trip goes swimmingly, so we’ve drawn up a guide that will help you along the way.
Is your Dog Suitable?
Figuring out whether your dog is suitable to come on a camping trip with you and the family is really about understanding your dog. Does your dog enjoy exploring vast shrubs, lakes and paths? Can your dog cope in unfamiliar surroundings? Does your dog have any problems interacting with other people or dogs?
The most important thing is that your dog is well-trained. It’s never a great idea to take unruly dogs to unfamiliar environments that can potentially aggravate them. For safety’s sake – particularly considering that even the best trained dogs in the wrong situation can cause a nuisance – do not go camping with dogs that are aggressive. It’s imperative that you ensure the safety and sanity of all involved.
Where to Go
There are more dog friendly camping sites than ever before to consider when looking for perfect location to go camping with dogs. Some sites even cater specifically to pets, providing special dog-walking areas. The best thing to do is to look at the various options available online and start making some calls.
But there are well-trodden campsites and club sites all over the country that offer both amenities for owner and a lot of open space, designated beaches and walkways for dogs to enjoy. These places provide the seclusion of traditional camping trips and a lot of open territory that allow your dogs to roam free without getting lost or injured. Meanwhile, the local amenities – such as pubs and stores – also welcome dogs which means that you can keep always keep your dog without throughout the journey.
Healthy and Safety of your Dog
If this is the first time that you are taking your dog on a trip away for the first time, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve taken the appropriate precautions to secure your dog. This is about keeping your dog as safe as possible – not only from injury, but also from getting lost in territory you don’t know as well as home.
Firstly, obtain all of your dog’s veterinary records and make sure that all vaccinations and insurance is up to date. You wouldn’t take chances with your dog’s health when you’re at home, so you should be doubly cautious whilst camping with dogs. Get your dog checked over to make sure that it is fit and ready for what could be a gruelling excursion at times. Also, if you’ve not microchipped the dog and gotten an identifying tag, get It done.
Essential Packing for Camping with Dogs
Dogs don’t require much different from humans – and they definitely don’t require much different than the items they need back home. Obviously keep in mind that dogs are prone to wandering off, so always be conscious of their security when booking a dog friendly camping trip.
- Dog tent: There are specialist dog tents that are small, compact yet suitable to fit the dog and its favourite sleeping rug or basket. This will also ensure that your tent is fur and mud-free. If you’re not able to find one that you like, then you could simply buy a tent that offers a supporting porch area that the dog can sleep under. If this is the way you choose to go, tether the dog to prevent it from wandering off while you shut your eyes.
- Food: There should be places to purchase dog food at dog friendly camping sites but, just in case there isn’t, bring some food. Bringing food can be problematic, however, as it’s an additional thing to pack in already heavy equipment load. Make sure to include its dog bowl too to eat out of.
- Poop Bags: Be environmentally-friendly and make sure that you clean up the mess that is left behind by your dog.
- Dog collar: Remember what I said about preventing your dog from getting lost? This is a vital part of preventing that. Remember to bring the collar and keep it on your dog at all times during the trip.
- A familiar toy: The best way to help your dog acclimatise is to bring something that will keep it calm, particularly when it comes to getting some sleep at night time. The last thing you want is an agitated dog that’s up all night keeping you and your neighbours awake.
- Stake and tether: Rest assured that your dog is safe without having to look over at them every five seconds by bringing something to keep them put. It can be as simple as a slither of rope and something to weight it down.
- Towels: Not necessarily for you, but when you’ve been out hiking with your companion and you get caught in a lot of mud and dirt, you’ll appreciate the importance of them. Bring lots of towels.
Rules When Camping with Dogs
The thing about camping with dogs is that you have to be considerate of others – your neighbours and those who are permanent residents in the area. There will likely be a set of rules that will help to keep everybody passive, such as keeping the dog on a leash at all times, as well as other restrictions that will separate where and when you can take your dog to a specific place.
But beyond that, make sure to keep your dog under control at all times. Try to keep it calm so as not to annoy any other campers when camping with dogs. Also, be sure to clean up after your dog should it cause a mess anywhere. You will be spending a lot of time on dirty, muddy trails but it is your responsibility that this doesn’t become a burden for any other campers frequenting the area.