Camping With Your Dog
Know before you go. Research the rules and conditions on the locations you’re planning to visit. If you’re headed to a campsite make sure dogs are allowed. Read the park guidelines before bringing them along. If you’re planning a long hike with your dog make sure you have enough food and water for the duration of the trip. Read up on the conditions of the trail and verify your dog can handle the environment.
Your dog’s physical ability is as important as your own. Verify your dog is capable of enduring long hikes and multiple-day excursions. Your dog can’t tell you she is out of shape or struggling. In addition, double-check your pup is up to date on all medications and treatments. Even mosquitoes are known to carry parasites like heartworm. If possible, get a check-up before you go on your adventure.
Pack enough food for the duration of your trip. Figure out how many days you’ll be camping and count up the number of times your dog will be eating. Measure out enough food to account for every meal. Collapsible bowls work great for traveling and have a small footprint.
Be careful letting your dogs drink from natural bodies of water. While springs and natural running water is less dangerous, stagnant bodies of water like lakes and ponds can contain harmful bacteria for your dog. Developed campsites will most likely have their own running water and plumbing. However, those without the luxury of modern plumbing should plan accordingly. Bring plenty of water to accommodate your canine friend. It doesn’t hurt to overcompensate. Water purifiers, like Lifestraws, work great for a backup water source.
Bring along a blanket or sleeping pad for your canine companion. A small sleeping bag works great for a soft and cozy bed, too. If you’re hammock camping or sleeping under the stars make sure to tie Fido up to ensure he doesn’t wander off in the middle of the night. Avoid the late night doggy bathroom break by bringing a long enough leash so he can go by himself in the middle of the night.
Ticks are always finding a way to make a home in your pup’s fur. However, taking preventative measures can help reduce the occurrence of these unwanted pests. Treat your dog monthly with the proper flea and tick medication. Do not use old or expired products as they can lose their effectiveness. Consult your veterinarian on the appropriate way to apply the treatment to your pooch.
Perform regular tick checks while camping. Deer ticks have to be attached for approximately 24 hours in order to transmit the pathogen that causes Lyme disease, so the best way to prevent transmission is finding ticks as soon as possible. Pack tweezers for easier tick removal.
Lost and Found
There’s nothing worse than your dog wandering off. If your dog happens to get lost than you want to be prepared for the worst - collar, name tag, and vaccinations. Your dog should have a collar on at all times and attached to the collar should be contact and vaccination information. It’s good practice to have your dog microchipped as well so she can be identified in the event of a missing collar. A lot of veterinary offices, rescue groups, and animal shelters will have universal scanners to identify missing dogs by this microchip.
Dogs have the ability to over exert themselves just for the sake of fun. Ensure they’re getting plenty of rest and nourishment on your trip. They won’t let you know when they’re tired so offer them water frequently, especially on hot days. In addition, carry a first aid kit for doggy-related incidents. Consider including Benadryl for possible bee stings and snake bites.